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.

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

Hello and welcome to the third part of my chat with Judd, about his Millionaire Hot Seat experience.
You’ll see at the start of this section that I bombarded poor Judd with a load of questions about his experience in the studio on the record day, but I must confess I was surprised by the direction our conversation took after that…
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SH: I understand that Hot Seat tapes six episodes on each record day… before we get down to the nitty-gritty of your particular game, Judd, can you talk a bit about the studio experience itself?
What surprised you about the way the day was run?
What did you notice about other contestants, and the way they handled it?
How did you manage your energy levels?
Were there any elements of the show itself – such as the studio audience, the host Eddie McGuire, the speed of proceedings, or even the physicality of the set, the brightness of the lights, the loudness of the music – that surprised you?
JF: Having done a lot of TV work in my singing career, the whole studio lights stuff didn’t faze me at all. You soon realise that it’s all smoke and mirrors, and that TV sets always look smaller in real life.
They provided a light lunch and some snacks for the audience during the show.
All the waiting contestants became the audience for the other shows. There was very little turnaround time between each of the three episodes recorded before lunch; basically they move the new contestants’ audience partners into the stand directly behind the contestants chairs as they are filing the new contestants into the stage and it all starts again. It was hard to even duck out to the toilet once the machine was rolling! They don’t pause very long for ad breaks and so just fire from one segment to the next almost straight away; it’s all very fast-paced.
The lady seated beside me on the show was super nervous. She had flown in from Perth the night before. I felt for her and tried to make a few light-hearted jokes to relax her. But she settled down and actually won the ‘Fastest Finger First’ section, so she walked away with the $1000 cheque. Some of the other contestants in my episode were also clearly nervous.
I did feel quite sorry for the other contestants; it’s a long day to get maybe one question that just happens to be the curly one, out of your field, and bang, you are going home to Perth with nothing. I was also fortunate that my episode was the second one recorded on the day, so I got to watch episode one, which helped me settle… and then I basically got to relax for the rest of the day! I felt for those episode 1 contestants (with no warm up to watch), and also for the last two episodes’ contestants; having to nervously wait all day must have been torture.
I will also add the importance of being calm and relaxed will definitely help you think clearly. If you are a meditation type or religious praying type, I think that will all definitely give you something to fall back on in the heat.
For me my faith definitely helped me have a quiet confidence. Now, this may all sound bizarre, and maybe even far-fetched… but if you want to honestly know how I felt emotionally, this is how it went down for me. I had had a very, very rough few weeks prior to the show. My house had been broken into, my wife had been in hospital, my kids had been going through school bullying issues, and I’d had a business deal go sour with a “friend”. He was trying to take a project from me that I had been working on for three years.

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

Hello and welcome to the second part of my chat with Judd Field. When we left off last week, Judd had successfully got through the general knowledge test part of the audition, he’d made a good impression in the camera test, and he’d received the call telling him he’d been selected to appear on the show! Now read on…
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SH: When did you record your particular episode of Millionaire Hot Seat?
JF: My episode was postponed from an initial late January record, to Mon 18th of Feb 2019.
SH: And when did your episode air, and what was it like keeping your BIG SECRET in the meantime?
JF: I was initially told the episode would air sometime in May… then about two weeks prior, I was emailed and told the episode would air 30th April. The BIG SECRET was a delightful torment haha… I wanted to shout it from the roof sometimes. But after telling my wife, we decided to keep it a complete surprise. We even kept it from our kids. They knew I had gone on the show, but at the time we just told our kids we had won $1000, to put them off the scent.
So we cunningly decided to have a special surprise watching party for our family and friends. It was actually a lot of fun to have this big “secret”. Family and friends were all bamboozled, and it was quite hilarious, particularly in the week leading up to the surprise. All the theories our friends and family had, some thought we were pregnant, some thought we were moving overseas. Good fun.
So it was hilarious to watch their reactions when I finally turned on the telly to the show live, and shared the excitement with them all. I even filmed their priceless reactions. And so nice to share the night with the nearest and dearest.
SH: That’s brilliant, Judd. Well played! I’d love to know about the preparation you did for your appearance on the show. When did you start preparing (assuming you did!), and can you talk us through what you did?

