Rival commercial channel M6 had a similar programme (adapted from Stars In Danger: The High Dive) in its pipeline but gave up as TF1 shot first. The interest of both channels is understandable as the Brit Splash recently triumphed on ITV. Splash: le grand plongeon will last three weeks.
The list of the contestants is a monument of surrealism. Singer and reality TV alumna Eve Angeli, former 80s star singer Jean-Luc Lahaye and singer Sheryfa Luna. Handball champion Jackson Richardson, Olympic swimming gold medalist Christian Lefert and international rugby player Christian Calfano. Actor Patrick Puydebat, known for playing Nicolas Vernier since 1992 in the sitcom Hélène et les garçons (1992-1994) and its drama sequels/spin-offs Le miracle de l'amour (1995-1996), Les vacances de l'amour (1996-2004) and Les Mystères de l'amour (since 2011).
Are aboard too dancer and actor Golan Yosef, from the musical Dracula, l'amour plus fort que la mort. Actress Jennifer Lauret, one of the most familiar faces of TF1 (comedy Camping Paradis, long running comedy/drama Une famille formidable and as long-running cop drama Julie Lescaut). Danièle Evenou, stage and TV actress. Presenter and actor Jean-Pascal Lacoste (the crime drama Section de recherches), brought to the attention of French public by the first series of the local Fame Academy.
There's also Miss France 2011 Laury Thilleman, Danse avec les stars dance pro Katrina Patchett, Nadège from the French Big Brother and... Gégé (no kidding), from the French Survivor - nicknamed "The Adventurer". Hosts are Estelle Denis - recently transferred from M6, Julie Taton and Gerard Vives. Vives is an actor who got fame with in the 1990s as gym gay employee Gérard in French sitcom Les Filles d'à côté and its sequels (all from the same producer as the Hélène et les garçons franchise). He was also a contestant of Danse avec les stars 3 and the sidekick of host Vincent Lagaf' in the French The Price is right.
Were added this week to the list of contestants, singer Keen'V and presenter/journalist Christophe Beaugrand. Judges will be confirmed tomorrow.
[Update February 4, 2013] The judges are champion swimmer Laure Manaudou, roller champ and Danse avec les stars 3 contestant Taïg Khris, diving champion and FINA (Fédération internationale de natation) judge Gregory Couratier and synchronized swimming champion Muriel Hermine.
[Update February 7, 2013] Patrick Puydebat, wounded, will not be among the contestants.