Spike’s '10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty'

2014-01-13T20:03:00Z Spike’s '10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty' Herald-Review.com
January 13, 2014 8:03 pm  • 

Each time a brand new BS show about cryptids finds its way onto cable, it’s like my personal equivalent to seeing the Bat-Signal in the sky. And so, I made sure to catch the premiere of Spike TV’s new “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” last week so I could faithfully report on the latest televised attempt to cash in on America’s unceasing fascination with the nonexistent mega ape. With this level of interest, one has to wonder why Bigfoot isn’t already hosting a late night talk show on TBS. Lord knows they could use the help.

From the start, I love this show’s title. A whopping $10 million! What a prize, among the largest in television history. Let’s think, why would someone offer such a sum…hmmm…could it be because nobody is going to collect on it? But wouldn’t that be duplicitous? Well, as it turns out, there’s also a secondary prize of $100,000 that will be awarded to the “last team standing,” which will be henceforth referred to as “the actual prize.” This wasn’t mentioned at all during the pilot episode, but I happened to stumble across the information at the bottom of this surprisingly detailed feature on the program. 

The show’s format is part competition, part investigation and entirely stupid. Nine teams of hunters were assembled, led by former TV Superman Dean Cain for reasons no one is quite sure of. Each episode involves dropping the team in the woods somewhere, where they compete for advantages that will better help them locate an animal that no one has ever successfully located. It culminates in your typical night-visiony evening hunt where they stumble around in the woods, get excited over coyote calls and don’t find anything. While this is happening, I can only imagine Dean Cain is waiting back at the trailer with a team of manicurists and a beautician applying “Superman Black” hair dye.

My favorite part happens next. Todd Disotell, who is apparently in charge of New York University’s molecular primatology lab, was brought on as the show’s resident scientist, and he’s in charge of testing all the “evidence” that each team can gather in the course of a nighttime investigation. In the morning, he just went straight down the line telling each team how much they sucked, and that is not an exaggeration. To one team that brought in hair samples: “This is moss. This is not hair.” To another team that brought elk scat to prove there was plenty of sasquatch food in the area: “This isn’t evidence.” To another team that brought in possible bear droppings: “You brought in the wrong part of the scat to get DNA.” This guy wasn’t impressed or interested by a single bit of evidence any of the teams brought to him, which is fitting, given that none of them found anything of value. But how novel a concept is this — an actual scientist on a Bigfoot show? Who could have predicted that?

The other highlight of the first episode was the testimony of one of the contestants, a man named Justin Smeja, who casually mentioned during the introductions that he shot and killed two bigfeets a few years back.  This video doesn’t contain the rest of their discussion, which I’ll try to summarize here. Smeja claimed he spotted an adult Bigfoot with two juveniles. He opened fire, hitting the adult and one of the kids. The adult escaped (this counts as a kill somehow), but he tracked down the wounded baby, which he then killed by choking it to death. I am not kidding. This is exactly what he says on the show. “I choked a baby Bigfoot to death.” Faced with a dead body that could be worth millions of dollars, he then did what any of us would do — took a couple of hair and flesh samples and left it in the woods, because what would the point be of bringing in a whole body? It’s just excessive. Taking photos? Also excessive, and possibly churlish.

Unfortunately, some cold-hearted naysayers had problems with that story, particularly when DNA testing of the hair and flesh came back as belonging to a black bear. People started asking the really tough, incisive questions, such as “Why’d you bury the corpse in the woods?” and “Just how stupid do you think we are, exactly?” That’s why Smeja is back now, looking to shoot another Bigfoot and prove his story once and for all. Because as he explains in this rambling essay laced with egregious spelling and grammatical errors, “DNA is no longer good enough.” 

“10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” is another sterling addition to the pantheon of shows that fail utterly to achieve the promise set by their own titles. Just as a grand total of zero bigfeets have been located in four full seasons of “Finding Bigfoot,” this show is doomed to end without anyone receiving those millions in sweet, sweet Bigfoot prize money, which truly is a shame.

Might I recommend that any of the disappointed contestants look into James Randi’s One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge  as an alternative? It’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year of nobody being able to collect a $1 million prize for demonstrating paranormal abilities in a lab setting. Fair warning: I would estimate their chances of collecting either prize to be roughly equal, hovering right around the “zero percent” range.

