NBC’s The Winner Is… Is Not a Winner [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]
NBC has once again rolled out the summer reality / filler programming and on June 10th, gave us a first look at their newest summer series, The Winner Is. The game show promises “six songs to a million” and has been heavily advertised on the network for weeks. Being a lover of game shows, I had to check this out!
The Winner Is features six acts that go head to head over three rounds. In round one the six acts face off in groups of two, hoping to be the favorite of the 101 music loving judges. The judges choose the acts they want to advance and their decision is revealed by large numerical scores that appear behind the contestants, only they are not sure whose score goes to whom.
After each singing face off, host Nick Lachey signals for a money box to appear from under the floor, starting with $10,000 in round one for the person who wants to take the bribe and walk away. If the contestant or group believes they are the winning act, they should refuse the cash. Taking the cash and walking away, automatically sends their competitors onto the next round, regardless of score.
If neither takes the bribe, the 101 judges’ favorite is revealed and the team with the lower score is eliminated. The goal of the show is for the group to keep turning down the bribe offers with the hope of making it to the finale for the $1,000,000.
After round one, only the top three acts move on, with the act earning the highest score going straight to round three – the finals.
The bribe gets higher and higher as each round (and episode) goes on and the remaining two groups again face off in round 2, with the winner joining the last remaining act to face off in the final round.
The problem is – I don’t know what the winner of the episode is playing for. The only promise made, was the winning act comes back on a later episode to compete for the million dollars. The original tag line is six songs to a million and having seen them complete three in this episode, leads me to believe that there are three more rounds for them to face on another episode. But, for winning the first game – they didn’t seem to get offered any cash! So, the teams are playing for the chance at a million, if they can resist taking the bribe offers. It’s really confusing.
Host Nick Lachey, is best known from his days as a singer with the boy band 98 Degrees. He has hosted a game show in the past for NBC, the similarly structured The Sing-Off, which is why network execs probably looked for him to host this show.
Sadly, Lachey is very stiff in his hosting and is pretty much glued to the teleprompter. His interaction with the contestants is cold and minimal and he did not look comfortable on the first episode.
The game play is basically several singing competition shows mish-mashed together. If you watch The Voice or The Sing-Off, then you’ve basically seen this show. The addition of the 101 judges with the large mystery score numbers behind the contestants is a neat trick, but not enough for this show to hold a format on its own.
Plus, who wants to watch a game show where you are not sure what the prize is for the episode’s winners? Sure, you get to come back and play for a million, but the prize of advancing to another show is not a prize. Why not just sing badly and take the first $10,000 bribe, because the odds of winning anything else, except the top prize – is remote.
Name: The Winner Is…
What: musical competition game show
Airdate: Monday 10pm EDT on NBC
Host: Nick Lachey
Show webpage: www.nbc.com/the-winner-is/
JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:
Skip it. This show will only be on for a few episodes and will be gone. It was NOT a ratings blockbuster for the premiere. There are far better game show formats out there that should have been put on the schedule. This show screams cost cutting, filler material all around!