Monday Roundtable: What Reality Show/Game Show Would You Destroy?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the queer community is the most talented community on the planet earth, which means we’d destroy the game show/reality show circuit if we got the chance. This week we asked our writers which competitive TV show they’d easily win. We want to know yours too!

Creatrix Tiara, Staff Writer, The Weakest Link

I’ve actually been on a couple of game shows! I was on The Chase Australia and Millionaire Hot Seat (a rejiggered version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire) – both times I was about one question away from winning, urgh. Signing up for game shows and reality TV shows is a bit of a hobby for me – besides those two, I’ve also been in the audition stages for ABC Hard Quiz (where players are super knowledgable in a chosen topic: mine would have been Homestuck or Darren Hayes) and Malaysian Idol and have tried to be on The Voice for who knows how many years now.

I’d probably do my best on The Weakest Link though. The sassiness of the host wouldn’t necessarily bother me. One of my best friends used to be the host on another country’s Weakest Link and I know she’s not nearly that bitchy in real life, so I’d probably just be really funny and sweet to the host instead knowing that they’re probably cinnamon rolls on the inside. Alternately, they should just cast me as the host. There you go, guaranteed paycheck, and I get to cast my scorn at mansplainer types trying to intimidate me.

Vanessa, Community Editor, Project Runway

Okay, listen. I’ve never designed an original outfit in my life, I can’t sew, and I’m not really that knowledgeable about fashion. I also never want to live in New York again and I’m fat and unapologetic about it and I hate when men tell me what to do, even Tim Gunn. AND YET. I just feel like I would be really good on Project Runway. I’m bubbly and charismatic and I get along with lots of people, so I’d be fun to live with and I would have a great time with the models, especially the “real people” models because I wouldn’t make them feel like shit for not being very tall and thin. I love gossiping and shopping for crafting supplies and being overly aggressive about group projects and then complaining that I’m the one doing all the work (well, I did that a lot in middle school, and I imagine I could get back in the groove fairly effortlessly).

The truth here, incase you haven’t already figured it out, is that I barely watch TV and don’t know a lot about reality TV shows, so I picked one of the only ones I am familiar with and tried to make a case for why I would definitely win. I probably wouldn’t win, is the truth, but it would be really fun to meet Heidi Klum and it is definitely more realistic to say I would win Project Runway than it would be to say I could win like, America’s Next Top Model or the Bachelor or Chopped, so this is my answer and I’m sticking to it, okay?! Also, I feel like the kind of person who would pick a reality TV show they absolutely could never win and then spend 250 words writing about why they could definitely win it MAY actually have a shot of winning in this weird wacky world of 2018, ya know? Why not?!?!

Mey, Trans Editor, All of Them, Honestly

Not a joke, since I was a child I’ve been sure that I could win Jeopardy! and I still think I could. For a long time I watched it every day, and still when I do I do pretty dang well playing along. I’m also an amazing baker and made a really freaking amazing Prinsesstårta for an Autostraddle article once and that convinced me I could win on The Great British Bake Off. I’m also very proud of my cooking skills. I cook a great steak and great pasta and great lamb and I’m pretty sure I’d do well on Master Chef. I don’t know how to sew, but I have a great eye for fashion and great style, so I think I could win Project Runway or Rupaul’s Drag Race. I’m also charismatic and quite a character, so the producers would demand I stay on the show for at least a little bit.

A.E. Osworth, Staff Writer, Great British Bake-Off

I probably wouldn’t win and also I’m definitely not British so I’ll never have the opportunity, but hot damn would I LOVE to spend even just one weekend in the tent. Mostly I want to make everything queer? IDK, I was just watching one of the cake weeks and I was like, I want to make the only appropriate gender reveal cake there is: one for a fully-grown nonbinary person who serves it at their weekly tea and they make a different one every Sunday and it changes every time. My first instinct is funfetti cake, marshmallow fondant, filled with a hidden pile of sprinkles in the middle.
Paul Hollywood probably wouldn’t like that.

