Show Discussion: Cannonball

By | September 1, 2017

Saturday, 7pm,
ITV

Well it flopped in the Netherlands, the Australian version filmed last year but was deemed so good Seven refuse to put it out as it would be unfair on other networks and now finally, finally, an ITV commissioner has seen sense and given us ten whole hours of wacky people flying off a ramp and hitting the water and nothing else in what most people would quite rightly consider summertime filler from the basic premise but is now the jewel in ITV’s peak-period Saturday night crown (apart from The X Factor).

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I’m harsh. But it does look rather like Talpa have seen Takeshi’s Castle, they’ve seen Total Wipeout and come up with the wrong conclusions, that it’s taken the inherent 3D-ness of the physical gameshow and filled it with blank space when at the very least it needs to be filled with stuff, where falling in the water is the punchline to an interesting set up. This appears to have the same games every week (jump from a ramp, zorbing skittles, the blob which Total Wipeout has already done, skim across the water as fast as you can on a board, and the final: jump off a swing into a target). There is no big prize (the Cannonball Cup).

To be honest it’s the young up and coming hosts I feel most sorry for who will always have the shadow of it on their CV. Freddie Flintoff and Frankie Bridge are known quantities, but this is quite the break for Radzi Chinyanganya (currently on Blue Peter), Maya Jama and Ryan Hand. Poor Cannonball‘s Ryan Hand.

Anyway it might end up being good, so let us know if it made a splash or sinks in the comments.

43 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Cannonball

  1. Andrew Sullivan

    Well, right off the bat, I’m going to give a Carolynne Alert. Apparently she got on this.

    Reply
  2. CeleTheRef

    Pointless is coming to Italy!

    Toto Cutugno is an excellent response to “Sanremo Festival winners” because he came in second place a record SIX times, but few remember that he really won it once in 1980.

    Reply
  3. Rowan

    I was lucky enough to be a contestant on Cannonball itself, and had a blast. But from all the promo stuff I’ve seen, and having a good idea of what’s ahead in the rest of the episodes, I’ll admit, it’s going to flop hard. It’ll loose steam drastically quick, mostly due to the format being the exact same for the entire series. Any-hoo, the less people watching my episode the better, I suppose.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Thanks Rowan, I can definitely imagine it was great fun to do, but that doesn’t always transfer to being great to watch, sadly.

      But I’ll try to keep an open mind!

      Reply
  4. Dash

    Total Wipeout: Go, my child! Surpass those rip offs like Takeshi’s Castle and Splatalot!!

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      A fair point, will change. Although I predict the average person couldn’t tell you who he was at this juncture.

      Reply
      1. Steve Williams

        Well, obviously. But I’m so devastated by Barney’s imminent departure* I would like to make it VERY CLEAR.

        *I’m mostly devastated because he’s 37 and I was clinging on to him being there as encouragement that I could still be a Blue Peter presenter I wanted to.

        Reply
  5. Brekkie

    Well I’d summarise the format for you – if there was one! Nobody is going to sue for this one!

    Reply
      1. Andrew Sullivan

        I can.

        24 contestants play 4 games:
        Blob – The contestant is placed at one end of one of those giant inflatable things. Fat men (designated as ‘blobbers’) jump from a tower to catapult the contestant in the air. Whoever sets the highest height is the winner.

        Knockout – 6-pin bowling. Contestants wear one of those body-sized Zorbing things and slides down a slide to knock the pins over. Whoever knocks over the most pins wins.

        Skimmer. This is played with 2 contestants at once. They slide down a slope on body boards and must reach the finish line as quickly as possible by skimming over the water. Shortest time wins.

        Jump – Similar to Skimmer, but using small inflatable dinghies and the slope launches you at the end. Longest distance wins.

        Each event carries a bronze, silver and gold medal for the best 3 performers. It IS possible for one person to win multiple events. The 3 best medallists then go through to the final.

        The final has the contestants stand at the top of a tower with a rope. In the water below is a circular target made of ping-pong balls. The idea is to swing on the rope and land as close to the bullseye as possible. There are 5 coloured rings with differing point values (White – 1 point, Pink – 2 points, Green – 3 points, Blue – 4 points and the Orange bullseye – 5 points). Each contestant jumps 3 times, and whichever coloured section they touch first is their score. For round 1, the target is stationary. For round 2, the bullseye moves side to side, and for round 3, ALL of the coloured sections move. Whoever scores the most points after all 3 jumps is the winner and wins the Cannonball Cup.

        Reply
        1. Andrew Sullivan

          A couple of small errata to clear up:

          1 – The Pink ring is worth 1 point and the White ring is worth 2 points. I had them the other way around.

