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People Who Have Competed In Or Worked On Game Shows Are Spilling Their Behind-The-Scenes Secrets, And It’s Really Freakin’ Cool

“There are no surprise ingredients on MasterChef. You get to practice your dish for at least a week before your episode.”

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who have competed on game shows to tell us all about their time on set. We also came across a question on Reddit, posed by u/olymp1a, that asked, “People who have been on TV game shows, what are some behind-the-scenes secrets that regular viewers don’t know about?” Both forums were filled with fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that taught me so much about these iconic shows. Here are some of the most interesting anecdotes.

Note: These stories have not been verified. People who submitted stories are supposedly speaking from their own experiences. ABC / Via media.giphy.com

1. “I was a Jeopardy contestant in 2004 toward the end of Ken Jennings’ $2 million run. The day of my taping, there was a brief ceremony after the third game to officially award Ken a giant novelty check for his first million dollars. We broke for lunch, and Ken was ahead of me in line in the studio canteen. He was over the limit of his lunch voucher, so he put an item back. I blurted out, ‘DUDE, you won a million dollars. Get the baked Lay’s.’ He didn’t have any cash on him, so the cashier combined our two vouchers, and Ken Jennings owes me 10 cents to this day.”

“He ran the board during our game. I managed to answer 13 questions, whiffed on a Daily Double, and came in second. I spent my $2,000 winnings at Ikea, furnishing my new apartment. Alex didn’t mingle during tapings, but before each game, he posed with contestants at the podium for a photo. I still have mine, along with the Jeopardy branded glass frame the show gave us.”

whitneyh13

2. “I’m a film carpenter, and I worked on Big Brother. The ‘house’ is actually inside of a huge warehouse. I found it kind of creepy that they silently lead contestants to the game room with a black bag over their head. Also, because of the camera alleys, anyone working on the show can just wander behind the walls and watch the contestants in any room. I will never understand why people apply to be on that show. It looks stressful AF!”

u/Pundemic_crisis

3. “I was on The Price Is Right, and they let the other girl in the Showcase Showdown rebid after the audience booed her original bid. When it aired, they cut her original bid and showed only her second, winning bid. I lost.”

u/pumpkinspicerabbitCBS / Via media.giphy.com

4. “My brother entered my family in a Disney+ family-style trivia game show as a joke. Two Skype interviews later, the joke became very real, and we were flown out to California on essentially the eve of the pandemic (March 11, 2020). The entire production was a nightmare. The producers had no idea what they were doing, the games didn’t really make any sense, and the questions were extremely hard. They made my family sound like pretentious, rich assholes, which couldn’t be further from the truth. They made us each spend over $1,000 in ‘outfit options’ because we were told to provide our own clothes. I called one of the producers crying a week before we left because she told me to go shopping again, and as a broke college student, I genuinely couldn’t afford it.”

“The show was supposed to be a bracket style, and since we won the first episode, we were going to have to go back and keep winning in order to win the grand prize, which was three days at a Disney park. Because of the pandemic, they kept pushing it back, then canceled it this past May. I’m so happy it was canceled. I spent the last year dreading having to film on a set where I felt uncomfortable and the producers treated us horribly. The best thing to come out of the experience was meeting the family we competed against. Their adult kids are about the same age as my brother and me, and since filming the first episode, we’ve talked to them every single day.”

—Anonymous

5. “I was in the audience at a Food Network taping, and Iron Chef America really is a 60-minute competition. That’s not fudged. The judging, on the other hand, takes forever.”

u/gambalore

6. “My husband and I were on Ellen’s Game of Games! It was during COVID-19, so we were flown out and quarantined in a hotel that only hosted the other contestants. They filmed the entire season in two weeks. You film your first game, and if you win and continue on, you finish filming the finale on another day and they piece together the episode during editing. They gave us money for food every day, and we were COVID-tested all the time. Her staff was the BEST. They are just the coolest people. They made us feel like movie stars. We were actually even given our own trailers to hang out in on filming days. Ellen herself was also lovely. She chatted with us before and after filming. It was a very surreal experience!”

—AnonymousNBC / Via media.giphy.com

7. “I was on Wheel of Fortune for College Week back in 2008. You don’t realize it while you’re just watching from home, but the order you stand in really does matter. You draw numbers backstage to decide if you will be standing on one of the edge positions or in the middle. I ended up in the middle, which is actually the worst place to be. The middle person is usually spinning the wheel the most and constantly guessing. You would think that would be good, but the other contestants to my left and right had all of that extra time to study the clue, and if I ever missed a letter, they would jump in and solve the puzzle. Long story short, you don’t want to be the person in the middle!”

—Anonymous

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Written by Rodron

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