My EXCLUSIVE interview with game show director Jon Olb – Part II

Jon Olb

Welcome to Part II of my chat with Jon Olb, and when we left off last week, we’d been talking about his first ever game show directing experience, back in 1998, on Battle of the Sexes. Now read on…

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SH: Of course, you kept very busy directing other shows in other genres after that, but the next game show that came your way – in 2002- was QuizMaster. This was a more straightforward quiz hosted by Simon Reeve (who would later go on to host Million Dollar Minute. This show only lasted for one series of four episodes, and seems to have been largely forgotten by most of the world! This is about the only information I could find on it. Has it been forgotten by you as well? If it hasn’t, what were your memories of this one?

JO: It’s most certainly not been forgotten by me! It was actually a precursor to many other shows – perhaps before its time. I thought that it ran for more episodes but perhaps not. It was set “in the round” which created a unique set of issues. Also, it was one of the only formats to utilize then-new technology that allowed the cameras to automatically cut to the contestant when they buzzed in. It was a little too serious, but interesting. I think that it may have been Simon’s first foray into game shows – he is such a genuinely nice man. The writer subsequently replaced a guy named Stephen Hall as a Producer on Deal or No Deal and is now an Executive Producer at the Network.

SH: Aha! Yes of course – Stevie Murray! (More on him in a later post here). Now Jon, you and I were both involved in The Einstein Factor, which premiered on the ABC in 2004. This was a quiz show where members of the public got to show off both their general knowledge and their familiarity with their own ‘special subject’. I’ve already interviewed the show’s host Peter Berner, but I’m curious to hear your recollections of it. Do any of the contestants – or indeed any of their special subjects – stick in your mind? Or when you’re up in the Control Room calling the shots, do you not get much time to relax and pay attention to those aspects?

JO: It’s funny – on game shows you generally do get to play along in the control room. When I used to direct News, I was so busy during the weather report, that I never knew what the forecast was for the next day! Of course the machinations of the game are all secret, but in essence, they all test knowledge. That show was very loosely based on Mastermind with the ‘special subject’, and now there are shows loosely based on that program. Contestants had all sorts of weird and wonderful expert subjects. From memory, they were less adept at the general knowledge aspect. Peter Berner was a good foil for the contestants and the Brains Trust – I think that people often forget that Red Symons was also a regular contributor. The show had a fantastic production team, including Pam Barnes initially, and helped forge the way for many hybrid comedy/quiz programs.

SH: From 2005 to 2006, you directed all 22 episodes of the Australia’s Brainiest franchise (in the interests of full disclosure, I had a passing involvement with this show too). What are your main memories of that show? And were there any contestants who really stood out, in terms of how they approached the game?

JO: This was a special show – one of the first big “celebrity” quiz shows. Full disclosure indeed – you were crowned ‘Australia’s Brainiest Quizmaster’, from memory! I met the lovely Sandra Sully on that show. We filmed at the ABC for Channel Ten. It was difficult as it was precise, and there were those hidden cameras (not always flattering) and cameras on scaffolds, which bounced when the operators chased the action. It was a great series, with some really interesting incarnations such as Comedians, Kids and even Big Brother contestants. It challenged your preconceived notions of who would know some things. There were many standouts on that series.

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And that’s where we’ll leave it for this week. In next Tuesday’s instalment, Jon and I discuss his directing gigs on two adaptations of English game shows;  Letters and Numbers (an adaptation of Countdown) and The ConTest (an adaptation of PokerFace), and an original Australian format – Million Dollar Minute.

See you here then!

My EXCLUSIVE interview with game show director Jon Olb – Part I

Jon Olb

Hello and welcome to the first part of my EXCLUSIVE interview with game show director Jon Olb. Jon has an illustrious TV directing career here in Australia that spans three decades, and a variety of genres – from sketch comedy, to live concerts, to pretty much every aspect of light entertainment, including, of course…. game shows! While he’s an expert at all of the above, directing a game show from the control room requires a very special set of skills…

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SH: Jon, thanks so much for chatting to me today for HowToWinGameShows.com! For our visitors who may not be aware, can you explain the role of a game show director, and exactly what that job entails on a day to day basis?

