Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NBC's Minute to Win It

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Yes, yes. I know. Today you're supposed to get a brilliant list from me. And I started writing one. But 4 points into it I got distracted and forgot where I was going with it. And now I can't think of the other points (I had at least two more), and I'm too tired to search the internet for some (I am out of town). But, I watched that new game show the other night, and wanted to give it a full review anyway, so you get it today instead of Friday. :)
Minute to Win It (Season 1, Week 1, 2 Episodes): A new game show on NBC, 7-8pm, it seems. I first saw commercials for it during the Olympics, and I was curious, no lie. So I watched it.

The idea is that there are ten one-minute games (there are 65 total games they could be), and if you can complete all of them, you will a million dollars (you actually have 3 "lives" so you only have to beat 7 of the challenges). The games are all made from household items, so you can kinda practice all you want, but you only have one chance here! The prize money is leveled, so you do win some after each level, and you have the chance to walk away before trying the next challenge. And, like in Who Wants to be a Millionaire, there's a safety net of $50,000 that you can keep no matter what as long as you complete that fifth game.

Game 1: You have one minute to get every tissue (160) out of a box, using just one hand. The first guy made it with less than 10 seconds to go.
Game 2: With a pedometer on your head, you have to jerk around 125 times in a minute. Unclear on the best way to do this, but the first guy nodded his way there... I think I would shake from side to side, but I don't know what the rules are. They also need to figure out a better way to keep the pedometer screen hidden as soon as he finishes, the host's hand ain't gonna do forever. Consequently, the first guy made it, with 135.
Game 3: You have to stretch a rubberband to hit six empty soda cans arranged in a pyramid. [FirstGuy was pouring with sweat by now, LoL] You don't have to reset the pyramid, so just keep shooting, LoL. FirstGuy got it with like 15 seconds to go.
Game 4: Bounce ping pong balls onto three plates in a row and into a bowl. Complete this 3 times in 60 seconds. The plates aren't super-close together, either. FirstGuy only got one in. Admittedly, this one looked pretty hard. He had quite a few get really close, but only one went in. So, he lost a life. HE HAD TO TRY IT AGAIN. that sucks. I should have seen it coming, LoL. On the second try, he got all three in just 22 seconds. He kept going for no reason, LoL, until the host put his foot over the bowl.
Game 5: six pushlights are lit up. you have to throw beanbags (underhand) at them to turn them all off. If one turns back on again, you have to turn it off again. [Host said something untrue here, giving off the impression that the money is tax-free, LoL. "$50,000 bankable dollars" can't be true. Also, host only has a few phrases of encouragement, LoL. FirstGuy did it with like 20 seconds to go or so.
Game 6: ten nuts are on a chopstick. you have to hold the chopstick, slide off one at a time (no touching it), and stack them ten-tall on the ends (not flat). [omg this one looks SUPER hard!!] Takes a skillful hand, but he had a great methodology. On his first try he got 7 of them in 45 seconds when it toppled. [at least he got a sweatrag!] Second try, he didn't even get that far.

Second Episode:
Game 1: You blow up a balloon and then let out the air a little at a time to knock over 15 plastic cups. You can use as many balloons as you want, but you still only have 60 seconds. [Girl's method of blowing the balloon per cup was a little flawed, I felt] She did it in like 45 seconds.
Game 2: drop a quarter into a bowl of water, having the quarter land in a shot glass in the water. Do it 3 times (in different bowls) in one minute. You have to stand up, and the bowl is on the ground, making this one pretty hard. Basically, just keep dropping them, since you can't do much to help figure out the trajectory a quarter will follow underwater. She did it with a little time to spare.
Game 3: you use a yo-yo to knock over six soda cans (on individual platforms). But the yo-yo is tied behind you, LoL. The platforms were about three feet high, I'd guess. Girl's method was just to spin in circle, mainly. She finished in about 40 seconds.
Game 4: you have to stack 5 apples in one minute. you have as many tries as you want, but the final stack has to stay up for three seconds. There are more than five apples to pick from, so you can look for certain sizes if you want, LoL. She pulled almost all of them out of the bowl to get a feel for how they stood. She got four of them in forty seconds, the fifth one with less than ten seconds to go.
Game 5: this one is the first truly weird one. you have two pencils next to eachother, tied with strings. You loop the strings over your ears, and pull them to raise the pencils up to your mouth. On the pencils, are three M&Ms that you have to bring up into your mouth without letting them fall off of the pencil. You stand on a platform, so the candies actually have to travel like six or seven feet, or more if you're standing straighter. She did it on the first try.
Game 6: you have to blow a bubble (with a wand and dish soap), then guide it (using your own air) across the stage and into a big ring. It's about fifteen feet away, and the ring is like two feet in diameter. You can blow as many bubbles as you want, but you still only have one minute. She got it, at the very last second. They even had to look at the video, LoL.
Game 7: There's a deck of cards on a bottleneck. You blow 51 off, leaving the bottom card (joker). You have 5 tries in one minute. On her first try, every card on every bottle was blown off. She came close (like within ten cards) on like bottle 2 or 3. [It was funny that she apologized for making a mess, LoL] Her second try was good starting but rough finishing. Her third attempt was sad, too. I think part of the strategy needs to be changing the direction you're blowing, maybe?

Second Contestant, Second Episode:
Game 1: 39 blue cups are inside a red cup. You move one cup at a time, using alternating hands, from the top to the bottom, so all cups move a full rotation in one minute. Hard to explain, but the guy did it okay.
Game 2:
A, K, Q, J, 10s are in a deck. Grab cards that are face-down on one table and bring them to the correct tables. One at a time, and you have sixty seconds to sort the twenty cards. He claimed he had never lost this one before, but I doubt that the platforms were this far apart in his practice, LoL. He got it on the second try. And, from here it's a to be continued.

Some General Commentary: I hate the commercial timing in this show. That's kinda annoying enough to not want to watch it again, LoL. I don't know how I feel about the ability of your family to coach you from the audience, LoL. I also don't care for the host's facial hair pattern, I like how the floor lights up to show how many seconds are left by the outside of the circle turning increments from white to red one at a time.
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