The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] 3rd season of 'Physical 100' with international contestants being considered

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : April 4, 2024 - 17:13

    • Link copied

From left: Andre Jin Coquillard, Jang Ho-gi, Kim Jae-hong and Hong Beom-seok pose for a photo. (Netflix) From left: Andre Jin Coquillard, Jang Ho-gi, Kim Jae-hong and Hong Beom-seok pose for a photo. (Netflix)

The third season of global hit survival series "Physical: 100" may be underway with a revamped format and the inclusion of some international contestants.

The "Physical: 100" series showcases 100 contestants engaging in various survival matches to determine the most physically fit individual. The winner receives a prize of 300 million won ($228,000).

The series' first season became a global success by becoming the first Korean variety show to claim the number one spot on Netflix's global top 10 chart for non-English TV shows. It amassed over 192 million hours of viewing in total, surpassing popular Korean Netflix original series such as "Hellbound."

The second season of the "Physical: 100" series, which aired its last episode on Wednesday, also became an international success after topping the Netflix's global top 10 chart for non-English TV shows, during the fourth week of March. The second season accumulated 25.3 million hours of viewing during the week.

Riding high on the show's continued success, Jang Ho-gi, the producer of "Physical: 100 Season 2 Underground," said Netflix is positively reviewing the production of the third season, which will include contestants from across Asia.

"If Season 3 is confirmed for production, it would be great to see the series featuring international contestants. I would like to present the new season in a completely new format and composition, such as by having contestants compete by forming a team based on their nationalities," said Jang, during an interview held with reporters in Jongno-gu, Seoul, Wednesday.

"Many people have shown interest in the current whereabouts of participants that were eliminated from the matches in the first and second seasons of 'Physical: 100' -- and they are eager to witness contestants who were prematurely eliminated stage a comeback," he said.

"Because of this overwhelming interest from the viewers, we are viewing (producing Season 3) positively. We are leaving all possibilities open, including bringing back previous participants the audience wants to see again," he added.

Jang said that while producing the second season, he gained a lot of insights.

"There was a time when an intense competition format -- such as half of the contestants failing and only one person surviving -- drew significant interest. But (I learned) that now, audience preferences are somewhat changing," he said.

"I'm considering whether there might be a new format that fits the desires of the current audience, aside from just selecting one person. With this in mind, I plan to explore various forms of survival formats," added Jang.

A scene from A scene from "Physical: 100 Season 2 Underground" featuring Jung Ji-hyun (left) and Kim Jae-hong (Netflix)

The winner of the second season of "Physical: 100" was Kim Jae-hong, a former cross-fit player turned-YouTuber.

Kim said he had not expected himself to top the matches and emerge as the winner among the 100 competitive contestants, at all.

"My aim was only to get past the one-on-one combat stage," said Kim, during the roundtable interview session held with the top 3 contestants on the same day.

When the contestants were asked about what they thought was the ideal way to pursue the "best physique," Kim answered that "'Physical: 100" made him realize the importance of acquiring technical skills.

"Crossfit pursues acquiring ten physical abilities. Developing these abilities is considered to create the best physique -- and participating in 'Physical: 100' made me realize that adding technical aspects such as martial arts is also necessary," said Kim.

"Opinions are likely to vary, as what individuals prioritize in their exercise routines may differ. In my case, I believe an ideal physique involves a combination of physical abilities for running well, such as in marathons, along with some added muscle," said Hong Beom-seok, a former firefighter who finished second.

"I think the results (with Kim Jae-hong's victory) speak for themselves," said Andre Jin Coquillard, a rugby player who finished third.

"Honestly, I used to think I'd be perfect if I were good at rugby, but I think height is also important," he said.

All nine episodes of "Physical: 100 Season 2 Underground" are available for streaming on Netflix.