‘Supermarket Sweep’ Contestants Brandon and Kevin, Who Really Were Just Roommates, Spill the Show’s Secrets

‘Supermarket Sweep’ Contestants Brandon and Kevin, Who Really Were Just Roommates, Spill the Show’s Secrets

For the majority of us whose bodies have essentially fused to the couch in these months of the pandemic shutdown, the most physical activity we’ve gotten has come while watching episodes of the ’90s game show Supermarket Sweep, which Netflix acquired and made available for streaming in July

The collection of the episodes quickly ranked among the streamer’s most popular offerings, as audiences lost their minds for contestants in baggy sweaters with fake collars sprinting through grocery store aisles in search of a particular jar of spaghetti sauce that could win them $5,000. 

There is something about the show that demands an athletic viewing experience; you only realize that you have leapt out of your seat, are jumping up and down in the living room, pointing at the TV and screaming “start with the hams!” when your partner walks in and looks at you like you need to be committed.

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Supermarket Sweep is undeniably a capsule of its time. An epic tangle of perms and curls, a battalion’s worth of shoulder pads, and a kaleidoscope of patterned vests and blouses date the episodes to 1993 at first sight. There’s the earnest, utterly wild euphoria when the winners learn they’re getting the cash prize. Even the idea of carefree trips to the grocery store invites pangs of nostalgia in current times. 

While watching the entire collection of episodes is a curiously rousing experience, there’s one that has seemed to have garnered more attention to the others, thanks to a pair of young male contestants who have, in the last few weeks, gone viral. 

Brandon and Kevin originally stood out for demographic reasons. College students at University of California, Santa Barbara, they were not only the rare all-male team, but a good decade—maybe even two—younger than the average age of the women competing. 

Then they totally dominated the game. Like, destroyed it. There are videos online of people watching them play, marveling over the extent to which they owned the trivia rounds and then their strategy in the sweeps. 

Finally, the way they introduced themselves had people wondering, “Are they… you know…?” 

When host David Ruprecht asks Brandon how he knows Kevin, Brandon says, “Kevin is my roommate from Santa Barbara.” This was the ’90s. These are two young, attractive men with nice haircuts who are “roommates.” Was this a euphemism for something more?

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