Minute to Win It

There are some shows that are just made for the great unwashed, while others become the great unwatched. The question for Seven is where will Minute to Win It fall?

The game show premiered last night with so much blood pumping through its vessels it was hard to take it seriously. Maybe it doesn’t want us to. Is there great drama in watching a million dollars slip away when all you are trying to do is land a few ping pong balls in a few bowls? Absolutely. There’s great drama in watching paint dry when there is a million bucks riding on it.

Last night the most we got to was $50,000 -not to be sneezed at, but Hot Seat handed out twice that on Monday with less fanfare and half the television time. On the other hand the biggest show on television can stretch $100,000 for several months on end, and still capture our imagination.

Minute to Win It is based on a US format where deceptively simple challenges must be completed in 60 seconds, as a contestant proceeds up a money tree to the big $1M.

The first contestant, school teacher Shane, was brighter than his bright orange top. He was positively pumped for the first challenge. The audience were whooping and hollering like they had just stepped out of the Jerry Springer studio. Humility goes a long way in Australian television, but there wasn’t much of it here.

Each game was described in “blueprint” by an emotionless voice over (with apologies to 2001’s “Hal”) and graphics. The first game required Shane to dip his nose in vaseline and transfer cotton balls from bowl to bowl. He looked pretty silly, but no more silly than contestants on Hole in the Wall or Wipeout. Shane finished with enough time for us to even be subjected to a Replay (just in case we missed it) and his Elvis impersonation (just in case we can’t miss it).

Several other challenges involved pasta, ping pong balls, eggs, nails, and bottled water.

Sometime MTV host Darren McMullen was affable for this rather long show, but has a tough job in describing challenges that are entirely self-explanatory: “Still got four to go… it’s rolling away, not good, he’s at the 30 seconds mark…I don’t know if he’s going to do this….Oh no he’s lost one…” One game was so tricky apparently it could easily easily turn “Catastrophic” -normally words reserved for victims of Haiti, 9/11 or reading the morning ratings for The White Room.

By the end of several games, a still-pumped Shane won himself $50,000. The second contestant, who struggled to balance half a dozen coat hangers, was left with $2,500.

The best aspect of the show is its “I can do that” playability. I can see kids across Australia attempting these seemingly-easy challenges in living rooms with their families. It costs nothing to reproduce these games (which apparently number up to 70). The truth is most of them have probably been sitting on the pages of dusty kid’s activities books for years, kudos to the producers who gave them a makeover and got themselves an international format out of it.

As television this is 30 minutes too long and takes itself very seriously. In its shiny Shine Australia arena the dramatic lighting and music belies the nonsense taking place within it. The satire of Wipeout hosts, buffoonery of It’s a Knockout and cheesy testosterone of Man O Man made them successful with audiences. If Minute to Win It leans more on having a sense of humour and less believing its own high stakes drama it may not feel such a paradox. And please pour a bucket of water on the audience.

But there will be thousands wanting to try their luck at this thing. What do critics know anyway?

Minute to Win It airs 7:30pm Tuesdays on Seven.


  1. Lorraine Clayton

    The greatest thing about win it in a minute programme is that we all tend to think that it is so important to be with a university degree to win it. Is it? And university people do not make me laugh like your programme definitely does.Especially when the game with getting the banana on a string to knock the oranges in the circle was so funny. I would like to be a contestant and give it a go. I had to send the email from the library. Its great to see people laugh and win money. Fantastic programme ever. Am looking forward to watching it again and to hopefully be informed. Cheers Lorraine

    • Glad you like the show Lorraine but you haven’t applied to be on it. You have made a comment on an independent blog. I have withheld your phone numbers from publication. You could try Seven’s site for applications although I suspect they are not currently looking for contestants. Good luck.

  2. I like “Minute to Win It”! I think Guy’s a great host and the show really knows how to connect with it’s audience. I know my family and I will be tuning in tomorrow for sure when the new Summer Season starts.

