La Jolla Realtor and partner beat the obstacles and win on ‘Wipeout’

Kaitlyn Kassis and La Jolla Realtor Connor Nellans won the April 15 "Wipeout" episode and its $25,000 prize.
Kaitlyn Kassis and La Jolla Realtor Connor Nellans, both CrossFit trainers, won the April 15 “Wipeout” episode and its $25,000 prize.

Connor Nellans, who works with Compass in La Jolla, and Kaitlyn Kassis win $25,000 on TBS show.


Having watched the obstacle course competition show “Wipeout,” San Diego couple Connor Nellans and Kaitlyn Kassis knew the physical challenges involved. And when the competitive athletes got their chance to attempt the contest, they didn’t just complete it, they won the whole thing — and $25,000.

Nellans is a Realtor and real estate investor with Compass in La Jolla; Kassis is a design consultant for Marrow Fine, a jewelry store in Carmel Valley that specializes in engagement rings. The twosome appeared on the April 15 episode on TBS.

The show’s current iteration is a reboot of ABC’s “Wipeout,” which aired from 2008 to 2014. But its signature big red balls, impossible-to-prepare-for courses and surprise knockout features remain.

“I always thought it looked super fun and always wanted to do the obstacle courses,” Nellans said. So when they were connected to casting agents through “a friend of a friend of my girlfriend’s sister,” the two jumped at the opportunity.

“We didn’t know what to expect but thought we would give it a try,” he said.

Although there is no way to train for the elaborate, large-scale courses, Nellans and Kassis are avid CrossFit athletes, surfers and all-around outdoors people. The past few years, they competed in the CrossFit Games, a worldwide workout competition in which athletes complete a series of exercises and submit their results to a virtual scoreboard.

“Having competed in the CrossFit Games, we were confident in our athleticism and we knew how to approach a competition,” Nellans said. “There is also a lot of swimming involved because certain courses have those elements that knock you into the water and you have to get back on the course. So being big surfers, we are in the water a lot and that helped.”

What caught them by surprise was the sheer magnitude of the courses upon seeing them in person instead of on TV.

“Once we were there, we got to see how big a production it was,” he said. “It was super impressive to see in person. We just kept looking at each other and couldn’t believe it was real.”

When it was go time, Nellans said he and Kassis had to focus, let their competitive muscle memory take over and “try to relax.”

“I think that helped a lot,” Nellans said. “We knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we wanted to have as much fun as we could.”

The two competed on three obstacle courses. Nellans’ favorite was the second because it called for more strength and athleticism than timing. (The show’s announcers called the obstacles that the 10 competing pairs faced on the April 15 broadcast “the most challenging ‘Wipeout’ zone in history.”)

“The first course had features that jut out randomly and smack you to knock you off course,” Nellans said. “The second course allowed us to be more strategic, and we were running it with two other teams, so that competitive drive kicked in.”

It worked.

Nellans and Kassis beat out all the other teams and took home the $25,000 prize.

“We were pretty shocked when we won,” Nellans said. “I don’t think it actually hit us until we were in the car driving home. We looked at each other and said, ‘We just won!’ There was this state of disbelief for a while. It was really exciting.”

Nellans and Kassis plan to use the winnings to go into a real estate investment together.

Nellans, originally from Minnesota, moved to San Diego three years ago and lives in the Bay Park area.

“My brother moved out here and I would come visit him during the winters, which were miserable in the Midwest,” Nellans said. “I just loved coming out here and I enjoy the lifestyle. So I moved out here and never see myself leaving.”

Fans who think they have what it takes to compete on “Wipeout” can visit