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!
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?
SH: Yes please, Judd – by all means!
JF: They held the audition in a university auditorium with about 200 people, and a producer read out 30 questions in Millionaire format (multiple choice, 4 possible answers), allowing about 20 seconds to answer each one.
You marked A, B, C or D on the answer form, and once this was finished, you then passed your answers to the person behind you to mark your form. The producer read out the correct answers and everyone marked accordingly.
The producer then asked who got the most correct. Only a few in the room had answered 25-28 correct, I had answered 23 correct, and the cut off was about 17-18, I think.
Those who made it through then broke off and went to smaller rooms for the camera audition.
You then filled out a 5-6 page questionnaire, where you answered a bunch of questions about yourself, funny life experiences that Eddie could talk about, what you would spend the money on if you won $1,000, $20,000, $250,000 $1,000,000.
As you were filling these questions out the producers would ask people to come up to the front, one at a time, and share a one minute funny story or talent on camera.
I briefly mentioned some of the major singing gigs I had done throughout my career and then sung Eddie a song down the barrel of the camera for fun. It was the song I ended up singing on the show before the final questions. I guess I figured it would show I had confidence and entertainment value and ensure I made it on to a show.
And that’s where we’ll leave it for now. Next week, Judd and I discuss all the preparation and training he did before going on the show… and the challenges of keeping his win secret after it was over!
Until then, then!