Show Discussion: Alphabetical S2

By | October 1, 2017

Weekdays, 3pm,

Jeff Stelling returns with a new run of the alphabet-based quiz which promised lots of questions and nothing but, and yet when it came to the end game managed to ask not enough questions and proved impossible to win – not because of difficulty of the questions per se, because the contestants didn’t have enough time to go through them all.

Hopefully they’ve amended that or there will be no chance of a third run – audiences will accept difficulty, they won’t accept being inherently unwinnable – the Spanish show goes months without a winner but that’s not because of the clocks.

Hopefully they’ve stopped asking people to say “alphabetical” instead of “pass”.

On the plus side the jackpot has rolled over from last series so there’s a big wedge of cash to be won, and if you still want lots of questions you will probably get your wish.

Better than series one? No different? Let us know in the comments.

27 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Alphabetical S2

  1. David Howell

    The thing is, you’d expect Jeff to be rather good at the fast-paced endgame based on his Soccer Saturday experience – I’m willing to bet that’s why he got considered for this in the first place – and he strangely wasn’t.

    This format, or at least the concept of an almost unwinnable endgame with a massive rolling jackpot, arguably only works when it’s on every day for most or all of the year like it is in Spain.

  2. Danny Kerner

    They changed the final. It’s a head to head now with 5 Q’s out of 10 first letter options, most scored wins. Ties don’t matter Champion wins by default. They then do the alphabet circle with the time scored throughout the show.

  3. Sam Hodkin

    The Challenger ties = Challenger Loses concept to me comes across as very, very unfair. I still see £250 for a daily winner as far too cheap, can they not budget for £500 or even £1,000? The new solo final doesn’t work for me, and Jeff is still far too slow on the question reading for a speed-intensive final. It’s still broken, which is a real shame.

  4. G-box

    Dear lord, it’s worse than series one. Pablo Pasapalabra will be turning in his grave.

  5. Gordon Donaldson

    minus points to Alphabetical for still being 250 quid for a daily win and for STILL having THOSE BLOODY BIRDS in the intro

    ITV would be far better off piloting Jeopardy for Jeff to host

    1. Brett Linforth

      I agree that it’s about time we in the UK had another attempt at Jeopardy! Jeff would certainly be a good host – to be fair to him, the questions could do with being a little shorter in the final round. His reading speed can’t be ENTIRELY blamed!

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Pointed out in the Cannonball thread, I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest it’s very speculative, and wouldn’t be the first time there’s been a contestant call for a series which doesn’t actually get made.

      However if you do want a go you’ve got until next May to apply.

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    I’m genuinely baffled. After a year to reflect on the first run, where everyone said “stop making them say Alphabetical instead of pass” and “they need more time in the endgame”, they’ve kept those things and added a largely needless head to head bit.

    I can only assume the endgame is being run as a tax dodge. 39 is a well above average score, Dickie was answering reasonably fast, you should absolutely be able to get round once in that time. No ifs, no buts, you can’t expect people to stay with a show that dangles the carrot but makes it impossible to win. My opinion’s not changed from last year, if the speed stays as it is the contestants need a base of 2:00.

    I’m alright with Champion Advantage generally as a thing (I get why they do it so the audience have someone to get behind) but it feels a bit heavy handed here – the Champion already goes through to the head to head, I’m not sure he needs any more than that. It also means that if he gets all five correct none of the challengers may as well as shown up.

    There’s something a bit off about the pacing – the first half is speedy, the second half feels really slow, 13 Letters is interminable. Was it like that last year? Can’t remember.

    1. Little Timmy

      “Perhaps you just needed a few more seconds,” says Jeff, with eight blank spaces on the wheel. Yes, well unfortunately, your stinking format gave him precisely no opportunity to get to them. Dickie’s facial reaction said it all, really (“how much longer do I have to stay here?”).

      I sincerely doubt anybody in the last series would have beaten the wheel (26 from 26) given _unlimited_ time to do so, so why persist with that particular spanner in the works? You know anybody with under 150s is doomed before you even get there.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Just reading through some old comments they have improved the endgame in one tiny way, they now tell you the answers of the questions that get passed. That this even invites comment is quite something.

  7. Scousegirl

    I thought the first series was a complete mess, sounds like it still is. Can’t be bothered to give it another go.

  8. Thomas Sales

    The problem with this series is the timeslot; ITV airs more adverts at 3pm than at 5pm, and they’ve stretched the running time accordingly. It’s the same reason the second series of Rebound was longer than the first. What I want to know is if all four of the programs were The Chase-sized, what time would the first one start? I watched yesterday’s episode at 12:30 today, and found it about right for the slot.

  9. Setsunael

    If the endgame is solo player now, is there some kind of breaks between each pass ? Pasapalabra’s gameplay makes those moments of passing control back-and-forth between each contestant quite crucial thinking for the answers of the last few jackpot-winning questions so if it’s only race against the clock that sounds quite impossible to achieve.

    1. Danny Kerner

      Its looking like 140 is the minimum you will need to even have a odds chance of getting 26. For a first timer today (6/10) he did well to get 22. I got a feeling the jackpot won’t hit £50k before its won.

  10. David B

    I liked the comment on Twitter that says Dickie will have to hand back his dressing room and car parking space now.

  11. Brig Bother Post author

    This was under 600k yesterday, although it looks like a low scoring afternoon generally. Lowest share of any ITV show all day though.

    By comparison Dickinson’s Real Deal can get 900k-1m in the slot, and Tenable was getting that for first run last year.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It would be remiss not to point out that since the endgame went from “impossible” to merely “really hard”, this has been getting around 850k which is a bit more respectable. Decent, even.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        This is now getting almost 900k. With those sorts of numbers, you have to suspect a recommission is on the cards.

  12. Daniel H

    “No winners this series on Alphabetical”

    Best Score: Someone managed 25/26 and the other one wrong on one episode a couple of weeks back.

    There was also one episode where the champion got all 5 right in the Head to Head thereby meaning the others may as well have not turned up.

    I prefer the jackpot game in one hit rather than flitting back and forth between contestants but the rest of the game is still pretty bland.

    Jeff seemed to have increased his endgame speed a bit towards the start of the series and with some quick-answering contestants there were a couple of times that they came pretty close, but over the last week or so he appeared to have slowed back down again and coupled with some not-as-good (but by no means poor) champions, no-one really got close in the second half of the series.

    Jackpot closed on £58,900 for those interested!

  13. Andrew Sullivan

    So series 2 draws to a close and still no jackpot win, although some did get VERY close. I’m not sure what to think about the Letter Showdown round. It’s great that we get a few more questions before the endgame, but I really don’t like the ‘champion wins by default in the event of a tie’ rule. I’m also still not a fan of Jeff just giving the answer to a wrongly answered question in the Thirteen Letters round, I still think the question should be thrown open to the others. I just see a situation arising when someone in the lead wants to keep their lead, or whoever will go out being spiteful, and just buzz in and say anything to remove the time from the game.

    Anyway, Warwick’s back on Monday and Tenable was a rather good format, so there’s that to look forward to.

  14. David B

    Apart from the speed, I think there are too many “Gotcha” questions that seem designed to trip people up. A perfect example of this was:
    “Which planet is the setting for the Flash Gordon comics?”
    …and the letter was ‘M’.

    Mars, you say? No money for you. The answer is ‘Mongo’. Not only is that a fairly tough question, but the guessable answer is wrong.


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