Saturday, January 06, 2007

1 Vs. 100, Post-Game Report

Starring Tom the Dog!

Hey, I was on TV last night! That was pretty sweet!

Yes, that was me, your handsome, lovable blog host, there in pod #81 on 1 Vs. 100. I have to say, I didn't look nearly as bad as I thought I might. They didn't even show me during the times when I really went crazy, or when the fixed smile on my face began to crack. The producers really enforce tremendous levels of enthusiasm on the show, and I only have so much to give. So, I was happy I didn't look like a freak.

They did show just me, all by myself, full-screen, at one critical moment of the show. It was right after the first contestant lost, and the Mob won her money. They showed me applauding like crazy, at just about the 37 or 38 minute mark. That's right: the Mob won! I won!! In the comments to my last post, Noel was saying it was a shame that I wasn't in the Mob during the first contestant, Carrie. Well, I was! And at the end, there were 19 of us left who split the $84,000 Carrie had accumulated to that point. I'll do the math for you: I won $4,421!! And five cents. That ain't nothin' to sneeze at.

If you've got the show saved on TiVo, and you feel like taking a look at my brief second directly in the spotlight, you can see me at the exact moment Bob Saget is saying, "Nineteen people are each gonna make over four thousand dollars." Hell yeah we are! (In three months. Sadly, they don't send our checks until 90 days after the episode airs.)

Even though my big moment came at the end of the first contestant, I think you can see me more frequently, though at a greater distance, during the second contestant, Barry. That's because they brought a new group into the Mob: the drag queens. And the biggest of all the drag queens was in the pod directly below me -- she had to be seven feet tall, counting the wig. When they show all of them on camera, I'm in the top right corner of the screen above them. And of course, this was also when they brought the special celebrity guest into the Mob: ADAM WEST! Batman himself. Awesome.

If you kept your eyes peeled, you could see that I didn't miss any questions during Barry's run, either. (All told, I answered 13 questions correctly during this episode, in case you weren't counting.) And Barry's coming back next week, which means -- I'm coming back next week! That's right, next Friday you will see me in my second episode of 1 Vs. 100!! I'm a star, baby, a star!! And how do I do on that episode? Do I win Barry's money? You'll have to tune in again to find out!

A few more notes on this episode: I knew they were going to have to edit down certain portions of the show, but it was still a little surprising to me to see just how much they cut out. The contestants frequently did a lot more deliberating, Bob bantered a lot more with the contestants and with the Mob (especially with the drag queens; hopefully, more of that makes it into the next episode -- meaning more of me above them watching them crack wise makes it in!), and even Adam West had a bit of his time cut down.

The times when Carrie was deliberating often seemed infinite. Mainly because I kept hoping -- and frankly, expecting -- her to miss. I'm sorry, but when she couldn't figure out the 99 bottles of beer question -- OY! The question was:


Now, I'm trying not to be mean here, but COME! ON!! The Mob has only ten seconds in which to answer the question, have I mentioned that part yet? Exactly ten seconds, which starts when Bob says, "Mob, answer now." And honestly, I'm not the greatest math genius in the world. But that was still more than enough time for me to divide 6 into 99 and come up with 16 and change. That would be: A. MORE THAN 15. Or, even easier, I could've multiplied 6 times 15 and gotten 90. Which is less than 99, so again: A. MORE THAN 15.

But to watch Carrie try to figure it out -- honestly, that was painful. I can understand if you can't come up with it in ten seconds. But she must've taken two or three minutes (before they edited it down) trying to work it out -- and even then, she decided she needed to ask for help. Six times fifteen, lady! How hard is that?? My favorite part was when she rationalized her inability to get the answer by saying she didn't drink beer. WHAT?? The contents of the bottles really have no bearing on the answer, dear. Seriously, if they had asked you how many six-packs of Diet Pepsi you need, would that have made the difference? Would that have suddenly made the math clear to you?? (Extra bonus hilarity: after the question, when Bob asked the Maxim model why she had missed it, she replied, "I'm a wine drinker!" IT'S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT'S IN THE oh never mind.)

