Why I Would Be a GREAT Figure It Out Panelist

I loved Figure It Out as a kid, probably because as a class field trip, the entire 5th grade at my school got to be in the audience (#win).  But I like that I can play along at home, too.   Figure It Out is a game show that aired from 1997-1999, and then was recently revived for 2012.  The show’s premise is that a random kid has a talent, and a panel of four “celebrities” (a.k.a. Nickelodeon channel stars) take turns asking yes or no questions to figure out what the talent is.  There are three rounds that range from 45-60 seconds each, and in each round the panelists are given a clue.  This could be in the form of pantomime, Pictionary, or an object shown to them.  If the panelists guess a word in the talent, it appears on the IT Board, which shows the amount of blanks and filler words in the talent phrase (ex. Walks on Ball while Spinning Plates would show  ______ on _______ while ________  ________ at the beginning of round one).  The panelists have the three rounds to ask questions to fill in the blanks, plus a final guess at the end before the kid wins the grand prize (the kid wins a prize for each round he stumps them with the grand prize being given if they never figure it out).

The New “Figure It Out” Set

Now that you are up to date on how the game works, here is why I know I would be a much better panelist than all these “celebrities.”

1.  I would not give up on a clue.  Every clue is directly related to a word on the board.  I would constantly shout out and guess words associated with a clue until it appeared on the board.  I would not just give up and start a random line of questioning to waste time.

2. I would identify clues correctly.  So many clues come out and the entire panel gets stuck on it.  For example, pedometers were brought out as a clue (see below) and they all thought they were clocks or timers.  I immediately was like “It’s a pedometer- IT HAS TO DO WITH WALKING!”  They never made this connection.

Not a clock…

3. I would not repeatedly ask the same question.  Ugh.  This drives me CRAZY.  So many times the panelists will ask the same type of question over and over- “Does it have to do with clocks?” “Do you time yourself?” “Do you balance clocks?” “Does it have to do with time?”  All of these got a no answer, and yet this line of questioning took up a whole round.  More often than not, panelists have even asked the same exact question in a round.  This is such a waste of time!  Pay attention to your peers, people.

4. I would pass if I wasn’t ready.  It would be rare that I wouldn’t have a question ready by the time three other panelists have cycled through, but if for some reason I was tongue-tied or stuck, I would immediately say PASS to move on to the next person.  I always watch in absolute horror as the precious seconds tick by at the bottom of the screen as someone says something like “Um…uh….it doesn’t have to do with clocks….um….maybe…”  I’m getting anxious just thinking about these moments.

5. My final guess would be legitimate.  Even if the rounds have been completely useless and the IT board is full of blanks at the end, I would still try to make a real guess.  A lot of the panelists repeat what others say despite the fact that no words from the last guess were in the answer (ex. First panelist-“Balances on ball while spinning wheels.” Wrong.  Balances and wheels are not in the answer. Next panelist: “Balances on ball while spinning…” Why are you saying balancing?  It’s not balancing!).  And a lot of times panelists just say random, unrelated words in the end.  If you could guess even one word, another panelist might be able to guess the whole thing.  Make it count.

I get that they want the kids to feel good about themselves and get prizes, but most of these talents are not worth televising.  One kid just played bagpipes (cool, but definitely not unique), another basically made a mouse trap like device and was said to have “Built Monster Catching Energy Transfer Machine”….WHAT?  Sorry kids.  I’m not impressed enough to throw the game in your favor.  I love when the panelists actually manage to correctly guess a talent.  It gives me hope that the youth of America is being entertained by at least some people with intelligence.

And with that, I’ll leave you with the episode I got to see live.  You can catch me (or at least, my 5th grade self) at the 3:26 mark.  I’m sitting in the dark blue striped shirt, two girls over from the audience prize winner.

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One Comment to “Why I Would Be a GREAT Figure It Out Panelist”

  1. haha, I’m the exact opposite. I would’ve liked to be the kid but definitely NOT the panel of judges! http://www.thetalkingbox.com/2011/04/figure-it-out.html

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