GSN started back filming its interactive show, BINGO AMERICA Wednesday, August 20th. This new season will introduce a new way for studio audiences to play along, as well as a new host!
After a reportedly (by a Hollywood Junket host) slew of rough tapings last season, Patrick Duffy as the BINGO AMERICA host is out, and Richard Karn, best known for “Home Improvement”, and one of many hosts of “Family Feud”, is in as the new host of BINGO AMERICA. He is accompanied by an attractive brunette host, Diane.
Karn proves to be friendly, warm, and witty. He approached the front row of the audience and chatted with them. He made light of the slow pace of the show taping and cracked a few jokes one of which was, “they are actually making this into a claymation” as an explanation for the repeated “holds” on set that paused production time after time. During another game with a marathon runner contestant, Karn made another comment that she was doing well because she was in a “marathon” of a show. It was hard for the show to pick-up momentum on-set which I suspect resulted in the overall low energy of both hosts and studio audience.
Studio audiences are given T-Shirts to wear that display letters and numbers. Each T-Shirt is accompanied by two baseball caps, one red and one blue. When the ball is dropped out of the machine, the audience member wearing that correlating letter and numbered T-Shirt stands-up. Whichever contestant answers the trivia question correct, that audience member places the color that the contestant represents of the baseball cap on his/her head and becomes part of the “red” or “blue” team whichever one it may be. If the contestant answers the question wrong, then the audience participate sits down. The best part for the audience is once they become part of a team, if that particular contestant wins his/her game, then each member on that contestant’s team wins $25 cash! Two audience members were lucky enough to win two games ($50), and another one won three ($75)!
Audiences are also made to stand-up in groups at the beginning of each show taping to spell-out B-I-N-G-O.
After two games, the winner of the most letters, goes onto the “Bonus Bingo Round”. If a tie occurs between the two players, then the game goes into a five question tie-breaker. Each category answer starts with the same letter to spell-out B-I-N-G-O. Example questions: “This ‘B’ was a favorite family dog” (Answer: “Benji”), “This ‘I’ is a great cold snack” (Answer: “ice cream”). Winner must answer three correct.
In the “Bonus Bingo Round”, the winning contestant plays a bingo board (not visible from the audience perspective) for $100,000. Each letter is worth different amounts of money, if they manage to avoid the “wrecking balls” in which twenty are hidden throughout the board. The number of wrecking balls increase per column as the contestant plays each “B-I-N-G-O” letter. If the contestant manages to get through the whole board without getting a wrecking ball, they win $100,000. If they get one wrecking ball, it wipes out everything they earned during that bonus round. But, they still get to keep the amount that they won in previous rounds.
Home viewers can play the “Bonus Bingo Round” at home as bonus numbers. Audiences at home can still download and print Bingo cards and play along throughout the rest of the game. Every Wednesday, TV viewers have the chance to win $250.