The Idiot Test - Behind The Scenes!

Man, what a weird thing to see yourself on national television! Weird and really COOL.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my last post on how Brandon and I got to compete on a game show called The Idiot Test.)
My lovely friend Aparna snapped this beauty of us in action.

Here's a little bit of the backstory on this whole adventure. So first of all, Brandon is super into puzzles, trivia, and whatnot. Perhaps you've seen his puzzle blog - Puzzopallo. For a moment this summer he was thinking - what would it be like to do this professionally? Like for a game show or a reality show? So when my buddies Jake and Natalia told me they were auditioning for this new show called The Idiot Test, I was like - let's do it! Let's go learn about game shows!

So first we auditioned. I think it was back in May. We had to go to this little building in Hollywood and fill out a multiple choice test on history and general knowledge to establish we weren't buffoons. Then we did a screen test, where they filmed us interacting with each other and answering questions as a team. They told us that, more than making sure we got everything correct, they just wanted to make sure we had good chemistry and looked nice on camera. Well, we certainly did not get all the right answers, but we must have looked fabulous on camera because we got called in to shoot an episode! They auditioned hundreds of couples in both Los Angeles and New York, and somehow we got picked!

We shot the episode in June at Hollywood Center Studios. As a production person myself, it was funny to be on the "talent" side. Not that we were treated to lavish dressing rooms and huge buffets of food. But all the people were worried about us and kept asking if we wanted coffee or water. As soon as we entered the building, our phones were confiscated; in fact, they did everything they could to keep all of the contestants isolated (but together) in the hours prior to us playing. It's all because of legal reasons - after all, have you seen Quiz Show? They wanted to ensure that a few of us did not get any sort of unfair advantage over the others. So when I walked to the hair and make up room, it was with a production person, so that they could make sure a random dude didn't jump out of a spare office and tell me the secrets to win.

We were with about five other couples, as they were shooting a whole bunch of episodes that day (I think we were number four of five). The other contestants were endlessly fascinating to me. One guy showed up with flowers - he said he had a date afterwards, and he didn't want them to sit in the car and wilt. He requested they find him a vase to put them in. Another girl showed up in what amounts to an ice skating costume - a very short crushed blue velvet dress with a big hole cut out of the back (They didn't let her go on in that).

Then it was our time to play! We didn't know it was in front of a live studio audience, so it was a total surprise when they led us out onto the stage! Keep in mind that this is a new show so we hadn't seen anything...we literally had no idea what to expect. They put us in our spots, and while we waited for the host, a warm-up comic kept the crowd laughing. Or tried to at least. This guy was dirty. I think some of the people were a little shocked by his humor (including me apparently. I guess I'm old and sensitive now).

The host Ben Gleib was pretty nice but kept his distance. We assume this was also because of standards and practices...he probably can't fraternize too much with the contestants. It was his birthday that day! After our episode wrapped, they brought out a cake and we all sang to him.

The shooting of the actual episode went really fast! We stopped and started a little bit, mostly for Ben to try out different comedy bits. And one time the game board didn't work - Brandon pressed the answer and the clock kept counting down. Obviously we both started freaking out and saying, "We pressed it! We pressed it!" Ben backed us up on this. The standards and practices guy rushed out to investigate the equipment and watch the footage to confirm or deny our claim. During all of this they made us turn away, so we couldn't see what they were doing. But anyway, they gave us the point. Phew!

One of our friend's moms took this picture of their TV.
We love you, mothers of the world!
The first questions were super easy, and then they get pretty hard pretty fast (Check out The Idiot Test's twitter feed @idiotest to see the types of questions they ask). Thankfully Brandon and his super intelligence carried us through the one-on-one rounds. And although we didn't win the full $10,000, we're pretty happy with $2,655!

Here's another interesting tidbit - we wouldn't have gotten the money if the episode never aired. So when we found out the episode was airing on Tuesday, it was a double celebration - we were happy to show it off to friends, but mostly we were happy to get that paper! 

It was such a fun adventure - we would totally do it again!
(Obviously. Cuz we won.)