Heather Hogan, Senior Editor, Supermarket Sweep

It doesn’t exist anymore but when I was a kid I loved Supermarket Sweep and used to literally train for it with my sister every single time we were at the grocery store. One of us would say an item and the other one had to run and get it and return to our parents’ cart as fast as possible. Or we’d be like, “How much imaginary money can you spend in three minutes” and we’d time each other. I’d be great at the first part of it where the host holds up a grocery item and you guess how much it costs. I know how much everything costs, including every tomato I bought during the last six months. Or where they ask you questions about branding or slogans or commercials. I can sing every jingle I’ve ever heard; I memorized The McDonald’s Menu song in one try in 1989 and could sing it for you right now! And then the second part of the game, The Big Sweep, where you run wild and free through the store trying to get like a million dollars worth of groceries in your cart, I’d be great at that too! Poultry, laundry detergent, OTC meds first. And then self-serve coffee beans and self-serve candy. Manager’s specials, yes, but only if they don’t cause you to spill your cart and damage the other products.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Staff Writer, Chopped

I may not be a professional chef, but I know my way around a kitchen, and one of my superpowers is the ability to look at whatever ingredients I happen to have in my pantry and fridge and whip up something delicious with them without having to make any additional store runs. And because I have a pretty adventurous palette, these ingredients are sometimes…unconventional. Like pickled feta and canned octopus and quail eggs! My other qualifications for Chopped include having watched endless hours of Chopped. I know what the judges tend to like, and I am very good at working under a strict deadline.

Alaina, Staff Writer, The Big Family Cooking Showdown

I hate reality shows? Too much competition makes me nervous. But I recently found this show on Netflix and it’s essentially GBBO hosted by Nadiya (6th season winner) and some random white lady and families just cook meals together. It’s so sweet!! There’s always one meal at the family’s house and one of the challenges is always “cook something to impress your neighbors”. It’s so tender and sweet, I need to lie down!! I think I’d be good at this show because my number one superpower is that if I put effort into cooking for you, there’s a 90% chance you’ll fall in love with me, so I think I’d have a decent chance at winning.

Molly Priddy, Staff Writer, Legends of the Hidden Temple

I’d crush this game and here’s why: First, the other contenders would likely be children and I’m now an adult. Actually, that might hinder me. Anyway! This game! Listen. I’d be on the team of Silver Snakes because they’re the coolest, as opposed to the Green Monkeys or Orange Iguanas or Purple Parrots or Red Jaguars or Blue Barracudas. Then I’d destroy the moat challenge in round one, then the Steps of Knowledge under Olmec’s watchful eyes, which I’d destroy because I’m great at remembering things. Then the Temple Games, sure, easy, but the real jewel here is the Temple Run, which I’m now sure that addictive iPhone game stole its name from this. Anyway, I’ve been training for Temple Runs since I was a kid, and am extremely confident I could get to the Artifact with skill. I’m full pendants and no guards, baby.

Valerie Anne, Staff Writer, Nick Arcade

Okay, Nick Arcade hasn’t been on since I was young but I still believe I would have CRUSHED that game. All you have to do is play a bunch of video games, and then you get to BE INSIDE A VIDEO GAME. And sometimes kids on that show looked like they had never even so much as played Snake on their Nokia bricks. While I would have done better if I could choose the game (Yoshi’s Cookies, Kirby and Q-Bert were my favorite non-story-based GameBoy Games…I also excelled at Tony Hawk: Pro Skater), I think I would have held my own no matter what they put in front of me. If for no other reason than to be full-body inside a video game wAs THE DREAM. This past fall, at New York ComicCon, I got to try out a virtual reality game and I realized that all my childhood dreams could be coming true thanks to the advancement of technology.

Erin, Staff Writer, Who Does This Person Look Like, Like Is It A Combination Of Two Celebrities’ Faces Or Just Straight Up Side By Side Comparison Of People You Know

If there were a game show that was like Who Does This Person Look Like, Like Is It A Combination Of Two Celebrities’ Faces Or Just Straight Up Side By Side Comparison Of People You Know (ABC THIS FALL) I would absolutely murder any competitor. If they then created some facial recognition robot to try and take me down, I would correct answer it into oblivion, smoke billowing from its orb-shaped head as I looked down at my foot on its neck. Basically I think I have a memory and eye for faces on par with what the CIA calls “super recognizers.” Does anyone at the CIA who is for sure reading this want to hire me?