          2 – On the third swing in the Final, the Orange bullseye is worth 10 points instead of 5

          Reply
  6. Chris M. Dickson

    Not good, but at least largely good-natured in a way that Total Wipeout was largely not, and at least somewhat carefully made, so common-or-garden poor rather than egregious; this is not so much ITV’s Total Wipeout as ITV’s Can’t Touch This and surely set to suffer the same fate.

    The highlight was probably Freddie Flintoff cheerfully shouting “Potato!” on the credits card at the very end of the show, which is not much of a claim to fame, but – if you’re determined to find the good in all things – at least it finished on a high, eh?

    Reply
  7. Brig Bother Post author

    I will say this for it, the manic editing was nicely done. It tries very hard to hit the same beats Total Wipeout did.

    I’ll also say this for it: hiding what the actual format is until about 40 minutes in is a bit daft.

    Twitter reaction seemed a bit more positive than for Spotless – lots of people saying their kids were enjoying it and they want a go, which I suspect is the idea. Can’t see it holding anything like the audience it might have got tonight though.

    Reply
    1. Greg

      I am not sure the best 3 were selected for the final. A points based system for maybe the top 5 in each game would be better. I also do not think the final is a big enough event and is a bit of a let down.
      More looking forward to bromans on ITV2

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        It took me a while to twig they were using lights on the ping pong balls from underneath rather than painstakingly setting up coloured balls each time.

        Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Yeah I was trying to work out how they were doing the moving target and presumed computer graphics weren’t the answer.

      2. David

        I have to agree on that- the person who got 2 second places probably should have made it to the final over the person who only won 1 event-Though we don’t know how they did in the other events, so maybe they use a scoring format (like they add up the positions they get in all four events, lowest scores go on, with ties broken on their single best event- so the person who advances could have gotten something like 1-4-8-9=22 while the other person got 2-2-7-12=23…but they should explain that in advance)

        And with four events you can’t use a straight “win and you’re in” format since you’d often have 4 different winners and they only have three in the final (though it didn’t happen this time).

        Reply
  8. Gyroscope

    I actually quite enjoyed this – much more than I thought I would anyway. It didn’t seem any more repetitive than watching people doing the same course in Ninja Warrior or Wipeout. I’m not entirely sure I’d want to watch it every week though, however.

    The major problem to me seemed to be the main presenter’s voiceover. Dreadful.

    I thought the ‘presenters on the ground’ were actually quite good though at hyping it all up and didn’t mind there being so many of them!

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Just nicking this from Broadcast:

      “Earlier in the evening, Potato’s water-based competition format opened with an audience just below the channel’s 3.2m (17.4%) slot average.

      The Talpa-created series launched in line with Bang on the Money, which opened in a similar slot in 2016, but couldn’t match the second series opener of Tuesday’s Child’s You’re Back In The Room which entranced 3.8m (19.5%) last year.”

      Reply
  9. Nico W.

    Looking at some clips they uploaded on youtube, the finale with all the hosts chatting about the results looks so much like Japanese/Korean variety/game show-ish stuff. Was it really like that throughout the show or did it just look like it in the finale?

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Just the final, the rest if it was very Wipeout, with each of the hosts talking to people at each bit of apparatus and Freddie Flintoff commentating throughout.

      Reply
  10. Callum J

    Quite enjoyed it. Perhaps not as much as Total Wipeout, but I think I enjoyed it more than Ninja Warrior UK. I like the presenters and it’s good to see them using mostly new talent but the format should have been explaned at the start. I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on.

    Reply
  11. JamesW

    It’s probably a damning indictment of the show that this is all I can think of to mention, but the seemingly infinite looking pool they use for some of the events (that matches the level of the actual sea) appears to have been built for Lew Grade’s adaptation of Clive Cussler’s Raise the Titanic.

    Not sure about the other two, but apparently it was one of the first of its kind to be constructed.

    A crueler mind than I would suggest that Malta’s filming industry is getting a bit of a connection to big budget flops between that film, the Popeye live action film and this show.

    Reply
  12. Brig Bother Post author

    Rather predictably against the Strictly launch this nosedived to 1.8m for episode two.

    Nobody could have possibly foreseen this!

    Reply
  13. D Smith

    Just got around to watching the first episode of this – it is terrible boring. So little content stretched across an hour. I actually quite liked the hosts and the end game looked rather good, but I can see why it’s ratings have plummeted. Looks very unlikely to be back for a second run.

    Reply
    1. John R

      Cannonball! – 1.39m (8.3%)

      Looks like the scheduler may feature on Blob next week

      Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It’s getting under 1.5m, I find the idea of a second series quite difficult to believe, but perhaps ITV are big fans of shows they make little money on.

      It wouldn’t be the first show to ask for contestants with no series forthcoming, the idea that you’ve got until next May suggests a bit of speculation. We’ll see.

      Reply

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