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On February 26th, NBC will bring back one of his most iconic game shows, “Deal or No Deal” that was the o.g. blueprint for current games shows such as “The Wall.” It was heavily centered on families and allowed good people to play for life-changing money with contestants’ touching and relatable back-stories added-in. Their potential financial windfalls all rested on one particular man, or villain…The Banker who was always hidden is shrouded in secrecy above the stage.
At the time, “Deal or No Deal” was a unique game show to American audiences. This time, it’s playing on the fact that reality competition shows are also game shows, and merging the two formats. The new “Deal or No Deal” will feed every game show lover’s appetite by feeding us both the reality competition aspect with a formal game show setup which we will see at the end of each week’s episodes.
Contestants on the new “Deal or No Deal” will still have to play against The Banker. This time, solely on his terms on his island. The contestants are dropped off on The Banker’s private island. It seems as though each player was hand selected for one reason or another to come to the island and play the game. The new host is Joe Manganiello who, just as the original host Howie Mandel, acts as a liaison between the players and the Banker. The huge kicker here, however, is that this time players have the potential of winning more money than ever on the original show. On this island, contestants may win $2 hundred million!
So far, from the 21 minute sneak-peek, the contestants who were introduced are Rob Mariano, a.k.a.”Boston Rob” who self-tauted that he was on “Survivor” six seasons. Rob said being on “Deal or No Deal,” “this is a completely new experience” and he wants to control the game, but doesn’t know how. A former “Deal or No Deal” case model, Claudia Jordan, returns to the game, this time as one of the contestants. ‘Deal viewers will remember her as case number 1. A fan of the show, Nick from Brooklyn, is also playing this version of the game and said he used to watch it with his mom.
Other contestants include Brantzen Wong, a professional poker player, Aron Barbell who is possibly the youngest player there works in finance, and Kim Mattina who won “Sequester,” and is the Senior of the bunch. Kim said she’s there to play the game and that she’s “not too old.” Now, Kim is someone who the other players are going to have to watch out for. Because during one of her interviews on the show, she revealed that she is already manipulating the crew of contestants. Kim proudly stated that she is a villain and plans to take advantage of the other players!
You might think the show is about the players. But, actually, it’s about the Banker. It’s on his private island where all the game play occurs, and as host Joe Manganiello explains it, this is the Banker’s test to find his ultimate opponent. Brief cases are hidden throughout the island. The contestants just need to find them. They have challenges, or “trails” which promise to get more difficult as the game progresses. As they find the cases in the wild that become values on the board. Each night, the contestants will battle the Banker for the right to stay. They do this in a traditional game show stage set-up in the middle of the jungle. One contestant will be offered over $4 million.
The ultimate showdown “who will beat the banker?” Every night, one contestant will go against the Banker. The money they win each night will cumulatively go into one final case that only one contestant at the end of the game will get to play for. There will be more than two hundred million dollars up for grabs.
The first round of cases were thrown from above the helicopter by one of the Banker’s Assistants. Unlike the original “Deal or No Deal” that had the monetary amounts hidden inside, these particular brief cases had their amounts displayed on the outside. Except for two cases painted red. Whoever got the highest value case wins. The two contestants with the two lowest amount cases would be up for elimination against the Banker.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
The first test that The Banker threw the contestants’ way was to see who is the biggest gambler. This is why two unmarked red cases were included in the first batch of cases. One red case contains a low number. The other one contains a Steal, which allows a contestant to take someone else’s case.
The players had to trek through wet mud to scoop up the case of their choice, or maybe just the one that was the easiest to capture. Rob got the $1 million case. Kim didn’t make it past the entrance for the longest time and struggled to get through the muddy obstacle. The other players were gracious enough to come to her rescue and helped her to grab a case and get through the mud.
After all of the players had finished the course and had their briefcases, the Banker phoned Joe from his yacht. The Banker offered $10,000 to anyone willing to go back into the mud to retrieve one of two red cases. Joe asked, “who feels like they’re not safe,” reminding them that the two lowest cases will be up for elimination.
Kim raised her hand because she felt she was in danger. Brantzen decided to jump in and also try. He really wanted to help Kim. After Brantzen moved the red case closer to Kim, who was visibly struggling (so she made it appear). This is when Kim’s interview footage was shown of her stating that she is “going to run circles around these people” and she may be thought of as a villain. “But I’m a villain who’s going to own it” and she’s going to take advantage and win the game.
Kim discarded her silver case for the red one. She opened the red case which revealed a Steal! Everyone was floored. Brantzen immediately regretted helping Kim.
Kim had the ability to Steal someone’s case. Whoever she steals the case from would come in last for this round or “excursion.” If she steals the $1million case, she is Safe from elimination and will get to decide who from the bottom two will be up for elimination in a game of Deal or No Deal against the Banker. Joe told them this will entail them playing a classic game of “Deal or No Deal.”
BUT, it’s a huge “But” it’s not the same game they’re used to. Kim then turned to everyone and said whoever has the $1 million case and she Steals it, she will NOT put them up against the Banker.
It’s not a vote like on “Survivor,” on Deal’ Island they get hand-picked. To be continued on Monday, February 26th on NBC, and stream it on Peacock.
BONUS: Preview footage promises we will all finally get to see who The Banker is. Hollywood Junket talked to someone who worked on this new island version of “Deal or No Deal” which was filmed for two months in Panama. When asked if executive producer and original host Howie Mandel was there on the show, he stated, “I can’t answer that.” We take that as a “yes.”