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Never apart, Wauconda twins separate for VH1 competition

By Lorena Bias | Gannett News Service

It takes two to make a thing go right.

On “Twinning,” a new VH1 reality competition series (9 p.m. Wednesdays), that premise is tested in a most unique way.

The 10-episode contest features 12 pairs of identical twins vying for a grand prize of $222,222.22 after each is tested physically and mentally. The catch: They have to take on each challenge while living in separate houses. And for some, that will prove very difficult.

The longest Spencer and Skyler Nick, 23, of Wauconda had spent apart was “less than 12 hours,” Spencer says. So being separated for longer periods of time during the six weeks of filming wasn’t easy. “I just missed him every day, every second, every minute,” Spencer says.

Susan Levison, VH1’s programming chief and an executive producer, says the only way to test twins’ connection was by separating them. So each is put in one of two identical houses (one green, the other blue). “By winning challenges, they earn the chance to be reunited with their twin. Each week, the set of twins with the weakest ‘twintuition’ is sent home.”

Levison says the series, from the producers of “Dating Naked,” focuses on a group she finds “just universally sort of fascinating. Everyone I talk to about the show knows a set of twins.”

Finding eligible contestants wasn’t difficult.

The Nicks share a high five on "Twinning." | VH1

The Nicks share a high five on “Twinning.” | VH1

“We found out about the show through social media,” says Skyler, who along with Spencer is pursuing his MBA. “They posted it on Twitter. They asked for twins. … We took a chance and got selected.”

How will the competition work? There are physical and mental contests, Levison explains, but the siblings remain separated as they participate in the games. “There’s challenges where they have to fill a bucket of water by going through an obstacle course, but every time [one twin] fall[s] off the obstacle course, the other twin gets an electric shock.” Bizarre? “They always say twins can feel each other’s pain, so if they work together, they won’t cause each other any pain,” Levison says. “But if they don’t have their twintuition in sync, there’ll be consequences.”

At the end of each episode, the twin sets with the lowest twintuition have a “twin-off,” which tests their connection by comparing answers with questions.

The duos’ abilities to think alike goes beyond quick Q&As. “It’s amazing to see how the twins completely separated in identical houses mirror each other. At the very beginning, when they have to pick their beds, one twin will pick one closest to the door and the twin in the other house will pick the corresponding bed.”

Spencer and Skyler certainly don’t mind sharing their uncanny commonalities. “Spencer and I are the only set that dress the same every day to this day, except for our underwear. That’s kind of creepy.”