Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sharing in the Shows

One of the cool things about living in a big city, especially in a country with very few big cities, is that several television shows are filmed here.  In my research on things to do in Melbourne, I came across some websites where you can get free tickets to be in the audience of some shows.  A few weeks ago, Zack and I went to a Studio A taping, which is kind of like a very small local Saturday Night Live type of show.  It was okay; it was something unique to do on a Monday night I guess.  

We caught the end of Australia's Got Talent on TV the other night, where Jack Vidgen sang.  He's apparently all the rage.  You can check out his first audition on this YouTube video-pretty amazing stuff-especially right after the two minute mark.

This past Sunday night, I went to the taping of the final night of the Melbourne auditions for The X Factor.  The audience was pretty packed, and the whole thing was kind of a major production.  It was cool to see, because there were some really good singers (and a few that were not that good at all!), but it was a long evening.  I had to wait in a line outside for an hour before getting inside and sitting for another hour (in the very back!) before they started.  Then there were three hours of taping, which included a lot of clapping and cheering and waiting between acts for the judges to get their makeup and hair touched up.  

Speaking of the judges, they were kind of an interesting mix.  Guy Sebastian was the first Australian Idol in 2003 (yes, they have that show too), Ronan Keating was in the band Boyzone, Natalie Bassingthwaighte is an Australian actress/TV personality, and Mel B was Scary Spice back in the day!  They wouldn't let you take any pictures during the taping, but I did capture the shot below with my phone when I first got inside.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at a taping of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire Hot Seat.  It's a lot like the Millionaire show in the States, but instead of one person going as far as they can go with answering questions and then being done, their contestants can pass on a question they don't know and then hopefully work their way back up through the other five people to get back in the "hot seat."  Anyway, this taping was a lot of fun, mostly because I'm a big dork and like to see if I know the answers to the questions.   

The show looks so much bigger on TV.  In reality, the studio was quite small, with only four rows of audience members on each side.  I actually got to sit in the front row for all five episodes that they taped. They moved us around between episodes so it looks like the audience is different, but I know I'll be on TV, because one time my head was directly behind the contestant's head on the camera, and another time it was right behind the host's head!  So if you have access to Australian television, look for me wearing orange on that show in the next few weeks, as that's when these episodes are scheduled to air.

In true Australian fashion, they fed us sausage rolls for a snack between the third and fourth episodes.  We also got some lollies!  It was an exciting afternoon, especially in the first few episodes.  In the first one, a guy won $20,000.  In the second one, the guy won $250,000!!  I guess this has only happened a few times on the show (nobody's ever won the $1,000,000).  Anyway, when this guy won the money, everyone went crazy.  His wife and daughter ran down, they gave them flowers and champagne, and they shot off confetti all over the stage.  Very cool!  In the other three episodes, people won $1000, $10,000, and another $1000.  I think I could get sued for telling you this; I signed some paper about confidentiality, but I didn't really read it.  Oh well!  

I liked when I was sitting behind the host, because on his screen you could see a tiny box in red or green letting him know if the contestant got the answer right.  That way, even when the host went to "commercials" or kept everyone in suspense, I already knew if the contestant was out or not!  They were super strict about not allowing cameras, phones, or anything into the studio, so the best I could do was grab a few of the confetti pieces from the big win and take a picture of those when I got home.  So here you go!

Well, time to figure out what adventure I'm going to have today, so goodbye for now!


1 comment:

  1. Fun! This made me daydream about my trip to see Bob Barker on the Price is Right before he retired. Sounds like you didn't have nearly the waiting time that we did to get in. ;) We were there at 3:30am for a 2pm taping! Also, I agree about everything looking bigger on TV! The PIR set is SUPER small!