Sweden’s Worst Driver


Swedish Television announced a new reality-based television program called Sweden's Worst Driver (Sveriges värsta bilförare). I've done a bad job of translating some excerpts:

TV4 has gathered seven of Sweden's worst drivers and subjects them to a series of tests and challenges. Those who complete each exercise the best get a prize and leave the contest.

Thus, whoever is the last one left in the television series, which begins on the 29th of April, "wins" and is the worst at the same time.

... "That there exist people who aren't so good at driving, I knew that already. But people as bad as this I didn't think existed," says [race driver and judge Richard Göransson].

... Sven-Ingvar "Snappe" Eriksson, 39, from Hammerdal in Jämtland was nominated by his wife Lena because he has crashed his car at least 25 to 30 times since he got his driver's license 22 years ago.

Participants get to do several exercises, among them, yielding the right of way for unexpected traffic on forest roads, backing up with a trailer, parking in a tight spot on a hill, and getting out of a parking garage.

This is sort of in the spirit of those makeover-type programs like What Not To Wear, *** Eye for the Straight Guy, where you ridicule somebody for their general lameness. But at least in those shows, after they make fun of you, they then try to help you be better! Even in the dreadful Queen for a Day, the humiliated "winner" at least got a prize. No such luck, it seems, for Sweden's worst driver.

It's now a simple matter of time before this show reaches the United States.

Comments (19)
  1. steven says:

    There’s enough candidates…

    (me included)

  2. Manip says:

    Wow, what an original idea! .. Wait… Wasn’t there a series identical to this a couple of years ago called "Britain’s worst driver"? I think there was!

  3. gunroom says:

    Raymond, why did you learn Swedish?

  4. Ah, why am I not surprised that it was the Brits who raised humiliation to the level of mass entertainment? (I explained why I study Swedish some time last year. http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2004/05/12/130455.aspx Of course my explanation was in Swedish.)

  5. Rob says:

    Raymond, did you self-censor the name of that show or does the blog software automatically do that?

  6. Trent says:

    We have that also here in Canada.

  7. Jarno says:

    Yep; not original. We’ve had it in Holland as well. At least the "winner" actually won something. I think it was some kind of cabrio sports car or something. Really stupid prize if you ask me… ;-)

  8. Wound says:

    Manip, yeah I remember that. It was both funny and scary because these people should never have been allowed out on public roads. I remember there was this one guy who got terrible road rage and was always swearing at other drivers. In the end the judges were not happy because they had to give this car away to one of the contestants, and they didn’t think any of them could really be trusted with it.

  9. Manip says:

    I think we brit’s like it because it is more of a shock at just how bad these drivers are than making fun of them… When watching it you don’t get the feeling they are being made fun of anyway.

  10. richardb says:

    > Raymond, did you self-censor the name of that show or does the blog software automatically do that?

    The software is to blame, although in this case it brings a wonderful sense of irony.

  11. This isn’t a first — this show was done a while ago on British TV:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/tvone_story_skin/461951%3fformat=html

    I believe they also made an Australian version too.

    And of course, the next logical step, they also made "Britain’s Worst Celebrity Driver".

    Explain to me again why people watch this rubbish.

  12. Mike says:

    What I find more interesting, not to say worrying, than the fact the show has been aired (hey, it’s just a ripoff of a UK "show" as has already been pointed out), is the fact that these kind of programs can even be allowed to be produced, and then that (seemingly) people actually view them!

    I think it started with US shows spewing megatons of really shite onto the world (now decades ago), and non-US networks bought into it with the argument "it gets us viewers" (that was a US concept at the time, to get more viewers at any coset, to be able to artificially inflate advertising costs, and "make more money"). That those viewers were often retarded or drain-bamaged vegetables to begin with didn’t make a difference. A vegetable is as good a viewer as someone with a brain, when it comes to getting money from the advertisers.

    It is a really sad insight, that such a large amount of the population of the world is so dumb as to not even see how they are abused and manipulated, but since they are so many the program directors of TV networks, just like spammers, obviously abuse them all they can, to gain monetary benefits. That’s what capitalism has come to be all about, isn’t it.

    So in the extension, any (ultra-) capitalist should be happy such a large amount of the worlds population is so … dumb, and not only watch that kind of shows, but actually enjoy it! Speak about easily fooled and easy to rip off sheeps!

    For a Microsoft employee, it’s likely the same kind of people that’ll believe the (to be) 15-month advertising run for XP, and buy into that. With people believing anything they’re told on TV, like even three year old products is something "new and shiny", just because they have seen it on TV, you all have your jobs secured!

    (I hope it’s obvious I used this example just to make the point)

    On a more serious tangent, I’d be really, really sad if I came to realize that the reason people bought what I was part in producing wasn’t because it was good, but because it was simply advertised…

  13. Manip says:

    Wow, you must feel like a genius after spouting out that loud of rubbish…. The people that watch such shows are no smarter or dumber than anyone that watches anyone else; to make an assumption about their IQ by what they watch from TV is just silly and isn’t backed up by any scientific research I’ve ever seen.

    You can get all sorts of things from a show, like how to NOT drive for example.

  14. Matt says:

    I think this is based on a UK show (you can guess the name) – very brief mention here: http://www.ukgameshows.com/index.php/Britain‘s_Worst_Driver

    IIRC at least one of the ‘contestants’ gained some level of minor celebrity as a result of participating – which is presumably the only thing anyone expects to get out of this…

  15. Brian Hjøllund says:

    Even closer to Sweden, Denmark has already had a show like that aswell (Danmarks Værste Bilist). Seems Sweden (and the US) are just behind.

    /Brian

  16. thumper says:

    The "winner" of the one in Australia had their car crushed live on national television because they didn’t deserve to drive it anymore and I think also won a place in a defensive driving course. Sounds more pratical than giving them another car!

  17. bramster says:

    Dumb TV shows aside. . .

    Not to be a wet blanket about this sort of thing. . .

    Drivers’ Licences have much less to do with driving compentence than they do with having consumers get into the purchase of automobiles, gasoline, and associated requirements.

    A few years ago, my son, who was taking flying lessons, remarked, "Dad, if they had driver’s tests the same way that they had airplane pilot’s tests, there would be a lot less drivers".

    pause.

    "There would also be a lot less accidents".

    I think a lot of money could be saved in driver accreditation. Just ask the candidate to tie his/her shoelaces.

    I think France has the right idea about driver education.

    There, you really have to know how to drive in order to get a licence. If you’re a tourist from North America, and rent a car, they make sure you have a RED licence plate. Kind of the like the yellow bumper that the NASCAR rookies get.

  18. Joku says:

    The Britains worst driver recently finished the first season airing here and was quite fun to watch. Take the worst drivers and put them to challenging situations without much schooling upfront.. Quite obvious what will happen. Blowing up the guys self modded race car in exchange for 10000 was cool.

  19. Someonev just stopping by says:

    [b]bramster:[/b] Well not only France demand driving skills from their drivers, Swedendo to and I’d guess that all other northern countries do too.

    Though I kinda would like an easier process of getting the license, rather than having to go through an 2000+ education to get it. :/

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