Video: What Is It Like To Win A Reality TV Show? - Pinkbike Academy Season Two Winner Interview

Dec 22, 2021 at 10:38
by Pinkbike Originals  

Christina catches up with Pinkbike Academy season two winner, Flo Espiñeira, to find out what it's like to win and their plans for 2022.

Pinkbike Academy Season 2 is available on all of your devices through the Outside app or website, as well as on the Pinkbike YouTube channel.


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Member since Feb 15, 2012
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  • 198 4
 I’ve been an episode or two behind the entire season. Finally am all caught up. Some thoughts:

* Well-deserved win by Flo, but wasn’t she already a top-10 athlete on the pro enduro circuit? I can’t help but wonder if that’s really in the spirit of Pinkbike Academy. The other girls really didn’t stand a chance from the start.

* This season was a big improvement over last year, but it was pretty clear who the best two riders were (top 4, really) as of the second episode. It kind of felt like the rest of the episodes were just looking for excuses to get rid of everyone else. Maybe strike more of a balance between the racing and the marketing to not make it so clear cut, or get racers who are closer together in terms of talent.

* So the secret pros… meant nothing really? They never factored into any eliminations, and they just cut them out the last three episodes. Didn’t even announce who they were. Lots of intrigue at the beginning for nothing.

* We will likely hear more about Emmett in the future than any of these other contestants. He and Evan from last season on the first Pinkbike Enduro Team?

* Laura is tougher than nails, and was quietly the obvious second-best female from the start.

* Just a suggestion — “Academy” implies learning. It would be cool if you had a top pro come in and give the “cadets” a lesson in cornering, or course lines, or jumping, or making a killer Instagram edit. Then run the competition based on whatever skill the pro taught them. It would be entertaining and provide those of us at home with some practical tips for our own riding. Cuts from these tips would also make for great social media posts for Pinkbike.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Great season! I enjoyed it. Thanks Pinkbike!
  • 18 1
 Well said on this. I definitely agree that they need to bring people in of closer talent. And the pinkbike enduro team better be racing on the grim donut, already proven to be faster than a commencal
  • 31 34
 Eps are twice as long as they should be.
  • 14 4
 @Adamrideshisbike: Maybe, but I feel like they fly by faster than their 45 minute watch time suggests.
  • 6 14
flag cheech222 (Dec 29, 2021 at 13:21) (Below Threshold)
 The secret pros were Geoff and Christina, they just had to stay secret so they could rep sponsors that were not there own
  • 6 1
 @cheech222: Ok, but a pretty inconsequential concept, right? It didn’t really go anywhere.
  • 31 3
 As far as Flo being a top 10 rider, I think that is really what this is about. Find the talent that cannot get the contract. This is not like most reality shows where anyone can really win. This is about talented riders trying to break through. Ask Katy Winton or any other female pro how hard it is to get the support needed to travel the world and go beyond being the top rider at the local series. Great improvement over season 1, I think season 3 will even get better.
  • 15 1
 @TheR . Some good points, but i'd say that being in the EWS would still mean the Flo isn't a pro and has largely been unsupported. There was that State of the Sport survey that showed that 21% of the pro circuit made $0 from riding, and over 50% of the riders were making less than 20,000 USD annually. counterpoint: maybe it's a good thing having Flo to show the other contestants what the standard of EWS racers is like.
  • 8 0
 I did feel Brad was hard done by on the last race. The old saying goes " if you want to finish first you first have to finish " granted Emmett did finish but he had to run nearly a whole stage, bad luck, yes. Racing, yes.
If like to know if Brad was a little bit more conservative after his flat? I know I would of been.
Yes Flo was always so far ahead of the other girls I do feel they knew it was all over after day 1.
  • 8 0
 @Emu-Jon: They we’re all gassed by the time they finished. You could see it in their forms.
@riddenagenda: Good points, but I also think that if this is a competition for riders like Flo, they need to have more riders like Flo. Instead, there were 3-4 girls at one level who would have competed well amongst each other. Then there was Flo, who was next level by herself.
  • 6 0
 @Tormy: Exactly this. Whoever wins is getting a factory contract so had better be able to live up to it.

If anything, the global covid situation is still probably preventing a lot of high quality contenders from getting to the comp in the first place. Hopefully, that abates and next season we get a higher quality candidate pool.