  3. it was like watching monkeys at the zoo throw poop at eachother… funny for a little while but after a minute or so you realise how good it is to have a fully developed brain…

  4. Sandra Edwards

    I loved the show! I’m already a superfan! It is enjoyable summer fun for the family, and I actually love the host a lot. He has a bunch of cooking shows that are really cool, and it’s nice for him to have expanded out to a new venue. Oh, and my kids and grandchildren love the games so much, they want to play them at their birthday party! Congrats, great show!!!

  5. I thought this show was hilarious you didnt need to think it was just good fun. No one watches this show for the serious factor and i think with all the other crap that is on tv why cant we have some shows that are just silly. I dont watch masterchef or biggest loser or any of those shows. I dont complain about them because i choose not to watch it. If you dont like it dont watch it. Like i said there are many shows on tv that i dont like and find crude disrespectful or just down right inappropriate – luckily for me i have that option of how many extra channels to watch?
    Dont like it dont watch it.

  6. franz chong

    I did not watch and why would anyone.I hope this sinks faster than that crap Benidorm seven used as filler while we waited a long time for How I met your Mother to come back.A better use of this time would be a new home grown comedy that can give the overdone 2.5 men and other american sitcoms a run for their money.

  7. Show has potential But boring people and boring games. I’ve watched US version. Where is Bie Me? Where is Cady Stack? Where is Egroll? These games are at least hard or require skill. Balancing 2 eggs on a tray! Seriously?

    I’ll keep watching cause the kids liked it but I wanna see some harder games. Make ’em work for their money.

  8. I think it is a bit of fun and am honestly getting bored with MC. At least this is something you can put on, have a laugh at and try at home. The kids liked it too. Didn’t love the contestants tho and I think the games were too easy. I heard there were games like stacking golf balls. This would be more challenging.

  9. Saying this should be 30 minutes is a bad call,it just shouldn’t be at all.It really is bad television,really bad.Watching someone hanging nails on string?WTF? Bring back It’s A Knockout,now that was fun.
    And good to see Go is giving Moment Of Truth another outing.Now that really is good bad tv!

  10. Way too long. I reckon they should rest it and bring it back when Beat The Star is ready and have them back to back at 30mins each because I can see Beat The Star being half an hour too long aswell.

  11. I was watching this show for a while, but lost interest in it, after about 15 minutes :

    I think if Channel 7 , want this program to continue, they should get rid of the host, for an already known aussie host.

    Also the computerised female co host voice — Have a human co host — who could interview the contestant, after the game.

    Again, this show has alot of potential, but they have to change it around a bit.

  12. I enjoyed it.

    I don’t think having a nasty host (as some people have thought) would make the show better.

    It’s not a show for intellectuals, but it’s good old fashioned fun without it seemingly being daggy.

    It would work better in a half hour format maybe stripped at 7pm or 730pm.

  13. Tasmanian de√il

    The only “true” game shows we have now are Hot Seat and Deal Or No Deal (not counting Spicks and Specks, Masterchef, Ready Steady Cook, It’s Academic etc.). Only a few years ago we had Millionaire, Temptation, 1 Vs 100, Bert’s Family Feud, and my personal favourite, The Rich List. I’m not suggesting that they were all great shows, but at least they had some substance. Now we have a show with challenges involving pasta, ping pong balls, eggs, nails, and bottled water. Letters and Numbers can’t come soon enough.

  14. I have to agree with PD. Hour format is to long. 5.30pm slot preferred. Plus, what’s with the Brian McFadden look/sound-a-like. They need a host that will ridicule contestants with a sly wit. Comedy may give this show more than one season.

  15. I am a fan of Seven and usually warm to their shows but this one was crap with a capital C. Sorry but i didnt like it at all. I hope this doesnt hurt PTTR. The host did very well considering but the format of the show bored me and it wasnt great at all.

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