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

Hello and welcome to my latest EXCLUSIVE interview, and this time it’s with Judd Field, a contestant who recently had a very good run on Millionaire Hot Seat, here in Australia. It’s a multi-parter, and Judd goes in to a lot of detail about the entire adventure… so let’s get right into it!

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SH: Judd Field, hello and welcome! Thanks so much for talking to me for HowToWinGameShows.com today. You, sir, are a certified, genuine brand new game show winner, so firstly – congratulations! Now, the show that you were on – Millionaire Hot Seat – is an offshoot of the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? format, but it has some significant differences, doesn’t it? Some regular visitors to this site may be unfamiliar with its format, so could you give us a quick description of how the show works?

JF: Hey thanks kind sir, pleasure to share my two cents with you! The Hot Seat version starts with six contestants sitting in random preset order. They compete in a ‘Fastest Finger First’ series of 15 questions, for a cheque for $1000. The winner of this cheque can then trade that in for a lifeline, once they get into the Hot Seat, which is when the normal Millionaire question format begins.
The Hot Seat twist is that for the other 5 contestants, there are no lifelines. However, all contestants can pass if they don’t know the answer. The next contestant then jumps in the Hot seat and has to answer that question. (They’re not allowed to pass on that question).
When a question is answered incorrectly, the player leaves the game with nothing, a new contestant jumps into the Hot seat and continues to answer from wherever the previous contestant was up to (total prize money-wise), however the potential total prize money is reduced.
So for the first question answered incorrectly, the total prize money available goes from $1,000,000 down to $500,000 and so on… reduced by one level for every incorrect answer.
This continues until the final question, and whoever is in the Hot seat for that final question either wins that final reduced amount, or wins $1000. Everyone else (except the Fastest Finger First $1000 cheque winner) walks away with nothing.
Gosh…that wasn’t exactly brief sorry, I feel like I was describing Aussie Rules footy to an American.

SH: No worries at all, love that detail! To begin with, I’d like to establish the timeline for your Millionaire Hot Seat adventure. When did you initially register your interest, or apply to go on the show?

JF: June 2018.

SH: When did you audition?
JF: August 2018.
SH: And when did you get The Call to say you were on?
JF: November 2018. Just a side note to this audition process… I think being from Melbourne, and the show being recorded in Melbourne, was an advantage in my getting on the show. The lady who sat beside me in my episode was from Perth and had auditioned 8 years ago! She had almost forgotten she had auditioned.
In my episode there were only 2 contestants from interstate.
I know it is all about ratings, and I know they want a “mixed bag” of contestants (old / young / male / female / ethnicity etc) so maybe there were too many of her “type”, and maybe my stupid abnormal hair and singing career meant I might have been a more “entertaining” choice… and so I think I got cast pretty quickly in comparison.
Knowing a bit about how TV works, I definitely played up to that angle in my audition, singing to the camera and making sure I had “entertainment value” and humour in all my audition answers.
Would you like a bit more background info about the audition?

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It’s Just Not Cricket… it’s a radio interview!

Hello!

I’ve got something a little bit different for you this week…

It’s 16 minutes and 6 seconds of me on the radio, blathering on about game shows!

A few weeks ago, I received a lovely email, out of the blue, from the producer of the radio show It’s Just Not Cricket, on ABC Radio Perth.

Its presenter, the very charming and affable Glynn Greensmith, was doing a special on ‘the tricks of the brain’, and wanted to interview me. I gladly agreed, and you can hear the result right here, at the one-hour mark.

However, in case you’re geoblocked from listening, or in case the above link is no longer working, you can also listen to the interview from its home here at HTWGS…

If you do, I hope you find some value in it!

See you next time.

My EXCLUSIVE interview with The Chase Australia’s ‘Supernerd’, Issa Schultz! The Conclusion

Welcome to the final instalment in my far-reaching interview with that Gentleman, that Scholar, that Supernerd… Mr Issa Schultz.

When we left off last time, Issa was telling me about the public reaction to his onscreen persona, but I was curious about the other side of the coin as well…..