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(10) Comments

  1. dustee
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    dustee - January 26, 2014 6:33 pm
    I have no doubt about the existence of "big Foot" The Patterson tape is plenty of evidence for me. I do have my doubts about spike TV. To me they don't really want to find Big Foot with the people they assembled. Where's "BO BO?
  2. leftfoot
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    leftfoot - January 25, 2014 5:54 am
    Spike sure piked the LEAST likly to find anything. The slowest, ( mentally & physically) to try and find a bigfoot. Hey, I know why. They thought someone might find bigfoot, so they hand picked the loosers. Who thought playing with light sabers would attract a shy & suspicious creature. These dogs can't hunt & they all think they are going to find one any second. Since most bigfoot are seen crossing roads, I think that they all should stand in the road with a camera & take a picture of bigfoot crossing the road. These clowns ( hey I don't want to offend any real clowns) couldn't find road kill. They certainly don't know what you hunt road kill with. (a shovel)
  3. JPMorgan
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    JPMorgan - January 17, 2014 4:28 pm
    I am not saying that Bigfoot or any other previously unidentified Bipedal mammal exists or doesn't. However, one of the leading primatologists in the world, Anna Nekaris, says that it is definitely possible that a large previously unknown primate could exist. She has discovered multiple new species, so, for you to flat out state as factually impossible something that one of the foremost leaders in the field says is possible, well, who do you think you should listen too?
  4. Xtremenator1
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    Xtremenator1 - January 15, 2014 11:45 pm
    What if it does happen though. I think that's just the thought that lingers in the back of everyone's minds when stupid shows like this happen. Nothing is impossible. I'm certainly not going to watch any of the rest of the season. Because first off, they wouldn't find Big Show or Ghosts on the actual show. The first place you'd hear about it would be on the News. Plus, I'm sure a real Bigfoot would be worth much more then 10 Million Dollars.
  5. Joseph Hoagland
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    Joseph Hoagland - January 14, 2014 4:54 pm
    There is always a few nut jobs on any kind of reality based television show. What is just as mythological as bigfoot is why this man's article and words are of any importance at all.

    This article is BS. The article is an "opinion". Nothing more, nothing less. Just another small minded opinion coming from another small minded person.

    Fact is, if someone went into a lab setting and perform paranormal activity in the big fat face of science and all of it's followers that man would never come out of the lab. He would be held against his own rights in the name of science and probably killed while hidden from public view.
  6. BiggieFoot
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    BiggieFoot - January 14, 2014 1:48 pm
    to add tonyathas u said: "He NEVER said he choked a Bigfoot to death,"

    until he was on this show your right story changed again
  7. BiggieFoot
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    BiggieFoot - January 14, 2014 1:38 pm
    he said it. choked the baby until it was dead. who dose that.
  8. BiggieFoot
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    BiggieFoot - January 14, 2014 1:27 pm
    actually after Justin shot and killed the baby bigfoot he and his partner got scared and buried the body of the baby bigfoot under a brush pile because thats what you do when you kill the worlds biggest lotto ticket. they (justin and partner) went back months later and never found the body but they found a piece of flesh with hair on it so they brought it back. so what they have been testing keeps coming back bear cause it probably was

    justin is a bear hunter.

  9. jvorel Staff
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    jvorel - January 14, 2014 1:09 pm
    When they asked Smeja if he put the animal out of his misery, he tells them that he choked it to death. Feel free to go back and watch the episode again.

    Thanks for all your other kind words. Might I suggest that your outlook on this particular topic might be a little clouded thanks to belief in a mythological animal?
  10. tonyathas
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    tonyathas - January 14, 2014 12:18 pm
    I agree the show is stupid but this review is worse. First, you state as a fact that Bigfoot does not exist which is wrong. Second, the 'scientist', Todd Disotell, whom you refer to, is a skeptic who has an agenda to further his pathetic career as the token skeptic. I am sure he would falsify the results of any evidence even if it came from an actual Bigfoot. Lastly, you ignorantly state that Justin Smeja choked a Bigfoot to death. He NEVER said he choked a Bigfoot to death, he said he shot one in the neck and when he found it, it was choking to death as a result of the gunshot wound.
    I'm sure i could find more mistakes but i stopped reading halfway through (which, according to the comment activity is more than anyone else read). Maybe you can try your hand at debunking ufo sightings or write about how you know crop circles are all a hoax.
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