|Top Gear Margovya (History of Margovya)|
Gavrina Kumilyova (2009-2015)
Yelizaveta Vulvanova (2009-2017)
No. of Series
No. of Episodes
222 (+3 TV Specials) (List of episodes)
60 minutes (2009-2018)
Let's Talk Margovya
February 27, 2009 - present
On February 27, 2019, Top Gear Margovya celebrated its tenth anniversary. In celebration, the presenters embarked on a journey to the Ural Mountains and the South African safari in Euro-Africa Adventure: The Top Gear Margovya 10th Anniversary Special, which took up four episodes prolonged to two hours each, and ran through all four Fridays of February.
The show has received critical acclaim for its visual style and presentation, and some criticism for its content and the politically incorrect remarks its hosts sometimes make. It is also the first Top Gear spin-off to feature female presenters instead of male ones.
Top Gear Margovya is not the first car magazine show produced by Let's Talk Margovya. An earlier program, titled Cars of Margovya, preceded Top Gear Margovya by nineteen years, being first broadcast in 1990. Cars of Margovya ran for fourteen years before ending in 2004, upon the death of its latest and eventually last host Iosef Dimakulanov. Steadily decreasing viewership rates forced Let's Talk Margovya to not renew the program, and it would take four more years before another car magazine show would be produced in Margovya.
Let's Talk Margovya began airing episodes of BBC's Top Gear to fill in the 17.30 to 18.30 spot once occupied by Cars of Margovya, and the network was inspired to create its own version of the show after seeing the high viewership ratings garnered by the original Top Gear. On December 5, 2007, Let's Talk Margovya officially announced the Margovyan version of Top Gear, titled Top Gear Margovya. Let's Talk Margovya was rumored to have chosen from at least a hundred possible candidates before finally settling on Gavrina Kumilyova, Tanya Kalinina, and Maria Atolova of Not So Socialist. Former President Ruma Dumayev was reportedly approached by the network to host the show, but turned down the offer because of concerns that a Margovyan version may not be as well-liked as the original British version. The studio segments of the pilot episode were filmed on February 20, 2008 to favorable reviews.
The first Top Gear Margovya trailer was posted on Let's Talk Margovya's website on February 20, 2009, giving fans a preview of what to expect from the new series. In this trailer, hosts Kumilyova, Kalinina, and Atolova were seen driving down the North Margovyan Superhighway in sports cars, Kumilyova tests an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, and former President Pristina Leonova drives a 2005 model Ford Crown Victoria around the Top Gear Test Track. The first series premiered on February 27, 2009, and its latest series, Series 9, began broadcast on April 19, 2013.
On May 7, 2013, Gavrina Kumilyova was seriously injured when her Yakovich V800 sports car crashed into a Yakovich M91 monster truck. Since the program had already been approved for 12 episodes, the producers signed Lev Arigov, the Margovyan Education Minister, as an "interim presenter" until Kumilyova recovers enough to return to the show. Eventually Arigov was made into a full presenter in series 10, but not before revealing that he was actually the Pimp in the second-to-the-last episode of series 9.
On June 27, 2014, it was revealed that the KLAY Consortium, a group of Margovyan automotive corporations composed of Khristenko, Lubovenko, Andropov, and Yakovich had been paying large sums of money to Let's Talk Margovya and TGM series director Marvik Vulvanov and his charitable foundations in exchange for favorable reviews of their cars being presented on the show. This led to the sudden canceling of series 11 on the same date, and to an unplanned nine-month hiatus.
Top Gear Margovya finally returned to television on March 13, 2015, with some significant changes: Vulvanov had been fired as director and replaced with Adam Yaneyev, a former assistant director for TGM who left the show in the tenth series following "personal differences" with the other production staff, especially Vulvanov. Executive producer Yelizaveta Vulvanova also confirmed that the show's presenters (Kumilyova, Kalinina, Atolova and Arigov) have been given even more freedom as to making content for the show. She also dispelled rumors that the new series will be composed of the six unaired episodes of series 11.
