McGuffie gets call to sports reality TV series

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 4:31pm
By: Kevin Wandra

McGuffie gets call to sports reality TV series

Many people dream of receiving their 15 minutes of fame, and one of the ways they attempt to fulfill that desire is to try out for reality TV shows.

Some reality TV hopefuls get their opportunity without even trying, which is exactly what happened to Georgia McGuffie, a 2003 McIntosh High School graduate, who was born and raised in Peachtree City.

Working in her current job as a server at the Buckhead Diner last October, McGuffie was waiting on Greg Ruddell Sr., who, unbeknownst to McGuffie at the time, is the president of Georgia-based Standoff Studios.

“Greg came into the diner, and he said he liked my personality,” said McGuffie, a student at Georgia State University. “He asked me if I would like to come out for his reality TV show. He then gave me his card. I was a little skeptical.

“But he seemed really cool and genuine. I thought, ‘Why not?’”

McGuffie looked at Ruddell’s card and viewed his title. She later went online to learn more about Standoff Studios and fill out a casting call application for the reality TV show. (The type of reality show on which McGuffie would potentially appear still wasn’t revealed to her.)

McGuffie was accepted, and she received a message informing her that the casting call for the show would be held in late November at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel.

She had yet to tell her friends and family about her shot at fame.

McGuffie was the first person to show up for the casting call. She was so early, in fact, the crew had yet to completely set up its cameras and other recording gear.

After a short wait, McGuffie was interviewed by a panel of four people from Standoff Studios, including Ruddell, plus one camera man.

McGuffie was asked various questions: Who is your hero? What was your most embarrassing moment? If you could identify with any animal, what would it be? What is the most adventurous thing you have done?

She was confident she aced her interview and made a lasting impression on the panel.

“I felt like I was keeping them laughing,” McGuffie said. “I felt like I was nailing every question. I’ve always done well in interviews.”

She was right.

Once the interview concluded, Ruddell tipped his hand, saying, “We will be calling you.”

McGuffie received that phone call Dec. 15, at which time she was told by Ruddell that she would be appearing on a reality TV fishing show based in Costa Rica called “The Catch: Costa Rica.”

McGuffie was elated to receive the opportunity to travel and appear on TV.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘I have to hit the gym. I need to work on my arms and back,’” McGuffie said. “I was stoked to travel again. I thought being on TV would be hilarious.”

Traveling is one of McGuffie’s passions; she had been to Australia, New Zealand and Canada, among other places.

Fishing, however, wasn’t one of her hobbies.

She was an inexperienced fisherman; McGuffie had been deep sea fishing only once, when she was 15 years old, with her grandfather in Destin, Fla. But she reeled in quite a catch in her lone fishing outing — a 15-pound king mackerel.

Despite her inexperience as a fisherman, an enthusiastic McGuffie was ready to head overseas. She left for Costa Rica Feb. 1.

The filming of the show, “The Catch: Costa Rica,” began five days later and ended in early April.

McGuffie was among 12 contestants — six men, six women — vying for the title of “Ultimate Fisherman” and a prize of $50,000.

Helped by three fishing experts, the contestants, all of whom had limited fishing experience, were paired off into teams of two, and they squared off in deep sea fishing challenges that lasted eight hours a day. They fished for two days, then had off two days.

The contestants chose who to vote off at the conclusion of each round.

Due to her contract obligations, McGuffie couldn’t disclose the winner, though she did reveal she had a strong showing.

“I caught on pretty well,” McGuffie said. “I consider myself a little athletic.”

The contestants lived in fishing lodges, houses and tents on the floor of the jungle in Costa Rica, and, as is the case with most reality TV shows, drama ensued.

“Of course, there was a little bit of drama,” McGuffie said. “Everybody was cooking together and fishing against each other. It would always get real tense.”

McGuffie said she thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience.

“I liked the people I met, the experience and learning to tolerate the heat — it was 95 degrees over there — sand, crabs and the harsh conditions,” McGuffie said. “I quickly made friends. The cast and crew became my family when I was there. I still keep in touch with half the cast.”

The first of 13 half-hour episodes of “The Catch: Costa Rica” will air 10 p.m. Friday on the Outdoor Channel. The season finale is Oct. 3.

login to post comments