Waffle Fries Parfait Presents: Minute to Win It
On an unexpected weekday, I find myself with some time to actually enjoy myself on a weeknight and not take a dinner break…only to continue working. It being the day after the MLB All-Star game, I thought I might take some time to myself, hang out with the dog, watch the ESPY’s, and maybe chime in on the Lebron James’ jumping ship to the Miami Heat (even though, I knew it was getting a little too late to do it).
After prepping dinner and throwing it in the oven, I turned on the TV to find that it was still on FOX from the night before (side note: Joe Buck’s dedication of his vitriolic soliloquy on baseball the night before to George M. Steinbrenner, III, the greatest sports owner in the history of time – Harry Frazee is a close second – made me not only throw up in my mouth, but on Joe Morgan’s shirt!) and, while the attractive blonde host had me intrigued, my testosterone wasn’t quite ready to take on the estrogen overload of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Subconsciously, I turned to channel and, when I thought I was going to eventually land on ESPN, a short, Irish-Italian, Oompa-Loompa looking, pygmy with a platinum-blonde blowout and a porno like goatee charmed me with his raspy screaming out of the TV. Maybe it was the hair; maybe it was the sunglasses inside, but I think he was his transformation from all-business to all summer, Guy Fieri had my full attention.
He was screaming at me about “One Minute to Win It,” a game show that I saw advertisements for 6 months ago and I thought would be cancelled by now. Oh, how I was mistaken. Not only was it not cancelled, they were in the middle of a summer tour! For those of you unfamiliar with the show (as I figure most of you are since (1) it’s hosted by Guy Fieri and not on the Food network and (2) if I thought you were aware of it, I wouldn’t have labeled this “Waffle Fries Parfait Presents), the whole point is to win money, up to $1 million, for performing impossible tasks in, you guessed it, one minute. Want an example? Try pulling all the tissues out of a tissue box…in one minute. (While I’m sure it’s not part of the show, it given one minute to gouge out Joe Morgan’s eyes, it’d take about 30 seconds).
When I was introduced to the night’s contestants, Lebron James was so far out of my mind, Jesse Jackson might have referred to the thought of him leaving as a “runaway slave.” I had moved on to bigger and better things: Aaron Hedrick, a bartender from Orlando and Kimberly Fox, a karate instructor out of Kansas City, tonight’s competing couple (Cheap Joke: I bet they make a serious Tokyo Tea). If that combination itself wasn’t weird enough, how about rocking the rings together (literally, at the same time) on some beach somewhere in Florida, trying to blow an egg across the floor as fast as you can with a pizza box, trying to hit an upright pencil with an M&M, or stacking up Yahtzee dice…underneath the cup. As always, the people say they are poor and need money in order to do the things they want to do (like socialize with other people).
After the introduction, we bring out our contestants and of over the game rules. They have 10 tasks which get progressively difficult to perform. If they can complete all the tasks, they can win, one MILLION dollars (which Guy Fieri says is his favorite thing to say, but I couldn’t hear him over the loser audience who actually paid to watch this disaster “en vivo”). The couple gets three lives that, once all the lives are used (and they lose), the game is over. In addition, they get to see the challenges they must complete and determine which of the two gets to complete the task. Now for the challenges.
Level 1 – Candelier, Prize – $1,000
The couple is required to construct a five-story structure using empty soda cans, progressively adding more soda cans with each level (i.e. one can, to two, to three, etc.). They have one minute to complete. Naturally, the typical “contestant-host” dialogue continues, made famous by the various discussions held by Regis Philbin and the contestants on the hit game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (which everyone knows sucked after Meredith Viera hosted it). We find out that the couple practiced this at home…I guess they are big time fans of the show. The couple picks Kim to go because she had “better luck with it” at home. Fieri makes an unfunny quip taking a shot at Aaron’s masculinity, and then the game begins. Kim finishes the task after only 50 seconds. Dancing and shenanigans ensue; karate instructor round-house kicks that tower dead. First Round stats: 1/1, total time: 50 seconds average time per task: 50 seconds; money won so far: $1,000.
Level 2 – Backflip, Prize – $2,500
The couple is required to place two pencils on the back of their hand and flip the pencils forward, catching them in their hand without dropping. The couple is required to do this six times, adding two pencils with each attempt, so that, by the last attempt, they will be flipping and catching 12 pencils; contestant-host discussion ensues. As if its staged, we found out that Aaron was practicing this one a lot and he’s a yellow belt. In fact, he has 6 different yellow belts (jack of all trades, master of none?) for which Fieri quips, “Go to Macy’s!” Har-de-har-har; should have had a heart attack at that last grease joint you checked out. Aaron completes the task in 26 seconds; more dancing. Second Round stats: 2/2, total time: 76 seconds average time per task: 38 seconds; money won so far: $2,500.
Level 3 – Bite Me, Prize – $5,000
The couple is required to lift five shopping bags of decreasing height with their mouth and place it onto a podium. The kicker is that no body part, other than feet, is permitted to touch the ground, so the couple must rely on “balance and creativity” to complete the task; contestant-host dialogue. Needless to say, they practiced this at home and both of them love the game. We found out both do gymnastics and, through grace and chivalry, Aaron cedes the game to his lovely fiancé (I really think the producers pushed for this – who wants to see some ugly dude bend over?). Kim finishes the task after only 29 seconds. Third Round stats: 3/3, total time: 105 seconds average time per task: 35 seconds; money won so far: $5,000.
Now, the moment we’ve been waiting for – the introduction to the families. The couple brought Aaron’s dad, mom, brother (who screamed “Brother!” when he was announced, like some lost 8 year old; Aaron responded with an equally enthusiastic “Brother!” like a 6 year; “The Goonies” flashed through my mind when this was occurring), and Kim’s friend Chelsea, the woman who’s responsible for this post as she brought the lovely couple together.
Level 4 – Scary Cherry, Prize – $10,000
I want to know who came up with this one. The couple is required to use their breath in order to get three, hanging cherries in their mouth. They need to stand there and blow the hanging cherries, getting the cherry to move in a pendulum motion, and get the cherry into their mouth. I haven’t seen it yet, but I have a feeling Aaron will be doing this, after some contestant-host chatter (I was right). Aaron completes the task in 23 seconds; brief make-out session. (Side note: I didn’t see this earlier as I was typing, but in case you want to do the tasks at home, they let you know what supplies you need. Fantastic.) After Aaron completes the task, he goes on to say it was a “magical moment” and his “breath control was spot on.” This is turning into a real-life Will Ferrell skit. Fourth Round stats: 4/4, total time: 128 seconds average time per task: 32 seconds; money won so far: $10,000.
Level 5 – Sticker, Picker, Upper – $50,000
The couple is required to roll an egg on a plate, with one hand, around the plate to pick up three stickers. If the egg falls and breaks, they are eliminated (but, they still have three of those fake lives yet, so the strategery is there). In a break of pattern, Aaron goes again for two tasks in a row). The $50,000 can be used for the wedding, so Kim tells Aaron, “Baby, you have a minute to marry me.” I vomited on the inside. Aaron completes the task in 27 seconds and his fiancé kisses him and the fist pump, Jersey Shore style. Fifth Round stats: 5/5, total time: 155 seconds average time per task: 31 seconds; money won so far: $50,000.
Level 6 – Penny Hose, Prize – $75,000
The couple is required to retrieve a penny at the bottom of each leg of a pair of panty hose. They are only permitted to use their hands and cannot use the one hand to help the other in getting the penny. They must then take the pennies out and place them on the stool. Kim says, “I got this.” Kim completes the task in 35 seconds. Slight groping, but it’s ok, they’re engaged. Actually, it might have just been a chest bump. Sixth Round stats: 6/6, total time: 190 seconds average time per task: 31.67 seconds; money won so far: $75,000.
Level 7 – Pink Elephant; Prize – $125,000
The couple is required to attach an expanded slinky to their face. In order to win, they need to bring the swing to rest – and compressed – on their forehead. Aaron goes for it (because he did better in practice, I think it’s because his forehead’s big enough to put a billboard on it). This is the 60 second circle baby! Holy testicle Tuesday! Aaron completes this task, on his first attempt, in 7 seconds! Dancing, jumping, Fieri’s freaking out, the spring’s going all over the place, what the hell is going on? Seventh Round stats: 7/7, total time: 197 seconds average time per task: 28.14 seconds; money won so far: $125,000.
They take some time to think about this. Do they want $125,000 or $250,000? They talk about getting married, moving Kim’s mom out to where they live, Aaron’s brother is screaming “Brother!” the best way a bald-headed idiot with a full beard can, and, for the first time, Fieri is quiet. With three lives to go, they push on to the impossible dream of $1,000,000!
Level 8 – Punch Your Lights Out!; Prize – $250,000
Apparently this game is a killer because the crowd just goes “Ohhh!” Having never seen this atrocity of Americana, I was unaware. The couple is required to hit nine lights with bean bags to shut them off. Accuracy is key because if they hit a light that’s already off, the bastard turns back on. I think I did something like this in Cub Scouts once. The contestants are confused; Aaron talks about throwing bean bags, hitting lights, turning them off, hitting off lights turning them back on. He bravely takes on this task. Kim makes sure he’s got his technique. With a sigh of confidence, Aaron approaches the bean bags. His strategy is to go up-to-down or –left-to-right, based on the wind in the enclosed studio. Another kiss and a cracked-voice “thank you, baby” and we are underway!
(Wait, we cut to commercial, only to come back to some fat woman who needs to bounce a quarter 15 feet into a 5 gallon water jug to win $1,000,000. With a great name like Super Coin, the task seems impossible. We talk to our contestant – I forget what she said about herself because I just don’t care. In fact, I wasn’t listening, I was typing this sentence. Needless to share, the fat, overweight American failed.)
Ok, back to the engaged couple. We learn more about them; I didn’t listen, and there was dancing and annoying, club-like music. Aaron completes the task in 25 seconds. Seriously, what the hell? No wonder they need the money; both of them quit their jobs to practice these retarded games! Aaron;s style, by the way, all underhand to reduce affect of wind and punching out the lights from up-to-down. Eighth Round stats: 8/8, total time: 222 seconds average time per task: 27.75 seconds; money won so far: $250,000.
Level 9 – ; Prize – $500,000
Kim’s hugging guy. Aaron’s hugging guy. They’re guaranteed $250,000, and brother is freaking out man! And, heartbreaker, I’m informed I have to wait until next week to see if they won.
Ok, time out, back it up a little bit. I just spent an HOUR watching two people complete eights tasks in only 222 seconds, and I have to wait until next week to see if they won? Damn you, NBC; Damn you, Aaron & Kim; Damn you…Guy Fieri!