Exclusive: Camille Kostek talks hosting Wipeout, meeting John Cena, and more

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 03: Camille Kostek attends the World Premiere of 20th Century Studios' Free Guy on August 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Disney)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 03: Camille Kostek attends the World Premiere of 20th Century Studios' Free Guy on August 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Disney) /

Following a near-decade-long hiatus, the beloved Wipeout made its long-awaited return to TBS in April 2021. Now hosted by Nicole Byer and John Cena, the show was met with significant success both in reviews and ratings.

Joining them as the on-field host for this revival is Camille Kostek, best known for her hosting and modeling work with Sports Illustrated and other red carpet gigs in recent years. She’ll be back alongside Byer and Cena when new episodes return to TBS this Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 9/8c.

Like most of the current contestants, Kostek grew up watching the show and was elated to find out she landed the role of sideline reporter of sorts (a la Jill Wagner from the original iteration of Wipeout).

Camille Kostek talks hosting Wipeout

“When I did the chemistry read and I was offered the job, the first person I called was my family,” Kostek said. “I told them, ‘My goodness, I’m going on Wipeout! John Cena’s one of the hosts!’ My sister grew up a huge fan of John Cena. She asked if she could be my contestant partner and I had to tell her, ‘Julia, I’ve been hosting my whole life. This is the biggest hosting job of my career. I’m going to be a host on the show, not a contestant.’”

She recalled previously meeting the multi-time WWE world champion years earlier while hosting Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsperson of the Year ceremony on the red carpet. As nervous as she was, he made the experience easy for her, which she told him when they reconnected on Wipeout working as hosts.

Camille Kostek talks working with John Cena and more

Cena also portrayed Kostek’s boyfriend and NFL superstar Rob Gronkowski during a Jeopardy sketch on Saturday Night Live at one point, so they had that connection coming into Wipeout as well.

“You don’t know what your fate holds,” she said. “You don’t know what your destiny holds. I had just said, ‘Hey, see on the big screen one day,’ and now we’re working alongside each other. It’s just such a small world.”

From the get-go, she knew it was going to be a fun, electric environment having already been familiar with the Wipeout concept, but she admitted that you don’t know what you’re going to get until you’re in the thick of it. She also admitted to not being prepared for the huffing and puffing from the contestants and everything else they were dealing with.

“We don’t hide any of it,” she said. “I want everybody to experience what I experience. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of things I wasn’t prepared for when I got offered the job.”

On the flip side, it’s been spectacular for her getting to know the contestants and watching them make it to the very end, even crying for some people they won despite just meeting them earlier that day.

“It’s fun to go back and watch before we film the newer episodes,” she said about what she learned from the time she started on the show to now. “I realize that even if I’m interviewing contest number one to contestant number 10 because we have about 10 teams that run every single episode, I want to give them that same amount enthusiasm as the first one.

“They’re coming here, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity except for those family members that come back for that revival moment or revenge moment,” she continued. “Those stories are school. I want to continue to be as excited as the first person and I truly am, but we’re all human beings and it takes a lot. I really do have it in me and really pulling every ounce in me and leaving it out on the court, I can confidently say I do that.”

She also learned during the process that she’s a morning person, something she wasn’t expecting to discover when she got the gig. In emphasizing that you’re capable of anything you put your mind to, she discussed some of the acting roles she’s landed lately, including Bombshell in 2021’s Free Guy.

“I had done a couple of cameos here and there and talk about a breakout role being alongside Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum and Jodie Comer, some of the biggest names in film,” Kostek said. “Being directed by Shawn Levy was such a treat. I didn’t even think I was going to get the role. Shawn had truly taken the role of director and directed me through the audition. It was so cool and such an amazing opportunity.

“I’m constantly telling my team, ‘I want all the auditions!’ It truly scares the crap out of me to act, but I think that’s why I love it so much,” she said about pursuing additional acting roles. “It really pushes me out of my comfort zone. I’m so used to looking down the barrel, hosting, speaking what comes to mind, but with acting, channeling a character outside of who I am is a real challenge and I love it.”

In addition to Monsters of California, an upcoming film directed by Thomas DeLonge of Blink 182, Kostek can be found in new episodes of Wipeout every Tuesday on TBS at 9/8c starting Jan. 11.

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