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SH: What do your family think of the persona you’ve adopted for the show?

IS: They weren’t surprised at all! What you see is what you get in real life – perhaps a little amplified for the show, but that’s all. Early on in rehearsals we tried the “nasty” angle but it just wasn’t convincing, and I wasn’t comfortable putting people down.

SH: What sort of study or training do you do for the show each week?

IS: My major weakness (I don’t mind giving it away, as I think most viewers know!), is sport, and most things Australiana, so I mainly focus on those. As most of my family are British, I didn’t have exposure to all the Aussie quirks/slang that most people here would lap up in a heartbeat. In fairness, it makes good viewing, since every audience member loves knowing an answer that the Chaser doesn’t – “Gosh! How did he get that wrong? Everybody knows that!” I also keep an eye on current films, the ARIA charts, and quite simply, do as many quizzes as I can (i.e. standard Issa behaviour!)

SH: And finally… (I understand entirely, Issa, if you’d prefer not to answer this, but I feel I’d be neglecting my duty if I didn’t ask)… Are there any tips you can share for any aspiring contestants wanting to go up against you on The Chase Australia?

IS: I don’t mind at all! Whilst I always play my best game on the day, it is admittedly lovely to see the money go off to teams. For The Chase Australia, I would strongly suggest watching previous episodes, just to get a feel for the questions asked. They certainly have their own style – e.g. “In which continent…” So make sure you know your continents! Same goes for the oceans, countries. “In which UK country” is another common one. No need to pass if you can take a guess at one of the four nations – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland. Which brings me to one more tip – TRY not to pass. A pass = zero points. A guess = a chance of a point. We’ve had teams pass when the question started with “In which Australian state…” or “What colour…”. Pick a state! Pick a colour! You might just get lucky.

SH: Issa, thank you so much for your time today, and all the very best
for your continued success on The Chase Australia!

IS: Stephen, so very kind, appreciate our chat.

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And there you have it. I’m so very grateful to Issa for giving his time so freely, and for his most detailed and thoughtful responses. You can follow Issa on Twitter (@Issa25), and for those of you in Australia, you can watch him on The Chase Australia, on the Seven Network each weekday afternoon, or right here, on The Seven Network’s catch-up service 7plus.

I’ll see you back here next Tuesday… 

My EXCLUSIVE interview with The Chase Australia’s ‘Supernerd’, Issa Schultz! Part 4 of 5

Issa milking a cow, in his spare time.

Welcome to the penultimate instalment of my exclusive interview with Issa Schultz.

So far, we’ve discussed Issa’s early life, his first quiz show appearances, and his competitive – and successful – quizzing career with Quizzing Australia.

But, as a fan of superhero movies, I was also very curious to know about the Supernerd’s ORIGIN STORY…

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SH: Before The Chase Australia came along, you were working in the IT department
of a bank. How did your role on the show originate? Did you approach the production, or did the production approach you?

IS: Incredibly, ITV Studios rang me at work! This was back in March 2014, it was from a private number so I didn’t answer. I listened to the voicemail and was very confused. It sounded a bit nonsensical, especially as they didn’t actually name the show (They weren’t allowed to, at that point). But I rang the lovely lady back and we got chatting. She said “I can’t name the show…” but then proceeded to describe the exact format of The Chase. At the end of the conversation she said “I get the feeling you know where this is going…” and I said “yes I do too!”

SH: What was the selection / audition process like?

IS: Every couple of weeks I was flown down to Fox Studios at Moore Park, Sydney for a camera test in a dark room and some quizzing. The room size slowly increased over the weeks – it began with a tiny office space with black sheets over the windows! We eventually moved to one of their studios where there was a dummy game board and we played some ‘Chase’ rounds and did some ‘Final Chases’. During all this time I was reminded that I wasn’t guaranteed to be on the show, to my knowledge they were training perhaps 6-10 people. Eventually a Chaser Producer – at the time the marvellous Anthony Watt – was assigned to “us”, and he visited and quizzed me here in Brisbane for many weeks. Finally – after many months, I received THAT phone call, again at work, saying congratulations, I was officially in. It was meant to be top secret, but I was so excited I think everyone in the office figured it out.

