That’s Yer (Pi)Lot: Let The Music Play

By | September 15, 2013

Alright, it’s 2am so I might come back and add to this tomorrow. If you have questions please ask and I will do my best.

  • It was filmed at BBC Elstree, Ian Royce was the warm-up man, Amanda Byram is the host. Yes, the intention is it’s a National Lottery show.
  • The producer came on and tried to explain the format. It took him ten minutes. It would have been easier to say “it’s Name That Tune with Deal or No Deal elements” because that would have been instantly graspable.
  • The set is (for want of better word) dark. The stage is length ways to the audience with three main “bits” to it. Around the stage are 15 large screens in portrait pointing inwards (so if you’re in the audience it’s basically impossible to see all of them). Hanging from the ceiling and raised and lowered where appropriate is the “Jackpot Jukebox” which is just another rectangular portrait screen, I reckon it should be in the shape of a old-skool jukebox but never mind. In the middle area of the stage are two podiums, one with a “play” button on it and one with a “pause” button.
  • A family of four play – not a nuclear family, here we had a dad, his daughter, his sister and one of his nephews from his brother’s side. They select one person to play round one.
  • In round one the chosen player will face five songs, one of each of five screens. For each one a choice of two categories will show up (“Eurovision” or “Scottish Bands”, say). With their back turned to their family who stand front of stage resting on a bar with back to the audience, their family must decide which category their teammate will play. They must discuss this without mentioning specific bands lest they get a ticking off from Byram. There was a fun discussion trying to disseminate what “glam” was without mentioning any of the bands.
  • Category chosen, the player will hear 12 seconds of a song. They are then asked if they know the title AND the artist, knowing that their answer must be exact. The jukebox will actually only ask for one of these things (locked in before the game) but the contestant will not know which until they decide to play the question. If either the title or artist is a bit fiddly, you can almost guarantee that will the one that will be asked for. If they go for it and get the question right then £2,000 is added to the round bank.
  • When I say fiddly I *mean* fiddly – for example in yer standard pub music quiz if you wrote “Never ever ever getting back together” for that Taylor Swift song you would likely get the credit which is not unreasonable given the lyric. Here that would be immediately classed as wrong (it’s only a single Ever in the title). Similarly you might think Single Ladies might be acceptable for that Beyonce song, but unless you’ve added (Put A Ring On It) you’re getting no money. For artists you need to watch you don’t miss out secondary people in collaborations. I do think this is rather detrimental to fun. It also adds an unnecessary amount of discussion time to each question when it needs to be a bit faster.
  • If  they aren’t sure of either, they can opt to go multiple choice (four options) but the money for the question is divided by 10 – i.e. £200. Astute players recognise that if you know either song or artist it’s positive expected value to just go for it and hope.
  • If they get it right a big tick appears on the screen and the audience are expected to get up and dance to an excerpt. If not then disappointment and a cross.
  • After five songs the contestant must take on the Jackpot Jukebox. The JJ has been preloaded with two tracks – tonight’s winning song which is Abba’s Money Money Money, and tonight’s losing song which is The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want. For each correct answer the contestant gave the JJ will add another copy of ABBA to the playlist, for each wrong answer given, another copy of The Rolling Stones. So at the end of round one there are seven tracks on the playlist, you want more Money Money Money and fewer You Can’t Always Get What You Want. The JJ covers and shuffles them up (I don’t know if it’s possible to follow the shuffle) and you pick one of the seven track numbers.
  • Soon after, Byram will push the Play button. There will be a twenty second wait and then either ABBA or The Rolling Stones will play. If you as a contestant let the music play and it’s ABBA, you will bank the entire amount won in the round. However if it’s The Stones you will win nothing. BUT, you can choose not to hear the selected track by hitting the pause button during that twenty seconds but doing so will come at a cost – in round one this evening they took £2,400 through but the penalty would have been -£1,400, so a grand total of £1,000.
  • This bit is surprisingly well done and quite tense especially when played for larger amounts of cash later on. If they don’t pause then after the twenty seconds there’s a tense ZOOOOOMMMM sound effect before the JJ reveals which song has been selected. With proper money on the line it was properly exciting. If they win any money, it’s put in the Bank for later. After the round the Jukebox uncovers the playlist so we can see what the good and bad numbers were. Although as it’s all electronic, I expect someone will shout “fix!” at some point.
  • At no point is a contestant allowed to use the word “gamble”. They’ll refilm it asking you to use “risk”.
  • Round two is played the same as round one but you only get six seconds of each song but the money is bumped up to £3,000/£300.
  • The Jackpot Jukebox for round two includes the playlist for round one so now there will be twelve tracks to choose from, and the odds will have changed. I would be slightly worried that if the team got off to a bad start it will bring the energy of the whole down because they’ll pretty much always be on the back foot.
  • Interestingly with £3,300 on the line and a 6/6 good/bad split, the Jukebox offered an above mean £1,800 which they took (this is non TX so I’m not really spoiling). The split is shown at the bottom of the screen whilst they make their choice.
  • Round three has clips of songs that are only three seconds long, but each one is worth £5,000/£500. Again the results are added to the Jukebox playlist, and again they must decide whether to let the music play or not.
  • At this point the team had £19,400 in their bank. As a team they would play one final question with the person who hasn’t played a round acting as “leader”.
  • The fifteen screens light up with the fifteen categories that went unused. The Jukebox then selects one of them. The team will hear 3 seconds then must come up with both artist AND title. If they are right, their pot is doubled. If wrong then halved. The team can go multiple choice, but if they get it right they just keep the pot as is.
  • They then take on the Jackpot Jukebox one more time for the entire bank, and this time what they win they can take home. With a pot of £39,400, the team were offered £12,000 to bail out with a 11/7 good/bad split, so by no means an easy decision. They always frame it by first telling you what you’d lose if you pause.
  • It’s good fun – high shoutability factor, the clips are well chosen so that you can get them from the time given and no obscure tracks were used either. I say that as someone who is probably slightly above average at music quizzes, your mileage may vary.
  • I felt like there is too much chat during the questions and between questions. Naming tunes is fun, you will only be doing it sixteen times throughout the show because of Modern Dramatic Techniques.
  • Surprisingly I didn’t think Amanda Byram suited it. She was certainly in control, but I might have just misread natural exuberence but I thought she came across a bit too arch and insincere – that’s fine on Total Wipeout and The Big Breakfast,  I’m not quite convinced it suits family fun lottery quizzes.
  • In summary it does little original, in fact I don’t think it has any unique game mechanic. But I do think there is a decently watchable show here if the audience can get their head around the Jackpot Jukebox playlist.

