Welcome to donduk. A refuge for those who enjoy Deal or No Deal, the hit Channel 4 gameshow hosted by Noel Edmonds. The award winning gameshow Deal or No Deal has become a big hit for Channel 4 and marks a sensational return to our screens of Noel Edmonds.

Deal or No Deal is enjoyed my millions of viewers daily, where the contestants battle with The Banker to try and win a jackpot of £250,000. Here at donduk you will find full daily reports of each show, as well Deal or No Deal news and specials. Deal or No Deal although initially appearing very simple in format of just opening a few boxes for the chance to win some big money prizes, actually has some potentially complex decisions to be made at points throughout the show, the contestants occasionally try complex or simple gameplay in an attempt to give them an edge in beating the Banker.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Massimo won £7400

Saturday, 5.45 pm and I am in front of the telly (for a change) to capture tonight’s contest of wits, or at least nerves. Yesterday Hilary showed ‘extraordinary courage’, Noel challenged today’s contestants, could any of them be that brave?

Today it was Massimo, at last. He stopped on the ‘walk of wealth’ to give a big kiss, and maybe a message, to Pat. He was ecstatic, photos of his Mum (deceased) and Dad were placed on the desk in front of him – he was adopted and regarded the fact that he was taken on by the two great people pictured in front of him as an indication of how lucky a person he was/is. Massimo was a big, bald man – a clear favouite amongst the contestants, and a voice of reason in previous games – in watching him arrive at the hot desk this baby-faced giant somehow reminded me of Moley from Wind in the Willows.

Round one: Gaz opened the game with box 17 - £250. Francesca, chatted with Massimo in Italian, a language they seem to share, she opened box 9 - £1. The crowd were cheering and whooping already. Pat was next, she prayed that it would be blue, but box 11 had £75,000. Terry followed with box 10 - £750. Dave W wanted to smile, he opened box 5 to reveal £50, and smiled. Massimo believed the Banker was fair, they were swapping compliments, mutual respect. The Banker described Massimo as the wise man of the west wing – the offer was £8800. Again we saw a very high first offer. Massimo did seem to consider the offer, and then turned to Noel – ‘No deal’.

Round two: Jason opened box 3 - £5. Serious Simon opened box 2 – 1p Massimo punched the air. He was standing now, and then he went for Emma D. Noel summarised the game following the break - a great game - and Emma opened box 7 to show 10p. Then something extraordinary happened, Tom’s box fell to the floor and opened, clearly showing a red, I think it was £100,000. Endemol decided to show what happened next. The game was halted, lots of production people appeared, one seemed to almost translate what Noel was saying for Massimo’s benefit, and then Noel took him off camera while the problem was sorted. Massimo was clearly shocked by the change to his game, Noel didn't look too happy either. The box that had fallen, and all the other boxes that were, as yet, unopened were taken away to have the amounts inside reshuffled, the game would then continue – this all seemed very fair, although I suspect some statisticians might suggest that Massimo’s chances of having £250,000 in his box had just been improved...slightly. Massimo was very red, the nerves had kicked in big time, a good chance that the interuption affected his flow. It was at this point Massimo revealed that he was aiming to win enough money to take his father to Las Vegas, so now the banker had a clear indication of Massimo’s threshold. The offer when it came was £16,000. Even though this was the end of round two Massimo was looking for advice, he asked for a sweep – they all said No Deal. ‘So what are they saying?’, he joked. Massimo took quite some time, and maybe it was peer pressure – ‘I am going to have to say - No Deal’. The point is he didn’t have to say that, and there were times in previous games were he had been ultra conservative. He was now taking risks and he didn’t look comfortable - if one or two of the power turned up in the next round then getting back to £16,000 would be an uphill struggle, and Massimo was not built for climbing uphill.

Round three: Noel declared that he felt this may be the pivotal round, Noel does this from time to time, and its remarkable how phrophetic he can be. Massimo, his face bright pink went for Lofty, box 20 - £250,000, the crowd gasped, I was thinking ‘how does Noel do this?’ Massimo was standing, his left hand stroking his chin, calm really, the big one had to come at some point and it wasn’t the end of the world. Susie, box 12 - £100,000 – the end of the world was getting much closer now, the big man was getting even pinker. Massimo thought long and hard then settled on Emma B, she opened box 19 - £10. The crowd cheered, Massimo went across to kiss her – lucky guy - and then returned to his seat, clearly contemplating the Banker’s call. The offer was now £4000, a drop of £12,000. Noel advised that he had pitched the offer to force Massimo to continue, Massimo agreed – ‘No deal’.

