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Defending the Rights of Pretty People Everywhere - August 4

Around a month ago, before I went off to the Game Show Congress, I wrote an article on the practice of bringing in the pretty people to appear on television and then griping about how the better game players do not get to play the games. This article was received with much praise and critical fanfare. I thank all of you for the very pleasant feedback that I have received.

That being said, it's time for me to once again play the role of Devil's Advocate and probably receive just as much hate mail coming my way.

Now I do believe that the television contestant coordinators spend way too much time looking for the pretty people instead of the people that can play the game. However, in order for a television show to survive, not only do they need pretty people, but it's vital that they get some. I'm not talking only about Deal Or No Deal sort of pretty people, but I mean shows like Millionaire, Jeopardy, and even the newly aired Chain Reaction and Starface.

The purpose of this column, however, is not just to say why the pretty people are needed. The purpose of this column is to help you become a pretty person and to help you get on a game show. If you keep your mind open enough and if you want to take some suggestions, this may be the most important column that you will read all year if you are an aspiring game show contestant. Intrigued yet? Then read on...

Ratings, Ratings, Ratings: As much as we hate to admit this, it's a fact. If you're pretty with big breasts or if you have that GQ chiseled face, the general public are more likely to watch you. It's a fact of life. And shows do need the ratings to get on. I'm not suggesting that you get surgery to be on a game show. I am suggesting, though, that if you want to be on a show, you not only dress to impress, but you should go through the trouble of getting a stylish hair cut, or something that doesn't make you look like Quasimodo.

Are you unique?: So you like video games. You probably play poker. You like to surf the internet. Do you do anything else? If you don't, then you are the same boring old contestant that everyone else is. You have to sell yourself, and the pretty people are very good at selling themselves, if only for the reason that they do things that keep them beautiful.

When I was at The Price is Right, I asked a few people to come up with something interesting about themselves. Some of them could, but most of them could not in 30 seconds. I thought this was strange, because in order to get on the show, you will have to say something about yourself in 30 seconds that would make The Price is Right producers put you on the air.

Can you tell me something interesting about yourself in 30 seconds? Can you describe yourself in three sentences that would make me want to know more about you? if you haven't thought about it, I suggest you do so. If you can't. then try getting a hobby or doing something different. Maybe pick up something you've always wanted to do or go somewhere that you've always wanted to go. It may not only spice up your life, but also spike up your chances to get on a show...

Slaughterhouse: During the game show competitions, you had brilliant people going up against other brilliant people. Sometimes you had great competitions - other times, the games ended in a rout. The one thing that all of these people had in common though was that everyone, almost without exception, would brutalize any of the teams in Chain Reaction this week. As much as us people at home would find it entertaining seeing our friends whomping up on strangers, routs traditionally do not make good television.

So the solution? Even the balance - put the pretty people against each other so that it can be competitive. Of course, the past week of shows have treated us to a near dumb-off, but at least the games were close. They do have the smart people on there, but they are also usually pitted against each other. Pretty Vs. Pretty is the way to go, and as we all know, there are vastly more pretty people out there than there are smart people.

I can do that: Finally, part of the allure of game shows is the ability to scream at the television set, seeing people screw up and think to themselves "gee, I can do that. I can be on the game show, because we all know that I am MUCH better than this nimrod who's playing." Face it - we all have said that at one time or another. We wouldn't be saying this if we saw geniuses playing on every single episode. The main use of the pretty people is to show us how smart we are and to make us feel better about ourselves.

So when you look at it, we do need the pretty people there, if nothing more than to say how much smarter we are than they are. It gives your ego a lift and it also drives you to be on the show, which when you look at it, is the whole objective of a show to begin with. Hopefully, this article not only gave you an insight into why the Pretty People are there, but it also gave you some tips on how you can get on TV and dismantle them.

Gordon Pepper never claimed to be a pretty person, but he's good at faking it. E-mail him at


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