Ron Nurwisah says he’s been a lifelong fan of trivia.
He played in team trivia competitions like Reach For The Top and Quiz Bowl in his high school and college years, and today he attends quiz nights at local bars. But on Friday, the Vancouver-raised editor appears as a contestant on Danger!, TV’s largest trivia stage.
“I remember when I looked (Danger!) when I was a kid, when my parents immigrated to Canada,” he said. “I was 7 years old and I remember looking into our little apartment after dinner.”
Nurwisah now lives in Brooklyn, NY, but grew up in BC and lived in the Toronto area for 15 years.
Danger! shoots multiple episodes in one day, and Nurwisah says there are about a dozen potential contestants hanging out on set at one time. He says the camaraderie formed within his group struck him as one of the best parts of the experience.
“You become pretty good friends with those people,” he said. “You all wanted each other to be okay.”
In an episode that aired earlier this week, there was a category about Shakespeare’s first speeches that proved particularly challenging. Nurwisah says the entire cohort tried to comfort the contestants who had to deal with it when their competition was over.
“We all gave them a pat on the back and a big hug because we were like ‘that category was brutal,'” he said.
‘A large community of people’
The first step to moving forward Danger! is an online test. Nurwisah’s advice to anyone who has ever thought of being on the show is to give it a try.
“You never know how the dice will roll,” he said. “It’s a really fun experience. It’s unforgettable and it’s a great community of people, the participants you’ll meet.”
If selected, one of the most important skills to practice prior to one Danger! appearance is the buzzer technique, Nurwisah said, and he has his own preferred method.
“Some people use a ballpoint pen, like a little click pen. That works fine, but I swear, I really swear by the toilet paper roll holder,” he said, adding that it’s all about the shape.
“A ballpoint pen is too skinny. It doesn’t feel quite right, but that toilet paper roll holder feels very close to the actual buzzer you’re going to get,” Nurwisah said.
Nurwisah is the latest in a long line of Canadians to appear on the show. He’s the second this week, after Nabeela Rahman of Mississaugua, Ont., appeared on Wednesday’s episode.
Earlier this year, Toronto-based artist Ray Lalonde won $386,400 US on a 13-game winning streak on the show, and last year Mattea Roach won 23 games, the fifth-highest total ever on the program, taking home $560,983. took home. Roach followed that performance up with a second-place finish in the inaugural season of Danger! Mastersa spin-off show featuring recent champions.
Watch party at home
Nurwisah’s sister Imelda is going to have a waiting party in Vancouver. Like her brother, Imelda is also a trivia fanatic.
“In high school, we both joined Reach for the Top,” she said. “We like to memorize random facts.”
Imelda says she somehow has no idea how her brother will do on Friday.
“As a Canadian, we always worry about all the questions about US history and US geography. Danger!,” she said.
No matter how the game goes, she crosses her fingers that her brother is having a good time.
“The best I can hope for anyone who loves, is passionate about something is that they have fun doing it,” she said.
“It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about pursuing something and reaching a level where all your family and friends can see you and be proud of you.”