Stef, Vapid Fluff Editor, America’s Next Top Model

There is no part of me that actually wants this and there is no part of me that actually thinks I would win, but I’ve been dying for a glimpse behind the curtain of America’s Next Top Model for my entire adult life and all I want is to know for real what it actually feels like to receive Tyra Mail. It must be like receiving gifts from the tooth fairy but crossed with Christmas morning times a million; the way they SCREAM?!?!? EVERY TIME?!?!?!? It must be incredible. I have been blessed to meet at least three actual contestants from former seasons and not one of them has given me a satisfying answer. I don’t think I would hold up well under the pressure of Tyra’s constant psychological warfare and I don’t actually know anything about modeling; I JUST NEED TO KNOW.

Alexis, Staff Writer, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

I’m terrible at game shows and know my limits. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire I have the greatest chance at because I can ask for help and use process of elimination. The only other game shows I think I could’ve had a chance on are Jersey Shore and Flavor of Love but I’m not sure those count.

Raquel, Staff Writer, Shark Tank

I hate Silicon Valley and the whole stupid, problematic, useless crap bro-world of startup entrepreneurship a lá Shark Tank BUT I am a designer in tech and not an idiot so I am 100% certain I could do this. My main plan is to steal my partner’s idea (startup 101: steal the idea) to sell passion/bullet hybrid planners and call them the Gay Agenda. We love planners. Has anyone done this already? (Narrator: Yes.)

My second idea is to sell “Netflix for women who are sick of watching male-dominated crap” and call it Bechdelflix. I think what with the zeitgeist and the name I’ve really got it on lock.

Natalie, Staff Writer, Press Your Luck

When I read this prompt, the first game show that came to mind was Supermarket Sweep which I watched religiously as a child, but since Heather’s already selected that, I opted to go with another childhood fave, Press Your Luck. As a kid, I found the Whammies — the animated creatures that came out and took whatever money and prizes you earned — and the contestants’ reaction to them hilarious.

But, as an adult, Press Your Luck appeals to me for a few reasons: first, I’ve always found the trivia ridiculously easy, even as a kid. Second, I like that the entire game is random…that you’re at the whim of this random rotation of cash, prizes, spins and Whammies, so that if I were to lose, I’d have no reason to kick myself over it (which I am terribly prone to doing). But if I wanted someone to kick, I could easily blame whichever of my opponents bankrupted me by passing me their additional spins.

Reneice, Staff Writer, Supermarket Sweep

Listen. I will Fuck. It. Up. on Supermarket Sweep. If there’s anything I know like the back of my hand it’s the general layout of every family of grocery stores and why they use a similar formula. Plus my ridiculously useless ability to memorize and retain jingles and slogans of products makes me someone that murder that game show trivia. I was just a small child when this show was on and was already yelling and rolling my eyes in anger at contestants that grabbed pointless things like toothbrushes and papaya when they should’ve been chucking diapers, tide laundry detergent, and turkeys into their baskets like their lives depended on it. Amateurs. If you’ve never seen this show you can find it on youtube. It’s worth it for the hair and outfits alone. There were rumors in the fall that they’re planning to bring it back. If it really happens I will do everything in my power to get Heather Hogan to sign up as a contestant with me. They’re not ready.

Laura M, Staff Writer, The Challenge

Would I win at The Challenge? Realistically, I probably don’t hit the gym enough. Since the mid-2000s, this show has gotten steadily more athletic with each passing season, whereas I have prioritized spicy sweet chili Doritos and midday naps. However! There’s still a strong intellectual game going on, and I feel confident I’d crush it in games of shifting alliances, polidicking, and puzzle solving. I also have an iron will and an iron stomach; dangle several thousand dollars in front of me, and I’ll conquer any eating challenge MTV is willing to air on television. I’ll sleep with all of the women and men. I’ll make the best drama The Challenge has ever seen. Most importantly, I’ll make Johnny Bananas fall in love with me, then stab him in the back and steal $275,000 from him, avenging Sarah once and for all.

(And if none of this is possible, I’ll at least flirt with Cara Maria a little bit.)

