If you’ve been missing your sports fix lately, you might want to mosey on over to Netflix, where a new game show called Floor Is Lava is, ahem, blowing up. ICYMI, the TV show is like a cross between American Ninja Warrior and Double Dare, pitting groups of two and three against each other to try to work their way through an intense obstacle course with a "lava" floor (don't worry, it’s not real lava, you guys). If a contestant falls into the lava, they lose a point for their team. The overall goal is to try to get across the lava-filled room with the most points to snag the $10,000 prize.
The show clearly draws inspiration from the game kids love to play at home, but it’s so much more entertaining than watching your niece and nephew hop around on living room furniture. And a lot of that is thanks to Floor Is Lava host/narrator Rutledge Wood.
Rutledge offers up hilarious running commentary throughout each episode and, when people win the show, they get to meet him—and receive a lava lamp. But…who exactly is Rutledge Wood? Here’s what you need to know about the Floor Is Lava host.
This isn’t Rutledge's first big gig.
He's actually an auto racing analyst and car aficionado who worked for Fox Sports for 10 years, covering NASCAR. Rutledge has hosted or co-hosted a slew of NASCAR-themed shows, according to his website.
But "the coolest thing I've ever done in my career previous to this show is a thing called the Toyota Pro Celebrity Race," Rutledge tells Women's Health. The annual 10-lap auto race was held every April from 1977 until 2016 as part of the United States Grand Prix West. Later, it became part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend in Long Beach, California.
He thinks he would suck at Floor Is Lava.
"I'll be honest, if me and two of my best friends did this, we would have been [out] about 12 seconds in the show," Rutledge says. "It's so much more difficult [than it seems], and I, for the record, I absolutely love how many people are saying, 'Oh, I could totally crush this. No big deal.'" The host adds that he "saw some really impressive people with far more strength and skill" than he has "completely bite it" on the show.
Rutledge takes his narration not-so-seriously.
"I watched all the runs live, but I wasn't doing like a PA speaker commentary over what they were doing," he explains to Women's Health of his process. Instead, he and the rest of the crew watched and took notes in real time to inform his voiceover later. And while his narration was irreverent and overflowing with puns, "I didn't want anyone to feel like I was making fun of them," Rutledge says. "There were certainly a bunch of people that made fun of themselves, and I just tried to embrace that with them, because I think that's what life is about."
He's a father of three girls.
The proud dad shares snaps of his daughters on Instagram on the reg, and included the sweetest Father’s Day message, calling them, "the best part of me."
They are the best part of me. And today, I’m overjoyed as I am every day for being their dad. With all of my faults, they love me still. They are smart, kind, funny, beautiful, compassionate, strong, and immensely talented. It was so sweet to see their celebration this am, and my heart is so full. I’m so thankful to @rachelmwould for making my life complete and giving me these amazing gifts in our daughters. They are the best part of me ❤️ Watching their new favorite show, #FloorIsLava on @netflix & hitting the beach later. Happy Father’s Day to my dad, too. Your love of life, laughter, and watermelon, and my family is amazing. Love you, Dad.
A post shared by Rutledge Wood (@rutledgewood) on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:02am PDT
Rutledge also tells Women's Health that his daughters are huge fans of his Netflix show and love to play the RL version of Floor Is Lava at home.
Rutledge has some big ideas for a potential season two.
And Rutledge says he wants FIL to keep getting bigger if it gets renewed for a second season. "I come from the world of NASCAR and cars and NBC Sports, and I had so many different athletes [and] friends that are NASCAR drivers reach out [about being on the show]," he tells Women's Health. "If we put celebrities on this show, it would be so awesome because you know watching someone like Reese Witherspoon out there would just put a smile on your face."
It’s here! #FloorIsLava is ready for you to watch with your friends and family on @netflix ! Huge thanks to Netflix for believing in me, huge love to the amazing production team (which was gigantic) and big love to all the amazing contestants! We worked hard to make a show that kids and adults and everyone could watch, laugh and enjoy. The world needs some laughter and love right now, so i hope you’ll watch & enjoy, and tell your friends! To all my friends- who would want to give it a shot if we do another season & try to win $10k ???
A post shared by Rutledge Wood (@rutledgewood) on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:59am PDT
He's also had friends express interest in a kids version of the show, and he's super into that possibility, too.
For the record: He hasn’t fallen into the lava.
"I've been so fortunate to not fall into lava," he says. But, he adds, the stuff that the "lava" is made from (which he wouldn't reveal) "is the most slippery stuff I've ever felt."
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