A bunch of high quality privateers battling for the contract would be awesome to see.
  • 6 11
flag dburbs (Dec 29, 2021 at 20:13) (Below Threshold)
 ur mom
  • 3 0
 @Tormy: Of course it's about finding deserving talent, and no one has suggested Flo is anything but talented and a hard worker. The question still remains as to why they would waste the other contestant's time with the whole thing. If it's supposed to be a competitive format then perhaps selecting a competitive field of talent would be a good start.
  • 3 0
 @Emu-Jon: ??? I don't follow
Emmett had the flat not Brad
  • 1 1
 @taprider: the comments were that Emmett won every stage apart from the one he a flatted on yet he was made out to seem that he won the race. @TheR I'm not doubting that, both the boys deserved to win and I'm looking forward to seeing their names in the top ten of the ews soon.
  • 46 6
 Right choice for the winner 2 years running, while improving the series significantly. Keep it up Jason and company! Congrats Flo.
  • 38 6
 s2 was a major improvement over s1

hoping that s3 will be even better! , maybe 2 winners? male and a female with double elimination every round
  • 18 2
 Nah, it should be no eliminations for a couple of rounds. Make it similar to how GCN did the Zwift academy.
  • 48 3
 Or no eliminations, just points every round.
  • 10 2
 @Ricolaburle: no eliminations is hard as there is only so much time to film a single contender. So as the season comes to the end, since there are only few people left, there is more time allocated , so you can really build up the drama etc
  • 4 2
 @Ricolaburle: I like this idea. Hopefully they can incorporate it somehow, especially since PB caught a lot of flak about the order/rationale for elimination this season.
  • 4 0
 @alexisalwaysonfire: It's not like they're trying to fit a traditional TV-style time slot; 44min w/16min of ad time per hour. I'll I'm saying is they have flexibility traditional TV productions do not.
  • 11 0
 I'm hoping they focus more on the "Academy" side of things. Focus on training, skills development, fitness and see who levels up.
  • 7 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Agreed. This type of Survivor (minus the alliances) thing doesn't do it for me vs. watching all the athletes so I tuned out instantly. Don't need drama and don't care for this approach but... maybe most people do. Dunno. The amputation method, in my view, eliminates the possibility that others riders step up (which changes competition) vs. getting nuked after 1-2 episodes. That's just entirely unrealistic to how riding works for world cup, ews, etc where riders don't compete only if they're injured... that is, they aren't cut out entirely because they didn't do the "best"
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: that's exactly what I thought was missing. We didn't get to see much growth.
  • 5 3
 @PetrC: you will hardly see much growth within days lol
  • 3 6
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: high level riders are not likely to see remarkable gains in a short period of time, whereas very average riders will be able to really benefit from the academy in the short period of time that they have for this show. While what you’re talking about is understandable, it’s not suitable for this format.

