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“Minute To Win It” will return to television, this time on GSN in the summer. The highly popular physical competition game show made its first U.S. run on NBC and was hosted by Food Network star Guy Fieri. This GSN version decided to go with Olympic Gold Medalist and “Dancing With the Stars” season 4 champ Apolo Ohno as the host whom our HOLLYWOOD JUNKET reporter was part of the audience at a recent filming of “Minute to Win it” and was underwhelmed. The reporter’s review is below.
The game consists of two contestants working as a team; typically, they are boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, or family. They can win up to $250,000, by completing various challenges in one minute or less. The game can be interesting depending upon the contestants. Some contestants appear energetic, outgoing, and well practiced. Others are boring, and lack stage presence. All of the competitors are athletic, and look like they were high school athletes.
The games can be quite challenging; for example, one of them was to take a string of tooth floss and use it to move a toothbrush across, into a container without dropping it. Another contestant had to blow-up a balloon and use the air to push cups off a table. Some challenges are incredibly entertaining, and have the ability to get audience members on the edge of their seats! Each team is allowed to fail three times. When the audience feels a connection with the contestants, they want them to win.
The host, Apolo Ohno is an eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics for speed skating and winner of “Dancing with the Stars” season 4 where he was paired with Julianne Hough. He is attractive, likable, and talented. While his athletic talent was able to earn him Olympic Gold Medals, and brought him through two seasons of “Dancing With The Stars” (he competed again on all-star season fifteen), his personality is not strong enough to host a game show. Sure, he is likable, but the only thing he adds to the show is his name.
Many hosts possess strong improv skills and a background in the entertainment industry. Apolo has entertained audience members with his dancing skills, and did a great job, however he lacks the ability to connect with an audience as a host. He does not appear enthusiastic when he is on stage. People want to see someone that is happy to be there, and gets into the challenges with the contestants. They want a host that looks upset when a team loses, or excited when they win a tough challenge. It makes the show much better.
Sometimes the show does a great job at casting the contestants. One of the contestants brought their family onto the show. They were unique because the children were all adopted. The daughter and her boyfriend were competing to win the $250,000 prize! Their main goal was to start a gym or a fitness center to help people get active, and in shape. Another couple did not have a set plan with what they would spend their prize money on, however the girlfriend suggested if the couple won it would go towards a black diamond ring. Of course, she was insinuating she wanted to get married.
The set is a regular stage with a “Minute to Win it” sign. There is a large flat screen television on the upper right-hand corner of the set and another one by the entrance where Ohno and contestants enter onto the stage. Upon entering, they appear directly in front of the audience seating. All games are set-up in the middle of the stage and tables are used for most stunts with small objects. In this version of “Minute to Win it” on this shoot day, there were no large or crazy stunt set-ups.
Minute To Win It is a decent game show. Guy Fieri was a better host. Fieri obtained a successful hosting career due to The Food Network channel. His personality is much stronger than Apolo Ohno’s. Fans will have to wait to watch the show this summer, and see whether or not they like the new host.
-Written and reported by: Alyssa Davis