SH: What sort of learning and ‘training up’ does it take to become a Chaser?

IS: I thank the stars that I had many, many years of preparation leading up to this role – even though I obviously didn’t know it was going to happen. To be a Chaser, you really need to have your quiz basics down. Geography, history, science, literature… if you don’t know the capital of Portugal or who wrote Jane Eyre you may not get to sit in the Chaser seat! So in the early days, I just bought and read every quiz book I could find, cover to cover. That, coupled with going to as many quiz nights as physically possible (I was up to 7 per week at one point!), meant that in just a few years I had built up a really good foundation of quiz knowledge. A crucial element of being a Chaser is obviously being quick, particularly with the Final Chase. I’ve always been lucky there; on most days can think quickly. A strong coffee helps, I find! If anyone wants to practice their speed, try getting a friend / partner to read you questions and see how fast you can answer.

SH: In what ways has becoming The Supernerd on The Chase Australia changed your
life?

IS: It has been a life changer, that’s for sure, my goodness! But all for the positive. I see myself as certainly not an extrovert, but perhaps not a full introvert either. Still, when the first batch of strangers stopped me on the street I really didn’t know what to do. But over the years, my self-confidence has definitely grown. It helps that absolutely everybody I’ve met has been SO lovely. The comments are all upbeat, and I find it so heartening to know that I’m bringing joy to so many people. A few months ago, I spoke to a lovely man who runs a special needs school, and he said they all stop at 5 PM to watch The Chase Australia, and if I come out, they all applaud and say “my friend!”. Stories like that just grip me and make me so happy.

There are the more unusual encounters, which give me a giggle. One chap said I was fantastic in Criminal Minds! I’ve had awkward/unexpected kisses, and even the odd cheek pinch (I didn’t know people still did that).

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I assume he’s talking about the cheeks on his face.

Moving swiftly on, be sure to join us next week, for the conclusion of my interview with the one and only SUPERNERD….the eminently pinchable Issa Schultz! 

 

 

My EXCLUSIVE interview with The Chase Australia’s ‘Supernerd’, Issa Schultz! Part 3 of 5

Hello!

Last week, Issa and I discussed his earlier game show appearances – on The Rich List, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Millionaire Hot Seat.

Now read on…

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SH: Apart from those TV appearances, you’ve also long been a fixture on the Australian Quizzing scene. In fact, you’re a six-time winner of the Australian Quizzing Championships (2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) and six-time Pairs Champion (2012-17). Can you tell me a bit about that area of your life? Just how all-consuming has it been?

IS: It is probably my favourite part of quizzing nowadays. I discovered Quizzing Australia (the organisation that runs these events) back in 2008, and I decided to fly myself to Sydney to compete. I came second that year but was instantly hooked. It really is “next level” quizzing. It is run concurrently with the World Quizzing Championships and consists of a whopping 240 questions over eight categories, done in two hours with a break in between. As the questions are the same worldwide, you get a massive range, and the difficulty is very high. Last year I was fortunate to win Aussie title No. 6 and reached 57th in the world – absolutely delighted. For the first time, I finished ahead of Anne (The Governess) and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled!

SH: Do you still have time to compete in this arena, now that you’re working on The Chase Australia? If so, has becoming a Chaser helped your game there?

IS: Oh, absolutely. If anything, I am probably guilty of studying for international competitions more than The Chase. There is a little bit of a crossover, but naturally many questions in a world championship aren’t going to be suitable for a televised Australian quiz show – too obscure and many are too long, for example. But doing The Chase has definitely helped my general knowledge across the board. I remember one year at the World Quizzing Championships, Brydon and I had a little chuckle because a question asked had just come up at a recording the week before. Every month, there are two international quizzes of 100 questions each called ‘Hot 100’ and ‘Squizzed’, both of which are excellent and I always put time aside to compete in both. We have groups meet up twice a month to do these in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. It’s great just to socialise and be guaranteed a decent, interesting quiz.

