by Bea Youngs
Have you ever seen anything about paintball
when channel surfing in front of your TV?
When you did, did you call someone into the
room and said, �Hey! Paintball�s on TV!�
This past June when I was home in Florida,
my brother called me on the phone and
said, �Bea! Turn the channel to TLC!� I
quickly changed the channel and Junkyard
Wars was on again! It was a re-run of last
year�s episode of Extreme Paintball Tanks
that I appeared on (my 2 minutes of fame)!
I didn�t even know it was going to air
again. I got a few more phone calls and
emails from people saying that they, too,
had seen me on TV.
More and more TV shows are featuring
paintball like the way TLC�s Junkyard Wars
did. Northern California�s Team Bunker Babe
female paintballer, Leslie Thurman, from
Grass Valley recently had the chance to be
on TV. She, too, shared paintball with
millions of other viewers. It was on the
ABC show Switched where she �switched�
lives with another 15-year-old girl, Sagen
Isdale from Harker Heights, Texas, for four
I got a
chance to talk to both girls about the show
and their paintball experience on TV and
here�s what they had to say.
Bea: How did they find out about
you?! And did they inquire about the entire
team or did they approach only you?
Leslie: I saw a post on the maddawg
message board called "a TV show wants you!"
I was totally excited when I saw that
because it�s definitely my dream to be on
TV! So I read it and went to a link that
had a form to download,
fill out and
send in. It asked me questions about my
every day life, friends, family, hobbies
etc. I sent in my form and I got a call
maybe a week later from people at the
production company. There were a few calls
after that asking the same questions over
and over again. Then I got a call and an e-
mail saying I was in the semi-finals. But
it wasn�t a for sure thing. They were just
asking about me, at first, but as it got
down to the wire, they wanted to know more
about my team.
Bea: When did you get the call that
you were on the show?
I found out I was on the show for sure
three days before my plane left.
Bea: How often did you get to
explain your paintball hobby? What did you
say about it?
Leslie: I mostly talked about
paintball to family and friends. I told
them about my team and how the game works.
They had the usual questions like, "Does it
hurt?" Of course I would answer by
saying, �At first, but you get over it," or
something along those lines. I did get to
talk to Sagen�s little brother, Spane,
about paintball because he has a gun� but I
have no idea how that went over because I
didn�t know a thing about his gun!
: Was this your first time
playing paintball, Sagen?
Sagen: The paintball experience was
new to me in that I had never worn that
type of gear to play a competitive sport;
the equipment was heavy at times and
cumbersome and I felt a little restricted
when trying to move, but I realized it was
for the safety of the players and
Bea: Did you like playing paintball?
I was somewhat apprehensive about playing;
because of my fear of being shot was real.
My dad had played before and he told me it
could sting when you get hit and leave a
mark or bruise; so I kinda was gun-shy
about the game, but as it progressed, I
began to loosen up a little and the thrill
of bunkering someone lifted me up.
Bea: Would you ever play paintball
Sagen: I probably would play
paintball again with people I knew; I'd
brush up on the rules, though.
Bea: What was the best part about
the whole experience?
Leslie: The best part of the
experience was being able to bond so close
to a family that big. I had no idea I would
get so close to everyone, but I was glad I
did. It�s like having another family in
Texas. They were all so supportive of
everyone, and since I don�t have siblings
close to my age�it was awesome to be thrown
into a family with four others.
What did you expect?
Leslie: Honestly, I had no idea what
to expect, and I didn�t want to make
anything up in my mind - just in case I was
going to be let down. (I�m weird like
that!) I liked the idea of a total
adventurous surprise. It was way better
than what I would ever think it to be! I
did things I never thought I would do in a
Both Leslie and Sagen still keep in touch
via email and through instant messaging
with the occasional phone call. They are
planning a holiday gathering over their
You can see other shows like the one Leslie
and Sagen were on at the ABC Family
channel, weekdays at 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Time. The show aired July 3 with episodes
that reran again starting on July 18.
See Leslie & Sagen�s profile on the