JO: The Director on a game show is traditionally a more technical role. Virtually all quiz shows have a “format” which must be adhered to. Some game shows (like Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation) will vary substantially according to the content, but it is fairly rare…On most game shows, particularly the ones that are “stripped” daily, it is important that they look and feel the same from one episode to the next. Much like a McDonald’s meal, it will be made with local ingredients and resources, but should feel fundamentally the same anywhere in the world.

On a quiz show, the creative is largely the domain of the Producers. They have a large staff, including question writers, verifiers, researchers and contestant coordinators to control. Then on the day of record, they need to be the most well versed in the rules of the game, the electronic systems, and then ultimately the edit of the program.

So a Director on such a show is more about working with the technical crew to ensure that it’s all seamless and looks and sounds appropriate. Of course, I have my say on other aspects, but I will defer to the Producers. I usually look after the smooth running of the show and listen out for any comments or changes from the Producers or host. On international formats, there is also a responsibility to the originators to make it feel similar. There is often a “show bible” that will detail every aspect, from graphics to sounds to terminology and of course set design. I was responsible for helping adapt The Chase for Australia, and we have kept it as similar to the original as possible, whilst of course, allowing for the production company ITV and the Seven Network to put a local spin on it.

SH: Way back in 1998, you directed your first game show; Battle of the Sexes. The show’s host Ed Phillips has already chatted to me a bit about this show, but what were your memories of it?

SH: I already knew Ed, who is a fantastic and witty host. I was moving to The Adventures of Lano and Woodley and so was involved in the setup and the initial episodes, before handing it over. I had also worked with the Producer Michelle Seers previously. I remember it being a really fun show – it didn’t take itself too seriously and was one of the first to work with celebrity panelists. We filmed at the Ten Studios in Nunawading. Rules are always important, but on a show like this it was more about the comedy and I think that translates to the home audience. It was primarily about fun.

SH: As your first foray into the genre, what lessons did you learn from Battle Of The Sexes about the art of directing game shows?

JO: BOTS was so geared toward the comedy, that once we’d established the format it didn’t really feel so much like a game show. I learned a lot about making shows in general from that production, but others have been probably more informative about the art of game shows.

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… and we’ll hear more about those, when my chat with Jon continues, next week!

Hop to see you here then!

 

 

Next week…. a first!

Just a quick announcement this week about my next exclusive interview.
As I look back over all the interviews I’ve done for this site over the years, I’m surprised to see that I haven’t interviewed a game show director before now…
Well I’m about to put that right. Next week sees the first instalment of my four-part interview with veteran game show director Jon Olb. Jon offers another perspective on the whole game show experience. He’s directed loads of them, for every Australian TV network, and there are many valuable lessons to be learned from what he has to say.
So that’ll be right here, next Tuesday.
And the following Tuesday.
And the one after that.
And also the one after that as well.
See you then!

My EXCLUSIVE interview with ‘Hard Quiz’ winner Markos Hasiotis – Part III

Hello, and welcome to the final instalment of my exclusive interview with Hard Quiz winner Markos Hasiotis, where Markos gives us his top three tips for success on this show. But before we get to that, there was another aspect of Hard Quiz that I wanted to get to the bottom of….

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SH: Part of (host) Tom Gleeson’s schtick is that he repeatedly insults the contestants on Hard Quiz... And yet the contestants often give as good as they get – do you all come up with your own “burns”? Some of them are pretty funny!

MH: We do come up with them ourselves. I suspect that the producers at the auditions look out for people who are somewhat witty and can respond to an insult with a snappy retort, as opposed to stunned silence… or tears!

