02/23/11 — Lane twins ready to wipe out

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Lane twins ready to wipe out

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 23, 2011 1:46 PM

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The Lane twins, Gary and Larry, are interviewed after their first day on the course of the popular ABC primetime game show "Winter Wipeout."

All it took were two cases of whiplash and a week's worth of hobbling around, barely able to walk, but on Thursday, Wayne County will find out if the Lane twins' latest adventure was worth it.

Appearing on ABC's "Winter Wipeout," The Lane twins, Gary and Larry, will compete against 11 other family pairs -- 22 contestants in all.

It was the one show, however, that the Rosewood natives had promised their mother and father, Alice and J.J. Lane, they would never do.

"We were home from L.A. over the summer and were watching it on TV with Mom, and we promised her that was one show we wouldn't do," Gary Lane said.

And, he said, at the time they meant it.

The pair have appeared in television shows like "Dawson's Creek," movies like "Zoolander" and "The Patriot," and commercials like Dr. Scholl's. They'd even done crazy stuff on television before -- winning $50,000 on NBC's "Fear Factor," $120,000 on ABC's "Set for Life," and appearing on SyFy's "Chase" -- but like anybody else watching the show, they knew some of the falls they'd seen contestants take on "Wipeout" looked like they hurt.

But when their talent agency in New York called and said that "Wipeout" was looking to do an all-twin episode as part of its winter season, Gary said Larry managed to talk him into it.

And while the all-twin episode didn't work out -- the Lanes were the only pair to sign up -- ABC decided to make the winter season finale on Thursday a family team episode, with the Lanes teaming up once again for at a shot for $50,000.

"We thought it would be fun because it's one big obstacle course, and we've had some good luck," Gary said. "We were definitely leery about getting hurt, but we knew if got there and won $50,000 for three days worth of work, that would be a good week's work."

They still hadn't told their mother, though, until one day she was on a conference call with them and Akea Foods, -- a Raleigh-based whole and health foods company that, as their day job, they're distributors for in Los Angeles -- one of the company executives let it slip that they were going to be on "Wipeout."

Gary said that as soon as the words came over the line, he looked down and his mom was calling his cell phone -- not terribly happy about it, but understanding about her adventurous sons.

So in early November they headed off to Sable Ranch, near Valencia, Calif. for five days of filming.

It was, Gary said, "the hardest thing we've ever done."

"We didn't even tell our mom how bad we were sore after filming. Both of us had whiplash in our necks and shoulders. We could hardly bend our legs. It took a good week to recover," Gary said.

And that, he said, was even with the advantage of working with an evenly matched teammate.

In this episode, unlike in most, the pairs of family members have to finish as a team -- one goes through the set of obstacles and then has to wait on the other. For some teams, it may have been a disadvantage, having to wait on each other, but for the twins, even though each had his own strengths and weaknesses because they were pretty evenly matched, the waiting provided just enough of a breather to prepare for the next set of obstacles.

"It was a blessing. We had a couple minutes to think and rest," Gary said. "It just drains your energy until you have nothing left."

Not only, he said, is it physically challenging to be bounced around, have things flying out of nowhere to hit you, knocking you into foam covered ice cold water and mud, it's mentally challenging as well because you never know when that's going to happen.

"When you get there, they walk you through the course so you know where to go, but nothing's moving," Gary said. "You can't mentally prepare for it, and the course is designed for failure. They set that course up to make you wipe out. It's crazy and hectic. It was rough."

But now, as they wait for their episode to air, the most nerve-wracking part, he said, is waiting to see what their storyline's going to be.

He explained that during filming, they never meet the co-hosts, John Anderson and John Henson, and that their part is added in later. However, he did say that they developed a good repartee with sideline reporter Jill Wagner, who is originally from Winston-Salem, and that she kept comparing them to the Cobra twins from G.I. Joe.

"So we've got an idea. We feel our story arc will have something to do with G.I. Joe, but we'll just have to see how they do it. They create your story arc," Gary said.

Beyond, that, though, he said there wasn't much more he could say about the episode, which will air on their 36th birthday.

"All we can say is it will be a great show and we promise to wipe out a lot," Gary said. "It was honestly the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives."