Show Discussion: Babushka

By | April 30, 2017

Weekdays, 5pm,

Right, well, somebody decided this was worth a commission, so here we go. It’s also another show that’s marketed itself as being a bit like Deal Or No Deal, but still, over ten years on, misunderstands Deal or No Deal.

Rylan Clark-Neal invites couples to attempt to win up to £44,000 by answering questions and opening matryoshka babushka dolls. There are ten dolls, two of them are empty, the others have smaller dolls inside them worth cash, and some of those have smaller dolls inside them with more cash and so on up to £10,000. The couple MUST open eight of them and can’t leave the game until they’ve done so. Unfortunately to open a doll they have to answer a question. Get it wrong? Lose all your money. Open an empty doll? Lose all your money. Push your luck too far with a doll? Lose all your money. And there’s a double or nothing gamble at the end.

So what we have is a rollercoaster, except with just eight chances to make money but about 25 opportunities to lose it all it’s a rollercoaster made up of a load of speedbumps. If you do find yourselves towards the end with some money, the game encourages conservative (i.e. boring) play so you don’t lose it all. And then there’s a double or nothing gamble at the end which as we all know will only ever get used if they’ve ended up doing really badly.

Everything I’ve seen of it points to it being rubbish. But, y’know, I might be wrong. I think Rylan deserves a bit better anyway.

89 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Babushka

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    Annoyingly I’m not going to be able to watch this until really late on Monday so I look forward to your comments in the interim.

  2. David Howell

    I wonder how much this concept might be improved if you replaced all the “lose all your money” opportunities with “lose 90% of your money.”

    British game show contestants tend not to put sizable sums of money at risk if they can help it, and all-or-nothing is an ugly deterrent in this instance.

    I suspect the calls for The Chase to be hurried back in ASAP are going to be particularly loud this time around, especially because I imagine a lot of the Chase audience not being particularly fond of Rylan.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I don’t think it’d make a great deal of difference in this case, I think games of thwarted accumulation are inherently a bit irritating to watch.

  3. AlexSTO

    “The Colour of Money” have been surprised, when it discovered that other people think that Babushka is DOND with quiz.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I suspect Deal Or No Deal With A Quiz is precisely the thinking behind it, but being able to leave when you like isn’t “part of” the Deal Or No Deal format, it is the format. It remains amazing how many telly people go ‘it’s about luck! It’s just like Deal Or No Deal!’ No! You’re trying to televise a scratchcard!

      Ryan Seacrest was originally involved with this format although you don’t hear about that so much these days.

  4. CeleTheRef

    So it’s a bit like the new Soliti Ignoti but with way worse odds:
    Now failing to match a suspect with their identity doesn’t drain the prize pool except for the two suspects who bear a “Hazard” stamp inside their passport (the 1st and the 8th suspects are always safe).

  5. Peter H Todd

    Since all this abuse Rylan is getting lets see how other 5pm quiz shows has launched over the years even the chase which during S1 could of been axed after. LAUNCH RATINGS (Ep1)
    #TheChase (2009) 1.44m
    #TippingPoint (2012) 2.25m
    #DontBlowTheInheritance 980K
    #TakeOnTheTwisters (2013) 2.3m
    #21STQuestion (2014) 1.96m
    #GiftWrapped (2014) 1.61m
    #FreezeOut (2015) 1.53m
    #Rebound (2015) 1.14m
    #CashTrapped (2016) 2.85m
    #Alphabetical (2016) 1.4m
    #Babushka (2017) ?.??m

    I know most of the NEW quiz shows are summer aired during July/August but if we look back on the ones which got recommissiomed.
    The Chase 2009- (over 1000 shows)
    Tipping Point 2012- (over 500 shows)
    Rebound 2015- (30 shows)
    Cash Trapped 2016 – (2nd series commissioned)
    Alphabetical 2016- (2nd series commissioned)

    Which will be next.
    I think Rylan will do alright but all this abuse he is getting is way OTT. Rhe quiz shows all need to take a break becuase a bit like DOND if you don’t it’s ratings drop quick.

    Goid Luck Rylan and I will be watching and enjoying.

  6. Nico W.

    Last night German Meet The Parents with Daniel Hartwich aired its first episode and it had mediocre ratings. I didn’t watch it, but critics say they should hav shown another episode as the first one, because it wasn’t funny apart from the host. Let’s hope for them they still have better episodes.
    And Daniel Hartwich announced today he will replace Bradley Walsh (with all the Chase riots I thought this was a funny joke). Daniel Hartwich will host Keep It in The Family for RTL, four episodes presumeably airing in late summer this year.

  7. John R

    Saturday 29th

    17:30 – Who Dares Wins: 2.03m (15.1%)


    1. Steve Williams

      I don’t see what’s massively wrong with that at 5.30, to be honest. I did think the castle question was a bit rubbish, and it was massively unfair they lost on Culzean Castle, because it is clearly a castle and they only lost because it wasn’t in the source book, which is a bit too much like “what am I thinking of?” for me. It’s like that question a few years back when they had to name ‘stEnders characters who had profiles on the website and lost out because they named a character who wasn’t on the website, which is far too arbitrary a criteria.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Given how solidly WDW usually performs, as The Lottery Quiz People Quite Liked, it does look like a bit of an insult to be going out at half five especially given the level of its prizes. If you weren’t prepared to back it, don’t commission it!

        1. Des Elmes


          Pointless Celebs may be the main BBC1 Saturday night quiz now – but that certainly doesn’t mean that WDW should be treated so shoddily…

          Its former Lottery connections shouldn’t be seen as a negative, either.

      2. Arun

        I told my mum about the whole “Culzean Castle” scandal. We live quite near there and she said that it was not originally built as a castle, more a stately home. Still, not including it on the list is odd given it even has the word ‘castle’ in its name.

  8. Cheesebiscuits

    I didn’t know they had lifelines,

    From the radio times review:

    ““The rules are very simple”, begins Rylan before he garbles on about how “Sonya is now in play”, describes the ‘helps’ like Switch and Peek, and that if the pair have banked £5,000 or more by the halfway point in the game, they will automatically win the X-Ray option for the very end of the game to see into one of the remaining dolls that they might want to choose. ”

    It might make it a little easier to accumulate money without opening an empty doll. I can’t think what the difference between peek and X-Ray are though. Maybe one sees the whole doll and the other just the next level?

  9. Brett Linforth

    Best of luck to Rylan who definitely does NOT deserve the abuse he’s been getting of late. If I’m honest, the format doesn’t strike me as a great one but I’m happy to give it a go and be proven wrong. And to te people moaning that The Chase has been taken off, lest we not forget that The Chase itself started life as a replacement show itself (for Golden Balls incidentally) so give the guy and the show a break!

  10. Greg

    This reminds me of a low tech Colour of Money with added questions. Certainly not blowing me away. Would much rather have seen series 2 of Cash Trapped. Rylan is not doing a bad job, certainly not his fault this has replaced The Chase.

    1. Thomas Sales

      I’m pretty sure Cash Trapped is back after Culinary Genius has had its run, I auditioned for it and they told me it was airing mid-May.

  11. Cliff

    It is rubbish. The questions are incredibly easy, so there’s no fun there, and winning money is largely down to luck, so there’s no fun watching that either.

    At least the production is okay: the dolls themselves are such a ridiculous bit of tech that seeing them open and emerge is quite amusing, but not so much that you need to watch it more than once.

  12. George F

    I really like Rylan on this but the lack of questions killed this

    It didn’t help that you had two of the most annoying contestants I’ve seen on TV

  13. Clive of Legend

    Rylan’s decent, set’s good, music is the best an ITV game show’s had in some time.

    Let’s not talk about the format. Oh, alright, I’ll give them that some of the reveals were surprisingly tense, but you really don’t want a team (spoiler) going into the final question with nothing to show for it. Suppose that’s what the X-Ray is for, keeping the front half of the game from being entirely pointless.

  14. Arun

    I have seen better game shows than this, but I have seen a lot worse. It is a lot better than a lot of other Chase replacements (AHEM AHEM Alphabetical). IT was quite repetitive and samey. This is one of the many quiz shows that would do better in a 45 minute slot. The final round was terrible. I definitely don’t think the show deserved all the hate Twitter gave it.


  15. Cheesebiscuits

    There is no point to the suspense if you know the next value is in a doll. We all knew there was garunteed to be £500 in all the dolls so why drag out the opening. The same occured when both £2000 dolls were gone.

    Having not come across Ryland before, he was a decent and entertaining host although I would like it if he were allowed to help on the questions (as in high stakes). As he has (self confessed) he doesn’t know many of the answers anyway, it would free him up to be able to talk more and make him shine more too.

    Rather than a straight up double or nothing, could they offer them the last question? You can choose to just take your winnings and go, or try for the double. They would ask you the last question from the board. Getting it right would tell you which doll doubled your total. Getting it wrong would result in you being forced to pick one.

    A reasonable show (and better than freeze out) so it may not be going quite to my hall of shame just yet

    1. Cheesebiscuits

      As an off note, I couldn’t shake off the sound of the Tetris theme in the music to this. Anyone else or me going mad?

      1. Danny Kerner

        Slightly hear it but ain’t all Russian music pretty much the same.

        As to the show format I do agree the tension pause can be removed once the lowest amounts duplicates are out of play as it can speed up the process but once the first active amount is hit then the tension can return. Also do they really need to hit the plunger every time. They can remove the first press as they will be opening them up by default. Also when not in play can they do that also with no unnecessary presses. Finally I do agree with the gamble element someone has suggested involving the remaining question. Right doubles wrong makes you guess.

  16. Danny Kerner

    It now depends on what order the episodes were recorded in to see if the show & flow improves. If they are broadcast in production order then surely improvements are coming. but if this episode was quite late in production order then sadly it won’t this season

    1. Callum J

      For some reason, the ITV Hub lists today’s episode as ‘episode 3’.

  17. Will S.

    I don’t think it would be half as bad if it wasn’t so forced in making it last a hour for an episode, it seems to drag on and on.

    1. Brett Linforth

      I quite agree but it seems ITV has lost the knack of producing 30 minute quiz shows! A shorter time slot would solve A LOT of the problems in my opinion

      1. Des Elmes

        Actually, what *was* the last 30-minute ITV game show?

        The Supermarket Sweep revival of 2007 (ten years ago already? Wow) is the first show that comes to mind here…

          1. Whoknows

            Not daytime but The Krypton Factor was 30 mins.

          2. Des Elmes

            How easily one forgets the Kube…

        1. Arun

          It was only STV ( and I know that because I am Scottish) Bu The Lie with Susan Calman was 30 minutes.

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            I always thought The Lie could be a great little filler show if everyone played their cards right.

          2. Arun

            I was very disappointed it didn’t get more series, it was a cracking show. IT was repeated for the first time in ages so maybe that is saying something…

        2. Callum J

          Not really a game show, but there are prizes.

          Let Me Entertain You with Michael Underwood in 2014 was 30 minutes.

  18. Brig Bother Post author

    Alright, I will say this for it, it was very well produced. Certainly a cut above the usual Not The Chase fare. And as predicted I thought Rylan was very good in it. As we always say, people watch shows not formats and although I still think it’s a lousy format (just wait until everyone cottons on to the likelihood of decent money wins and the route to get there) I did find it quite watchable.

    However if they’re leading out with one of their better episodes, which had five wipeouts throughout the game (and fairly easy questions), I dread to think how some of the others play out.

  19. Little Timmy

    The only promising thing about this show is available in its entirety here:

    Composer is not a name I’m immediately familiar with but is quite a talent. He has uploaded what appears to be his entire body of work on SoundCloud, including (somewhat surprisingly) his uncommissioned pitch music for a number of shows, including among others The Boss (, even though in the event the poor bugger wound up being passed over for yet another cynical Sylvan copy-paste job.

    1. Clive of Legend

      Ooh, good spot. Dobs Vye’s even one of my favourites since he composed the Trapped! soundtrack. Speaking of shows that are due a revival…

    2. Delano

      Greenlighted compositions/sound design for gameshows and made by Dobs Vye:
      – The Lie/Celwydd Noeth (TV3, STV, S4C)
      – You’re Back In The Room (ITV1)
      – Babushka (ITV1)
      – Fake Reaction (ITV2)
      – Crossfire (TV3)
      – For What It’s Worth (BBC1)
      – Airmageddon (CBBC)
      – It’s Not Me, It’s You (Channel 5)
      – Keep It In The Family (ITV1)
      – Big Star’s Little Stars (ITV1)
      – Let Me Entertain You (ITV1)

      – 5 Gold Rings (ITV1 => John Ewbank)
      – The Link (BBC1 => Toby Jarvis)*
      – The Boss (BBC1 => Marc Sylvan)**
      – The Algorithm (BBC1 => Marc Sylvan again)**
      – Relatively Clever (Sky => and again Marc Sylvan)
      – Go For It (ITV1 => Marc Sylvan, now with Richard Jacques)
      – Let It Shine (BBC1 => Mcasso)
      – Robot Wars (BBC2)
      – Drive (ITV1 => Patrizio Knight and Thomas Stubbs)
      – Safeword (ITV2 => Scholar and Stix)
      – Sweat the Small Stuff (BBC3)

      * SFXes sound like they are borrowed from Marc Sylvan’s library. I wonder whether it’s shared or just generic SFX files.
      ** Shows sharing the same opening theme as well as I pointed out.

      1. Delano

        Made a little error: Dobs Vye actually contributed to Let It Shine.

  20. Mart with a 'Y' not an 'I'

    Ok. I like the set/staging and the graphics, and when presenting Rylan was ok, but his constant bleached teeth flashing and smirking started to grate on me, before the first break…however…

    I don’t like the use of the work ‘Bank’ which then can be wiped out seemingly at every single point in the game. Account would have been better. Bank means ‘safe’ and ‘secure’. The bank here is about as secure as Northern Rock was.

    I know programmes are recorded out of sequence, but there should be even a small allowance for a bit of variation in the script, to add in a pick-up if a show ends up as the first in the run – something absent from yesterday.

    As Rylan said after the contestant introduction and before the rule “OK Guys, you know Babushka”
    Well – No we don’t..

    Bad format, the obvious flaws haven’t been ironed out from the demo tape we’ve seen. Too many opportunities to loose money you’ve ‘won’ or ‘banked’.

    Meanwhile the production team on 1000 Heartbeats must sit around wondering exactly they upset at ITV not to get another series – which would be 1000 times better than this rubbish.

    1. Brett Linforth

      Yeah, 1KHB was such a cracking format – I thought it deserved more than just two series!

  21. Peter H Todd

    First Episode quiz ratings on ITV @5pm:
    #CashTrapped (2016) 2.85m
    #TakeOnTheTwisters (2013) 2.3m
    #TippingPoint (2012) 2.25m
    #Babushka (2017) 1.98m
    #21stQuestion (2014) 1.96m
    #GiftWrapped (2014) 1.61m
    #FreezeOut (2015) 1.53m
    #TheChase (2009) 1.44m
    #Rebound (2015) 1.14m
    #DontBlowTheInheritance (2012) 980K
    #Alphebitical (2016) ? ?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I don’t think you can really read much into these as they ignore lead-ins and what was in the slot previous and daytime programming is very much about routine, otherwise FRAPA Format Of The Year Take On The Twisters would be a returning hit and The Chase doesn’t exist beyond two weeks – Babushka getting 2m from the back of 3.5m last week isn’t as good as The Chase getting 1.4m off the back of Goldenballs getting similar.

      It was also a Bank Holiday yesterday which disrupts the ratings patterns a bit, watch the trend.

  22. Nicolas Descamps

    It’s so funny to see that TF1 produced lots of games with formats distributors (like Armoza for Babuska and The People’s Choice) or for themselves (like 51 Buzzers) for foreign coutries, but never streamed ANYONE OF THIS GAMES for France.

  23. Brett Linforth

    It wasn’t bad by any means but the pace dragged on in my opinion. It could easily be a 30 minute show and wouldn’t lose anything but ITV have insisted it be given 60 minutes thus you pretty much can’t move for padding.
    On the plus side, the studio was nice, the music was pretty darned good and Rylan proved to be a likable host who genuinely seemed to be on the contestants side.

  24. Nicolas Descamps

    So, I watched the show from Belgium (thanks iptv). so the only good point that I seen on it for me, It’s unfair to say that “Babushka” is a “DOND-esque” game : the risk-taking on this game is different, and you can try to win something if you play correctly with statistics and probability.

    But this episode show us the limit break of this game : average contestants (I speak French, but I could answer at every single question except the Spice Girls one. “World war 2 lasted longer than World War 1 : True or False ?” WTF ???), very unlucky on the Babushkas, and always at absolutely nothing except one time. For a first episode, that’s not a good sign. It could be better if, for example, the bank was halved than restart from nothing. And last thing : when we know there was at least £XXXX, why not start from there and not open the dolls one at the time with the buzzer ? It seemed like “filling the blanks” in a 60-minute game show, but if you delete this annoying parts, You can make a 2×30 minutes games and play with 2 groups and not only one, to make this game more dynamic.

    P.S. : on Twitter, everyone said that “The Chase” was on Challenge for those who wants to see it ^^

  25. Brig Bother Post author

    1.75m yesterday.

    Most damning is probably losing viewers from Tipping Point which had 1.96m.

  26. Crimsonshade

    The criticism (as levelled by certain media types) that Babushka is an “over-complicated” format, seems to me reminiscent of similar criticisms levied against Cash Trapped last year. Both shows have a lot of “game”, with many different things going on; however, the basic concept remains the same throughout, and details are explained well as the game goes on. Personally, I actually found this show incredibly easy to follow.

    …You know what? I’m actually going to stick my neck out here and go against the grain by saying that actually, I’m quite enjoying Babushka. I find it to be quite a fun game to watch and also very visually appealing; and I enjoy all the twists and turns a game can end up going through. I think part of the thrill is in waiting to see if a large sum will come into play – while getting any massive jackpot in this game is an extremely difficult process, requiring knowledge, lots of luck and a little insanity, it would make such a result well-deserved (though I will admit, the double-or-nothing gamble at the end potentially ruins everything, and it is understandable that it is yet to be taken).

    That said, I have a tendency to enjoy games other people consider complicated and which don’t end up getting recommissioned. 5MTAF and The 21st Question are good examples of that 🙁

    1. Brett Linforth

      Channel Four never gave 5MTAF the chance it deserved – it was a great format and they wasted it by sticking it up against the established giants of The Chase and Pointless. Bad move C4!

    2. Des Elmes

      I didn’t think the 21st Question wasn’t all *that* complicated – but it was certainly a show that appealed more to us game show fans than it did to casual viewers (who probably weren’t impressed by Gethin’s presenting style, either).

  27. Brig Bother Post author

    SENSATIONALLY UP to 1.59m.

    I’m annoyed about this because I was about to post a great gag pointing out the irony of each episode having a slightly smaller audience than previous.

  28. Clive of Legend

    Four episodes in, enjoying it rather more than I feel I should. I thought the button was a bit obnoxious at first, I’ve genuinely gasped in surprise multiple times so far.

    Still don’t understand the purpose of the zero babushkas. Soon as you’ve picked one, the whole q&a rigmarole is pointless.

    1. Nico W.

      I never thought I’d say this, but I think Babushka should play the zero Pound dolls more like The Wall. If you answer the question incorrectly and the doll contains nothing, you lose all the money. If you are incorrect but chose one with at least 500 pounds in it, you only lose half your money or the last digit or something. Something like this would make me think the format was okay. Otherwise it was a bit too negative for me.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      I’m quite enjoying people suggesting what they like about it, perhaps there are things to be gleaned from that.

      I watched episode 16 (the one that went out on Wednesday) and couldn’t really be bothered with the first 45 minutes. I find the questions infuriatingly easy most of the time.

      I gather there was a £10k win yesterday, borne out of picking the ten grand doll at the last possible moment. That’s basically the only way to win.

