# Show Discussion: Winning Combination

By | November 16, 2020

Weekdays, 3pm,
ITV

Omid Djalili challenges nine people to find a winning combination that could win up to £9,876.

Nine contestants are each randomly assigned a digit from 1-9 and must fight to get through to the final where the prizemoney is made up of those digits, but to win the money they each have to correctly answer the same amount of questions as their number, so £9,876 would probably be really hard but £9,321 would be tactically more astute for similar money, especially split four ways.

Omid should be good, but it sounds like an awful lot of work for quite small reward which is a bit offputting. We’ll see. Let us know what you think in the comments!

## 23 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Winning Combination”

1. Anthony Williams (3 time TV loser)

Overall, I think it has potential. The pacing of the qualifying rounds seems a little slow but the battle rounds are good. I love the endgame – very tense.

Djalili is a very capable host and the questions are pictched at a good level. The main thing I dislike is the graphics. It looks like an off the shelf Twitch overlay.

2. Tom H

A quick rundown of the rules…

Nine players are randomly assigned a number from 1 to 9.

Omid asks a question on the buzzer – a correct answer means a player can try to qualify for the Battle. They’re shown a list of six answers, a statement like “shapes with four sides” and asked to provide the two answers that match. If they do, they go through to the Battle. Rinse and repeat until five players have qualified.

In the Battle, each of the five qualifying players starts with four points. There are two minutes on the clock; Omid fires off buzzer questions – a correct answer earns you a point; you must also nominate someone to dock one point from. You lose a point with an incorrect answer. At the end of the two minutes, the person with the most points wins and has to add their points to a four-digit number – the Combination – which is split into thousands, hundreds, tens and units. Obviously, if someone puts their points in the “hundreds” slot, the next Battle winner will have to add theirs elsewhere. If the Battle ends in a tie, there’s a buzzer tiebreak.

We go through this whole performance three more times until four players have won Battles and have completed the Combination.

In the final, those four player must correctly answer the same number of questions as the points they brought with them. The person in the “units” column goes first – and starts with 30 seconds. For each correct answer, another 5 seconds is added to the clock. The time remaining once they answer their final question passes to the next player. The team only wins any money if the fourth player completes all their questions before the clock runs out. If they do, they split the prize equally – so pretty small beer with a maximum pot of £9,876.

The set is very purple but fine; graphics and fonts are very similar to those on Rebound. Paul Farrer scored the show – but I don’t particularly remember any of the music cues.

Omid is a very competent question reader and was particularly strong at the start bantering with the contestants. However the show’s key weakness is the repetitive nature of the format – to go through qualifying rounds and Battles for the best part of 50 minutes, without any variation whatsoever, is pretty tedious and I wouldn’t rush to watch this again for that reason alone. The final was quite fun, though.

First episode broadcast, so I’ll give the format rundown as usual.

9 players are in the game, each representing a number from 1 to 9. A toss-up question is asked on the buzzer, with the player who answers correctly facing a board of 6 answers, 2 correct and 4 wrong. The player must pick both of the correct answers to proceed to the first Battle Round. This process is repeated until 5 players go through.

In the Battle Round, each of the 5 players is given 4 points. Quick-fire questions are asked on the buzzer for 2 minutes, with a correct answer giving you a point AND the choice to take a point away from an opponent, a wrong answer loses you a point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the time proceeds to the Final, with ties broken by a tie-breaker question. The winning player then decides where to place their number: the thousands, the hundreds, the tens or the units.

Rinse and repeat until all 4 numbers are filled.

In the Final, each player, starting with the player in the units, must answer as many quick-fire questions as their number (e.g. if your number is 5, you must answer 5 questions correctly) in order to win a share of the jackpot. The clock starts at 30 seconds and is continually decreasing, and each correct answer adds 5 seconds back onto the time. If a player fails to reach their quota, they are out of the game.

4. Simon Fox

Had to pop out during the show so put it on record. The fact that I was skipping through the 2nd, 3rd and 4th iterations of getting through to the final says a lot about the format. I guess the comparisons are with the Chase but at least each individual chase can be interesting separately.

Don’t think it will be the last quiz show Omid hosts – I’m sure most of the banter at the start with the contestants was scripted but his hosting style reminded me of Bob Monkhouse (which is a good thing).

Not a terrible format but also not something I would go out of my way to watch. Probably a 6/10 for me.

5. Brig Bother Post author

Here’s where I am after episode one: it’s a solid enough and competent quiz with lots of questions – around 150 in your hour and I really like Omid Djalili as host, but I’m not sure I’m ever able to get properly excited over it, it doesn’t feel like a bit of a treat like Tenable or Impossible might on an afternoon off, I don’t mind repetitveness as such but as a journey it’s just not all that compelling. I do like the Outrun endgame (Game Garage notwithstanding, I think the last time a show did anything like that was Timekeepers with Bill Dod). If it goes wrong we could be looking at a prize fund of £1,234, or just over £300 each which I’m going to find difficult to get interested by except for comedy purposes.

1. Brig Bother Post author

I had also presumed beforehand that the numbers would get automatically sorted into descending order, the end game would then get harder as it went on rather than jumping all over the place, but there we are.