KaeLyn, Staff Writer, Guts

It would definitely be Guts. My name would be “The Fancy Rat.” I’d suck at pretty much everything, but I’d make it through to the Aggro Crag by plain luck and also being the only Asian kid in the lineup. I have to be honest that my athleticism has never been my strong suit and I highly doubt I’d win, but I firmly believe I could place bronze on sheer tenacity and good looks. What matters more than winning is that Moira Quirk in her referee shirt would put her arm around me and I’d die of confused preteen bisexual feelings. I choose Guts primarily based on meeting a hot woman and meeting Moira on Guts seems more probable than having even a tiny bit of a chance on American Gladiators

(Hello, Lace, Zap and Sunny!)

Laneia, Executive Editor, Classic Concentration

While most children were outside doing outside things, I was on my grandmother’s couch, wrapped in fluffy comforters, watching syndicated game shows like the middle-aged-woman-trapped-in-the-body-of-a-child that I was. I loved Win Lose or Draw because of the celebrities, but the idea of being on a team and then letting them down was just too much pressure, so my heart was set SET on playing Classic Concentration. This game show was two games in one: a memory game PLUS a rebus puzzle. As an only child and therefore a master at filling my time with laborious, detailed play — like methodically arranging 32 cardboard tiles equidistance apart and keeping them that way — and I mastered the art of Memory games very early on. My super power is remembering where everything is at all time, which is both a blessing and a curse, friends. The memory portion of Classic Concentration was like my Olympics. And the rebus puzzles! They were just challenging enough, and used just enough words/concepts that I wasn’t super familiar with yet, that every time I solved one I was convinced I was a gifted child. It’s also important to note that Classic Concentration was a single-player game instead of a team situation, so there would be no one to let down if I fucked up and no one to piss me off if they fucked up. This game was made for me.

Riese, Editor-in-Chief, Family Feud / Jeopardy / Who Wants To Be a Millionaire

Firstly I just wanna point out that there is L Word Trivia in New York apparently sometimes? I don’t live there, but if I did, I would destroy it. They’d ban me. I’ve never met anybody who knows more about The L Word than me. I have that show MEMORIZED.

Trivia is my jam, basically. So I think I’d do good at any trivia game, or games like Family Feud that require having your finger on the pulse of modern life and feelings.

I also love those old gameshows like Hollywood Squares and The Match Game where your job was not just to be an answer machine but also to be hilarious and develop running jokes with the other celebs.

Yvonne, Senior Editor, Amazing Race

First I need a partner to enter the Amazing Race with and I would choose Gloria because she and I communicate really well. I think we could be a Dream Team or we could epically fail in a bickering fight that could cost us the win. Gloria would be good at sweet talking us into an earlier flight than the rest of the contestants, making friends with locals to help us, and running really fast to the finish line. I think I would be good at logistics, finding the best route to the next destination, being cut-throat and competitive with the other contestants, and probably eating local cuisine that Western culture finds repulsive.

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    And wow, Press Your Luck and Supermarket Sweep, that brings back memories.

    It’s not really game-show-y, but I really wanted to (and still want to) be on something like Made or Faking It where you get to be transformed into some other occupation for a short time.

    • SAME RE: MADE / FAKING IT. There’s one where the girl learned to skateboard and it really changed my life tbh.

      • I remember a Made episode where a tomboy tries for either a beauty pageant or Prom Queen and it actually seemed really nifty!

  2. I feel like i’d be really good at the Crystal Maze. Mostly just so I could hang out with Richard Ayoade


      They did a Kickstarter for an IRL one and I so badly wanted a ticket but I don’t live near the UK :((((

      Have there been remakes since? The versions I grew up watching would have been mid 90s or something.

  3. Oh man, my sister is the BEST at the “Who does this person look like” game! It’s an incredible skill.

    I’d be good at an IMDB/Six Degrees of Separation style game. Where do I know that actor from? OH, he played the clueless boyfriend of the girl who played a closeted lesbian one time on SVU. NAILED IT.

