Brave or stupid? ... Everyone watching Celebrity Splash held their breath to see what Derek Boyer had planned from the 10m platform.

Brave or stupid? ... Everyone watching Celebrity Splash held their breath to see what Derek Boyer had planned from the 10m platform.

What is it?

Based on a Dutch format, already in production in the UK, America, China and elsewhere, the idea here is simple: take a bunch of "celebrities", some bored enough to do anything for a laugh, others desperate enough to do anything to stay in front of the cameras and teach them to be high divers. Yes, high divers as in "climb to the top of that ten-metre tower and jump off with a somersault and twist". What could possibly go wrong?

Taking the 10m board ... Derek Boyer in a Tarzan outfit.

Taking the 10m board ... Derek Boyer in a Tarzan outfit.

Our view

Hosted by Larry Emdur, a bloke secure enough in his own career to give anything a crack (Celebrity Dog School would be the example that springs to mind) and with a pack of “stars” who range from the "Oh yeah, I remember her!" to "who on earth *is* that?", this would have to be the most over the top start to anything broadcast on television since The Kenny Everett Video Show stopped airing in the 1980s. There’s a band, dancers, synchronised swimmers, disco lights… it’s (wave hands around here please) faaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous!

Tonight is heat one (of two) with seven of the "celebrities" (OK, I’m running the risk of being breaching the Trade Practice Act if I keep calling these people celebrities, so lets just go with victims from here on OK?) diving off against each other.

Ouch ... Derek Boyer belly flop on <i>Celebrity Splash!</i>.

Ouch ... Derek Boyer belly flop on Celebrity Splash!.

Tomorrow night will be heat two, where the rest will dive and out of all that, eight will be chosen to go forward and compete for whatever prize is on offer here.

This is all explained by Emdur standing on the end of a diving board and a thoroughly terrified-looking Kylie Gillies on the edge of the ten-metre board. Sadly, neither of them falls in so we go straight to the intro where pro divers dive, dancers dance and out come the victims.

There’s cricketer, Andrew Symonds, reality "star" Brynne Edelsten (and disco lights), comedian Josh Thomas, (cue the synchronised swimmers) Olympian Leisel Jones, model Nick Bracks, token cross promotioner Home and Away actor Demi Harman, AFL player Andrew Welsh, (a few more choreographed dancers and a diver) Miss Universe Australia 2012 Renae Ayris (dancers), radio presenter Adam Richard, Miss Universe Australia not 2012 turned TV presenter Laura Csortan (some dancers and swimmers), Bra boy Koby Abberton, athlete Tamsin Lewis, comedian Pauly Fenech, and TV legend Denise Drysdale (more divers and some fireworks).

Famous faces: Some of the contestants on <em>Celebrity Splash</em>.

Famous faces: Contestants wait pool-side for their turn. Photo: Channel Seven

The judges for this are all Olympic medallists - as is befitting a contest of this stature - American Greg Louganis, and Aussies Alisa Camplin and Matthew Mitcham, two of whom admit to landing on their heads in competition at least once.

I’m already starting to envy them. And away we go.

Well nearly, first we have to hear from Laura Csortan who explains she’s injured herself in training and is (and I replayed this four times without being sure) either "Kaput" or "Kibbutz". One is German for broken, the other is a collective farm in Israel, so I’ll go with the former, despite what the viewers of Twitter would have me believe. Somehow, she delivers the news she will not be entering the pool while wearing a bikini. Nobody asks why.

Replacing her is former Gladiator Derek Boyer, whose theme song is The Village People’s Macho Man. Again, nobody asks why. And away we go again.

Hosts: Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies.

Hosts: Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies. Photo: Channel Seven

Tamsin Lewis is first up, she "runs in circles for a living" but dives valiantly, with a handstand somersault thing from seven metres up that gets the crowd screaming.

The pace is fast, with Thomas next, diving after a series of odd disjointed rants that prove he’s appropriately nervous. He manages a one and a half somersault off a three-metre board and gets out to show even in bare feet he’s at least ten centimetres taller than Emdur. It’s the highpoint so far.

Symonds follows (he’s let himself go, he says, but training in a ballet tutu apparently helped him nail his backward dive from the ten metre tower). Then there’s Ayris doing a half somersault back fall off three metres and ruining her hair; Boyer dressed as Tarzan (and threatening to poo himself) doing an incredible belly flop; Fenech risking his hearing (he "popped" his eardrum in training) for a one and a half forward somersault from five metres and finally Brynne diving off the seven and a half metre platform after a thoroughly impromptu decision to abandon the five metre point.

Australian athlete Tamsyn Lewis Manou prepares to drive off a 7.5m high plaform.

First up: Australian athlete Tamsyn Lewis Manou prepares to drive off a 7.5m high plaform. Photo: Channel Seven

There’s some hilarious judging, with the two Olympic divers actually marking these rank amateurs down on technique after six weeks of training in something they’ve never done, then rating what would have to be one of the most intangible of human assets, courage.

There's an inappropriately-named "sudden death" dive off between Thomas and Fenech which Fenech (not Boyer as Louganis incorrectly identifies him) wins and we’re done.

And like a lot of the online commentators I was left wondering what I’d seen. And why.

In a sentence

Not the strangest idea for a reality series – that honour would have to go to the Japanese series that strapped contestants to a frame in the desert and burned their nipples with a magnifying glass – but close.

Best bit

Derek Boyer’s belly flop off the ten metre board.

Worst bit

Greg Louganis not even knowing who he was judging. Then again, its easy to see how you’d confuse Derek Boyer with Pauly Fenech, they could be twins!

Next episode

Tuesday (April 30) 7.30pm

Worth watching again?

On one hand there’s another seven divers to go and three weeks of watching them tackle the Tower Of Terror – sorry, I meant diving tower. And it is just three weeks so a bit of mindless fun for that long won’t hurt anyone. On the other hand… look! On YouTube there’s a cat playing with some wool! Let’s go watch the cat everyone! It’s got wool!

Grade

C. It’s a step up for the D-listers involved and a step down from the B-movies the opening evokes.