6. Greg

The final was entertaining. Would I watch 45 minutes to get to it sadly not.

7. Brekkie

So assigning the numbers 1-9 at the beginning means nothing then if it is there score that forms the Winning Combination. In other hands a decade or so ago this might have been about trying to get through to the final by convincing each other you are the higher numbered contestant.

1. Anon

Or maybe if they had to decide that the ‘best’ contestants could sit on the higher numbers. Something that requires a DECISION, rather than just answering Q&A.

2. Jackson H

When the press release for this was released over a year ago, I thought that was what this was going to be. I still think that would be far more interesting and this show pains me, they’ve got an awesome gimmick and are using it in just about the worst way possible.

8. Harry

I found it a bit too slow and repetitive in the main sadly. I feel the battle rounds may be more interesting with two extra things, if a contestant gets to 9 they instantly win, and if a contestant hits zero they are out of the battle. That makes the choice of who to take a point from have more direction as it may as well just take a point off the highest scoring player currently.

The endgame is nice and it is also quite fun to see the faces of the other players when one of them is answering. However the numbers being randomly assigned kind of defeats the whole point of having them in the first place. Even just eight questions on the buzzer at the beginning where correct answers give you the choice of remaining numbers would be enough to justify their existence (and also gives players an opportunity opto avoid having to answer 9 questions in the final if they want to).

1. Brig Bother Post author

I did ponder the auto-win/lose thing as well, but I did find it quite amusing when that guy got to 9 and then obviously everyone picked on him, so.

As has been pointed on Twitter there’s an inherent balancing in the Battle Round, would be interested to see how many are determined on the final question.

9. Steffon Johnson

Hello does anyone know the ratings for winning combination last night

1. Tom H

1.5m – better than Tenable was doing in the same slot the week before.

10. James Turner

I’ve kept watching. Omid Djalili is fun, though not sure quite how engaged he is with the contestants.
I agree with others that it is getting a bit samey and not sure I’ll carry on much longer.

It’s quite funny seeing the reactions of the other contestants when they have points knocked off in the battles, lots of eye rolls and tutting. It feels like there could be more strategy with picking where your number ends up in the combination.

After the first episode I thought that the endgame looked fairly easy, but given how the next two have gone it’s not really. The problem being that it’s complete chance what number you have. So if you have a weaker player (or even just one unlucky with the questions) with a large number then they can easily end up running out of time.

It feels like there wants to be some mechanism where you can win a good number, but that would probably make it a very different show.

1. Brig Bother Post author

The endgame is quite clever in that it’s a timed game that’s never unwinnable until you’ve actually lost – no foregone conclusions. Also you’d have to be of at least a basic competence to get through to the final.

I do think the final questions on Monday were pretty easy, and watching on Tuesday felt a bit more difficult – perhaps they wanted a winner on the first show. Given that they’re self contained, it seems rather unusual to put so many references to it being the first show so at least they could have hidden it mid run if it wasn’t up to much.

1. John R

They should have had a comedic twist of awarding the cumulative combination prize fund won if they didn’t reach the end, worst case scenario ‘you’ve won 25p each’

I suppose the joke would wear thin rather quickly though

And it wouldn’t be the WINNING COMBINATION, did they mention the show is called WINNING COMBINATION yet?!

11. Gyroscopes

I actually really like this, though fear its not ‘gimicky’ enough to do well on ITV. There’s a few format niggles as other have mentioned, but overall I find it an entertaining watch. I don’t agree too much that it’s ‘samey’ – the fast pace of the questions means it doesn’t seem that way to me at all. Tenable is far more ‘samey’ with one list question dragged out to an excruciating 10 minutes.

Omid is great and his disinterest in the contestants is what makes me chuckle!

12. Brett Linforth

I like the show, personally. Omid is a great host and should’ve landed a game show years ago, in my opinion. However, there is one part I’m not sure needs to be as cluttered as it currently is – the Battle Rounds. To me, if winning contestants take their randomly assigned numbers through to the combination rather than their score from the battle, I would have everyone start at zero, lose the part where a correct answer docks a point from a chosen opponent and just have points deducted for incorrect answers – essentially, a repeat of the opening round of The Boss Series 1. Other than that, a good number of questions pitched about right for the timeslot (many of them more challenging than the ‘what is your name’-level jump-in’s on Tipping Point an hour later), fun contestants, a BRILLIANT end game and a real find in Omid. 8/10 in my eyes!

13. James Turner

Nothing to do with the show directly, but the inconsistency in the length of the ad breaks is irritating me. My PVR has a button that jumps forward 2 minutes. With many shows I can hit that twice and jump between the bumpers. But with this some breaks are only 2 minutes and some are longer so I end up jumping and Omid is already going.

14. Matt

It just feels like he takes too long to read the questions, I do not understand why if someone says “pass” that the presenter will still read the answer. Speed. It. Up.

1. Des Elmes

Are you saying, then, that Omid should immediately read the next question when someone says “pass”? In other words, he should be like Magnus Magnusson/John Humphrys?

Not. Gonna. Happen.

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