BG 157 – Too honest

In the early morning she had left by public transport, from her hometown in the north of the Netherlands on her way to the Mediapark in Hilversum, to audition for the tv quiz The Weakest Link.

(In it, candidates take turns answering questions at a rapid pace that are asked by a so-called strict female presenter. Before being asked a question, each candidate can press the button and shout ‘bank’ to secure the amount the team has accumulated so far. In case of an incorrect answer, the counter goes back to zero. The longer the chain of correctly answered questions, the higher the amount to be banked. At the end of each round of questions, the candidates write down and read aloud who they think was the weakest link in that round. The presenter humorously embarrasses a candidate here and there and then asks one or more of them why they voted for that particular person. They are supposed to give an original and witty answer. The one with the most votes is eliminated – ‘With four votes you are… The Weakest Link! Goodbye!’ – and then has to leave the game in shame through the center of the circle. The next round is therefore played with one less candidate. The last two candidates standing will play against each other to ultimately win the accumulated amount of money.)

The journey was long and tiring, but she arrived in time. After she had registered at the reception desk, she was handed a stack of papers and a ballpoint pen and shown the way to a canteen, where dozens of people, alone or in groups, were already seated around big round tables. She had to write down answers to all kinds of questions. Obvious ones, such as her personal details, but also others, such as what her hobbies were and what was the most embarrassing moment she had ever experienced in her life. She chose an event that hadn’t been too bad, because she could imagine that otherwise she would be made a fool of during the show. She was given a cup of tea and ate the biscuits she had brought from home.

After an hour of waiting, the time had come: her name was called, along with those of eleven others, and she was asked to walk along to a room that was set up a bit like the recording studio. There were posts with a small tabletop on them arranged in a semicircle like the columns in the TV show, and some cameras pointed at them, not recording anything. The presenter was of course not there, she would not concern herself with something as trivial as a pre-selection. The candidates were a mix of men and women of various ages, with different looks and a variety of professions and education levels.

Fortunately, she was not nervous and did very well. For an hour she answered virtually all of her questions correctly, and when asked why she had picked a particular person as the weakest link of that round, she always gave a witty answer, that regularly caused the other candidates to burst into laughter. Finally, when everyone was asked in turn who they thought was the best player in this group, she was delighted to hear the majority of the candidates say that they thought she was the best.

Easy peasy, or so it seemed. But this group was only one of several groups that auditioned that day and the following day. Still, she realized that she had a good chance of appearing in an actual recording of the quiz for tv, and that she was a good match for the presenter, who wouldn’t be able to intimidate her easily.

When the audition was over, they were asked one by one by a production employee as they left the room if there was anything the production team should take into account for them. Sure enough, there she went again with her eternal honesty. That she couldn’t stand for a long period of time because of back pain, and that she would have to eat something in time because of diabetes.
In the end she did not receive an invitation to participate in a recording.
You can after all be too honest.