However, the final two are told to prepare an interesting answer as to what we’ll do with The Big Brass Mug if we win it, so I came up with a Bondian answer: “I’ll drink Vodka martinis out of it, shaken not stirred.”

'Hard Quiz's Ultimate prize... THE BIG BRASS MUG!

‘Hard Quiz’s Ultimate prize… THE BIG BRASS MUG!

SH: What are the three most important things you’d tell someone wanting to go on Hard Quiz? The things you wish someone had told you beforehand?

MH: Firstly, I’d definitely recommend that you wait until Tom has finished the question before buzzing in (or at least wait until you’re certain what the question will be). There were a couple of instances where I wrongly assumed what the question would be based on the first few words so I buzzed in and got it wrong, which cost me precious points.

Secondly, try and be somewhat memorable in the audition, whether it’s a funny anecdote or mentioning one of your strange hobbies. I suspect that’s why I wasn’t successful in my first audition, I faded into the background a bit.

… And thirdly, don’t give up, even if things aren’t going your way during the show, just stay focused and calm and you can do it!

SH: Is there anything else about the experience that you’d like to share? Anything I haven’t covered?

MH: I’d like to say, for the record, that Tom is quite a nice guy when the camera is off.

SH: Markos, now that you’ve won Hard Quiz‘s ultimate prize (The Big Brass Mug), do you have any plans to go on any other quiz shows? Millionaire Hot Seat? The Chase Australia?

MH: I’d love to try another quiz show…I’ve auditioned for The Chase Australia and am currently in the “contestant pool”, so I may get on there at some stage. I’ve applied for Hot Seat too, but haven’t heard back and I would’ve loved to have done Pointless, but I couldn’t find a teammate. I’m excited for Australian TV to create some brand new quiz shows in the future and I’ll happily throw my hat into those rings. No rush!

SH: Markos, thank you so much for your time today, and for sharing your thoughts…. And of course, congratulations!

MH: Thank so much. Was a pleasure, Stephen.

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And that’s where we bid a fond farewell to Hard Quiz winner and trivia enthusiast Markos Hasiotis! I hope you found Markos’s story interesting, and picked up a few useful, actionable nuggets of information along the way. Just a reminder, you can follow Markos on Twitter (@FactBuffet) for a daily dose of fascinating facts… I know I do!

I wish Markos all the best with all his future quiz-related endeavours, and I’ll see you back here really soon! 

My EXCLUSIVE interview with ‘Hard Quiz’ winner Markos Hasiotis – Part II

Hello!

Last week, Markos gave us a little bit of background, a bit of ‘The Story So Far…’ This week, we dive into the actual Hard Quiz process in much more detail. Hopefully, there’s something here that’ll prove useful for you if you’re contemplating going on this particular quiz show (or any quiz show, for that matter). Let’s dive in.

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SH: Can you talk us through the audition / interview process?

MH: Both the 2016 and 2017 auditions were virtually identical. The contestants are checked-in and given a sticker with their name and expert subject on it, which I love… because it makes for a great ice-breaker: “Hello, ‘World War Two’!” “Hey, nice to meet you, Simpsons”… The contestants are taken from the waiting room into a large space with rows of chairs.

We sit and do a written general knowledge test, and then small groups of us stand up and a producer asks each of us about ourselves and our expert subject, why we chose it, and so on. We’re also put into groups and asked a bunch of general knowledge questions which we need to “buzz in” and answer.

After that, a producer reads out a list of all the people who are through to the next round of the process, and the ones whose names aren’t announced are dismissed. The remaining contestants chill until we’re called into a private room where we have a one-on-one chat with a producer who asks us to discuss our subject a bit further. After that, we’re dismissed and simply wait to see if we get the big call.

SH: When you heard you were going on the show, how long did you have between getting THE CALL and the day of the record?

MH: I got the call (or email, in this case) on the 23rd of June, and the record took place on the 2nd of August so there was a good chunk of time to study… and for the butterflies in my stomach to multiply!

