Last night's episode of Taskmaster NZ left viewers in shock when comedian Bubbah unveiled an arm tattoo featuring the faces of her castmates.
A few minutes into the second episode of the newest season, which screened on TVNZ2 tonight, Kiwi viewers were shocked to behold four of the faces of New Zealand comedy inked on Bubbah’s, a.k.a. Sieni Leo’o Olo’s forearm.
But the question on all of our lips was: was it real?
The comedians were shocked to behold their own faces in tattoo form. Photo / TVNZ
The challenge, as set by Taskmaster Jeremy Wells, was to bring the most unbelievable thing to the table.
The brief was broad and the comedians brought a range of items to the challenge: a certificate claiming Ray could do a backflip; a VHS; Karen’s confession that she would turn straight for either John Campbell or Jeremy Wells (circa Newsboy, not now); a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book (with edits).
But Bubbah - also known as the iconic Tina from Turners - well and truly took the cake.
“When you look at Ray, Mel, Karen, Dai and I, we’re not a group of friends that you would see at an arcade or just hanging out, it’s a very random group. Will our friendship last?” she queried.
“I’ve decided for us. You wouldn’t believe this,” she continued, before an image of her tattoo was shown on screen and she bared her forearm to prove it.
Tina from Turners' Taskmaster tattoo. Photo / TVNZ
Of course, Bubbah claimed the win and five points as her prize.
And speaking to the Herald today, she reveals the tattoo could have turned out quite differently.
“When I got the challenge, it was the most unbelievable thing - and I really wanted to get in contact with Jason Momoa,” she shares.
“I really wanted to get something Samoan, or a sheep, tattooed on our a****s,” she laughs.
“I chased him down. I was so close, because New Zealand’s so two degrees of connection. And I got so close and then I think he was out of town or something. But I didn’t get to him, I was so close to him.
“So a few days before, I messaged production like, ‘Can you pay for this tattoo?’”
Unbelievable as the tattoo itself was, it’s perhaps more unbelievable that she missed Momoa - who has been popping up all over New Zealand in recent months, from a hot tub in Queenstown to the top of the Sky Tower.
Sieni Leo'o Olo - aka Bubbah - is one of five Kiwi comedians competing on the latest season of Taskmaster NZ. Photo / TVNZ
It was a bold move to make so early in the game - has it upped the stakes for her fellow comedians?
“I think so, but I have a feeling that that was my best ride, so I might have shot myself in the foot,” she jokes.
“And I got it on the day that we were shooting. So after that, don’t expect much, guys.”
But even after the cameras stopped rolling, her castmates couldn’t believe it.
“Karen still did not believe that it was real until the end... she thought it was fake, that it was like a sticker of some sort,” she shares.
“I think they were all just shocked at first and I think it became something that everyone loved.
“My family were just like, ‘you’re stupid, you will regret it’!”
But while there are no regrets, she admits that it’s hard to have tattoos as an actor - “so maybe I should train myself to cover up my own tattoos.”
So, if a new Turner’s ad comes out in the near future, you probably won’t spot the Taskmaster cast in tattoo form.
Taskmaster NZ screens on Monday and Tuesday nights on TVNZ2 from 7.30pm and on TVNZ+.
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you