THE STORY SO FAR…
I went on Sale Of The Century in 1994 and 1999. I lost both times.
NOW READ ON…
In 2001, after 21 years on air, Sale Of The Century was cancelled.
“Oh well – that’s that, then,” I thought. “I’d better go on pursuing other dreams”.
Which I did. Some of those dreams continued to focus around general knowledge. With a friend and colleague, I ran pub trivia nights for a number of years, researching and writing new batches of general knowledge questions every week – week in, week out. I wrote for various light entertainment TV shows, many of which had some quiz or general knowledge question component. (For more info, see http://howtowingameshows.com/why-me)
I even ended up contributing questions for the Australian version of the Cranium board game. I learned to think like a Game Show Question Writer because…. well, because I was one.
4 years after they’d axed Sale of The Century, Channel 9 announced that they were rebooting it, under a new name – Temptation. I applied straight away, and got called up for the audition. I did well on the general knowledge test and in the interview (after all, I’d had experience with both of these, 11 years prior, and 6 years prior.)
I then started training in earnest. Each week night, I’d record the show. Then I’d watch it back, putting myself in the role of a 4th contestant. My remote control acted as my buzzer. I’d hit ‘Pause’ each time I thought I knew the answer to a question, and then I’d answer it. If I’d paused the recording before I heard any of the other 3 contestants’ buzzers sound, I could safely assume that I was quickest to hit the buzzer on that particular question. Which earned me the opportunity to answer it. I’d answer, and then hit the ‘Play’ button to resume the show and see if my answer was correct In this way, I’d count up my correct answers, each worth $5 in the game, and check my scores against the actual contestants’ at the end of each round. This gave me an idea of how I’d do, competing against the contestants they were getting on the show. Here’s one of my actual home-made score sheets from that process:
I’d also spoken to a couple of former Sale Of The Century champions who I knew, asking if they had any tips. And they did:
I’m hoping to interview them both for the eBook that I’m writing – so they’ll be able to go into more detail then – but one really valuable tip that they both gave me was: Focus on what’s coming up; don’t beat yourself up over that question you just got wrong. I distilled this into my own mantra, which I repeated (silently) to myself whenever I did get a question wrong: “I know the next one, I know the next one, I know the next one”. This was one of the most helpful and useful things I did on my journey…..
Anyway, a couple of weeks after the audition, I got the call. I’d been accepted onto the show, and I’d be required for the record date, 2 weeks from now. That meant that between getting the call and the record day, I had just 10 shows (Monday – Friday X 2) that I could watch and practice on.
And watch and practice I did, right up until 27th July, 2005, when I found myself sitting in the ‘contestant’ section of the Temptation studio audience, waiting for my turn to take to the stage, to play for all that cash and all those fabulous prizes.
But this time, I was prepared. I would not just be ‘Bringing My A-Game’… I’d be Bringing My AAA+ Game. Bring it on!