Dumb Answer of the Week
What Happens When You Speak Before You Think

May 8th - May 14th, 2011

Text by: Robert Seidelman

Guess what? This week's Dumb Answer of the Week has nothing to do with Repo Games. Instead, we go to GSN's Catch 21. Oh yes, if you look, you'll still find it on the GSN schedule. Very quietly and unbeknownst to most GSN has been airing new episodes of Catch 21. Truth be told, if not for reading about it on BuzzerBlog or Game Show News Net, I wouldn't have known that new episodes were even airing.

This is Megan from Phillips Ranch, California. On the surface, she's your stereotypical Catch 21 contestant: energetic, bubbly, and loud. Little did we all know that she was about to make what may well go down as the biggest blunder in the show's history.

To bring everybody up to speed, I'll defer to Chico Alexander's concise review of the first round from Game Show News Net:

"Hand 1: We start with a 10 for David, an ace for Megan, and a 6 for Dan. Dan breaks up the ace with a 3 for soft 14, then breaks up the 10 for 17. Megan passes a 3 to Dan for 9. David then gives Megan a hard 14 before busting her on a queen for 100. David passes a 9 to Dan for 18 before busting him out with a jack. David now has 900 to Dan's 200."

So heading into Round 2 the scores are...

Man, I miss old fashioned scoreboards. Let's get to Round 2.

Each player gets dealt their first card. David gets an Ace. Megan gets a 9. Dan gets a Jack.

After answering the first question of the round correctly, Dan is dealt a King for 20 and wisely (or as Alfonso Ribeiro would say "smartly") freezes his hand.

Megan is fast on the buzzer for the next question and gets the answer right. Mikki deals her card.

"It's a Jack."

Not much you can do, but take the Jack, give yourself a 19, and hope you can answer a couple more questions to get into second place.


So, Megan passes a face card to David who already had a soft 11 which means, David automatically wins the round (and a bonus prize of a trip to Reno) with a 21. And since Dan is in 2nd place, Megan also eliminated herself by passing the Jack to David. We have a term in the game show lexicon for such an occurrence.

Yep, a Double Whammy!

And to use the words of Jim McKay with one boneheaded move we are all witnesses to...

"The thrill of victory..."

"...and the agony of defeat."

In fairness, I should also say a word or two about how host Alfonso Ribeiro mishandled the whole situation.

When Megan immediately said she would pass, a good host would ask the contestant if they were sure they wanted to make what ultimately would be a bad move. For example, when a contestant in the Showcase round on The Price is Right says they'll bid "Twenty-four hundred dollars", Drew Carey will often ask if that's what they really meant to say. See, that's the mark of a good host.

How did Alfonso handle it? Well, take a listen.

And if you ever needed further proof that the Artist Formerly Known as Carlton Banks wasn't a good host, you now have more evidence.

But ultimately, Megan has no one to blame but herself for making a move that was so...so...


Thank you, Kuni.

Special thanks and credits to Game Show News Net (www.gameshownewsnet.com) and BuzzerBlog (www.buzzerblog.com) for information, photos & multimedia.

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