“Red or Black?” Awards Second £500,000 Prize Under Controversial Decision
ITV’s Red or Black? cannot shy away from production issues or controversial decisions. The skill/luck game show hosted by Ant and Dec sees eight contestants narrowed to one by making 50/50 decisions. The sole survivor plays for a rolling jackpot starting at £500,000 by guessing if a ball will land on a red or black light. The prize was given away last week, so this week’s jackpot was £500,000 Contestant Chris made it to the Vortex. Chris chose Black and released the ball. It was close but the light changes at, quite literally, the last possible instance. The decision on set is that he lost. They wish him well, but a few moments later cut to a recorded moment at Chris’s house where they reverse the decision and award him the £500,000.
Because the show was recorded with the thought that he lost next week’s jackpot is still £1,000,000. It was good of them to look into it more. However, it does beg the question…why did this happen in the first place? Check out the win-slash-loss below.
This series is pre-recorded. It’s not live. For the amount of money being pumped into the show I’m trying hard to figure out why tape was not stopped, why they didn’t go frame-by-frame seeing when the balls lands and when the colors change, and why they decided to go with this route of the reveal. At absolute best it comes off as a manufactured production technique and another instance of Simon Cowell trying to, unsuccessfully, shove his reality show trappings into what is a traditional game. The only options here are that they have a crew that decided it wasn’t worth checking in to the results, that they knew they’d have this situation and decided to milk it with the at-home reveal, or that they have a faulty machine. I’m not sure which of the three they’d prefer.
Again, I appreciate the fact they looked into it. They did the correct and responsible thing so the adjudicators and legal team on set deserves to be commended for that. However, this is an embarrassing production mistake that looks borderline amateurish for such a great production company and group behind it. This isn’t like a quiz show where extra research from the question’s writers have to be done to figure out a ruling. This is just going through the 24 frames in that second, hitting the left and right keys to adjust the frame, and figuring out the timing. I don’t believe I’m over-simplifying it and if I am I’d appreciate to know. They clearly have cameras all over including under the Vortex. There’s just no excuse for it to come off like this.
Red or Black? averaged 3.56 million viewers between its two episodes last night. It’s just not going to be the hit ITV wants it to be. Time to let this one go away.