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The Big Balls (or the Big Red Balls) are the most famous obstacles on Wipeout, and has kind of become its trademark obstacle along with the Sucker Punch.
They are four 1,000 pound balls of compressed air, and contestants will have to jump across them to the other side. There have been very few contestants who have crossed the big balls successfully, Ariel Tweto was the first to be shown to conquer them.
In some episodes of season 2, they slightly changed the balls, with a red rubber covering over the supports holding the Big Balls up, due to safety reasons. Chris Lekawa in 1x03 is a prime example of this, as he became stuck between the supports and the balls themselves. It is commonly partnered by the Motivator.
Conquered by Edit
|1||Nick Ballard||1x09 : Pilot Episode|
|2||Katie Mayfield||1x09: Pilot Episode|
|5||Ben Kronberg||1x05 & 2x11|
|7||Devon Berry||2x01 (not shown)|
|9||Shane Harris||2x08 : Wipeout Couples|
|11||Jayson Lansburg||3x01: Wipeout Blind Date|
|12||Katelyn Reina||3x01: Wipeout Blind Date|
|13||Peet Montzingo||3x02 : Welcome Back, America|
|14||Quan Pham||3x05 : Excuse Wii|
|15||Robin Burton||3x06 : Wipeout Couples|
|16||Tony Juarez||3x12 : Wipeout Family|
3x15: Ladies' Night
18 Deborah Blackwell 4x21: All Stars
Since Season 2, Wipeout has added an extra difficulty to the Big Balls. They now feature a giant red pendulum which gets triggered if a contestant hesitates too long. It then proceeds to sweep the contestants in the water. It immediately had its first victim in 2x01. The record for most motivations was set in 2x16, where it motivated five times. Only one person, Terry Smith, survived a hit from this motivator, and was able to cross them because of it. The Pendulum Motivator has also been featured in several episodes in Season 3, but had to share screen time with the new Deck Motivator.
In the special Wipeout Bowl episode, the pendulum was also seen, but not used. Instead they used a man referred to as the Linebacker Motivator, who pushed the contestants in the water if they waited a second too long.
In Season 3, Wipeout introduces the Deck Motivator, also known as the hidden motivator, as it is not seen by the contestants until it pops up and smacks them from behind into the water. It was first used in the Wipeout Blind Date, 3x01, and already made some victims. It also crushed the record of the Pendulum Motivator in 3x10, with a total of eight motivations. Again, only Quan Pham survived a hit from this motivator, and also made it across the Big Balls.
In Winter Wipeout (Season 4) the Snowtivator is introdouced. This obstacle features a treadmill speeding towards the Big Balls. This sudden approach often causes contestans to fling themselves on the Big Balls. A red stopper prevents contestants from just falling in the water without even hitting the obstacle.
In Spring Wipeout, (Season 4) the Snowtivator is reused, renamed the Springivator. However, the red stopper was not included because the producers thought it was unneccesary and found that many contestants were trying to use it from stopping them from going on the obstacle, but to no avail. This Motivator is featured in a few Season 4 Summer Wipeout episodes, renamed as the Dreadmill.(not to be confused with the Season 1 third round obstacle of the same name.)
First featured in 4x16, Wipeout introduced the Ball Tapper. This is a rotating motivator with a ball on either end of it. It did not get any victims because contestants knew how to handle the Motivator and it was too easy. It made two more appearances; 4x17 (Hotties vs. Nerds) and 4x20 (Wheel of Misfortune) but people still knew how to handle it.
The other Motivator that was featured besides the Dreadmill in Season 4 Summer Wipeout was called the Handlebar Motivator. If contestants waited too long, a handlebar on the side of the platform would pop out and propell contestants into the water.
In 5x1, much like the Linebacker Motvator for the Wipeout Bowl in Season 2, a person dressed as Santa Claus- named the "Ho Ho Ho-tivator"- acted as the Motivator for the Wipeout Deck the Balls Christmas Special, propelling contestants onto the decorated Jingle Balls. The Deck Motivator from Season 3 is seen but not used.
In Season 5, the Deck Motivator in Winter Wipeout made a return. However there were major differences, for one, if they stood on any area of the platform or motivator, it activates. For two, it made a whirling noise when moving and smacking sounds whenever it hits a victim. For three, the motivator is blue color in normal and Sky color, and last, the motivator had foam to make footing slippery. In 5x10, a new motivator, the Rumble Bridge Motivator. Also, a "Multi-Vator" was introduced in the preceeding episode. Its consisted of a small motivator that struck from the back and the deck motivator. It was kind of a 1-2 punch thing.
Few additions have been made to the Big Balls, since they're already that tough. They have been dressed up though, fitting themes for several episodes such as the Wipeout Bowl and episode 3x04: World Cup, where the Big Balls looked like giant soccer balls.
A major addition has been added to some episodes in season 3 however, making it even harder. The Big Balls now also move up and down, but this is only in episodes that feature the Pendulum Motivator as well. Nobody has passed the moving balls yet.
An unintentional addition to the Big Balls is rain, prominently featured in 3x15. This made the balls bouncy and slippery. Lauren Taksa made it across them that day, making her run even more spectacular.
A small addition is a small version of Ballsy, fittingly named Smallsy. Smallsy sits on the forth big ball. Contestants who touch Smallsy receive a $500 reward. He has also been changed per episode. For instance, on the Halloween special, he was once dressed as a zombie.
- The average amount of Big Balls touched is 2.5 balls. 4.55% touches only one ball, 59.09% makes two, 27.27% makes three and only 9.09% touches all four balls.
- Ben Kronberg was the first contestant to cross the Big Balls twice. (Once in 1x05, again in 2x11)
- Contestants seem to be less intimidated by the balls in team episodes.
- Sometimes, Wipeout's producers need to let some air out of the balls, due to the heat that expands the balls and makes them hard.
- The Big Balls are such a big part of the show, it's even in John Henson's most known quote: "Goodnight, and big balls."
- One of the three exits to the Overdrive is a green, rotating Big Ball.
- The Wipey for best Big Ball Wipeout went to Chris Lekawa. Runners-ups were Chris Kinyon, Gwenisha Robinson, Gayla Johnson and Christa Wiktorski.
- The Wipey for best Romance went to Ben Kronberg, with his love for the Big Balls and the Ball Swing.
- The Wipey for best Wipeout went to Jacob Mann, and his wipeout on the Big Balls.
- The Big Balls earned a Lifetime Achievement award.