Easy to watch
Substantial prize money, sometimes
Can be boring, depending on the contestants.
Some of the people who lie can be so annoying
Television game shows are strange programmes, aren't they? Such shows often bring out the best or worst in people, as we watch usually calm individuals sell their soul for meagre winnings. GoldenBalls, aired on ITV in the UK, is such a show.
Golden Balls is hosted by one time British comedian and entertainer, Jasper Carrott. This show has one of the tea-time slots and is usally aired at 5pm. This means that there is nothing risque or that could be classed as offensive. It is easy watching entertainment.
Four contestants participate and the show runs for an hour, less commercial breaks. Initially each contestant has four golden balls placed in front of them. Two on a front row and two on a back row. Each contestant in turn has to open the front two balls and display what is shown inside. It could be anything from a few pounds to tens of thousands of pounds, or then again it could be a red killer ball inside. Killer balls are not good as, in the final of the competition, they may reduce the possible total amount of money up for grabs.
The back row of balls are only viewed by the contestant who has them. Each contestant then has to try and persuade the other three contestants that they have few or no killers and plenty of money. At this stage one contestant will be eliminated and of course none of them want it to be them. Some contestants play an honest hand but of course, if all of your golden balls ae rubbish, you will have to lie to get through to the next round. The four will vote who they think is lying, or not worth taking through, and that person will be eliminated.
The golden balls are mixed up and redistributed. With just three contestants left, each now receive five golden balls. The show's glamour interest will have added some new cash balls and extra killers at this stage. This means that it is a little harder deciding who has which balls. This time there are three balls on the back row which remain hidden to all and sundry.
Once one more contestant has been eliminated, the final two players will take through their golden balls and this amount of money determines the jackpot. The catch is that the killer balls have the potential to reduce cash so that it is only worth 10% of its original value. This means that Â£75,000 could reduce to Â£7,500 or Â£750 to Â£75.
The balls this time are in a central position, in front of the two players, and in turn each of them has to pick a ball to bin and then one to win. The ball's to win are placed in the five slots available. Of course, as neither contestant knows which ball is which, it is easy to bin the money and save the killers. A killer will reduce the amount of whatever balls are already displayed to 10%.
This can be tricky and sometimes the players are lucky and end up with Â£80,000 but other times they are not and the total of cash to win may only be Â£750. This is not the end though.
Once the final ball is in place and the total available known, each player receives two more golden balls. One has split inside and one has steal. The players must not let their opponent see which ball is which and then they must choose one ball to represent what they are hoping to do.
If they both pick a steal ball they both go home with nothing.
If they both pick a spilt ball they share the total amount of cash
If one picks steal and one picks split the person who picked steal takes home the lot.
Thoughts on the game.
This show ends up being all about trust. If you pick the split ball and your opponent has not been telling the truth you could end up with nothing.
The programme really shows just how deceitful some people are. Contestants have looked their opponent in the eyes and faithfully sworn on their lives that they will split. Have they? Yes, you are right, they have not.
It is often easy to guess who will split and who will steal but sometimes the most innocent, apparently honest person will steal. They just say its the name of the game and seem to feel no prick of their conscience. Teachers, nurses and policemen have all stated would I steal after all I am a nurse, or whatever, and then they have stolen.
The show has a fairly basic format but yet it is quite entertaining and addictive. Once you have started to watch a particular show you almost feel compelled to see the outcome. Whether Golden Balls will end up on mainstream programming I am not sure. Perhaps it is only fitting for early evening viewing.
The producers though are in a win-win situation.
As so many contestants these days seem to be bent os stealing the whole kitty, rather than sharing, more times than not the show has no prize money to pay out. What a waste. The contestants claw their way through to the final only to throw the prize money away in the end.
To my mind though, all of this just reinforces that old Yorkshire adage that, there's nowt' so funny as folk!