Six men… one secret location… 75 extreme challenges…one $7000 prize… Cambodia’s toughest ever TV challenge, You’re the Man! (YTM), is taking place on TV5 every Sunday at 8.30pm.
Khmer viewers across the country are addicted and fans from as far away as Brisbane, Australia and Los Angeles, California wait excitedly each week for the next episode to be uploaded to the internet.
4,657 young Cambodian men applied to take part in the show and 6 lucky contestants were chosen to compete, over 11 gruelling episodes, to win the $7000 prize. After seeing what the guys have already had to do, you may wonder if the 6 selected guys are the lucky ones!
They’ve had to sleep in the YTM villa which they were led to believe was a ghost house (filming was so scary that one of the production team actually peed in their pants), face the animals they were most afraid of (200 tarantulas, 30kg of worms, buckets of frogs etc.), eat disgusting foods – bro hoc milkshake, fried cockroaches... In episode 4 the guys were crying by the end of the day – and so were their parents. So, whether it is the best TV show ever, or not, it is certainly the toughest!
Reality TV is notorious for having contestants that everyone loves to watch, or hate! But, in You’re the Man!, the producers explore the contestants’ potential to be good guys. So, are there no villains? You’ll have to watch to find out! But, if you are worried about being deprived of villains, don’t be! There are still all sorts of other crazy tasks to come, including pregnant men.
The producers say, “The show is unlike anything Cambodia has seen before. We push the contestants to their limits; physically, emotionally and mentally so viewers can really get to know them. We have created a pressure cooker environment where the guys are cut off completely from the outside world in a secret location. They are allowed no mobile phones, TV, laptops, radio, newspapers or clocks! Regular viewers have seen tears, personality clashes, laughter and bonds of friendship that hopefully will last long beyond the airing of the series.”
Who chooses the winner? TV5 viewers! There are no judges. The TV audience will vote by SMS text after the final episode for their favourite contestant. The results will be announced in a live final on March 25th at the TV5 concert studio.
YTM is part of an HIV prevention initiative from the USAID funded PRASIT program that aims to address the gender stereotypes that are contributing to the spread of HIV. The show’s particular focus is binge drinking because binge drinking increases risk-taking behavior such as engaging in commercial sex or sexual intercourse without a condom, and this contributes to the spread of HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancies and increased levels of violence.
FHI 360, who are leading the project for PRASIT, have worked with the producers of the show, Cade Advertising and InDevelopment Productions to address the core issues and underlying reasons for the risk-taking behavior that leads to the transmission of HIV and other STIs. Nobody sets out to put themselves at risk of HIV infection. It is people’s personalities, behaviors and lifestyles that put them at risk. The reality TV format is perfect for enabling Cambodian men, while they enjoy the show, to take a good look at themselves: at their attitudes, values, traditions, beliefs, behaviors etc. It empowers them to think differently, to respect themselves more, and to respect others (especially women). It gives them the opportunity to ask questions of themselves that they have never considered before, to look at their lifestyle options and to re-evaluate what they want for their own futures.