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The Second Annual Numbers Game Awards – December 28

“Set for Life” and why it matters will not be seen at this time, because frankly, we don’t know when the heck “Set for Life” will decide to show its face. And given the chilly reception that “Show Me the Money” got, they can take their time with that.

From GSNN Studios somewhere in America, it’s the second annual Numbers Game Awards, honoring the best and worst of whatever happens to be on my mind over the past year.

Why the heck not, it’s the end of the year. Let’s take a break from business and just have some fun. Hell, everyone else is doing it. Why can’t we? So here we go.

Best use of a domestic product: “Identity.” It’s one of those games that you can’t help but play in your mind. Some people found it oddly compelling, while others only saw it as sleek set, big money, catch phrase, lather, rinse, repeat.

We call them “haters”.

Worst use of a domestic product: “Starface.” Not only did we see this before with “On the Cover,” but we saw it done better with “On the Cover.” Nothing against Danny Bonaduce, and he even fit the mold cast by the atmosphere of the show, but all in all, it was the most translucent attempt at an original game that GSN has ever fronted.

Best use of foreign product: “1 vs. 100.” Sure it’s not exactly what the foreign versions are. But it’s a perfect companion piece to “Deal or No Deal”, and Bob Saget is coming into his own. And any show with Bob Eubanks and Wink Martindale on an episode isn’t all bad.

Worst use of a foreign product: any other show Endemol premiered in 2006. That would be “Midnight Money Madness”, which took a really good idea and made it horrible by a) forgetting that they weren’t the first one on board, b) putting it on at the same time as the one that WAS first on board, and c) Omarosa; and “Show Me the Money”, which took the “Deal or No Deal” structure, added trivia questions and William Shatner, and set phasers to kill. Honorable mention goes to another Endemol show, “Big Brother All-Stars”.

EVEN worse use of a foreign product: the set, producers and writers of “That’s the Question”. They obviously forgot to prescreen their “writers” and their “questions.”

Best game-show-to-Hollywood translation: “Dreamgirls” co-star Jennifer Hudson. Oscar buzz and a Golden Globe nomination prove that losing “American Idol” can have its upside.

Worst game-show-to-Hollywood translation: former “Deal or No Deal” model April Scott. We know you’re cute... and you’ve got a doll face... and we’re pretty sure you can act if you set your mind to it. But a prequel to “The Dukes of Hazzard?” Come the hell on!

Best use of hype: Mark Burnett’s snare-and-trap racial divide on “Survivor: Cook Islands.” The real twist? This controversial move only lasted two episodes. Hardly enough to do any lasting damage.

Worst use of hype: GSN’s topical Flash games. Whatever happened to “just play”? Talk about classless.

Most Shows on the Air: voiceover artist and radio personality Joe Cipriano, who could be heard on “Deal or No Deal”, “1 vs. 100”, “Identity”, and “Iron Chef America”.

Least Shows on the Air: UK-based emcee Eamonn Holmes, whose “The Rich List” lasted all of one episode.

Question of the Year: “What’s a rich list?”

Best Up-and-Comer: Dylan Lane of GSN’s “Chain Reaction”. First half of the season, he was by the book pretty face hosting a game show. Then something happened over the course of the season... He started to believe.

Worst Up-and-Comers: Tara & Amber of WGN’s “Play2Win.” Forget for a moment that their primary job is to talk up the camera in front of a green screen for a solid hour. Remember that they shoot the show live at 8am local time across the Atlantic. For an audience that, if they’re not asleep, they should be... See where the problem is?

And I quote: “There’s a group of Canadians here who have invited me to come and be their prime minister. I think I’ll do it. And whatever your problems are up there, I promise to make them worse.” -Bob Barker.

The 5-7-10 Award for a Bad Split: Brian McFayden. Why he wasn’t called to do a second season of “Beauty and the Geek” is beyond me.

December Surprise: the 1 vs. 100 card game.

Game Show Couples...
- IN: Bob Barker and Rich Fields
- FIVE MINUTES AGO: Tyra Banks and Jay Manuel
- OUT: Frank DeCaro and Suzanne Westenhoefer

Marriage of the Year: The CW.

Best J! Champ: a tie between Christian Haines and Steve Unite. Some people beat their opponents. They embarrassed them.

Best British Invasion: “America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion”

Worst British Invasion: Mel Peachey.

And I Quote Further: “I’m playing for the... uh, society in Phoenix... uh, that helps blind children.” –Leslie Nielsen, “Game Show Marathon.”

Best thing to happen to the Summer: Bianca Ryan. Pipes like those on a 12-year-old are hard to come by.

Second best thing to happen to the Summer: The pilgrimage to 33, seemingly sponsored by Izze Soda and Endless Games.

And I Quote Further Still: “I hate all of you.” –Will Kirby, Big Brother All-Stars

Best Finale: Emmitt Smith vs. Mario Lopez, “Dancing with the Stars”. The moves were flashy, and the vote could’ve gone either way (meaning, of course, that Emmitt was going to win this one hands down).

Worst Finale: Taylor Hicks vs. Katharine McPhee, “American Idol”. Sure the singers were very talented, but the coronation songs? Come on! Who writes this stuff?

Best Finale to a Career in Radio in 2006: “I quit this b----.” –Inetta the Mood Setta

My finale: All the best to you and yours in 2007, and I hope that you’ll stick around as we crunch some more numbers on the games you love and the games you don’t.

Chico Alexander has had it with these motherf'ing snakes on this motherf'ing plane. E-mail him at


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