On October 22, 2015, after filming only seven episodes of the thirteenth series, executive producer Yelizaveta Vulvanova announced on the Top Gear Margovya official website that Lev Arigov's contract will not be renewed for a fourteenth series following his controversial altercation with producer Darya Parovskaya at the hotel after filming an episode where Arigov allegedly abused her physically, verbally, and sexually. Furthermore, according to Vulvanova, Arigov insisted that he did not assault her, especially sexually, but after she refused to believe his allegations, Arigov told Vulvanova that she was worse than her husband Marvik Vulvanov, who was previously involved in a scandal with the Khristenko, Lubovenko, Andropov and Yakovich automobile companies.
On November 15, 2015, during an interview with Svetlana Lanuva, Kalinina, Kumilyova and Atolova announced that they will not be returning for a fourteenth series without Arigov. "Around the time the fracas scandal of former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson broke out, we made a pact: we told each other that should anyone of us get involved in a similar situation, the other three would do what James May and Richard Hammond did and stick up for girl, or in this case the guy, who would become the Clarkson of TGM," Kumilyova said. "We told everyone that we will never sacrifice the integrity of the group for individual fame or anything; we'll definitely be there for each other for better or for worse." The four presenters filmed their last episode of TGM together, and it aired on December 25, 2015. TGM director Adam Yaneyev, who is a known close friend and collaborator of the group, also announced that he will no longer be part of TGM after series 13. Arigov, Atolova, Kalinina, Kumilyova, and Yaneyev eventually formed their own production company with the intention of creating a separate motoring show.
This resulted into an eight-month hiatus of the series. Let's Talk Margovya decided to renew the show for a fourteenth series, provided that Vulvanova hire at least three new presenters within a year. On December 2, 2015, actor-singer and then-The Real Deal frontman Hafimwahlid Talnaev confirmed that he will be joining the show for a fourteenth series. On December 26, 2015, actor and former Cars of Margovya presenter Mark Vizinsky also confirmed to be joining the show.
On January 18, 2016, actor-singer Orental Gibitov announced that he will also join the fourteenth series of TGM. Auditions for additional presenters were conducted afterwards, and on March 1, 2016, Yelizaveta Vulvanova announced on the TGM website that actors Ivan Maryanov and Gennady Elemat are the latest additions in the show, and that the lineup of presenters is complete.
During an interview on Arigov & Kumilyova Tonight, Mark Vizinsky announced that Top Gear Margovya will be entering a "new era," which includes the replacement of the current Reasonably Priced car with the Toyota Land Cruiser J200; and the reveal of the man behind the gas mask of Pimp 2.0 on the very first episode, and the introduction of a new Pimp 3.0 at the last episode, which according to Vizinsky, will feature the cast of the upcoming forty-fourth season of Paramedics.
Series 14 of Top Gear Margovya aired on August 26, 2016, and on the first episode, the new presenters revealed that giving the benefit of the doubt to Lev Arigov, Let's Talk Margovya announced that if the said producer cries foul once again on one of the new presenters (given that Top Gear Margovya currently has an all-male presenter lineup), it's either Vulvanova will fire that producer, or LTM will cancel TGM altogether.
On October 22, 2017, two years after the altercation between Darya Parovskaya and Lev Arigov, Parovskaya admitted in a tweet as part of the Me Too movement that the sexual and physical assault did not happen, and that the incident was in fact just a verbal altercation. This resulted into the firing of both Parovskaya as one of the show's producers, and Vulvanova as executive producer. Yulian Markovsky, who was brought in by the new presenters as co-writer and co-producer for the show following the departure of Adam Yaneyev, was promoted as the show's executive producer starting on the show's seventeenth series in 2018.
On April 6, 2018, during the final episode of the show's seventeenth series, the presenters announced that their Star in a Reasonably Priced Car in that episode, prominent Margovyan actress Lidia Penkova is behind the Pimp 3.0 suit and mask. This was related to the interview of executive producer Yulian Markovsky in The Svetlana Lanuva Show on April 1, where Markovsky mentioned that his inbox was recently flooded by angry feminists demanding a female Pimp in TGM following his promotion as executive producer. Many of the loyal TGM fans were not convinced by the revelation, which included former presenters Lev Arigov and Gavrina Kumilyova, who expressed their disappointment in their show Arigov & Kumilyova Tonight hours after the revelation was made. "Either the actors who were best known for defying political correctness over the years have finally succumbed to the PC brigade and the feminist extremists or this is another fake revelation," Arigov said after announcing the news on the show.
