Series / Who's Still Standing?
Israeli Game Show
imported to America by NBC
(and apparently the first Israeli format to make it to the States as well) in 2011. A single contestant (the "Hero") tried to beat 10 other individuals (the "Strangers") for a chance to win up to $1,000,000. After picking an opponent, the two alternated answering questions with crossword-style clues ("Website that documents common plot elements in media works: _ _ / _ _ _ P _ S"). Each question had a 20-second time limit: contestants could guess as much as they want, but if they ran out of time, down they went!
If the Hero won the battle, they banked whatever money was hidden on that Stranger's podium (ranging from $1,000-$20,000, with no connection to the Stranger's intelligence; at least one episode used amounts ranging from $1-$50,000, as on the Israeli version). The prize went up to $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 regardless on the final three), and the contestant got dropped through a hole
under them, after which the Hero had to decide to continue on or go home.
If a Hero elected to quit, they were allowed to go "through the door" or "through the floor"; unlike what you may expect, several players opted to walk out. If the Hero lost, they went through the hole and the Stranger won $10,000 (raised to $25,000 in the eighth/ninth rounds, and $50,000 in the tenth). And the game ended, of course, because that Stranger becoming the new Hero was a bad idea
- All or Nothing: Players either walked away with money "through the door" or went "through the floor" with nothing.
- Bonus Round: After a game concluded, the real fun began — the remaining Strangers played a Sudden Death Speed Round where they were asked questions going around the circle with 10-second time limits. Each correct answer increased the pot (some episodes gave $1,000, others $2,000), and last one standing won it all.
- Eject the Loser: All of the losers, some winners (if they chose this way out), and finally Ben at the end of the show were disposed of through the floor.
- Lifelines: Two (later three) Passes for the Hero, none for the Strangers. Passing a question forced the Stranger to answer it, with a fresh 20-second clock. If the Hero chose to continue past the fifth round, he got one more Pass. In the premiere, the Rules Spiel didn't mention the Passes.
- Mystery Box: Beating each Stranger earned the share of money they were guarding.
- Think Music: Okay, who thought epic, loud orchestral music would be a good idea for the score of a quiz show?
- Speed Round: The whole show (and especially the "bonus" round) could be seen as one.
- Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?": $1,000,000 top prize, epic music, circular set with lots of lighting effects, etc.
- Even better, the show also managed to be trendy and use a variant of the "shuffle" format the syndicated Millionaire adopted just one year prior, where dollar amounts are hidden behind questions (or, in this case, defeated contestants) and added to a bank, and the final dollar amounts are earned sequentially in traditional money ladder fashion.
This show contains examples of:
- Catch-Phrase: "Through the door, or through the floor?" (Contestants who walked away with winnings could choose their exit method. Contestants who lost, however, couldn't, for obvious reasons.)
- Christmas Episode: The series debuted as a special holiday "event" for NBC's patented "Holiday Wolverine Publicity Run". Problem is, those first shows weren't taped under a holiday spirit, so Christmas-themed bumpers and music were shoehorned in during post-production.
- Commercial Break Cliffhanger: You thought Minute to Win It was bad with this? Who's Still Standing? took breaks mid-question! The fact that the music ramped up to indicate that a break's coming killed any tension that they might have generated.
- Game Over: Used when a Hero lost, before the Stranger that beat them got their $10,000 graphic.
- Hollywood Dress Code: All Strangers were asked to bring 3-5 different outfits with them to the studio, but rather than actually use them the wardrobe department made the Strangers look as stereotypical as possible based on their profession and hobbies. Are you a photographer? You're wearing a vest. Are you a woman who's done anything involving your figure? You're wearing tight-fitting clothing. Like video games? It's suspenders and coke-bottle glasses for you, nerd. The linked article has several other rather egregious instances of this.
- Musical Spoiler: When the music started to ramp up, a commercial break's imminent...unless they just returned from commercial, in which case somebody's going out on the current question.
- Viewers Are Goldfish:
- After every single elimination, an animated clip reminded the viewers how many people have dropped and how many still need to be eliminated to win the Million. They could've put that on the set somewhere and had Ben do it...
- And every drop got about 20 different instant replays.