I also haven’t watched any of this and am assuming that the series doesn’t take place over the course of 2-4 months rather than 2-3 weeks.
  • 10 2
 @Mntneer: "I also haven't watch any of this...", but hey here are my two cents anyway !
  • 2 1
 Or no eliminations and make it like a race series where they compete for points throughout and the winner is the one at the end with the most points.
  • 1 2
 @Ricolaburle: I know how long they film for. Unless they’re using a time machine, I don’t need to watch it in order to be correct. Unless of course time works different in this reality
  • 2 1
 @Ricolaburle: Or they eliminate everyone the first day, and have the judges talk about how good Outside is for the next 9 episodes!
  • 4 1
 @Ricolaburle: could you imagine watching cody for that long omg that would be terrible
  • 39 13
 Nothing quite as fake as a reality TV show.
  • 6 2
 PB Academy lives up to the annual PB Photo of the Year authenticity. They know what's up, eh.
  • 4 2
 Agreed - this method is sure fire silicon-implant level authenticity.
  • 17 5
 The second season was a massive improvement over the first one, that's clear. I was sceptical but now I think this has a future. But the choice of contenders was just plain wrong. You only need to watch the first 15 minutes of the first episode to know it is gonna be between Emmet and Flo and in this day and age, I had absolutely no doubt Flo would get it. The gap between these two and the rest of the group was just way too big. Maybe because of this lack of any real competition or struggle to win I didn't find these two characters interesting at all and I don't really care where they are gonna go after the show (but I wish them all the best of course, I'm sure they have bright future). The rest of the group was actually pretty interesting mix of characters and fun to watch but then I don't think any of them would make a decent pro at this moment. In some cases, It almost felt like they were not really supposed to be there. Just the lack of base fitness in some cases was pretty shocking for someone who wants to be pro ... anyway, my favourite person on the show was Laura and by far. I knew she wouldn't win but I'm glad she made it that far, her mild personality is pretty unique in this sport but she showed some real toughness and decent skill.
  • 5 2
 You’re 100 percent correct about it being clear who the best two riders were from
The start.. Not sure why anyone voted you down.
  • 17 1
 Well- I would say best 3 as I don't think they made a big enough deal that it was Emmet's home turf and not Bradley's. I mean- nothing away from Emmett- he is clearly an incredible rider with a great head on his shoulders who puts in the work. I just wonder if Bradley and Emmett weren't a little closer but we saw a bit of home field advantage. Bradley was another stand out.
  • 10 4
 @snl1200: I'm one hundred percent sure if they raced in Queenstown Bradley would have slayed emmet (again, not taking anything away from the man). Been following his socials and the guy does some crazy things
  • 5 2
 @Curse-of-the-foot-long-sub: I think by the end of the show each rider had multiple laps on those courses so I'm not sure Emmet had that much of a home advantage. I guess we will find out who the fastest rider is next year at the races. Good luck to all of them.
  • 5 1
 @dflano: Yep. I was pretty familiar with a couple of those trails by the end of the series.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: "in this day and age....." that's why.
  • 3 0
 @Tambo: Ah.
  • 2 0
 Maybe there should be a qualifier race for entering PBA? That way the competitors will be there f a similar skill set. It might be difficult to create this on a global scale.
  • 12 3
 I’m re-using a comment from another post on this subject:

After watching this third episode, I’m of the opinion that this format should be left to shows like Top Chef and Project Runway.

This kind of drama is good for classic TV junkies, but I’m not so sure that’s what MTBers are. I want to see all of the riders for the whole series, no elimination. I want to see their struggles, see them grow (or not), all while following them on a cumulative leaderboard. Rather than eliminating the “losers” each week, it would be cool if they focused on rewarding the winners. Basically, run it like an end to end season of Enduro racing including pre and post season type activities (e.g., training, edits, social, etc.). Maybe even have a team concept where they have a team manager to report to, etc. Really put them into the scenario in as realistic fashion as possible to see how they develop.

I think that kind of approach would make better use the the time of all contestants and would make for a proper battle for the whole season. I want to see the genuine article, not this Real World vibe; it’s just a bit contrived. Of course, I’m just one dude w an opinion. Thanks for the consideration.
  • 3 1
 Yeah but imagine watching cody for a whole season..
  • 9 0
who are the secret Pros???
  • 12 4
 Well deserved, Flo is so rad, I can't wait to see them ripping up the EWS next year!!
  • 7 0
 How about season three in the UK, with Ben Cathro as a host and judge, looking for a male and female rider to add to a PinkBike DH team?
  • 2 0
 Upvote for Cathro. I'd watch that
  • 7 3
 No chileans writing here?? Felicitaciones Flo, creo que eras tu junto al team Giant el 2012 cuando fué la carrera entre Radomito Tomic y Calama el 2012, yo tambien iba en ese bus de acercamiento, ecnqncntrrnlsg-ringsnlwaterdlbus...
Siii yujuuu felicitacionesss...
  • 10 3
 So happy for Flo! Such a marketable and personable competitor. Congrats.
  • 10 3
 Flo really deserved the win.
  • 11 7
 Congrats to Flo! Even her name says mountain biker! With her poise & abilities on and off track should have made it easy to pick her. She rocked it!
  • 8 5
 Their name says flow

