we tested the reality game of W9

IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES – Two days before the start of filming for the second season of the program produced by Banijay France, the Lion opened the doors of its lair to us, the Château de Bertichères.

Miami, Cancún, Rio, Koh Samui, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Brisban, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai or even Palma de Mallorca, Marbella… In nearly fifteen years of reality TV, Florence Fayard traveled around the world to install the filming of the successful W9 programs of which she is the producer: from “Marseillais” to “Cross” via “Moundir and the apprentice adventurers”, each program is an expedition. And “The Fifty” does not escape this observation. If it is not necessary to have a valid pport and to fly at high speed several thousand meters above sea level for hours to reach your destination, the shooting site of the reality game created by Banijay France in 2022 is far from next door.

Around Bertichères Castle, near Chaumont-en-Vexin in the heart of the Oise, fields as far as the eye can see and large wooded areas. From Paris, allow at least an hour and a half by car, with favorable traffic conditions. The Lion, a fictional character who brings rain and shine in “Les Cinquante”, has taken up residence in this 17th century residence which served as the residence of Philippe d’Orléans. “a very long time ago”. Entirely renovated, the property with 17 rooms and four lounges – hotel, country golf club and equestrian center – can be privatized for various events such as weddings, seminars or filming.

“The fifty”: the candidates for season 2

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Atmosphere at Squid Games

On July 1, 48 hours before the 50 contestants of season 2 discover their new home and start filming, we visited the castle and tested a “Fifty” proof alongside fellow journalists and influencers. From the entrance to the bedrooms, ping through the living room and the voting room, each decorative element is well thought out: from the chandeliers to the cushions to the smallest trinket, everything plunges us into this universe at the Alice in Wonderland where mute individuals wearing animal masks meet.

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For the events, head to the arena, set up on a stretch of sand usually used for obstacle courses at the equestrian center. Once through two huge doors, you are locked in an enclosure 20 meters wide dominated by four watchtowers, one in each corner. In a dodgeball game revisited in the style of “Les Cinquante”, you must stay in a restricted space in the center of the arena and avoid the balls thrown from the four watchtowers by the masked disciples of the Lion. Wet tennis balls, to cut through the air better, projected from all sides: in front of you, to your right, to your left or behind you. “You are eliminated”punishes the agonizing deep voice of the Lion to each person touched.

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The following ? Head to an outbuilding of the castle, not far from the swimming pool, where the voting room with impeccably aligned chairs and an endless black and white checkered floor has been installed. It is in this large farmhouse with ageless stone walls that the fate of the candidates eliminated from the games will be pronounced over the days. Until there is only one left.

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