SH: How did the experience of actually doing the show compare with how you thought it’d be?

MH: It went by much quicker than I thought it would, it surprisingly didn’t take much longer than half an hour to film a half-hour show, which is a testament to the show’s dynamic crew. I was also pleasantly surprised that contestants were given quite a nice green room prior to the show, replete with a shower and lollies.

SH: Did you have any mantras or self-talk? Anything that you kept reminding yourself while you were on the set?

MH: Not really, I was quite zen and not thinking too much. One thing I did tell myself while on the set was “don’t worry if you’re the first one eliminated…you can still tell people you made the Top Four.” When I got to the second round, I similarly reassured myself “you can tell people you made the Top Three.” That was the extent of my self-talk.

SH: You were up against an expert on Australian birds (Simon), an expert on Greg Norman (Phil) and and expert on the band KISS (Robyn). In the heat of battle, during the actual playing of your game, what moments – either good or bad – stick in your mind?

MH: Each time one of the other contestants was eliminated sticks in my mind, because it felt positively awful. They’re very nice people and all three of them had come from interstate, while I lived a mere 15 minutes away! I also distinctly remember a strong feeling of doom during ‘Tom’s Round’, after I got the first 2 questions wrong, I thought I was finished for sure. My favourite moment was hearing Tom say “correct” after I answered the last question in the Final Round. It was a moment of great joy and relief and probably the first time I’d relaxed that entire day.

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In next week’s final instalment, Markos lifts the lid on all those insults traded between the host and the contestants, we discuss his future in quizzing. and he shares his three top tips for anyone preparing to go on the show! 

Until then, then! 

My EXCLUSIVE interview with ‘Hard Quiz’ winner Markos Hasiotis – Part I

That’s Markos on the left, in the red shirt.

Hello! Today sees the first part of a three-part interview with Markos Hasiotis, who’s one of the winners of the Australian game show Hard Quiz; a show that requires its contestants to have great general knowledge and outstanding knowledge of their own specially selected subjects. Or to put it another way, they need to know a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. And in November 2017, Markos absolutely nailed it. Let’s meet him!

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SH: Markos, thanks so much for talking to me today for HowToWinGameShows.com. By way of background, what was your life like before going on the show? I’m assuming you’ve always been interested in trivia (especially since your trivia handle is @FactBuffet)!

MH: Thank you, Stephen. Well, my life was pretty normal: I grew up in Melbourne, went to school, had fun with friends. I graduated from university in 2014 where I studied media, and since then have worked in different media roles. Hard Quiz was probably the most out-there thing I had done up to that point!

Facts have definitely been a constant throughout my life. As a kid, we didn’t have a TV in the house, so I read fact books instead and fell in love with facts. That love manifested itself into an enjoyment of trivia nights, my fact-based Twitter account and, eventually, the aforementioned quiz show.

SH: Had you watched Hard Quiz from its beginning in 2016?

MH: I’d actually auditioned for the show in 2016 but wasn’t successful, so I didn’t watch the first season… because it hurt too much! After I auditioned the second time in 2017 and got the green light, I binged on all the episodes that I’d missed and I very much enjoyed doing so.

SH: Some regular visitors to this site may be unfamiliar with Hard Quiz‘s format, so could you please give them a quick description of how the show works?

MH: Sure. Well, each episode has four contestants, each with an expert subject. (The show’s host) Tom Gleeson briefly chats with / insults each of us and then the game begins:

Each contestant is asked 5 questions about their expert subject, they get 5 points for a correct answer and 5 points off for a wrong answer. Other contestants are allowed to buzz in and answer a question on someone else’s subject; if they’re correct, they receive 10 points and they lose 5 points if they’re incorrect.

After that, it’s a round called ‘Tom’s Subject’, where you’re asked 5 multiple-choice questions on a random subject. In my case, it was Indonesia. You receive 5 points for a correct answer and lose 5 points for an incorrect answer… except on the 5th question where correct answers get 10 points.