  4. Man, I really think I’d kill it on Jeopardy. The one summer I spent at my college doing research and going to bar trivia, I was phenomenal at it (my team only won once but we placed top 3 pretty common and won a lot of pizza from the shop next door because that was one of the prizes; the other prizes were bottles of wine and a bottle of Jamison). I wish I lived closer to bars that did bar trivia because it’s so fun!!!

    Before my health issues flared up so much, I probably could have done really awesome at The Amazing Race because I’m a darn good navigator, the only thing I’m kinda afraid of is heights but like, whatever, I’ll zipline the shit out of a challenge it’ll be fine, I do adventure sports, and I will eat pretty much anything (sadly not true anymore bc of GI issues unfortunately). I am not good at balancing things or finessing things so I’d need a partner who was good at that.

  5. I’d love to be on Pointless. My brother and I applied once, but got nowhere. The best bit about it is the bromance between the hosts, Richard and Xander, who were at Cambridge together. It’s a BBC show, but you can find stuff on Youtube.

    Great for all you trivia lovers in this article!

  6. I would do really well at Jeopardy / Who Wants To Be a Millionaire but I would KILL IT at The Amazing Race.
    I speak four languages, learned to drive on a stick, I am a good swimmer, have a good sense of direction, a great memory and am not fussy about food.

  7. CUTTHROAT KITCHEN. Alton Brown has been my idol since I was in the seventh grade and tbh I feel like the hardest part of this game is just knowing how and when to use sabotages? You have to know when to pile up on somebody to knock them out versus when to distribute the sabotages evenly. People rarely do this correctly and I feel like I would smash it.

  8. Oh, I read this as literally destroy, like go in and set fire to, and, The Bachelor.

    Although honestly I could probably get pretty far on The Bachelor (I’m gay but I feel like 25 years of fundamentalist Christianity trained me for that shit). I’d go in and try to find the other stealth queer ladies and fuck shit up and stage a coup.

  9. I really thought this was going to be about the reality or game show you hated the most & wanted to see go away. Personally, I’m pretty good at trivia type things but tend to freeze under pressure (this happened with high school trivia team where I was great in practice & knew nothing in matches).

  10. I’m struggling to think of a single show I’d destroy. It’d have to be a hybrid of a bit of Come Dine With Me, the missing vowels round from Only Connect and the part in Naked Attraction when you get to see everyone’s boobs. So just a regular Friday night, really.

  11. Yvonne and Gloria on the Amazing Race is something I want to watch to earnestly now. You would kill it! Or at least be super cute and #relationshipgoals!

  12. Legends of the Hidden Temple!!!!!!
    Best. Ever.
    I used to dream about being on that show.

    • Yes! Or that other Nick one which is like Gladiators Jr! I would be hopeless at it but part of the reason I’m learning parkour now is to get even a sliver of that dream back

  13. @riese there is also multiple L Word trivia nights in LA coming up(you have to get tickets) and I think in SF too.

    Nick Arcade and Legends of the Hidden Temple? Yes, and Yes, I grew up watching those shows. I’d like to think I’d be okay at Figure it out, but I think I’d really do well either on Wild and Crazy Kids. I was better at the Price is Right when it was Bob Barker as the host, not sure why(I’m under the suspicion they are price cars a bit too high now).

    I am okay Jeopardy as there have been many times I’ve gotten the answer correct, when no either person has, but 50% of that was me saying an answer I wasn’t sure of. Plus, I think in person with all the lights, people, and Trebek(hope he recovers quickly) being there that would hinder my performance a little. My only real complaint with the show is 2nd and 3rd place contestants only get $2k and $1k, which is terrible if both contestants had way more than that(say 12k and 9k). But, then a show like Wheel of Fortune 2nd and 3rd place contestants get whatever they ended up with at the end, which could include a trip.

  14. I would DESTROY big brother. destroy!!! I wish I could do it, but then there’s the whole “being locked in a house with a bunch of awful people for a summer” part.

  15. Re Top Model: I wish there was a cycle where all the contestants were people that WOULDN’T have qualified before because they didn’t meet the appearance/age/style requirements.

  16. I was so happy to see the TWO people have suggested Super Market Sweep. I would really love to see a queer season of that show… b/c as you said at the top we are a community of distinct talents.

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