Round four: Massimo paced in front of the crowd, encouraging them to cheer. He went to Raj with box 14 - £20,000. Tom opened box 4 - £5000, the contestants holding hands already. After the break, Massimo decided on Tan’s box 13 because of his ‘beliefs in fate’ – Tan delivered £1000. The offer was now £7400, reflecting the improved round he just had and Massimo thought it was a fair offer. He talked about the joy and heartache he had witnessed through his time with the show. He was facing a board of five reds and three blues, the £50k and £35k were still in play. However Massimo nearly went at the end of round two, the boxes had been reshuffled changing his stars, and then he lost an enormous amount of money during round three, his nerves were shot – Noel was surprised, the audience were surprised, maybe some of the contestants were surprised, but watching from here his decision was a foregone conclusion – ‘Deal’. Noel looked into Massimo’s eyes and seemed momentarily sad, but then he got on with his job, ‘lets see if we can make that a good decision’. He turned to the wings and the audience clapped.

Round five: Massimo looked embarrassed as he got back into his chair, he went for the gorgeous Sarah (I am sorry Sarah, I don’t mean to lead you on, I am not available, but you are gorgeous ;-)). She opened box 22 – 50p. Next he went to Sandy, box 16. She wouldn’t have dealt, but she felt that for Massimo, it was the right time – and then she opened £50,000. Massimo seemed very close to tears, he went for Patrick in box 1 - £3000. People clapped quietly, the Banker’s next call was in everyone’s mind. The offer when it came was £6100, a confirmation of Massimo’s decision. The audience cheered more confidently now but it was still subdued.

Round six: Maxine, box 18 - £100 - Noel shouted out the amount like a prosecution lawyer delivering absolute proof of guilt – had Massimo made the wrong call? Gary, the new guy, opened box 8 - £35,000, and Massimo’s head fell to the desk, hit as if he had lost everything, but it was the relief of being proved right. Morris, box 15 – I am going to quote him to prove how bad the poetry can be – ‘Massimo, Massimo such a humble man, in box number 15, I hope its 15 grand’, I see no reason to suffer alone. Moreover it was only £10,000 in his box. The banker phoned, the offer now would have been £5000 - the board contained £500 and £15,000.

Noel opened Massimo’s box to reveal £15,000 - Patricia had the £500 in box 21. Massimo stood to thank Noel, and then he applauded the audience, but he still didn’t look happy, I think it will take a while. At one level this was a quiet game from a quiet man, but inside Massimo's head there was a gigantic battle to keep it together. Nor was it was boring for the viewer, there was an air of respect and sensitivity – some games can be Shakesperian, but this would have been written by Harold Pinter.


Anonymous said...

sorry. i am so sorry for maz.

I feel they should called a halt to recording and let him have a couple more shows as to compise himself then have him have a go

Anonymous said...

What happened on tonight's show is an excellent example for why virtually no shows go out live any more - this would have been a total disaster were it live and would have probably been pulled off air for the remaining 30 minutes, being replaced with a standby pre-recorded programme by Channel 4.

As it was, they managed to rescue it. All of the "off air" segment was clearly edited down and took much longer in reality. I'm pretty sure Massimo got something like 20-30 minutes to compose himself as they would take that long to reset the boxes.

I wonder if we saw the indipendent ajudicator for the first time? - the young lady who came in to explain clearly what they were going to do after Noel's initial explination? Noel told us a couple of weeks ago that the indipendent adjudicator is female.

As to whether they did the right thing in carrying on rather than halting and rerecording the entire show, it can be taken both ways. From Maz' point of view - he was doing very well at that point and it would feel cruel to take away a "good streak". On the other hand, he was clearly shaken by the whole incident, especially at the begnning so mayby it should have been restarted...

The production company must have a risk assesment plan for such an incident and clearly this was put into motion. Whether the decision to go ahead was made because they thought it was the fairest for the contestant ot whether it was the best cost-benefit for production (each minute in the studio costs thousands) I'm not too sure of...

Another interesting thing to note - I suspect we would have absolutely no idea this happened if this was a normal weekday show. They clearly initially planned to edit out the mistake completely and carried on recording as if it didn't happen. The weekend show has 10 minutes extra (well, more like 5 if you include the extra ad break) so the decision was probably made post production to include the "outtake".

From a personal point of view, I found the interruption very interesting, seeing the production crew coming in to rescue the situation (something I've seen as a live studio audience member in other shows on occasion, to a lesser extent, including an exploding studio light on another pre-recorded show hosted by Noel), but I still feel sorry for Massimo - it was his game after all and it's hard enough already, when you're sitting there on the chair.

Anonymous said...