@TheR : 'their plans for 2022.' A single sentence comprises the article
  • 1 1
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: All good, man.
  • 4 1
 Really enjoyed season 2. Loved that it was more about riding than anything else. I know there are a ton of small details with all the travel and other logistics but that seems better left off screen.
  • 6 4
 CONGRATS FLO! WELL DESERVED! You are the come back story of the year for sure! Your attitude, humbleness, and desire were clearly setting you apart from the rest from day one!
Great season and better than last years. For season 3, bring back the secret pros but reveal them in the end and let them have a say in the judging at the end. (I think they were Evan Wall and Christina actually)
Also, bring back a couple of mini competitions like a tire change on the fly or a bike build. This gives them all a chance to see what its like to actually WORK on your bike, and not just be a rider with a mechanic. THis will garner the appreciation for tooling and working on the bike. (Going down a run, spotter calls out FLAT FLAT FLAT at a certain spot, you gotta stop and fix it by inserting a tube and pump it up and finish the run. Enduro racers sometimes have to do this. Why not make it real!
To me this was pretty much given after about episode 3 or 4. it clearly came down to FLo, Bradley, Emmet and Cameron. Also congrats to Emmet, seems like a good guy for an ambassador for shimano. He's young, it shows, and he's got a bright future if he can keep his head in the game and not get rattled and stay focused. Emmett, WORK OUT, get stronger, you are a great rider already and can only get faster with more strength. Kinda like an atom bomb. Small package with a BIG BANG, go get em dude!
  • 7 1
 Did I hear Flo say she was going to take up BMX...
  • 4 2
 Apart from limited resources to award the winners, I’m not really seeing the rationale behind not simply having a winner for men’s and a winner for women’s. It’s far more fair to all involved. Now, of course, maybe there’s just not enough money/contracts to go around at PB, which is understandable. But not much else makes sense. Flo is an amazing rider but, she was outperformed handily by the top men. It strikes me as imminently unfair to the men to beat out the winner in virtually every category (by a lot) and lose.
  • 7 1
 Grande Flo Idola !!!!!
  • 2 1
 Finally binge-watched from S02E03 to the end in one night. Definitely congrats to Flo for the win. However, this show should really have two groups of winners - Men's and Women's. Obviously, Flo wins it hands down on the woman's side. For the men's side, I think any of the top 3 guys could've won it. I also didn't think it was fair to have Cameron eliminated before Alaina. I mean - what a shitty way to get eliminated just because of a flat tire! If he was in the top 4 with the other two guys, it would've been more interesting. So, the format would've been better if it was the top 6 if the show wanted an even number of men and women but split the winnings into those two groups. You can't deny that on the men's side, the top 3 guys are just giving it all and they're all at the pro level. If Pinkbike Academy wants to run a Survivor boot camp and only have one winner regardless of gender, maybe they should pick a group of run-of-the-mill average people off the street and have absolutely no one with any racing experience and not a total athlete to be fair. It was kind of a joke to make Alaina climb even 600m elevation gain as compared to an absolute beast athlete like Flo. No offence to Alaina but her style of riding is not going up big mountains.
  • 1 0
 The orize is 30,000 grand. Probably only have so much money to put into this but otherwise agreed
  • 3 1
 Flo's comeback to racing story is pretty compelling. Really hoping she can find a team to produce the video. Great win by Flo and worthy investment by Orbea!
  • 4 1
 Heck yeah Flo. So very happy for you!
  • 3 0
 Does she have a bmx background?
  • 3 1
 She barely mentioned and didn't thank her only sponsor Orbea while asking for more.
  • 3 3
  • 2 0
 Too much beer heads me to wyn TV get awarded at first read !!
  • 4 3
 Awesome Flo, congratulations, i am looking to follow your race year next season!
  • 11 10
 Hey! No spoilers. Come on, I'm still on season 1 episode 2...
  • 12 3
 Evan Wall wins season one. ha!
  • 2 1
 I was behind and kind of felt the same way, but then again it was pretty clear Flo was going to win the thing.
  • 4 3
 Would be cool to do it like Top Chef with the last chance kitchen option.
  • 2 0
 Orbea next leyend
  • 1 0
 I guess season two won't be on amazon prime like S1?
  • 8 7
 Norbs got robbed
  • 4 3
 Mega Spoiler...
  • 7 6
  • 1 1
 Congrats again! rooting for you next season!
  • 2 3
 Checking her instagram, you wouldnt know she was a sponsored rider...
  • 1 1
 She was not
  • 1 0
 @pedrofuentes: She is now genius.
  • 2 5
 awww i havnt watched a single episode now there is no point as i know who wins!! actually maybe im the winner here as i dont have to watch the worst mtb series ever created!
  • 2 3
 Who doesn’t run inserts? Especially rear
  • 3 3
 your mum love rear inserts!!!
  • 12 13
 Emmet got robbed.
  • 2 4
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