SH: Issa, your general knowledge is obviously very vast and wide-ranging… I wanted to get your thoughts on a theory of mine; that we are currently witnessing The Death of General Knowledge. Here’s what I mean; 100 years ago, American captain of industry Henry Ford was not a highly educated man, and he credited much of his success to The
Mastermind Principle. This can be summed up by the notion “Well, I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know someone who does”. Ford surrounded himself with knowledgeable people – an ‘external brain’, if you like – and would consult with them, and reap the benefits of their collective wisdom in his decision-making. This was seen as radical back then – successful businessmen were expected to be educated,
knowledgeable, intelligent, and have vast amounts of information in their memories that they could draw on; they were expected to have all the answers. Ford was the exception to the rule. Fast forward 100 years… and now, all of us have access to the entire world’s collective wisdom in our pockets (on our phones) 24 hours a day. The Mastermind Principle has now become the rule, rather than the exception. Arguably, none of us need General Knowledge anymore, since “Google knows the answer to that!”

Personally, I think this is sad, and I’m trying to teach my daughter to value and cultivate and exercise her general knowledge. It’s part of being a well-rounded, interesting human being, after all. What are your thoughts on this?

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My EXCLUSIVE interview with The Chase Australia’s ‘Supernerd’, Issa Schultz! Part 2 of 5

Hello and welcome back to my exclusive interview with ‘The Supernerd’ himself, Issa Schultz.

By the time Issa was cast on The Chase Australia in 2015, he had already notched up a long and successful quiz show career, despite his relative youth…

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SH: When you were 25, you were a contestant on The Rich List
(which was hosted by Andrew O’Keefe, who you now work with on The
Chase Australia), where you won $200,000! Do you remember the list that scored
you the win?

IS: Oh absolutely Stephen, it’s one of those things you never forget! There were actually two lists, the first one netted $250,000, and the second one added $150,000. On The Rich List you competed in pairs, so the prize money was split at the end, hence $400,000 between two. The first list was ‘Letters of the Greek Alphabet’. We had great momentum going into that round, and just before shooting AOK said “I reckon you guys will carve this up”, followed by “there are 24 answers on this list”. And right then and there, I just had that feeling – I just knew it was going to be Greek letters. And when AOK began slowly “Letters…” the endorphins went crazy because I knew we were about to win $250,000.

The second list was ‘Ranks in the Royal Australian Navy’, which was jolly handy as my father was in the merchant navy, and it was a list I had looked at once before. The ranks get a bit messy near the bottom so we weren’t game to go all the way, but certainly very happy to bank another $150,000.

SH: What did you do with the prize money?

IS: Amazingly, for a then-25 year old, I held onto it! I used existing savings to take a couple of holidays, and also took my father over to the UK in 2009 so he could walk my sister down the aisle for her wedding. Eventually in 2017, I put it towards an apartment in the Brisbane CBD.

SH: Apart from the obvious ($$$!)… how was that experience different from the Einstein Factor experience, and what did it teach you about being a quiz show contestant?

IS: It was MUCH more tense. I remember hardly sleeping the night before (and after), because it really felt like a “do or die” moment. Sorry to be so dramatic! I just felt this show could change my life – after all it is probably the last “big money” show we’ve had for a while outside Millionaire. On The Einstein Factor, everyone was so relaxed, including the contestants – it was a fun day out. On The Rich List, everyone seemed on edge, especially other contestants. We were mostly kept separate, but a couple of times I crossed paths with teams that I was told I would not be facing, and they were very quiet. It felt more akin to a dentist’s waiting room than a TV studio.

SH: You’ve also been on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – how did you fare there, and do you have any tips for aspiring contestants for that show?

IS: Cheekily, I was on it twice! Back in 2002 with the old (better) format, and again in 2009 for Millionaire Hot Seat. I’ve always been fond of Millionaire, but I was never able to deliver on the day. In 2002, I bombed out going for the safe level of $32,000, and in 2009, I only answered two or three questions before missing a pop culture question (that my mother – in the audience – knew!) Success on Hot Seat relies on a lot of luck;  the seat placement for starters is decided by producers. For future contestants, I would use all the time available on the clock and try and eliminate some options. When I was on Hot Seat, you actually saw a numerical clock counting down, instead of the graphic you see on TV, so it’s easy to see how much time you have left. Even though he’ll continue to deny it, Eddie’s body language/choice of words can be a MASSIVE clue. If you’re hovering over a correct answer, he’ll lock it in quite swiftly, whereas if it is wrong he’ll ask if you’re sure/stall etc. I realised afterwards he was trying to get me to pass – so I wouldn’t get knocked out – but I was so frazzled I locked in my (wrong) answer anyway.