While the whole episode of the falling box could be described as "just one of those things", I feel Massimo should have somehow been compensated by a gesture,either on or off screen. The sickening way his "luck" violently changed after the box fell obviously shook Massimo's confidence. It felt almost like a coffin had been dropped at a funeral to reveal the corpse! When he dealt it was as if he had lost all stomach for the game and just had to get out...and I think we can all sympathise with him. The situation,at the time,was dealt as fairly as it could,as they could hardly start the game again after Massimo's phemonenal game to that point. What I would suggest,as a matter of good will,was that Massimo should have been awarded the £15,000,000 in his box. This would not have broken the bank,was just over twice his win,and would have gone a long way to resolve the palpable feeling of unease in the studio. Massimo will probably always feel,understandably,that his game and good luck streak had been wrecked. Endemol are ultimately responsible for what happens in the studio,and I do feel that a monetary gesture on their part,under such extraordinary circumstances, would have gone a long way to making all,not least Massimo,feel more comfortable about the whole situation.

Anonymous said...

A very good point leo - especially about how the atmosphere changed. I've re-watched this one several times both with the "off camera" scenes and with them eddited out. I think it would have felt a very strange show indeed to watch had the initial plan of airing the show without the "box malfunction" incident being shown to us.

I think ultimately though, from the broadcaster's point of view (Endemol/Channel 4), it was a lose/lose situation, whatever they did and I'm coming to the conclusion now that what they did was the best of the worst scenarios that could have been put into place.

True, they could have binned this show and put Massimo on again at a later date - but immagine how he'd feel if on the next show he opened £250K on the first box.

You say "extraordinary circumstances". A production where this ammount of money is available would have to have some form of plan with regard to anything going wrong, from a fire alarm evacuation, an audience member going bezerk, a lion entering the studio, to - well, what happened so I'm sure they'd envisaged this scenario and decided what would happen should it occur.

Millionaire had a "malfunction" a couple of months ago where 2 celebrities on celebrity show were on the £1million question. They believed they had the answer but it wasn't the one on the card and the prize dropped back down to £32K. Since the answer they gave was technically, but not completely correct, they were called back a few days later to be re-asked a different question for the £1 million. As it turned out they didn't have a clue what the answer was - but the end result was that the charity got £500K, not £32K.

One niggle has been in the back of my mind, though I've now put it to one side having watched individual reactions during the off-camera moments. DOND in the past have had a couple of "incidents" in the past which were so obviously staged in my eyes to add to the drama. A couple of weeks ago a guy at the back of the audience was thrown out of the studio for having a different opinion to everyone else and then coming up with a nonsence argument for that opinion. There's NO WAY in reality someone would literally be walked out to the studio backlot by the presenter as he was and have the door closed on him - studio security would surely have been involved. DOND definitely has a flare for drama from time to time - especially on light hearted shows where things are going well so I did initially wonder if this event was staged.

Now, I'm coming to the conclusion that it really did happen pretty much as we saw, though the off camera section was heavily editted be it to cut down time or simply because the show wasn't being directed from the gallery any more so camera angles/changes were only what happened to be available on the tape that was left running.

Anonymous said...

The course they chose after the box mishap was clearly the right one. Restarting the game would be unfair. There's certainly a case to be made that they should have adjourned for a day or so to give him time to settle down, but only if they then continued from the point they left off.

Simply removing the box from the game might have been slightly fairer than starting again from square one, but it still wasn't really an option. Massimo hadn't picked that box: if it was £100k, which it looked like, why should that be removed from the game through no fault of his? Okay, it's just luck which boxes you pick anyway, so if one happens to fall over, that's just luck like any other choice would be. But the idea of the game is that the contestant picks the boxes they open. If one was opened without their say-so, and it counted against them, there might be a case for legal action. Certainly, I think, the contestant would feel cheated.

In any case, that Tom guy should've got a slap. I wonder if they'll bring up this incident on his show.

Anonymous said...

"In any case, that Tom guy should've got a slap. I wonder if they'll bring up this incident on his show."

Quite possibly - but I also put myself in his shoes. I've watched the episode again as I still have it on the hard drive and you can clearly hear the box hit the floor very early on in the celebrations 3 seconds after Emma's box was opened - Massimo was jusst starting to leave the round table at the time. I'm a clumsy-cloggs myself and I can quite understand how this could have happened - just a simple "YES!" air punch in the wrong direction could have done it.

As you say, it'll be interesting to see if this is brought up on Tom's show as they did also show how they attempted to cover up the problem on Saturday's.

It'll probably down to how soon Tom's show is recorded - after all the recordings are made roughly a month before they are broadcasted.