Ludacris reveals worst phobia he overcame as ‘Fear Factor’ host
He may be the host of the new “Fear Factor,” but Ludacris admits there’s one segment that left him sweating like a contestant.
The rapper and entertainer, 39, had to hold a slithering boa constrictor while filming an episode of the recently revived stunt-and-dare game show as he encouraged a woman competing for the grand prize to give the creature a kiss.
“Snakes are something I was extremely afraid of, and it took me a little minute just to be able to do that,” Ludacris told the Daily News.
Of course, Ludacris won’t typically be the one facing his fears in the series, which is getting rebooted by MTV after originally airing on NBC for eight seasons. Once again, the show pits contestants up against each other as they take part in extreme — and often nauseating — feats like eating insects or walking along the wing of a flying plane.
The hosting gig was a natural fit for Ludacris, who considers himself an adrenaline junkie eager to inspire others to overcome their terrors as they try to win $50,000.
“(I want) to be their motivation when people are getting scared, because they come there to conquer their fears,” Ludacris said. “They wouldn’t want to disappoint Ludacris, humbly speaking. So anything I can do to help them get over their fears.”
It helps that Ludacris — whose real name is Chris Bridges — was a fan of the original “Fear Factor,” which ran from 2001 through 2006 before briefly returning from 2011 to 2012.
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He’s excited for MTV’s fresh take on the series and promises advanced technology coupled with the fears of a new, younger generation should make things especially interesting.
“We did studies on what people are scared of, and one of the things is losing your cell phone. But if you can imagine young kids, it might not even be something crazy,” he said. “There’s a number of different ways that we’re gonna spin it and try to make it a little more interesting and fun and a little more up-to-date.”
Luckily for Ludacris, he probably won’t ever have to confront his greatest fear when he’s hosting the show, which premieres on May 30.
“My biggest fear is being in open water, especially in water that’s not clear and you can’t see down, and being way far away from shore and something brushing up against your leg and not knowing what the hell it is,” he said. “It can be a big fish — it doesn’t even have to be a shark — but the fact of the unknown, and that you’re in open water and you know that’s not your territory, and it is the territory of whatever brushed up against you, just freaks me out just thinking about it.”
Ludacris boasts substantial hosting experience, considering he originally broke into the entertainment industry as a radio DJ in Atlanta and regularly emceed gigs for the station.
He’s ready to entertain in that role once again — all while impacting the lives of contestants and viewers alike.
“We’re really changing people’s lives,” he said. “When you can see and watch us being able to do that, it helps all other people in the audience to maybe plant a seed of tackling their fears as well.”
He’s happy to help, even if it means handling a snake.