So during that question, I was in agony. #1, from watching her not be able to arrive at the right answer, and #2, hoping and praying she would never get there, and we'd get her money. Though it turns out I'm glad now she did get it right, because that meant she had the chance to build up more money, and the Mob had the chance to lose more players, before she eventually did get eliminated.

Same thing happened on the Pilates question:


I really thought she'd miss it; she was leaning toward, or at least seriously considering, Tommy Tae Bo. (I don't know how clear that was during the footage that made it onto the air.) But then, when she asked for help from the Mob, the random selection eliminated her wrong choice from contention, leaving only the right choice, Joseph Pilates, and the other wrong choice which she had already dismissed, Harry Yoga. I was in torture on that question, too, thinking she would miss it; if her "help" had randomly eliminated Harry Yoga instead, she might have gone with Tommy Tae Bo after all.

And then, the big question of the night, the money-maker:


From the moment Carrie started talking about the "icon next to [Conan's] name that's a saxophone," I don't think I drew a single breath. OH GOD OH GOD THIS COULD BE IT!! She very clearly didn't know the answer; now, the only problem was, would she talk herself into picking the wrong answer even though she had one "help" remaining? I was frozen solid, holding my breath, trying not to generate any vibes letting her know she was on the wrong track. I knew if she asked for help, she'd win. The majority of the Mob knew the answer, I had no doubt. If she asked for help, we were sunk. If she didn't, then all those auditions, all those drives down to Culver City, all the waiting and anticipating would pay off in a very generous jackpot.

When she decided to lock in the wrong answer, C -- I don't think you can tell from what made it on TV, but the Mob started cheering. She had to know right away that meant she had gotten it wrong. But she still put on a brave face, bless her heart. And then, from the time Bob asked for the answer to be revealed, to the time the answer actually was revealed -- had to be an hour and a half, minimum. That's what it felt like, anyway. I knew I was right, but still I was staring at the answer board, eyes bugging out of my head, breath caught in my chest, stupid grin frozen on my face, waiting for them to tell me I was right. And then when they finally did, I went nuts. Pumping my fist, screaming, cheering, clapping, shaking my fists in the air, you name it. I'm surprised none of that made it on TV -- they decided to focus on the 40-year-old virgin instead (who also won).

And then, the weirdest part of it all -- they had to do it over. The producers halted everything, they reset the cameras, and they started again from where Bob went to reveal the answer. We had to react like crazy again, as though it was all new to us! That was a surreal moment. I couldn't really tell if the footage from the first take, or the second take, or both, made it on the air. But man, that was bizarre. I feel for poor Carrie, who had to do that second take, now knowing with 100% certainty that she was going to walk away with nothing. On the other hand -- I WON FOUR GRAND!! WOOT!!!

Okay, what else? I can tell you which of the questions almost threw me for a loss. I definitely hesitated on the Pilates question from Carrie's run. (See above.) I didn't have the slightest idea what those items were, nor in what exercise they might be used. I finally just decided "Joseph Pilates" seemed more likely to be a real person's name than "Harry Yoga," which, like Carrie, I instantly dismissed, or "Tommy Tae Bo," which frankly I wasn't sure about. It was only after I answered Pilates that I recalled that the guy pushing Tae Bo on all those infomercials was named Billy Blanks, not, of course, Tommy Tae Bo. Whew!

The other one that really threw me was the last question of the show, about paper vs. plastic bags.


I was pretty sure it wouldn't be paper, but it was the "selected almost equally" option that had me hesitating. I know I always get paper bags, because they work better as garbage can liners or for holding my recycling. But I finally decided that in this day and age, paper was definitely less likely, so I correctly went with plastic. Two of the Rhodes scholars got knocked out on this one! Guess they don't do their own shopping that much. Just shows you what kind of a range of knowledge they can have on this show.

Oh, by the way, that second contestant, Barry? He was one of the 12 who made it to the final part of the original Culver City audition, along with me. So clearly I choked on that last camera test, and he did well. I got stuck in the Mob, and he got the chance to be the contestant. DAMMIT!! I mean, $4,421 is pretty nice, I'm not denying that. But I wish to hell I'd been able to have a shot at the big bucks, like Barry.

Well, I'll be on the show again next week. Tune in to see how Barry and I fare in our second appearance together. I promise you this: only one of us will walk out of there alive!!!*


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