On the series 18 premiere on July 13, 2018, the presenters admitted that the revelation of the Pimp 3.0 at the last episode of the previous series was fake, and that Penkova is not the real Pimp 3.0. Presenter Gennady Elemat added that the identity of the real Pimp 3.0 will remain a secret until "the right time." However, on September 6, 2018, it was reported that the feminist grouo Paloma broke into the TGM studio and vandalized the set, destroying no less than 8 million margots worth of sports cars, props and furniture, which forced the producers to cancel the eighteenth series' ninth episode, which was supposed to air on September 7. When broadcast resumed on September 14, the presenters announced that Paloma "ransacked" their studio in rage over their decision to reveal a fake Pimp 3.0 just to mock the "only people in the world who want a female test driver in any Top Gear franchise, ever." They also finally reveal the real Pimp 3.0 as Margovyan racer and 5-time Margovyan Grand Prix champion Mikhail Pavlovich. They also announce that the eighteenth series, which was initially approved for thirteen episodes, will be cancelled due to MNBN and TGM filing a lawsuit against Paloma.
On September 29, 2018, amidst the rumors that TGM might go on another hiatus or be cancelled altogether, executive producer Yulian Markovsky announced on the TGM website that TGM will be coming back for a nineteenth series on January 4, 2019 in celebration of the show"s tenth anniversary. However, after the latest controversy, there will be no Pimp 4.0 in the meantime, and that the presenter who reviewed the cars will be the one to test them around the TGM test track.
On March 24, 2019, Paloma was declared guilty by the Dostalinsky Provincial Supreme Court of destruction of property. As per the final appraisal, the damaged properties were worth approximately 8.86 million margots. Among the properties destroyed in the studio were one limited edition sports car, one Toyota Land Cruiser J200 SUV (the current Reasonably Priced Car), the sofa, coffee table and other furniture used for the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, and part of the TGM test track. The prosecution team was able to identify the group of womenbehind the incident. The suspects were Ursula Anikova (28, Opula), Yuliana Golduva (30, Arbatskaya), Gavrina Maldinova (30, Artesenas), Aleksandra Abashina (36, Davydov), and Roldan Alduv (28, Dostalinsky). According to Alduv, he was recruited to avoid suspicion that Paloma was behind the crime and was paid 500,000 margots to "do most of the work." Paloma was ordered to pay a total of 12.86 million to TGM for the destroyed properties, 500,000 damage compensation for each of the presenters of TGM and executive producer Yulian Markovsky, and 2.5 million margots fine, for a total of 18.36 million margots. The four women suspects were sentenced to 8 years imprisonment, while Alduv was sentenced to 6 years. Paloma president and spokesperson Arya Yulianova was also declared guilty of direct involvement in the crime, as she was the one who ordered the act. She was also sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. The remaining members of Paloma were declared guilty of indirect involvement, and as punishment, were issued a temporary restraining order of a minimum distance of 100 meters from any presenter of TGM or Markovsky, 70 meters from any production crew of TGM, and 50 meters from the perimeter of TGM studio.
In this segment, the Pimp drives a car around the Top Gear Margovya test track (commonly one that has reviewed earlier by a presenter) to gauge its performance and compare it to various contenders. To be eligible for the Power Lap board, Top Gear Margovya follows the original Top Gear's rules in that the vehicle must be road-legal, and must have sufficient ride height to clear a speed bump (or, as the presenters sometimes call it, a "sleeping policeman"), although sometimes cars that do not meet these requirements are still tested. When this happens, the vehicle's lap time is compared to others on the board and then removed. The fastest car ever tested on Top Gear Margovya during the time of the old presenters was the Pagani Huayra, which posted a lap time of 1:13.8, the same time it posted on the original Top Gear. The Yakovich X5 recorded 1:08.75 in series 10, but its lap time was removed from the power laps board in series 12 following the KLAY-LTM scandal.
