Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Episodes 7-8 of Squid Game: The Challenge.
In the strange time warp of feels-like-a-year-but-it's-only-been-a-week, the next batch of Squid Game: The Challenge episodes are here and ready to deliver a few twists you won't see coming. But that's not all because this round of the competition also brings some unforgettable games, including the nerve-wracking Glass Bridge.
The notorious game sees the remaining players attempting to cross two parallel bridges. Each set of tiles is made up of two types of glass — one type is safe to stand on, while the other is not. If a player steps on a weaker tile, they fall through the panel. But the big question lingers: where do they actually land?
Where do 'Squid Game: The Challenge' players fall in Glass Bridge?
In the anxiety-inducing Netflix original drama, the players who landed on a weak tile of glass broke through the panel and fell to their deaths from a dangerous height, resulting in their elimination from the game. Yet, in Squid Game: The Challenge, things are a little different because, as we all know, this reality show isn't a matter of life or death.
Now, when a player jumps on a not-so-safe tile, the heart-pounding plunge through the glass panel unfolds — but the destination remains a mystery to viewers. The last thing we see is the player descending into darkness. Thankfully, we can rest assured they aren't plummeting to their death.
Stunt doubles replaced eliminated players when they fell in Glass Bridge.
Twenty players entered the pulse-pounding game; eight were eliminated, while 12 advanced to the next round of the competition. Notable eliminations include former professional basketball player TJ Stukes (Player 182), full-time carer Mikie (Player 254), deaf artist Jackie Gonzalez (Player 393), and actor Trey Plutnicki (Player 301).
In an unexpected twist, the eliminated players didn't actually fall through the glass. Executive producers Toni Ireland, John Hay, and Stephen Yemoh spoke with Tudum and revealed they were replaced with stunt doubles. Ugh, it turns out Squid Game: The Challenge is far from the unscripted reality we believed it to be.
"The 'fall' through the trapdoor was done by a stuntperson," John explained. "That fall takes specialist skills. We took the care and safety of our players incredibly seriously, so we shot as much as we possibly could with them, then, at the very last minute, we swapped them out for the stunt performers."
"The [players'] reactions are all genuine," Toni added. "Even though there was a little bit more process than what you see on screen, the emotions are still real. They've just seen their friend eliminated. They then have a difficult decision to make in order to stay in the game."
Speaking of the process, John explained that after each player stepped on a tile, they were notified if they'd passed or failed — and their initial reactions were captured on camera. If they failed, they promptly stepped aside, allowing the stunt person to execute the fall.
Despite the final edit of the show portraying it as a significant drop, the bridge's actual height was approximately 16 feet, with an airbag nearly 6 feet tall positioned underneath. To clarify, the stunt performers only had to fall about 10 feet, and any additional "falling" depicted in the episode was added with VFX.
Watch Squid Game: The Challenge on Netflix.