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4 fundamental errors consistently made by quiz show contestants

4 fundamental errors consistently made by quiz show contestants

The quiz show brings out so many emotions in all of us: feeling intellectually superior to others, hating Grant Denyer, hating Andrew O’Keeffe, hating Eddie Maguire, and many more. But time and time again, contestants validate that one friend’s claim that, “I could fucken smash this show, these people are fucken dumb ay”, by making the same mistakes as their predecessors. With that in mind, here are 4 fundamental errors made by quiz show contestants.


4. Family Feud: Everyone backs their own experiences over actual logic

If you generally don’t watch Family Feud, it’s probably because you don’t watch Channel 10, you hate Grant Denyer, or you have a moderate amount of self-respect. The basic premise is so simple that literally anyone can play. That lack of selectiveness bodes well for the producers of the show, as they’re able to find participants who are really, really, really bad at common sense - and by extension, quiz shows. Essentially, Grant Denyer has surveyed 100 Australians with a range of different questions. The 2 families participating on the show must try and guess what the 7 or so most popular answers to the questions are.

In the defence of the families who appear on Family Feud, this is actually harder than it sounds. Where families consistently trip up, however, is backing their own experiences rather than those that are statistically most common. Click on the video below to see what I’m talking about:

In this episode, there are 7 instances when contestants outwardly bring their own experience into play when answering a question. The contestant’s answers end up being correct on just 2 of those occasions. So no, just because you think the answer to “name an adjective to describe your car” is “souped up fully mad”, doesn’t mean that even one other person, let alone 100, agrees with you.

3. Family Feud: People stuff up fast money by not thinking tactically

In the final round of this battle of battlers, 2 contestants from the same family must reach 200 points by answering similar questions to the ones listed above. This time, however, it’s slightly different. The contestants must answer 5 rapid fire questions in under 20 seconds, without hearing the options provided by their other family member. If the second family member repeats an answer provided by the first, they hear a buzzer a sound which is almost as annoying as Grant Denyer himself, and they must provide another answer. If the contestants reach 200 points between them, they win $10,000 and an opportunity to leave the Channel 10 studios.  

Too often, however, the second contestant picks the most obvious answer, which, unsurprisingly, has also been picked by the first family member. This leads them to waste valuable time thinking up another one. Often the answer they do come up with is ridiculous, hilarious and slightly self-validating for the viewer. What they should’ve done in that time is think of a slightly more obscure, though still plausible, answer. This would allow them to avoid the risk of running out of time or, the equally dangerous risk of just saying something stupid on live TV.


2. The Chase Australia: Everyone waits for Andrew to finish reading the question

In the final segment of The Chase Australia, a team of 1-4 regular Australians try to answer more trivia questions in 2 minutes than a renowned trivia expert and probable virgin, The Chaser. The team goes first, before The Chaser (you guessed it) chases down their total. Where people go wrong, however, is simply being too polite to a man who really deserves nothing but slander for his terrible jokes and awfully repetitive suit choices: The host, Andrew O’Keeffe.

While The Chaser jumps in and answers questions as O’Keeffe asks them, the contestants spend ages pressing the buzzer, pausing, thinking about the time they watched all of the Spy Kids trilogy in one day and then finally getting around to answering the friggin’ question, by which time, we’ve changed channels to Millionaire Hot Seat. Often, The Chaser faces an uphill battle in reaching the target the team has set, so with a little bit more interrupting, and a lot less Andrew O’Keeffe, there’d be a lot more cash for the contestants.

1. Don’t Forget The Lyrics: People save the stuff they’re bad at for last

Now, I know I’ve already written an article about Don’t Forget The Lyrics for Pulp, but hear me out, it was a great show. If you spent your childhood in a more productive manner than I did, you might not remember it, so allow me to fill you in.  Essentially, the premise of the show is that the contestants must sing (I use the term loosely) karaoke versions of songs on screen.  At a random point, the song cuts out and the contestants have to identify the next line of lyrics. The catch is however, the amount of lyrics missing from each song gets bigger as the game goes on, thus, the challenge becomes harder.  

At the beginning of the show, the contestants are shown a bunch of different musical genres from which the songs will be taken. Each round they choose a genre and must sing one song from the two options they’re given. So it would stand to reason that you’d save the genres you know well for last, when there will be more lyrics to have to remember, right?

Wrong. Contestants on this primetime outcast of a television show seem to think that it’s better to waste the genres they’re good at early in the piece. This means that they’re forced to sing songs from more unfamiliar genres later, when the task is more difficult than if they were to have gotten them out of the way early. The risk of having used lifelines already is also higher later in the game, so the contestants yet again shoot themselves in the foot through this questionable tactic.  Admittedly, choosing the genres you know well earlier does make it easier to ensure that you win at least a little bit of cash, but it makes it very difficult to earn more than about $25,000 (compared to the $1,000,000 on offer at the end of the game). Maybe the show should have been called Don’t Forget To Think A Little Bit About This Game Rather Than Just Launching Into Your Favourite Tina Turner Tracks As A Way To Hide Your Crippling Body Image Issues. Probably would’ve been just as a popular tbh.

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