Allan Wu: From Host To Celebrity Car Wars Contestant

Find out what happens when the seasoned host joins a show as a contestant instead

Cover: @wulander/Instagram; Photos: A+E Networks

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History Channel’s Celebrity Car Wars pits Allan against other Asian celebrities like former Miss Universe Malaysia, Andrea Fonseka and model Joey Mead King.

It’ll be a race between the fast and the fabulous as these good looking individuals duke it out over bragging rights on who gets to call themselves the best race driver.

We catch up with Allan to find out what he was up to when filming the show and his must-have tech gadgets that helped along the way.

Are you a car enthusiast?

I am interested in cars but I’m not like a hardcore motorsport racer kind of guy who always needs the newest model. I enjoy driving but I like motorcycle riding even more. I think it’s in every guy’s DNA to enjoy cars.

This show was definitely something I was looking forward to. I don’t really have a lot of experience in motorsport racing – I couldn’t even drive manual transmission that well – so I figured it would be a fun learning experience. On top of that, I know most of the other contestants quite well and they had Bobby, who’s a really good friend of mine, as a host and I was really curious to see how he would do.

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Who was the most competitive contestant?

KC Monteiro! We would go into a challenge and these guys would be ‘googling ‘ the best way to complete the challenge. I thought I was competitive but these guys are super-duper competitive. They would look at the track, look at the turns and even watch YouTube videos on how to do them. It made the show more engaging and more fun.

Which has been the most memorable challenge?

The last challenge was all of us on the race track at the same time – in the other challenges we would go one by one. We were racing and there was the danger of having the cars collide which made it more exciting.

Did you get hurt?

Physically I didn’t get hurt but my self-esteem and ego were hurt constantly. I did a lot of hurting myself. I ran into things, my car got destroyed, archways got destroyed, malls got destroyed. I took care of business on the show. (laughs)

You travel a lot for Celebrity Car Wars and for your other shows. Are there any gadgets you always pack with you?

I have my laptop. I wish I used it more to Skype and talk to my kids but they’re often in their own world and can’t be bothered to reply a text from me. It’s okay, you get used to it. (laughs)

I use it to access my email and keep my calendar up to date. I also have movies on there and TV series to kill time on the plane.

Has a gadget ever helped you out in a moment of crisis during your travels?

There was one challenge that required us to drive from one place to another place in the Philippines. So obviously there are some contestants from the Philippines who have a huge advantage because they know the highways and the streets.

I think they told us not to use our phones but I was like “screw it” and used my phone anyways. I used the GPS and I still get lost and I was pissed because I put in the address and there were two locations so I ended up in the wrong place. It was like seedy, destitute looking area and I was like “oh crap”.

If you could invent a tech product that’s not on the market yet, what would you do?

It would be a foldable touchscreen phone. You know how everyone wants to have a big screen right? But you can’t fit it in your pocket.

So imagine having a phone that you can fold up and open up to a big screen. That’s such a smart thing! You’ll have the size of a large screen but it’ll be easy to move around.

Are you big on using social media?

I’m ok. I guess I’m big for an old person, you know? I’m on a lot of different platforms from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Weibo to WeChat to migme. My favourite is probably Instagram because it’s easier and I can forward it to Twitter and Facebook too.

It’s an easier way to engage your audience and your fans. You get a lot of positive comments and negative comments but it lets you be one step closer to your fans.

I’m amazed at how these new platforms have carved out a new career option for people. Even my daughter’s best friend wants to be a professional YouTuber. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds when you see the amount of work these people put in order to make these videos.

Celebrity Car Wars premieres Monday, 29 Aug at 10pm on History Asia (StarHub Cable TV Channel 401).

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