And for the final part of the series to find out what happened with Slap’s OIAM contest this year, we talk to arguably the most important people of the entire thing: the contestants. They were there living it.. actually skating, doing the challenges, getting judged and working with everyone (or not) to try and make it happen. And at the end of the day, even if the show turned out to be a trainwreck or “the worst thing ever”, it can be sure that at least the contestants had a good time.
Q & A WITH FOUR OF THIS YEARS CONTESTANTS
How was your OIAM experience, and how do you think the final show turned out?
MATT: I mean it was a really good time, everyone was cool. The contest aspect of it sucked, obviously. All the challenges were so dumb and no one wanted to be there for it. Everyone was like what the hell is going on? I watched them do the pizza delivery thing, everyone was so angry and half the people weren’t doing it. It was like 1pm and everyone was down to go skate, but just being held up by that shit.
ALEX: One of the best things I ever got to do, because I met a whole bunch of people and we all became really awesome friends. The contest aspect of it – from the start it was a joke.. I entered it as a joke, so I kind of kept it that way I didnt really try to compete with anybody. It is a contest, people had to work for it but it’s all in good fun, skating you know.
JOSH: I thought the experience was amazing, just being able to go out and skate with those guys was so fun. The only thing that was lame was the challenges, besides that everything else was cool tho. Everyone went there thinking it would be the same as last year. Go to a spot, skate, have fun, but when the challenges came in, everyone was like, are they being serious right now?
DEAN: It was really fun, I had a great time, the videos didn’t really show how much fun it was. It could have been better show wise with the way it was setup. I was really expecting it to be a lot like last year. I think from what skaters want to see, it’s not really a good show but from what everyone else wants to see it’s probably pretty cool.
When you were there, did you feel pressure to act a certain way or say things for the sake of the show? Did you have a script to read at all?
MATT: No scripts, but like when I got eliminated they kind of just pointed me towards the door. I had no idea my board was gonna get focused. Alex Klein walked outside with me, talked to me and said some nice stuff to comfort me I guess. I slept at the top of the bowl in the House Of Vans, because they didn’t want me in the shots in the morning. I asked Alex if I could chill with everyone at the bottom and in the morning I’d wake up earlier and be out, but he wasn’t feeling it.
ALEX: Alex Klein came up to me and told me that I was going to be the “dick character” on the show, so I guess we can just end it with that. If people meet me, I try and give them a lot of respect so for him to come up and say that to me was kind of out of pocket. There was no scripts the only thing that Alex was really involved with was the behind the scenes interviews, which by the way, suck. When he’s asking you questions to kind of manipulate you it’s weird.
JOSH: There was one moment that I clearly remember. When I did gap 50-50 on the black hubba, and then Mikey did the gap 5-0 after me. Afterwards, Alex is like, “I heard that you were super bummed when Mikey did that 5-0.” I was like nah, it was cool, he’s my friend, why would I be upset about him doing a trick? And he’s like, “that’s not what I heard, I heard you were super upset!” Basically he was trying to get me to talk shit about Mikey. And everyone got along with each other, there was no problems at all. Alex wanted to start drama with us, but there was no one to do it because everyone was super cool.
DEAN: Yeah there was a handful of that going on… leading questions to get you to talk bad about other contestants and trying to provoke you to be angry and stuff. But we are all good friends, and we don’t wanna be messing with each other.
Alex said the show was a parody and that a lot of how it was run and received was not to be taken seriously. Did it seem that way while you were filming?
MATT: No. He was dead serious the whole time. I don’t remember him once saying that.
ALEX: I don’t really know. If it was a joke, then the episodes wouldn’t have come out the way they did.
JOSH: Alex claims he said a dozen times, it was just a joke but I don’t remember him saying it at all.
DEAN: No, it seemed all pretty serious. He really didn’t say anything, it seemed serious the whole time.
Seems like how the show was edited, you guys get the blame at the end as being “uncooperative” for why there was no winner. Do you think it was portrayed accurately?
MATT: No. We shouldn’t have gotten the blame at all. If we knew we were signing up for a straight up reality show, I feel like none of us would have been down. And there was no talk about it before. We all went there to skate and have a good time and it was not what we expected. When I got there, Alex told me we were gonna do eliminations 1 per day, and I figured it would be like, based on the skating. And then we get back to the House Of Vans and there’s the high ollie bar there, I was just like fuck…
JOSH: I think the way we were portrayed as spoiled and all, I don’t think Alex wanted to make himself look bad so he tried to put the blame on us.
