Ever wonder what happened to some famous athletes or television stars from the past? It’s only natural to be curious – after all, they were part of our lives for a time and we wanted to know what became of them.
Today, we look at Erika Andersch, a former American Gladiator from 1989-1992 who was known by the name Diamond during her tenure on the show.
American Gladiators premiered in 1989 and for two seasons it brought some international flair to the show. Erika Andersch or “Diamond” was a German athlete who competed with partner Dan Clark ("Justice"), winning quite a few events during their time together.
But what happened to Erika Andersch after she left American Gladiators? You’ve come to the right place to find out. Let’s get right to it.
Who is Erika Andersch
Erika Andersch was born in Germany in 1961. She started playing sports at an early age, but her passion for bodybuilding really came through when she won the New England Bodybuilding Championship in 1988. It was during this time that American Gladiators producers picked her up to compete on the show.
In addition to bodybuilding, Erika Andersch liked playing soccer, volleyball, and softball. She was an immensely competitive and talented athlete in all of these sports, earning many awards.
What Is American Gladiators?
American Gladiators was an incredibly popular show that ran for nine seasons. Producer Sam Goldwyn came up with the idea to create a bodybuilding competition, but someone else submitted the Gladiator idea first. He liked it, so he combined the two ideas.
The premise of American Gladiators is that two men and two women (all competitors) would engage in athletic competitions such as jousting, obstacle courses, and tug-of-war.
Each event was scored by a panel of judges and whoever had the highest score won that round. The team with the most points at the end would win and become champion gladiators.
The show had immense influence, such as inspiring people to enter the fitness industry and giving us phrases such as "going into Gladiators’ position." Additionally, it raised numerous opportunities for women in fitness, particularly those who were not stick-thin models.
American Gladiators aired on NBC during its first season and moved to syndication afterward. The show’s popularity was so widespread it reached international audiences after moving to ABC in 1991. It was also important because it brought people like Hulk Hogan to the network.
Erika Andersch and American Gladiators
After moving to California to continue her weightlifting goals and pursue new passions like skiing, canoeing, cycling, and rowing, Erika Andersch was selected for the show. She became famous for her athletic abilities, not to mention her toned physique.
Her first foray into the world of entertainment was in 1991 when she appeared on American Gladiators until 1992 as an injury replacement for another competitor.
Erika Andersch was around 5’8" and weighed about 140 pounds when she competed as an American Gladiator.
This show saw contestants trying to defeat their opponents using their own strength and skills. Erika Andersch was one of the best American Gladiators and won many competitions, playing the role of "Diamond."
Erika’s best events were Hang Tough and Breakthrough. In Hang Tough, the contestant had only one minute to traverse an obstacle course and reach the goal at the finish line while avoiding an enemy competitor who was trying to stop them.
The Breakthrough event involved competitors dueling in a sport that resembled a combination of American-style football and freestyle wrestling.
While the gladiators originally did not earn much money, they took notice when the show started to become more popular and enter the public conscience.
How Much Did American Gladiators Get Paid?
During the second season, they decided to stage a strike, walking off the set and stopping production cold. They did this because the production team did not agree to provide them with a pay raise.
Eventually, after the standoff died down, the gladiators were given a pay bump, from $700 per episode (the union-mandated minimum) to $1000.
Additionally, the show had cash prizes. For example, if a competitor was the champion of their show for three consecutive weeks, they would automatically win $50,000.
Sponsors would also provide cash prizes for winning certain events. Erika Andersch did not win any of the prizes, and her time on the show was relatively short as she was an injury replacement for another contestant named Lace.
She appeared in only two seasons of the show, which made her odds of winning lower.
Being a contestant on American Gladiators was tremendously difficult. It was a physically demanding experience where one had to work out a lot and be able to run long distances while engaging in aggressive, physical events.
You also had to be willing to participate in physically taxing activities such as climbing the wall, running through water, hanging from bars, and more.
Several revivals of American Gladiators have been proposed throughout the years. The interest in reviving the show is a testament to its staying power and legacy.
Three other versions – Gladiators 2000, Superstar American Gladiators, and a 2008 revival -were all attempted.
The 2008 revival featured Hulk Hogan as the host. Erika Andersch has not been included as a contestant in any of the new series.
What Did Erika Andersch Do After American Gladiators?
After American Gladiators, Erika Andersch continued to be involved in fitness and entertainment.
She starred in Batman Returns (1992), playing the role of Knifethrower Dame, starring with other famous actors like Danny DeVito.
She also starred as Martha Colby in Double Deception (1993). Most interestingly, she appeared as a contestant on Family Feud in 1988.
In 2014 she uploaded a video on her YouTube channel promoting an organic and all natural bug spray that she created.
Erika Andersch Personal Life
It is unknown if Erika Andersch is married, however, her Youtube channel shows her name as ‘Erika Andersch Bunker’.
She has a daughter named Caje Coviare, who is a runway model.
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