The contestant with the lowest score after that round is eliminated.

Then it’s ‘The People’s Round’, where Tom asks general knowledge questions for 30 seconds. 5 points for a correct answer, 5 points off for an incorrect answer. The person with the lowest score after that round is also eliminated.

In the Final Round, the 2 remaining contestants go Head to Head. They’re each asked 5 questions on their expert subject, one tick for a correct answer and one cross for a wrong answer. Whoever gets the most ticks, wins the mug.

SH: What made you decide that you wanted to go on the show?

MH: I couldn’t resist! It seemed like an exciting chance for me to put my knowledge to the test, and the fact that Tom Gleeson was hosting indicated that it’d be a funny experience. I had no work or study commitments either, so the timing felt just right.

SH: Your special subject was James Bond – and I could see why it would be! (I’m something of a fan myself) How did you train for going on the show?

MH: Bond-A-Rama! looks great, I wish I’d gone to see it.

SH: Haha! Thank you!

MH: I trained by doing lots of James Bond quizzes online. I also had several James Bond books and a James Bond board game at my childhood home, so I looked through them which was helpful. I wanted to watch the movies but my DVD player broke after From Russia with Love which threw a spanner in the works. However, there’s an online channel called Haphazardstuff which has detailed video reviews of James Bond movies, so watching them was a worthy alternative.

As for general knowledge, I’m quite lucky that I essentially train for it daily, through my tweeting. I also scanned newspapers and encyclopaedias often and also quizzed myself with every Carlton Draught bottle cap I could find!

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And that’s where we’ll leave it for this week. For our overseas visitors, I should explain that Carlton Draught is an Australian brand of beer. The caps on the 375 mL bottles always have a trivia question (and answer) printed on their underside. Loads of paradoxical quizzing fun to share with friends over drinks in the pub; why not exercise a few brain cells while simultaneously killing a few off?

I’ll be back next Tuesday with Part II of my chat with Markos. See you then! 

Coming Attractions…

Hello! Just a quick, somewhat interstitial, post this week… as I just want to mention four things.

Firstly, I wanted to thank Judd Field again for chatting to me about his Millionaire Hot Seat experience in the interview that’s gone up here over the last few weeks. I really appreciate him giving such a detailed account of his adventure, and I hope that there were some nuggets of wisdom in there that YOU found helpful.

Secondly, I wanted to let you know about my first ever interview with a game show DIRECTOR. In the six years I’ve been running this site, I haven’t yet spoken to someone who calls the shots (literally) on a game show. Well, now that’s about to change. I can’t say too much at this stage, but the person I’ll be speaking to is a true industry veteran, who’s directed at least ten game shows, on every Australian TV network, dating all the way back to 1998! I’m really pleased he’s agreed to speak to me, I’ll be grilling him about all of them in detail, and getting as much information as I can about the world of game shows from his unique perspective up there in the control room…. If YOU have any questions you’d like to ask a game show director, I’d be more than happy to put them to him, on your behalf! Just let me know, in the comment section below.

Thirdly, a little heads-up about what I have in store for you over the next three weeks. I’m really pleased to be talking to my first ever Hard Quiz winner, Markos Hasiotis. Markos got in touch with me via Twitter (where he’s @FactBuffet – well worth following if you’re a trivia buff – and I’m tipping you are). For those of you unfamiliar with it, Hard Quiz is an Australian quiz show which tests its contestants on both their general knowledge and their knowledge of their own special subject… so if you’re keen on quizzing (of either the general or specific varieties) you should find lots of useful stuff in this interview.

And fourthly and finally, I just wanted to go off on a little tangent and remind you of my current – and ongoing – literary experiment for this year. I’m writing a rollicking science fiction comedy adventure story, and releasing a new chapter every Friday, over at www.TheStephenHall.com. 

