Last week saw Part I of my interview with game show contestant co-ordinator Lalitha Selvendra. Lalitha is a veteran of many game shows, including The Price is Right, The Singing Bee and Family Feud. She’s interviewed countless potential game show contestants over the course of her career. So if YOU’RE a potential game show contestant, and would like a sneak peek behind the other side of the contestant interview desk, then read on…
SH: Do any examples spring to mind where you knew right away – almost at first sight – that the person was going to be a great contestant?
LS: Too many to narrow down to one. But, if we look at Family Feud, it really is about how a family interacts with each other. Often, we’d see three family members who were really thrilled to be there, and the fourth member who clearly did not want to be there. Sometimes the difficult part was finding four good individuals who, together, make a great team.
SH: And conversely, do any examples come to mind where the would-be contestant made every mistake in the book? And if so, can you talk me through that?
LS: I think more so the people who come along to an audition and admit they’ve never seen the show. Now, for me, this isn’t necessarily an immediate “Bah-bow”, as I like the honesty and we have had people who had just moved back home from overseas etc. However, it certainly does set some alarm bells ringing…
SH: When auditioning or being interviewed for a game show, what are some of the best things a potential contestant can do?
LS: Play along and don’t take it too seriously. Have fun! We know you’re nervous, but nerves aren’t a bad thing. And remember, it’s not the end of the world if you’re not successful in your audition.
SH: When auditioning or being interviewed for a game show, what are some of the worst things a potential contestant can do?
LS: If you come on the show for the wrong reasons, the potential for disappointment is huge if you walk away with nothing. However, if you came on simply to have fun, you’ll have a memorable day no matter what.
SH: I’m guessing you’ve watched a lot of game shows being recorded in your time; do you have any tips or hints on how to win them?
LS: Based on the shows I’ve done, it really is down to luck… and luck can change in the blink of an eye. I think staying positive throughout really helps. If you’re low on points or coming last, the momentum of play could suddenly swing back to you, but you need to be ready for it.
SH: Have you noticed certain things that all the best players do?
LS: They’re prepared. They’ve watched the show, played it at home with their family and friends, played it online. It helps to know the format of the show, even just a little bit. Also, doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about the host.
SH: Which has been your favourite game show to work on?
LS: I can’t pick a favourite child, Stephen! Honestly, I have been so fortunate to have worked with not only some talented and generous hosts but also been a part of shows that have been led by great Executive Producers. I have formed life-long friendships through many of these shows and I am forever grateful for that.
And what a lovely note to finish on! I’d like to thank Lalitha again so much for her time, and to wish her all the best for whatever show she’s working on next. And, in the future, if you should ever happen to be auditioning for a game show, and see her smiling face on the other side of the desk, be sure to mention www.HowToWinGameShows.com!
Not that it’ll necessarily help your chances – I could use the publicity, that’s all.