- January 30
The Block Party is full
effect. This week, I get to review Game Show Hall of
FameWho Wants to Be A Millionaire which premiered on
January 21 on the Game Show Network.
And before I begin, a bit of full disclosure. The
producers of the show interviewed me last June. And my
footage did not make the final broadcast.
The show did have a lot of promise. Honoring a show
which was part of the first wave of the 21st century
game show renaissance was a noble idea.
And the show did have a lot of positives to it. Having
the show devote about 3/4 of the program to the daytime
version was a smart move. Seeing Meredith on there, and
having contests like John Castellano and others sing
its praises was a smart move.
But there were a ton of glaring omissions. If you are
focusing primarily on the daytime version, how can you
NOT have at least a mention of Nancy Christy, the first
female game show millionaire EVER? And if you are
mentioning the ABC Show, how can you not put in footage
of Kevin Olmstead, the man who won $2.18 million dollars
on the show? Where were Ed Toutant, Michael Shutterly,
Dan Blonsky, Joe Trela and others. Where was SUPER
Millionaire? I understand this was a 42 minute program,
but it felt like the primetime show, after Doug Van
Gundy and John Carpenter, was treated as an
Also, the audition process which was shown was NOT
instituted at the beginning of the daytime shows run.
It was instituted at the behest of ABC during the middle
of the primetime run, after pressure groups such as the
NAACP were upset that the phone game was not giving
enough of a diverse contestant pool. This was a small
reason why the program lost the momentum it had.
When they quoted Michael Davies as saying, ABC produced
350+ episodes of prime time episodes and then they
jumped to the daytime version, I knew something was up.
So to GSN, I say...good effort, but the execution was
not up to the par of the documentaries it has been
And that's my final answer.
So let me follow my answer with this question...what are
these people thinking?
We are into the 6th season now of American Idol. And of
the (literally hundreds of thousands) we probably get to
see between 20 and 30 an episodegive or take.
And I have figured out that the American Idol auditioner
falls into one of the following groups:
1. A legitimately serious contender who is going
there to win and impress the judges with their talent.
Usually a video package is produced for them and we will
get to see them in the top 24.
2. A legitimately serious contender who THINKS they
are going to win, but will not go on due to lack of
talent. Usually this contender is someone who begs
the judges to hear them one more time or goes through
the sob story routine about their community pulling
for them or the world will be worse without them or
some such nonsense. They get slapped into reality by the
judges and are sent packing.
3. A legitimately non-serious contender who KNOWS
they are going to win, and are so bad we can tell (and
so can the judges) that they have as much chance as I do
winning a UFC fight of going on. Then these people
have the attitude that the judges are wrong or some
such nonsense. We have seen on multiple occasions
contestants being thrown out by security. And this is
nothing new. On American Idol Rewind this past week, a
contestant from SEASON 1 questioned Paulas credibility
during Hollywood week saying, Would you have made it
past this round if you were auditioning? The question,
then and now, is moot. You are up there, not them.
4. Lastly, we have the most dangerous group of them allthe
attention seekers. These people a) know they arent
going to winor are so delusional that their lack of
talent will make them a winner or b) will dress in a
silly costume. Note to all the costume wearershas any
one actually made it to Hollywood in a costume? No.
So what happens when you spotlight some people such as
Ian Bernardo and others? You get more of them. Now it is
not all the fault of the people who audition. Fox knows
that there are people who get a sick thrill out of
watching these no talents make an ass of themselves on
National TV. The ratings bear it out and when you have
35 million people watch...you are doing something right.
And this is the first part of the holy trinity of Idol.
You have the audition phase, the top 24 phase and then
the top 12 phase.
On Wednesday night, I was on the phone with a few people
and I was asked the question about the no-talents....
do they know they suck? Some do, some dont and some
dont give a damn. I have a message that I have been
preaching since day 1. We as a society have coddled too
many people and have been afraid to tell people they are
wrong or bad or not good enough because their
self-esteem will be damaged. I have news for you. LIFE
ISNT FAIR. The world isnt going to give you anything
you want, just because you want it. I am sick and tired
of this namby-pamby self-esteem gunk. To build yourself
into a stronger person, you have to broken down once in
a while. And these 16-27 year old wannabes not only
deserve, but need a self-esteem kick in the behind. They
will be better off for it in the end.
You can join the Block Party