On series 14, the power laps board was cleared by the new presenters in welcoming a new era for TGM. According to the presenters, they must be free to re-review the cars that they want to review in the show, even those which were reviewed before by the former presenters, just like in Cars of Margovya. However, the new presenters decided to keep the timed laps of some of the cars on the board, cars that they think are worthy of staying at the Power Laps board. Some of these cars include the Yakovich M57, the Pagani Zonda, the Huayra, the Yakovich U-Shut Up, the Lubovenko Fallopia, the Khristenko A1, the Audi A1 and the Yakovich U2. Though the new presenters decided to keep the original timed lap of the Huayra, it was later surpassed by the Porsche 918 RSR in series 15, which recorded a lap time of 1:12.9.
The Pimp, the TGM equivalent of Top Gear's The Stig, was first identified as former TGM presenter Lev Arigov at the end of series 9, weeks after he was brought to the show as an "interim" presenter following Gavrina Kumilyova's accident along the Northern Margovyan Superhighway on May 2013. Arigov was later introduced as a permanent presenter by the beginning of series 10, and was replaced by a gray-suited Pimp known as "Pimp 2.0," who was known for wearing various masks other than his signature gas mask, the most notable of which was the trademark Paul Walker mask, which he originally wore as a tribute to the late actor, who died on November 2013. Pimp 2.0 was later identified as actor and politician Ravil Yanenko, who was revealed to be the original Pimp as a joke on the episode before Arigov's revelation, at the beginning of series 14 following the introduction of the new set of presenters on August 2016. Yanenko was replaced by another gray-suited Pimp known as "Pimp 3.0."
At the end of series 17 in 2018, Pimp 3.0 was "revealed" as actress Lidia Penkova to "hush" the clamor of feminist group Paloma for them to have a female Pimp. The presenters later revealed at the first episode of Series 18 that their earlier revelation was fake and that Penkova is not the Pimp when their earlier revelation earned backlash among avid fans of Top Gear Margovya, including the previous presenters of the show. Having declared Penkova's revelation as fake, they initially announced that the identity of Pimp 3.0 would remain a secret "until the right time." However, at the end of Series 18, the presenters were forced to reveal the true identity of Pimp 3.0 following the intrusion of Paloma into the TGM studio, destoying almost 9 million margots worth of cars and furniture. The real Pimp 3.0 is revealed as Mikhail Pavlovich, Margovyan Formula One racer and five-time Margovyan Grand Prix champion, and older brother of fellow Margovyan F1 racer Aras Pavlovich. The management then decided to not include a Pimp in the nineteenth series while the Paloma-TGM scandal is being settled in court. Following the conclusion of the lawsuit declaring Paloma guilty of all charges, Yulian Markovsky posted on the TGM website that the show would reincorporate the Pimp, with the Pimp 4.0 "visiting" the TGM studio at the start of series 21 in January 2020.
Star in a Reasonably Priced CarEdit
In each episode, one of the hosts (alternating between Gavrina, Tanya, and Maria) interviews a celebrity (usually, but not always, from Margovya), and then they and the audience watch the star's lap around the Top Gear test track. The time is then recorded on a leader board. For the show's first four series, the Reasonably Priced Car was a 2005 model Ford Crown Victoria.
At the beginning of the fifth series, in 2011, the Crown Victoria was replaced by the Toyota Innova, which Toyota first began selling in Margovya the same year. Since the Innova's performance was different from the Crown Victoria, the leader board was wiped clean, allowing celebrities to return and record new lap times.
The format for setting a lap time is the same one used on the original Top Gear: the star is allowed five practice laps, and then a final timed lap. No allowance is made for errors committed on the final lap. There are rumors that the Innova may be replaced by a new car upon the end of the ninth series.
President Viktoriya Vegova (then the Vice President of Margovya) set the fastest lap time in the Crown Victoria, with a time of 1:39.9. The fastest lap time in the Innova thus far is the Pimp's 1:41.89, followed closely by Chris Masters, who achieved a time of 1:41.91 on May 3, 2013.