      The X-Ray is only really there to provide any excitement at all during the first half as realistically the only way to get five grand is to find the doll with five grand in it and to force gambles, so it’s incredible that people keep banking at £1,000. The contestants don’t even grasp what little strategy there is right!

  29. Chris M. Dickson

    Music is decent. Rylan is OK. Set is jolly enough. I’ve seen worse questions and I’ve seen slower shows. There’s a little of interest in terms of the probability, especially with the timing of the use of the Peek. It doesn’t do anything horribly offensive. On the other hand, the game is very, very, very mediocre.

    3/10, Hall of Shame contender.

  30. Andrew 'Kesh' Sullivan

    Right, I had the episodes from this week recorded on my Freesat HD box and I watched the first episode last night…and shock horror, I kinda liked it!

    Rylan was NOT as bad as a host as I thought he’d be, and I actually laughed when the contestants had him pretend to deliver a Budget for the Downing Street question.

    Yeah, the game IS entirely luck-based, but it seemed easy to follow, even to my booze-addled mind 😉 Guess I’ll provide the run-down for Andrew Hain, as that seems to me by unofficial position here at the Bar now 😀

    There are 10 dolls on the main stage, all given Russian-sounding names (e.g. Tatyana, Sveltana, Viktoria, Olya, etc.). A team of 2 has to open 8 of these dolls and win as much money as possible. 2 dolls are empty, 2 contain £500, 2 contain £1,000, 2 contain £2,000, 1 contains £5,000 and 1 contains £10,000.

    They are shown 10 categories on a video wall, and each has a True or False question behind it. Get it correct and you get to open a doll, get it wrong and you lose everything in your bank so far. You also lose everything in your bank if you open an empty doll or push your luck too far and open a doll further that has no extra money in it (e.g. you open a £500 doll, then try for £1,000, but it doesn’t have £1,000 in it).

    To help, you have 2 lifelines. A Peek lets you see if the doll currently in play has another level to it, and a Switch which allows you to throw out the question and replace it with one from another category. If you manage to bank £5,000 or more after 4 dolls, you get a third lifeline, the X-Ray, which allows you to see the entire contents of one doll.

    After 8 dolls have been opened, the team are given a double-or-nothing gamble. 2 small dolls are shown, one white and one black. Inside one of them is a golden doll which will double the entire bank if found. I think I can more or less guarantee that hardly anyone will take it unless they did really badly in the main game.

    1. Crimsonshade

      One quick addendum. The Peek and Switch lifelines are not permitted to be used on the eighth and final Babushka. However, if a team has managed to unlock the X-Ray during the game, this CAN be used on the final pick.

      Effectively, the point of the X-Ray is to reduce the possibility of a dead game. Players who eliminate empty or low-value Babushkas early on will have a difficult or even impossible task to unlock the lifeline, but their games are also more likely to end up with decent money as there is less risk involved in gambling for the higher amounts. Meanwhile, players who get lucky and managed to keep hold of £5,000+ long enough to qualify, effectively get a 2 in 3 chance at the end to pick the biggest money left in the game, allowing them to salvage a game where major money is lost after that halfway point (assuming the players get the questions right, of course).

  31. Brig Bother Post author

    1.62m Friday. Up again!

    I’m really interested to see how this turns out, if it holds that level you have to consider bringing it back really. It really would be style winning out over substance.

  32. Daniel H

    Staggering production decision on today’s show.

    The contestants were the first pair to gamble (I think), risking their £2,000 winnings on the black/white dolls, but rather than open up the one they chose to see whether they’d won, they “opened” a virtual doll on the screen then just opened the real ones as a prove out!

  33. Brig Bother Post author

    1.42m / 12.7% yesterday so the bounce didn’t last long. Third lowest share of the day on ITV ahead of Tonight and Culinary Genius.

    Reading the comments last night it sounds like a couple correctly answered a question then lost their £11k bank when the doll turned out to be empty leading to many “well what was the point of the question?” comments.

    This was all very tiresomely predictable.

