Last week, I posted Part I of my interview with 35-year-old digital producer, and winner of The Chase: Australia, Andy Zito. We discussed auditioning, preparation and training, and left off just as Andy was about to play the game, against the Chaser known as “The Shark”; Brydon Coverdale. This week, we move on to the nitty gritty of actually playing the game…
SH: It seems there’s some strategy involved in The Chase; knowing how much to risk and when. Were there any long discussions or arguments amongst your team over elements of strategy?
AZ; So in our edition the rules were slightly different. On a regular episode of The Chase, each player has a Cash Builder round, and then immediately wagers that cash (or accepts a higher / lower offer for great risk / advantage), hoping to bring back their cash to the team kitty. In our episode, Louise and I both played the Cash Builder rounds, then our combined cash amount was wagered against the Chaser, with us nominating Louise to face off on the board. We decided not to accept the higher offer because we felt our combined offer was so high that the risk wasn’t worth an extra $5k each.
SH: In the heat of battle, during the actual playing of your game, what moments – either good or bad – stick in your mind?
AZ: It seems, watching the show, that every single player in the Cash Builder round is shocked to see how much they’ve built, mainly because they seem to miss so many or say ‘pass’ so often. I felt exactly the same way. I came out with $12k, which seems to me to be about the average, and was pleased, but definitely had no idea I’d done well in that section! I also knew that – given I’d only be doing my Cash Builder round and the Final Chase – I’d have a good chunk of the episode to just take it all in and relax before the Final Chase. By the time we got to the Final Chase, I was ready for a buzz-off and it proved to be where I came good! A great, instant revelation in the Final Chase was that Louise had a tiny little auditory ‘tell’ when she didn’t know something, and given that you have to buzz in to pass, which means waiting long enough to see if your teammate will buzz in, I was able to buzz in to pass VERY quickly, which really helped us get as far along as we did. The best thing about playing with Louise was that our areas of knowledge complemented each other so perfectly, we really were pretty unbeatable across all topics!
SH: How much did you win, and what did you do with your winnings?
AZ: I took home half of our $34,000 prize, and have my $17k still sitting in my bank account! My wife and I have a tiny little bathroom fix up in mind, but really it’s more about buying time for us – a holiday, some time off, something like that.
SH: Now that you’ve “been there and done that”, do you have any advice for those following in your footsteps?
AZ: This is possibly more based on my experience on Million Dollar Minute, but really I’d say that the people I noticed in the green room getting super focused and trying to assert themselves, or even psyche other potential opponents out, are almost always the ones that crash and burn.If you go into it expecting to have a fun time, know you’ve prepared and hope for the best, you can’t lose. Be ready to wait around. Be ready to not get fed all that well while you’re waiting around, so bring a book and some sustenance. If they get you all playing quiz games or competing in the green room, it’s partly about them reading you as an on-screen contestant and partly just to keep your energy up. Have fun with it!
SH: What’s next for you, Andy? Any other game show appearances on the horizon?
AZ: I’ve got the form filled in for Millionaire Hot Seat but have never heard back! I really love buzzer-based quiz shows, so if another pops up I’ll definitely have a crack. I took part in a gameplay development pilot for a show being pitched where I had to take a specialty topic and I loved figuring out where I’d be strongest! (Turns out Saturday Night Live is what I know most about… so that’s a thing, apparently.)
SH: Andy, thanks so much for your time today, and for sharing your thoughts…. And of course, Congratulations!
AZ: Thanks a bunch, Stephen!
And there you have it. I’d like to thank Andy so much again for being so generous with his tine, his recollections, and of course his tips! Coming up in next week’s post, here at HowToWinGameShows.com will be….
Something. Not sure what yet. There are a few options floating around, but I haven’t quite decided which one to post.
Let’s find out together, shall we? Next Tuesday, right here. Oh, and if you have any requests, please feel free to shoot them through to me, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week!