6 thoughts on “That’s Yer (Pi)Lot: Let The Music Play

  1. JC

    > Similarly you might think Single Ladies might be acceptable for that Beyonce song, but unless you’ve added (Put A Ring On It) you’re getting no money.

    Wow. Just… wow. Is it made clear beforehand that parenthetical bits in song titles cannot be omitted?

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        It actually becomes very important because some of the multiple choice answers play on the theme. You aren’t expected to say ‘open/close parentheses’, but you’ve got to get it in full and exact.

        Another question made a distinction between ‘The Supremes’ and ‘Diana Ross and The Supremes’ for more anality.

  2. Weaver

    Caution: this comment descends into silly.

    Oh, that’s painfully precise. Surely the right thing is to be absolutely spot-on in the clues, and allow some latitude in the answers, like they do on Only Connect.

    There will be some very hostile press, possibly a silly-season article in the Sunday Fivesales. And I can just imagine the grief this will cause on the messageboards.

    “‘Run With Scissors’, they said it was by Reg Snipton And The Sniptones. Wasn’t it a Reg Snipton solo release?” – Terence Viewer.

    “And wasn’t the song called ‘(Don’t) Run With Scissors’?” – Mickey Taike.

    “According to the Ginormous Book of Hit Singles (Rice, Rice, Gambo, Rice, 1992), when it was first released on Obscurantia Records in 1968, it was ‘(Don’t) Run With Scissors’, credited to The Sniptones alone. I can tell it’s the 1971 re-recording because of Gary Sniptone’s muffed drum-beat in the bridge,” – Mike Smartipants.

    “So, were they right to accept Reg Snipton and the Sniptones?” – Connie Fused.

    “Who cares? A game of Sauccisong is much more (i.e. some) fun! Eveyone can tell when Ronan Keating gets the right words in the wrong order.” – Eddie Watts.

    “Yeah, he opens his mouth!” – Mike Giggler.

    Great stuff, guys!


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