I’m twelve chapters in now (nearly a quarter of the way), and it’s proving to be an extremely challenging, yet extremely rewarding (not to mention fun!) experience. Please consider popping over there and giving it a read, if you like that sort of thing.

Okay, that’s it for now. See you back here next Tuesday, with Part I of my exclusive interview with Hard Quiz winner Markos Hasiotis!

Until then, then!

My EXCLUSIVE interview with ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’ Winner Judd Field! Part VI

And so now here we are at the climax of Judd Field’s Millionaire Hot Seat journey. The top prize amount on offer in Judd’s episode has turned out to be $50,000, and Judd has now battled his way through several questions to get here. He started the game in the Hot Seat, he’s been out of the Hot Seat, and is now back in it again, and he’s just about to have a crack at the big one…. ==============

SH: Before the final question, Eddie made you sing for your supper, literally. Presumably, this was something you’d worked out beforehand?

JF: Haha, yeah that was the song I sung down the barrel of the camera in my audition to stand out, for a bit of fun. I knew they would ask me to do something, so was ready to bust it out. In the recording of the show, they actually showed part of a clip of the song I helped write for a UK RAF war widow charity, that ended up being filmed in Westminster Abbey as the only song ever allowed there. After they played that, Eddie asked me to sing something else. The video clip part of the conversation never made it to air, which is a shame cause I might have got 10 seconds of royalties as well. Haha.

SH: Your final question – for $50,000 – was

“Well, nobody’s perfect” is the final line of which classic film?
A) Some Like It Hot
B) Chinatown
C) A Clockwork Orange
D) Psycho

You hadn’t seen any of them recently… but you were leaning towards A. Why was that?

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My EXCLUSIVE interview with ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’ Winner Judd Field! Part V

Welcome to the fifth instalment of my exclusive interview with Millionaire Hot Seat winner Judd Field. At this stage of proceedings, Judd’s been in the Hot Seat, he’s chosen to pass on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles question, and so has returned to the contestant queue. None of his competitors have lasted long in their turns in the Hot Seat though, and we’ve cycled through them all quite quickly, and now Judd’s back in prime position. His next question is about rice, and it’s worth $4000…
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SH: Judd, you seemed pretty sure of your next question…

Which of these rice varieties is named after a town in Italy?
A) Arborio
B) Basmati
C) Calrose
D) Japonica

You seemed sure it was Arborio. Of course, it WAS Arborio, and that answer earned you $4,000.

JF: Yeah. I actually started a chef apprenticeship in an Italian restaurant when I left school, so I was very sure.

SH: For the question after that…

Which of these current model motor vehicles is not produced by Holden?
A) Captiva
B) Equinox
C) Mondeo
D) Trailblazer

 

At first you seemed unsure, but you then locked in “Ford Mondeo”. That was correct, and you were now sitting on $6,000.

JF: Haha, yes! That was one of those questions where the words of the producer’s pre-show talk were ringing in my ear; “Read the question properly”. I remember working through which of the options it wasn’t; “Holden Captiva”, “Holden Trailblazer”, “Holden Captiva”… they all sounded kinda right. Or at least not wrong. “Holden Mondeo”? No, that did sound wrong – it’s “Ford Mondeo”. Also, I used to have a Captiva and my Ford-mad uncle used to have a Mondeo (I used to tease him….haha!) So I was sure… once I had read the question 5 times haha.

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My EXCLUSIVE interview with ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’ Winner Judd Field! Part IV

Welcome back to my interview with Judd Field. Let’s dive right back in!
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SH: The show starts with 15 questions in the ‘Fastest Finger First’ format – did you do any specific training for that?
JF: Yes; playing the iPhone app quiz games, just trying to answer as quickly as possible. It’s a hard one to prepare for, as (on the show) it’s effectively an iPad with a stylus pen. The question comes up on screen and you have to click on the answer. It’s hard to hover the pen, as then you can’t see the answer. After a terrible start (the pen didn’t seem to register on the iPad), I did okay, and got a number right. That included having the only correct answer to a visual question (“Which of these cathedral rooves is the Pantheon roof?” Maybe my spiritual background helped haha), but anyway I finished third, and that helped my confidence levels.