Former President Baba Filitov went around the final corner of the track on two wheels, prompting the presenters to call the corner "Filitov Corner." Gregoriy Umalin lost a wheel during his lap, and Anatoly Baychenko destroyed the clutches of both the main and back-up cars. Current Vice President Mstislav Pankavuranov shattered the Innova's third gear during his lap, necessitating the use of the backup car.
The Innova was officially replaced in series 11 with the 2007 series Fiat 500 as the new Reasonably Priced Car. Currently the fastest star in the Fiat is Jason Wade, who posted a lap time of 1:38.65. Former president Gennady Elemat failed to beat Wade's time by just 0.02 seconds with a lap time of 1:38.67.
Upon entering the "new era" of Top Gear Margovya in its fourteenth series, the Fiat 500 was officially replaced with the Toyota Land Cruiser J200 as the new Reasonably Priced Car. So far, no star has ever surpassed the set record of the fastest presenter in the Land Cruiser, which is Mark Vizinsky with a lap time of 1:40.5. As of Series 14, the star who came the closest was actor-producer Mark Politov with 1:41.0.
Following the Paloma scandal in September 2018, the Land Cruiser will be replaced by the seventh generation Ford Fiesta as the Reasonably Priced Car starting series 19.
Star in a Reasonably Priced MotorcycleEdit
A new segment, called Star in a Reasonably Priced Motorcycle, will be introduced on series 19 as part of the additional segments that will make for TGM's new 90-minute timeslot. Like in the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, the Star in a Reasonably Peiced Motorcycle must drive a motorcycle around the same TGM test track. According to the announcement posted in the TGM official website on October 1n 2018, the first Reasonably Priced Motorcycle is yet to be announced, but the criteria for eligibility of the RPM will be the same as its four-wheel counterpart. Also, to ensure that production will not be "too low on budget," the same celebrity who appeared as SIARPC will also be the SIARPM for the same episode, and separate lap board will be recorded for each segment.
Occasionally, the show would feature novelty challenges and short stunt films, typically based on absurd premises such as a bus jumping over thirty motorcycles (instead of the other way around), or creating amphibious cars that can go from Margovya to the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil.
Starting in series five, at least one episode per series featured a "Cheap Car" challenge, in which the presenters are given a budget (typically around five thousand margots, but ranges between five hundred margots and fifty thousand margots, depending on the type of car) to buy a car that conforms to certain criteria. Once purchased, the presenters compete against each other in a series of challenges to establish who has bought the best car. The presenters have no prior knowledge of what the tests will be, although they typically involve long journeys to evaluate the cars' reliability and fuel economy, and a race track event to determine performance.
Starting on Series 15, the presenters, as well as the producers agreed on completing at least two challenges for each episode, as they deem one challenge not enough for a five-presenter lineup. However, starting series 17, they started doing an average of three different challenges per episode, but are sometimes cut significantly due to time constraint. Starting series 19, the presenters will be completing three challenges per episode, and the previous 60-minute timeslot alloted for the show will be extended to 90 minutes upon the show's return to broadcast on January 4, 2019.
Currently, challenges performed by the presenters include: a "Cheap Car" challenge, in which they have to buy a car on a "dramatically low" budget; a "Fuel Economy" challenge, wherein they have to buy a car (usually on a limited selection of choices) and they have to find out which of their selected car can consume the least (or the most) fuel upon going a certain distance (usually depends on the challenge); extreme challenges that usually require their resident Top Gear Margovya stuntman, whose attempts in completing the said challenges usually end up in him being admitted to the Ruslan Dumayev Memorial Hospital; and the popular "Do Your Own Challenge," wherein the presenters will be goven a certain category (e.g., 90's movie stunts, The Interceptors stunts) and they will complete any challenge of their own choice (using any car of their choice) as long as it fits the category assigned to them). This segment has only recorded two successful attempts: Mark Vizinsky in series 14, and Gennady Elemat in series 17.
Starting in series 14, Vizinsky and Elemat, both having been one of the presenters in Cars of Margovya, have been doing Need for Speed Margovya, a popular segment they introduced as presenters of CoM, at least once (preferrably at the first episode) every series. The segment involves the two presenters picking their own car and doing any race in any game mode in any installment of the Need for Speed series (with the sole exception of The Run, which is "too long a challenge," and was already done as a special episode by the previous presenters.
