“It Sucked” – Legends of the Hidden Temple Contestant

This giant head can suck it.
This giant head can suck it.

If you were a child during the nineties you surely watched Legends of the Hidden Temple at some point. Unless you didn’t have cable, then you just lied about watching it.

Legends of the Hidden Temple was a game show that ran for three seasons and countless reruns on Nickelodeon. The show centered around a giant talking Olmec Head which would ask questions and give clues to help guide the children contestants to the grand prize, which could only be acquired by running through a Indian Jones inspired obstacle course.

But only 32 teams over the 120 episodes ever won the grand prize. Was it that hard? Well one contestant spoke to website SB Nation about the ordeal.

“To be honest,” Keeli says, “I thought we were pretty much dead in the water on the Steps of Knowledge because my partner was an abject idiot.”

Well, getting teamed up with a kid dumber than a real Olmec head is a bummer, that’s hardly Nickelodeon’s fault. Although, it kind of sucks that you got teamed up with someone rather than choosing your own partner.

Keeli was smart enough to advance her team to the final round: The Temple. The runners of the show must have had some clue how hard it was to complete because they gave the contestants a full tour of the obstacle course before they ran it.

And then Keeli was given even another gift, as partway running through technical glitches caused them to have to start over. I wonder if Alex Trabek ever  realizes his zipper was down during Final Jeopardy and makes everyone reanswer the question.

Unfortunately, even with all that, the Temple proved too hard. “Temple guards” were hidden throughout the course without any sign of where they might be. If you were caught by one: Game Over. Also, apparently they were really scary to boot!

“[The Temple Guards] are the scariest thing imaginable. Nothing is scarier and I will stand by that statement until the day I die.”

In fact it seemed they went out of the way to scare the bejusus out of kids.

“In looking back, there were a lot of red flags that I should’ve caught on to. I was a marked gal from the moment we did our Temple walk-through. I asked if Temple Guards could pop out of the peanuts in the Bamboo Forest. And what happened? Yup. You guessed it. I was SO deathly afraid of going into that room, and I obviously had reason to be.”

Perhaps oddest of all, every time the show reran a different prize was mentioned as what Keeli didn’t win. I guess multiple sponsors had the chance to not give a poor kid something.

The show was cancelled after three seasons. A fourth was considered, but Nickelodeon was a already considering three other game shows to pick up and they didn’t want the network to become the Game Show Network Jr.

The show routinely rerun as part of Teen Nick’s 90’s Are All That block. So who knows, maybe one night you can tune in and see what Keeli isn’t going to win this time.

As far what happened to Keeli:

“I’m 31 and I can’t go to haunted houses. I’m deathly afraid of things popping out of closets and doors, etc., at me. I can’t watch scary movies where things jump out and scare people. Can I say that this is directly related to that? No, not 100 percent, but …”

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