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Bad luck, Issa – you can’t win them all! That’s a FANTASTIC tip about (Millionaire Hot Seat host) Eddie McGuire, though. Any aspiring Hot Seat contestants here in Australia should most certainly take note!

See you next week, for Part Three!

My EXCLUSIVE interview with The Chase Australia’s ‘Supernerd’, Issa Schultz! Part 1 of 5

Hello!

This week, I’m absolutely DELIGHTED to bring you my latest exclusive interview with one of The Chasers, from the hit show The Chase Australia.

Following on from my previous interviews with ‘Goliath’ (AKA Matt Parkinson), and ‘Tiger Mum’ (AKA Cheryl Toh)… Today, I’m delighted be talking to another firm fan favourite… ‘The Supernerd’ (AKA Issa Schultz)! Issa was very generous with his time in this very wide ranging conversation, and I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did.

So let’s get straight into it!

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SH: Issa, thanks very much for chatting to me today for HowToWinGameShows.com!

IS: An absolute pleasure Stephen, long-time fan! Delighted to have a chat.

SH: You grew up in England, moving to Australia in 1995 when you were 11 years old. Had you already been bitten by the quiz bug back in England? What quiz shows or game shows did you watch over there, as a child?

IS: Back in the UK, my father ran an establishment that I think he called “The Liberal Club” and he would host trivia nights every week. I would arrive at the club right near the end of these nights (after Cub Scouts!), and would occasionally overhear some of the questions – and it made me sit up and listen. I remember thinking “hey, I like this question / answer concept!” The big quiz shows of the day back then were Fifteen to One (hosted by the late great William G Stewart) and Mastermind (similarly the late great Magnus Magnusson).

SH: When and where did your interest in competitive quizzing begin?

IS: My family and I went to pub quizzes regularly up on the Sunshine Coast as I went through high school, but I think it got more serious once I moved to Brisbane in 2002, as I realised the pub quiz scene down here was more difficult and harder to win. I’d find myself buying quiz books and reading those instead of my uni books (!!). Likewise, back in high school I remember handing one or two assignments in late because I had chosen to go to a pub quiz the night before they were due!

SH: When you were 21 years old, you appeared on The Einstein Factor – I looked this up on imdb, and it appears your special subject was either ‘The Academy Awards’, ‘Australian Birds’, or ‘The Life and Times of Carl Lewis’… so, which one was it, and how did you do on the show?

IS: Aha, well researched sir! Yes that was back in 2005, and I had opted for Academy Awards. In hindsight my preparation was terrible, I think I had just looked at a couple of lists and some “weird Oscar factoids” and assumed/hoped that would do the trick. Back then of course, Wikipedia was very much in its infancy, so potential resources were all over the shop. I came second overall, the chap who did Australian Birds really knew his stuff. Funnily enough, the chap who came third in that episode I had previously met, on a recording of Millionaire. He said “Oh no, not you again!”.

SH: What did you learn from that experience?

IS: The wonderful thing about The Einstein Factor was that you were really playing for “the honour” rather than any cash prize. Sure I was disappointed, but equally as a struggling 21 year old it was so nice to have paid flights and accommodation at St Kilda. Little highlights like spotting Tim Ferguson (one of the show’s “Brains Trust”) afterwards in the local 7-11 stay in my mind. From a quizzing angle, I realised that going forward, I’d really need to do more preparation. That was my second TV quiz show and second loss at that stage. I also realised, watching it back, that I should jolly well get a decent haircut next time I’m on TV!

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And that’s where we leave it for this week. When our interview continues next week, Issa and I discuss his biggest quiz show win, how he spent the money, and he reveals his insider tips for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire….

 

And, for those playing along at home, the next time he went on TV he DID have a decent haircut.