DEAN: We could have participated better but also it could have been setup better. The whole elimation thing was bogus, everyone knows Matt is amazing but he was sent home on a high ollie contest which is really not cool. It just turned sour after everyone realized that it doesn’t matter how you skate, but how you appeal, how you look to the judges on everything. How they like you as oppose to how well you’re skating.
How were the judges off camera? Is Lurker Lou really a dick?
MATT: Nah, everyone was tight, Lurker Lou got destroyed from that, but he doesn’t give a fuck. He’s harsh but a cool dude. All the judges, they made them sound like such big douchebags on the show. Sucks.
ALEX: Lurker Lou is the fuckin man. No matter what anyone says on the internet, he is an awesome dude. He was the only person besides Mike “Reno” Hubert that would actually hang out with us as if he were on the trip with us. He would party with us everyday.
JOSH: Lurker Lou was really the only one that hung out with us outside of the cameras. He hung out with us everyday and talked shit about the contest too, how lame it was. Steve Rodriguez and them would mostly be there to do the interviews and challenges and stuff and then they weren’t really around much. I think they knew that it was wack. Like when the pizza delivery challenge came out, that’s when everyone was like what the fuck is going on? Are we seriously doing this?
DEAN: They were really cool, Lurker Lou chilling every night. He was not like that at all, just when the cameras were on he had to act that way. I didn’t really talk to the others judges much. Lurker didn’t like how it was set up either. Mike [Hubert] was out back apologizing every night too for how it was being run. He wasn’t expecting this either, really apologizing to us.
It has been said that the HD filmers were super hard to work with.. was that true?
MATT: They were not skateboarders and were just were getting in our faces and shit. Getting real annoying, asking us questions mid conversation and just making it awkward. One night we were all drinking a bunch of beers and Joseph was pissed off. All the HD dudes didn’t skate, they wore Vans when they came to shoot, and then left them there every night and put on their like, dress shoes or whatever they had. So Joseph takes all this sauce and random shit and puts it in the HD filmers shoes. And the next day, they come in, see their messed up Vans, but nobody said anything. It was so funny. Joseph was like, fuck those guys and just did it.
ALEX: Shit, I think Colin [Read] answered that better than anyone else could.
JOSH: Everyday they would have the cameras in your face. In the beginning, OK, but after a while it became annoying. Some days I’d wake up with a camera in my face, it happened again and again. They didn’t even skate, they didn’t talk to us or really seem to care about us. They just did their job.
DEAN: There were some cool ones, but 2 of them didn’t even skate at all and walked to the spots. They were really buggy, they weren’t really cool, or know anything about skateboarding so it made it difficult to work with them.
Is it true that Joseph tried to fight Alex Klein at the very end? How did it end?
MATT: I don’t know, I know he was heated and pissed off at Alex the whole time. I might not have been there then.
ALEX: I don’t know, I know he was super bummed at him, but everyone kinda was.
JOSH: Joseph hurt his leg real bad too. I didn’t see him try punching or anything, but he was just talking mad shit, it was super funny. It was one of the last days. On the very last day, Mike Reno sat us down, and told us, we should vote on who should be flown out. Alex was like no, we’re not doing that, and that was it. He just disappeared, when they made up their mind that no one was gonna win.
DEAN: I don’t know.. Joseph might have been saying some stuff but he wasn’t going to fight him. When it ended we were all confused. We started walking out back and Colin said they wiped us out, like, they took all the tapes. No one knows what happened to Alex and the filmers… Lurker Lou was as confused as we were too. He was told they were gonna pick a top 3, but then it just ended.
In your opinion, who do you think deserved to win the entire thing?
MATT: Alex Conn.
ALEX: ADAM SIMONI!!
JOSH: Damn that’s a good question. Everyone killed it. It’s a toss up between Adam, Tyler and Dean. All 3 of them fucking killed it and were super nice dudes. It’s hard to pick just one.
DEAN: Everyone was killing it but – Josh, he was killing it and he’s just so underrated. And he’s really funny, keeping the vibe up.
That’s it folks!
Photos courtesy of: Nathan Perkel
Words: Ian Michna
(Check out his website with more OIAM photos here)
Special Thanks: Alex Conn, Josh Kasnicka, Dean Denniston, Matt Militano, Mikey Haywood
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