Barmageddon’s Back! EPs Chris Wagner and Stephanie Wagner Preview Season 2
USA Network’s Barmageddon is back for a second season.
The concoction that is Barmageddon consists of 2 parts celebrities and 2 parts viral sensations. Add a heavy pour of the hot country Nashville vibe, mix in wild pub-style drinking games and combine them with a dash of potential for embarrassment. Then top it all off with the Wheel of Redemption. Finally, stir. All that’s left to do now is sit back and watch the chaos — and the trash talking — unfold.
The celebrity competition takes place at Blake Shelton’s popular Nashville, Tennessee bar, Ol’ Red. It’s there that Shelton, his buddy/bartender Carson Daly and host Nikki Garcia hold court on the most generous happy hour on and maybe off television.
Former castmates on The Voice and real life pals, Shelton and Daly executive produce the series along with White Label Productions and JLP Pictures. TV Goodness recently chatted with White Label’s Founder and CEO, Chris Wagner and his sister Stephanie Wagner, who’s the company’s Senior Vice President of Production.
The two are natural choices to lead the charge in bringing this show to life. They both laugh mentioning they had “lots of training” back in the day playing drinking games like Flip Cup, Beer Pong, Quarters and Cornhole. But, seriously, both Chris and Stephanie have been involved in major productions like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show on Amazon, CBS’ Rock Star INXS, A Very Boy Band Holiday, The Masked Singer and a little show you may have heard of before that’s called American Idol.
According to Deadline, the first season of Barmageddon earned bragging rights as having “USA Network’s most viewed series premiere in nearly three years.” For this second season, the focus is on bigger, better and when it comes to its trademark Wheel of Redemption penalty, the punishments will get more gross. “I think the biggest thing was we really fine tuned what we could do, where we could do it, and how long we could do it for, which enabled us to do ten episodes this year instead of eight,” explains Chris Wagner.
“We’re really looking forward to this season,” says Stephanie Wagner. “We added some games that were just absolutely hilarious and made the games that we had just a little bit bigger. So every episode is new and exciting and not just the same games in the same order. And it’s really fun, but it’s a lot of work.”
For that much work, you need a special venue that can take on a production of this magnitude. So it’s great Shelton’s massive bar located on Lower Broadway in Nashville can handle all that madness and mayhem. “Unlike Los Angeles, it has tons of space. It has four stories, the first floor where it has the stage [where we] do the live music and Blake sings, also has a bar,” reveals Stephanie Wagner. “The second floor, [where] we shoot basketballs off it. We play pingpong up there. It’s so much fun. Also has a bar.
“The third floor, you’re not going to believe this… has a bar, but it’s this massive event space,” she continues. “So that’s where we get to play games like foosball and keg curling and really spread out a bit. And then the fourth floor is the rooftop.” “And what does it have up there,” asks Chris Wagner. “A bar,” laughs his sister.
They are hyped up for the season two version of the Wheel of Redemption and “can confirm it is bigger and grosser and absolutely hilarious.” They say say to expect nastiness in the form of sardine water, Mayo in the Shot and more general ickiness.
One new Barmageddon challenge is a crazy spin on an old favorite. “[It’s] called Fool’s Balls, and it’s a human-sized foosball, and [the competitors] all Velcro their hands onto the bar and shuffle back and forth and pick, and it is a blast,” previews Stephanie Wagner. “It is so fun to watch. Even more fun to play. [We] both volunteered to test it.”
According to the siblings, Blake and Carson are the goalies for this big-top brand of human-sized foosball. “Those two together are just peanut butter and jelly. They’re perfect,” Stephanie Wagner says. Playing Barmageddon is also a chance for the celebrities to come in, get comfortable and let their hair down a little bit. It’s a way for them to have fun and drink and eat and forget about everything else.
“Celebrities always have to be that celebrity image. And this is like… everyone’s involved as if cameras weren’t there,” Chris Wagner explains. “So it’s a really cool way to see them interact and if they didn’t know each other before they get to know each other in a really friendly common ground area. So I think there’s not a show that I’ve been a part of or seen that’s done that. And their personalities, you feel like you know them as a person versus game shows or other shows that they might participate in where they’re still kind of that person as they are on TV. But this one, it’s their true, authentic self and they’re actually laughing, actually having fun.”
Season two started off strong with a Kelly Clarkson versus Michelle Rodriguez matchup. The second episode is just as must-see with Blake competing against his wife, Gwen Stefani. Even though the two shared the stage on The Voice, this Barmageddon husband/wife showdown is going to show us something different says Chris Wagner. “I think Blake said it on [Jimmy] Kimmel the other night. He’s like, ‘I’ve been on The Voice with her. I’ve been married to her. But this is when her real competitive side comes out and I was scared to see that side.’ It was very funny. His words specifically, it’s great.”
Other season two celebrity guests include Boyz II Men, Carly Pearce, Rob Riggle and Lauren Alaina. In early December, Blake goes up against rapper / actor Ice-T in a special holiday-themed episode. One game they’ll tackle is called — wait for it — “Just the Tip.” “They play Pictionary, but with a pool cue and they have to stand back here and draw with just the tip,” Stephanie Wagner explains. “And each picture starts out a little more suggestive and is just so funny to watch. It is absolutely hilarious. And yeah, you’d think they’d known each other forever. They have just such a great banter.”
The Blake Shelton vs. Gwen Stefani episode of Barmageddon premieres Monday, November 20 at 11pm ET on USA Network and season one can also be found on Peacock TV.
Barmageddon Photo Credits:
Jake Niles Netter/USA Network and Eric Ogden/USA Network
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