SH: Central to the format of Millionaire Hot Seat is the contestants’ option to ‘Pass’ on a specific question, and go back to the queue, hopefully to have a another turn in the Hot Seat later in the episode. Did you have a particular strategy about how and when to use this?

JF: The lack of lifelines in the Millionaire Hot Seat format makes it a lot harder to just sit in the chair and answer everything. Something I noticed when watching over the years was that there was often that one question completely out of my interests or field of knowledge, and that was the hardest thing to prepare for.
As much as I wanted to turn off the TV and just study encyclopaedias, I realised you do need every bit of information from current events too. You need to be a sponge, but even then, there are always your weak areas.
For example, in my episode, there was a 92-year-old man – sharp as a tack, he nearly won the ‘Fastest Finger’ section – and when he got to the Hot Seat, he answered quite a number of difficult questions very confidently. His general knowledge was becoming very intimidating and I was starting to wonder if the gameplay would even get back to me. But he hit a question from current events;
American footballer Colin Kapernick appeared
in a 2018 ad campaign for which sports brand?
A) Converse
B) Adidas
C) Under Armour
D) Nike
He clearly had no idea, tossed up between Adidas and Converse and incorrectly guessed Adidas. I love sports, and remembered the “kneeling for the national anthem” controversy on Facebook, and was pretty sure it was Nike.*
It’s hard sitting in the next seats “hoping” someone gets it wrong so you can get back in the Hot Seat, but I must admit as soon as I saw that question, I breathed a sigh of relief, as I had a feeling that a modern sporting current event question might be outside his field of knowledge.
And that’s the thing; with the lack of lifelines in this format, it highlights strategically using the “pass” as the only other way you can avoid those left-field questions, short of being a certified, card-carrying genius like your good self Stephen.
SH: Oh, you’re too kind!
JF: Not at all. So my plan was; if I drew the first or second seat, I wanted to pass early to reduce my chances of hitting that kind of curve-ball question in the mid rounds. Watching the show, I’ve noted if you pass when you’re the third contestant, it’s likely you won’t get another chance, so if you are in those seats (third or above) you really have to just go all in, all the way.
SH: Judd, I’d like to run through your game in a bit more detail now, in the hope that that’ll be helpful for our readers. Now, your first two questions were…

Which of these is not the name of a Melbourne Cup winning jockey?

(3 names + the joke answer “Anita Winn”)

A cultural phenomenon beginning in the early 2000s were impromptu group performances known as what?

(Flash mobs)

Your answered both of these easily, but then your third question was….

The options being:

A) Lasagne

B) Pizza

C) Macaroni and cheese

D) Garlic bread.

Judd, when you passed at that point, were you thinking that your ‘Hot Seat’ journey was over? Or were you thinking that the other five contestants would all cycle through, and you’d get a chance to get back into the Hot Seat again before the episode was done?

JF: As I mentioned earlier, I’d always wanted to pass early – in fact, the earlier the better – so as soon as I had the slightest hesitation in my answer I decided I’d pass. Almost as soon as I left the chair, “Pizza” dropped into my head, but I was completely happy with the pass.

SH: And lo and behold… the other five contestants DID all cycle through, and you found yourself back in the Hot Seat again, with a shot at the new top prize of $50,000. What were you thinking at that moment?

JF: I can only reiterate this calm feeling I had that I was going to win. In my head It was like someone is watching over me and “it was all just meant to be.”

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Aha! But WAS Judd’s win actually ‘all meant to be’?** You’ll have to check back here next Tuesday to find out!

* For those of you playing along at home, it was Nike.
** SPOILER ALERT: Yes.