Last week, in my chat with serial game show contestant Vicky Jacobs, we discussed her appearances on Greed, Temptation and Million Dollar Minute. But Vicky’s game show contestant career certainly doesn’t end there….
SH: You’ve also appeared on Millionaire Hot Seat, whose format is very different to the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. What strategy did you employ – if any – to make sure your time in the actual ‘hot seat’ was as advantageous as possible?
VJ: I had lots of permutations of strategy in my head going in, but when it came to the actual day, none of them made any difference. I answered the most questions right in my episode, but with the way the day panned out, there was pretty much no chance of getting back into the hot seat. In my opinion, there’s a huge amount of luck in that game and it will only be with a certain set of events that strategy will do you much good.
SH: And most recently, you took to the stage on The Chase: Australia. How did you go, and as a former contestant, what tips or tricks would you now give any future contestants?
VJ: I had a great time on The Chase. I’d been watching the British version avidly and was busting for a chance to play myself. I knew the odds were low of going home with money – I just wanted to play! I got through to the final round – there were only two of us left – but we got caught by the Chaser, losing $22, 000. My advice would be to do everything in your power to have four people playing at the end. Chat about it when you’re hanging out backstage (they don’t seem to mind this). And if you do get to the end, have a “passing” strategy, with a clear leader who is boss of the passing! I think we may have squished in a couple of more questions if we had have worked something out beforehand. Also, this is a small thing but I think could be helpful – don’t stress too much about the chit-chat bit with Andrew O’Keefe beforehand – if you say something goofy, it really doesn’t matter, just keep your head in the game. I reckon we lost one of our players to this on the day I was on.
SH: Vicky, obviously game shows are a recurring theme in your life, and you’ve applied and been accepted time and time again. What do you think are the keys to being selected as a game show contestant?
VJ: I’m pretty chatty and do a lot of performing in my professional life so I think this kind of helps. But have a think on the way to the audition of some fun stories and facts about yourself so they’re fresh in your mind. Have something really fun in mind that you would do with the money – remember, no one’s holding you to it so it doesn’t have to be true! When my husband and I auditioned for Deal or No Deal, I said I’d go on a long holiday with $100,000 and he said he’d buy a Monster Truck. He got called the next day! My phone call didn’t come for 6 months (and even then my block didn’t get picked, so I never got to hold a suitcase – boooo!)
SH: What’s next for you in your game show contestant career?
VJ: To be honest, I’m a bit devastated that the ABC didn’t continue showing Pointless. I was convinced it would get a following and then they’d do an Australian version and then I could go on it and hopefully the subject in the final round would be ‘Musicals By Stephen Sondheim’ and I’d take home the coveted Pointless trophy! But as it is, I think all I’ve got left is Letters and Numbers* and I can’t say that The Macquarie Dictionary is the most enticing prize I’ve ever seen!
SH: In your “civilian” life, you’re a musical director and vocal coach, and I see that you’ve also now created a smartphone app! It’s for doing vocal warm-ups, it’s called Warm Me Up!, and I’ve downloaded it, and I love it! (http://warm-me-up.com/). Congratulations on the app – how did you come to be involved with that?
VJ: Yay! I’m so glad you love the app – we’re really proud of it! When I was working on Jersey Boys, the music team (Luke Hunter, David Young and I) would joke that there should be an app for vocal warm ups. And then we realised it wasn’t such a silly joke and got our mate Lawrence Kendall on board to help us make it happen. I guess the rest is history! People use it all over the world and one of my favourite things is getting emails and messages from people who use Warm Me Up!
SH: Well Vicky, I wish you every success with the app, and with your continuing game show contestant career! Thanks very much again for speaking to me today for www.HowToWinGameShows.com!
VJ: Thanks so much – I love your website! I’m so glad there are other people in the world who are as crazy about game shows as me!
And there you have it! I’d like to thank Vicky so much for her time, and for sharing her valuable “war stories”, tips and hints! And don’t forget, if you’re after a great vocal warm up app, I reckon it’s hard to go past Warm Me Up!
Until next time!
* Not any more, sadly. The episodes that are airing now are all repeats – the show was cancelled in 2012.