"Harassing Tanya's Guitar"Edit
Not a real segment but a sort-of running gag in the program, "Harassing Tanya's Guitar" is a time in the show in which Kumilyova and/or Atolova take Kalinina's personalized guitar (built by Shevchenko Custom Instruments) and think of various ways of destroying it, and then Kalinina shouting her now famous quote, "My guitar!" once it is destroyed. This gag first came up in the series three episode, "The Budget Episode," in which the show was "forced to operate on a very small budget due to the Margovyan recession". Kalinina used her guitar to play her version of the opening theme "Jessica," but then Kumilyova declared that she didn't like it (the guitar, not Kalinina's rendition), and proceeded to kick the guitar out of Kalinina's hands and use it as a football.
By the presenters' estimate, Tanya's guitar has been "harassed" for a total of fifty-seven episodes, and since the ninth series is in production, it is expected that the guitar will be destroyed at least a few more times.
Notable instances of the guitar's destruction include it being on the landing ramp during the "bus over thirty motorcycles" challenge, being blown up during Kalinina's birthday in the series eight opener, and Chris Masters running over the guitar during his lap around the Top Gear test track in his Yakovich WWE sports car.
Critics believe that this is quickly becoming one of the biggest factors why people love watching Top Gear Margovya. However, starting from the beginning of series 12, it was announced that this segment would no longer be in any episodes since it detracted from the actual reviewing of cars in the series, according to executive producer Yelizaveta Vulvanova. Tanya Kalinina also said in a recent interview that this segment was conceived by Marvik Vulvanov back before he was director of the series to distract viewers from the fact that the show may not be as factual as it claimed to be.
Starting from the show's third series in 2010, a series of specials have featured the presenters traveling in different places of the world and going through extreme challenges in various objectives and missions.
|Month and Year||Episode||Title||Tanya's car||Gavrina's car||Maria's car||Lev's car||Mission|
|January 2010||Series 3, Episode 2-3||Philippine Special||8th Generation Honda Civic||Toyota Revo||Chevrolet Cruze||N/A||Learn the "Philippine way of driving," and travel to Baguio City|
|May 2012||Series 7, Episode 4-5||Battle of the Cars||2005 Yakovich U-Shut Up||Pagani Zonda||Bugatti Veyron||N/A||Undergo through a series of tests to prove which car is "the best of the best"|
|January 2013||Series 8, Episode 9||Russian Far East Special||Moskvitch 2141 Aleko||Audi 100||ZAZ Tavria||N/A||Travel from Asia to North America through the Bering Strait Bridge|
|July/August 2013||Series 9, Episode 13; Series 10, Episode 1||Pan-American Special||Maserati Quattroporte||Bentley Arnage||Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe||Declasse Voodoo||Travel from Argentina to Alaska through the Pan-American Highway|
|December 2013||Series 10, Episode 5-6||The Run Special||Nissan 370Z||Pagani Huayra||Audi A1||Lubovenko Desperation||Compete against 746 professional racers and local/international celebrities in a massive street race from Calais, France to Anadyr, Russia for a grand prize of $50 million|
|May 2014||Series 11, Episode 3||Margovya Drift||Yakovich XXX||Andropov K-Drift||Lubovenko Beauty||Joylong Majestic||Mountain drift down Mt. Arbatskaya through Sta. Radoslava highway|
Main Article: List of Top Gear Margovya episodes
Top Gear Margovya has earned its fair share of criticisms from Margovyan media and sometimes South American media as well. However, its biggest controversy came in June 27, 2014 when it was discovered that a group of Margovyan automotive companies called the KLAY Consortium (for Khristenko, Lubovenko, Andropov, and Yakovich) had been sending large amounts of money to Let's Talk Margovya and TGM series director Marvik Vulvanov in exchange for showing their cars on the series and giving favorable reviews to the cars. This resulted on TGM being cancelled mid-series, and the show is only making a return to television on March 13, 2015 following shakeups within the show's production staff, chief of which was the replacement of Vulvanov with former TGM assistant director Adam Yaneyev, who had left the show in 2013 following "personal differences" with Vulvanov.