  34. Brig Bother Post author

    An interesting question this gives rise to – this is not the first show that makes a habit of zeroing scores every five minutes. But why do we dislike Babushka but quite enjoy Wipeout/Press Your Luck and its ilk?

    And I think I can boil it down to a few things. They are all capricious games but one of the fundamental differences is that when you stuff up in Wipeout or hit a Whammy on Press Your Luck, more often than not it’s because you’ve been set up to fail by someone else to benefit them, effectively someone going backwards pushes somebody else forwards. It does not feel like wasted time in the moment. That doesn’t happen on Babushka.

    Whatsmore it’s possible to get out of precarious positions heroically, lucking out with a correct answer or a series of good spins and giving a chance to get back at an opponent. There’s no real heroism in Babushka save deciding how far to push the final doll.

    Furthermore Wipeout had really good questions in the main – there is no real point to having three boards in round one (indeed the US version only had one) but they pushed the entertainment value of the questions. Are the true/false questions in Babushka entertaining? Not really, they’re far too easy.

    Anything else?

    1. Chris M. Dickson

      Wipeout and Press Your Luck were at least quick about it; their attitude was reasonably cheerful and easy-come-easy-go, where poor Rylan has to drag a game out to about twice its natural length. Babushka is also player-versus-house, so most people will more naturally empathise with the player and feel more of the loss, whereas the other shows are player-versus-player.

      That’s a start!

    2. David B

      If there’s one thing I’d have changed about Wipeout UK it’s that, for the “you think it’s wrong but actually true” answer that they used to attach a [good] mystery prize to, I’d have given the contestant an anti-wipeout token which would allow them to not lose their money (but still lose control). At least that way there would be a more-than-theoretical chance of making it through three rounds without losing everything.

  35. Daniel H

    It had to happen sooner or later – today’s couple managed to get Question 8 right but had picked an empty doll, making the entire show redundant whatever had transpired before. The fact they had £10,500 in the bank at the time certainly didn’t soften the blow…

  36. Daniel H

    Of note today, the players managed to miss both empty dolls in their selection of eight. (Probability around 2%, I make it).

    1. Thomas Sales

      It’s 1 in 45, or (8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1)/(10*9*8*7*6*5*4*3) = (2*1)/(10*9), so 2.2%. Anyone know how to get the dot above the second 2 to show it’s recurring?

  37. Brig Bother Post author

    Under a million yesterday, and under 10% (if you want to blame hot weather – on the other hand the Summer break is usually in August so it’d be even worse).

    What I’ve mainly enjoyed is people on the DS Forums going “OK, it’s *definitely* a flop now” with each passing day, like it wasn’t a fortnight ago.


  38. Arun

    To be honest, until today, I thought the questions were fairly easy. Not something usually seen in that slot, but a good lead-on from Tipping Point. Then today happened, and the final question was about the number of syllables in the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. I would have known the answer to that question when I was 5. I now accept that they are far too easy.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      If contestants are routinely getting 7+ questions right out of 8 on fifty/fifty shots, they are too easy.

      Unfortunately if they made them harder the pot would just zero more.

      Rubbish format.

      1. Arun

        I am totally with you, but even when some of the questions are junior school easy, the contestants still give the wrong answer to the question, leading to thoughts from me about from where they sourced to contestants from. Hopefully this show will not lead to celebrity editions, where the questions might resort to “One plus two equals three. True or False?”

        On another point, as far as I’m aware, there has only been one team that has done the all or nothing gamble at the end. This show must have been play tested with goldfish.

        Poor Rylan.

        1. John R

          It is also a very boring show, they keep making a big deal about the pot of money building up then question wrong / empty doll and oh back to the start you go…Yawnnnnn

          1. Alex

            It’s almost like they realised the format on its own was too harsh so they made the questions deliberately piss-easy.

  39. Brig Bother Post author

    And this ended on 845k apparently. I don’t think even Take On The Twisters went that low. Blimey.

    1. Little Timmy

      It would have been far more apt for the ratings to keep improving before suddenly crashing to zero for the last episode.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I was desperate to do a graph of the ratings being represented by increasingly smaller dolls but sadly it went up a bit before falling again.


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