Have you ever watched with awe as a busker or an entertainer at a shopping centre inflates a long sausage balloon and magically twists it into a sword, a flower or a dog?
Perhaps you have hired a Balloon Decorating Business to transform a once dreary venue into a spectacular theme event.
Well, brace yourself because television’s newest and brightest reality competition show, BLOW UP, which premiers on Channel 7 and 7Plus at 7.30 on the 15th of May, will take everything you thought you knew about balloons to a whole new level.
We’ve all seen those other reality shows where the contestants have to cook, survive, perform, renovate, or race each week to win a prize.
Well, now it’s BLOW UP’s turn to blow everyone’s mind as ten outstanding professional balloon artists compete for a whopping $100,000.00 grand prize.
Using nothing more than some everyday latex balloons, a little air and an incredible amount of imagination, they ‘create’ works of art that will take your breath away.
Over ten colorful shows, these highly experienced balloon twisters and event decorators will captivate the whole family by breathing life into the most incredible Balloon Sculptures you have ever seen.
I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I will say that the fashion world is going to be blown away.
The Netherlands version of the show is presently filming its second season, and the New Zealand version is already a rating hit as fun-filled family viewing.
Both hosts are like wide-eyed kids who have been let loose in a fantasy world workshop. Each week they gasp in awe as they are constantly astounded by the masterful skills and special techniques employed by these skilled latex manipulators as they build their fantastic sculptures.
Between their bouts of amazement, these two fun-loving jokers make the most of every opportunity to poke a little good-natured fun at the show’s charming resident balloon expert, Chris Adamo.
Chris is a little modest about the ‘resident expert’ title, even though he has all the credentials that make him ideally suited to the job.
Locally he has designed and installed some of Australia’s largest and most impressive balloon decorations. He has his own informative Youtube channel, taught in several countries and has been on the judging panel at many conventions worldwide.
With twenty-six years of experience working with balloons, Chris is highly regarded in Australia and internationally among his peers and is the ideal ambassador for the Aussie balloon fraternity.
As with other competition reality shows, the show’s format requires the contestants to perform tasks and build their sculptures to a theme.
Using the same quality and type of balloons available through your local party shop, each contestant must choose the size, type and how many balloons they will use after deciding on a design for their sculpture.
They then have to inflate each balloon to the required size, knot and tie them together to build their incredible sculptures within the required time.
So you can appreciate that the pressure is not only in the balloons; it is also continually on the contestants.
Just in case you don’t already know, I must tell you that these ‘Aussie Balloon Sculptors ROCK!’
Their ability to create these inflated masterpieces can take years to develop and perfect.
Usually, in the beginning, they are self-taught and spend countless hours experimenting and developing their craft by inflating, knotting, pinching, twisting and wrapping thousands of balloons.
They attended numerous workshops and conventions where they extend their network and knowledge by freely sharing their recently invented or learnt techniques with their fellow artists.
The contestants L-R Donna Cochrane, QLD – Matt Falloon, NSW – Tammie Timmers, VIC – Michelle Ferron, VIC – Trevor Timmers, VIC – Chloe Lim, ACT –Robbie Kay, SA –Justin Williams, VIC – Brendan Ord, VIC and Nicole Brusic, SA are some of Australia’s most experienced and finest exponents of the fine art of balloonology in the country.
The online international balloon community encompasses thousands of balloon professionals worldwide who regularly share photos and advice.
This passion for their craft and the camaraderie between each other is evident among the contestants and is sometimes even inspiring. Their passion and willingness to share helps to make the show great for family viewing.
The Education Value
Throughout the show, the hosts and you, the viewer, gradually learn a few balloon world secrets.
You’ll also discover that they have their own unique words and that there are more types and sizes of balloons than you can point a balloon pump at.
It is no secret that there is more than a balloon elephant in the room regarding the environment.
The use of Balloons has come under fire from a few well-meaning sections of the community. Internationally it is a vigorous debate regarding their disposal and the potential impact they have on the environment
In my forty-year experience working with balloons, I have found that any threat to wildlife usually originates when balloons are carelessly released into the atmosphere.
Once a popular effect at major sporting events, this practice is now seriously frowned upon by any responsible balloon professional.
The problem is that once released these balloons:
1: are litter, and that is illegal
2: can fall anywhere, and that can, unfortunately, be in areas inhabited by wildlife.
Mindful of this issue, the producers are wholly committed to being environmentally responsible and have partnered with the recycling company TerraCycle Australia.
Their commitment was displayed during the show’s recording by
1: ensuring that no helium balloons used on the show were allowed to be released outdoors.
2: ensuring that all balloons were popped and disposed of in the specially provided Balloon Recycling boxes.
Because I was lucky enough to have worked behind the scenes on the show, I can confirm that it was a strict rule that all balloon refuse was disposed of in the Recycle Boxes.
When the boxes were full, they were shipped to TerraCycle, where the broken balloons were re-purposed with other rubber products to make a variety of products such as children’s playground matting.
This practice has now been implemented by many local balloon businesses who have taken the initiative to be proactive and purchased recycle boxes for their own balloon waste.
If you care to learn more about the balloon industry’s worldwide efforts to ban the intentional release of balloons you can visit the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance at www.peba.com.au.
I am very excited about the wonderfully colourful world of balloon art being showcased in such an entertaining way.
This show is wholesome family viewing, and I urge you to watch and enjoy it.
Feel free to try replicating what you see at home.
Become part of the BLOW UP community
- learn about balloon terminology.
- Learn how to make some simple balloon sculptures with Chris Adamo.
- Keep up to date with the show and contestants.
Visit BLOW UP on