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~ ~ Oh, the ‘mad cabbie’ really does like this game show. I know that in terms of being innovative, or in breaking any new ground, or even in the amount of prize money that can be won it is vastly overshadowed by the extremely popular “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” I also know that its host, the inimitable Anne Robinson, is not everybody’s cup of tea, and in point of fact upsets some people enormously.
~ ~ But not this fella. It’s confession time here from the ‘mad cabbie’! I’ve always had a “thing” for authoritative women. There you go. I’ve gone and admitted it now! It’s probably the main reason I’ve also put off writing this opinion for such a long time. Give me a bossy woman and I’m in my element. It’s probably the reason I often ended up with girls who worked in professions like the police force, schoolteachers, or as nursing sisters and the like when I was still foot loose and fancy free. And why I ended up eventually marrying a woman who works in a very high powered executive position. It’s not that I always do what they want or tell me. In fact, quite the reverse, because I’m a fairly stubborn and VERY single minded character when it comes to getting my own way. Maybe that’s why strong women seem to like me as well; I’m a bit more of a “challenge” to their dominant personalities.
~ ~ So what’s all this got to do with “The Weakest Link”, I hear you all asking? Quite a lot, in my honest opinion. You see, WITHOUT Anne Robinson, I doubt whether this game show would command the high audience figures that it does. Love her or hate her, it’s HER show without a shadow of a doubt, and people will switch on to do just that; love her or hate her! There are not too many people who are ambivalent when it comes to this particular lady.
~ ~ The rules of the show itself are straightforward enough. It starts out with a clutter (I think it’s nine?) of contestants answering general knowledge questions, and winning money for the “team” when they answer correctly. Then it starts to get interesting. At the end of each round, someone (supposedly the weakest link) has to be voted off the team by the majority vote of all the other contestants. It doesn’t always work out this way though, and often the “strongest link” (the best contestant) will be voted out by the strategic votes of some of the other players. Now, what does THAT remind me off? Oh yeah, I remember. It’s often occurred to me that some of the revenge and strategic raters here at Ciao would do very well here. (There again, maybe not, they probably wouldn’t have the brains to get on the show in the first place!) This happened only this past weekend, when some Welsh chancer voted off his strongest opposition in order to strengthen his own chance of winning, and then had the GALL to try to justify his choice to Anne Robinson. Naturally enough for Anne, she wasn’t having any of his nonsense, and told him straight out what she thought of him. (Heh, heh,. It’s GREAT fun) Eventually it comes down to just the final two contestants, and they then face each other in a ‘head to head’ round, the eventual winner walking away with all the dosh, and the loser getting precisely NOTHING.
~ ~ It’s the interaction between my beloved Anne and the contestants that really keeps me watching though. There was a young male doctor competing at the weekend, and he made the final two despite the fact that he was as thick as two short planks. All the way through the show Anne kept referring to him as the ‘boy doctor’, which he took without complaint. (the plonker!) There was another interesting contestant who was a heating engineer, and who should really have been the winner. He gave as good as he got. At one point Anne asked him what was interesting about his job, to which he replied, “Nothing. It’s a way to make a living, that’s all.” At another point she asked him who were his worst customers, to which he replied, “Those who don’t pay me.” Ah, it’s compulsive viewing, so it is.
~ ~ Like it’s famous competitor, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, the game format has been marketed to other TV stations. It’s just started up here in Ireland, hosted by the well-known Irish journalist and broadcaster Eamonn Dunphy. Some of you might remember him as a soccer pundit on TV, who had a well publicised and long running feud with Jack Charlton when he managed the Irish International Soccer team. He even gets a billing in Roddy Doyle’s book “The Van”, when his name is used by the local Dublin people to describe a sausage when they are ordering at the chip shop. (Puzzled; think what a sausage resembles!!) I watched the first airing of this Irish version of the show, and won’t be watching it again. Why? A good (not brilliant) journalist and BRILLIANT radio chat show host Dunphy may be, but he can’t hold a candle to Anne Robinson when it comes to the sarcastic or biting remark or comment.
~ ~ So that’s why “The Weakest Link” is compulsory viewing in the ‘mad cabbie’ household. Or should I say, the host, the wonderful Anne Robinson. Mind you, I don’t think she’d get on very well hosting an Irish version. They’d rip her to shreds over here!!
we all watch this in our house too.the kids try and shout the answers to the contestants.i'm sure they think they can hear them,so are you going to apply to go on the show then????
SirLink 18.04.2003 22:46
Very nice opinion, although I have to say that the show owes some of its success on its clever format, not just Anne Robinson. The show airs on 80 countries around the world, all with their own host, so Anne Robinson is not a vital ingredient in the recipe if you can get a witty sarcastic host.
danieletheridge 12.09.2002 19:32
Have to say the Weakest Link is one of my favourites, and that seeing it in Spain was rather funny! Good op :) Cheers > Dan