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The Moment of Truth: Game Show Pays People to be Honest

By Alf Gordon(13,356)

Posted Thursday, January 24, 2008
View All Blog Posts submitted by Alf Gordon

We all have skeletons in our closets, secrets we wouldn't share with those who are nearest and dearest to us.  So what would possess someone to clean out that closet on national television?  Sheer determination and strong will?  A death wish?  The promise of half a million dollars, perhaps?

"The Moment of Truth" is the latest offering from Fox.  It's a game show with a simple premise:  Answer 21 questions honestly.  Level 1 has six questions that, if answered truthfully, are worth $10,000.  Each succeeding level has one less question and is worth more money.  Answer all 21 questions and give honest answers and the reward is $500,000.  Lie even once and everything is lost.  It doesn't sound too difficult--except that the more money that's on the line, the more personal the questions get.  Oh, yeah, and three friends and/or family members are sitting on a couch on stage, many times learning something new and sometimes painful about the person in the hot seat.

How do we know the person in the hot seat is telling the truth?  Before the show, the contestant takes a polygraph test and answers between 50 and 75 questions.  The results of the test are not shared with the contestant.  The 21 questions answered on the air are chosen from the pool, and the contestant doesn't know which ones will be asked.  The results of the polygraph test are used to determine if the contestant's answer on air is true or false.

What kind of questions do they ask, you might wonder?  Some are seemingly innocent.  "Do you hesitate to have children because you think you and your spouse may not end up being lifelong partners?"  "Have you ever gone through a co-worker's personal things without asking?"  Those are the easy ones.  "Have you ever done anything that would make your wife distrust you?"  "Have you ever thought about having a sexual relationship with a co-worker?"  Those are a little more difficult.

Fortunately, both the contestant and his family and friends have the option to stop the game.  At the end of each completed level, the contestant is allowed to take the winnings up to that point and end the game.  However, once a level has started, the contestant must answer all the questions in that level.  As for family and friends, there's a "panic button" that any one of them can use one time during the game, if a question is asked that they don't want to know the answer to.  When that happens, the question is thrown out and replaced with another one.

How bad can it get?  Well, on the premiere episode, the first player, a personal trainer, sat in front of his wife and two friends and informed them that he had hit another vehicle and never left a note; that he had suspicions one of his friends might have tried to hit on his wife; and that he had done something in his life that might make his wife distrust him.  His candor earned him $25,000.  Then, on the first question at the $100,000 level, he stated he had never touched a female client inappropriately during a training session.  His answer was false. The camera immediately flashed to his wife's crestfallen face.  I see some serious counseling for this couple in the immediate future, and the possibility for lost jobs, lost families, lost lives for future participants.

Is it worth half a million dollars to expose yourself like this?  I guess some people will do anything for money and their 15 minutes of fame.  The rest of us won't, but we'll still huddle around the television to see how bad other people's lives really are.  And we can pat ourselves on the back and say, "Well, at least I haven't done anything as terrible as that guy/gal."  Unless we really have.
Maybe watching "The Moment of Truth" will make us more aware of our shortcomings as human beings, and inspire us to improve ourselves.  If so, we could all be more honest with each other and not have to suffer the guilt--and the consequences--of doing certain things in our lives.  If not, then I recommend we use this game show format as a tool in our governmental system.  Candidates have to sit on that hot seat and answer questions truthfully concerning their beliefs, their plans for the future, and their direction in government.  One lie and your career in government is over before it begins.  Oh, wait...that means nobody would be able to run for office.  O-kay, we have a problem here...!

This Blog Post has been read 961 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Thursday, January 24, 2008
View other posts by Alf Gordon

Comments on this blog post:

Jennifer from Sandusky: (122 days 20 hours ago.)
I love the show!!

Smitty from Va: (103 days 1 hour ago.)
i think this show is a waste of time, i mean you spill all your secrets && only get half a million $$

Comment by Alf Gordon(13,356) (102 days 1 hour ago.)
The preview for next week's episode shows a lady who admits in front of her husband that she would leave him to hook up with her old boyfriend. I hope she makes enough money to pay for a good lawyer, 'cause I'm guessing she'll need it!

Natalia from New york: (74 days 13 hours ago.)
how can i be in the game show???

Comment by Alf Gordon(13,356) (74 days 12 hours ago.)
Natalia, I can't believe you're serious! BUT, if you are, go to Fox's Web site, search for "Moment of Truth", and look for the contestant application.

Ian Trumbull from Portland Maine: (62 days 1 hour ago.)
Maybe I'm a terrible person but...

I'd put up with a few broken relationships for 500K. I mean it's not like you're admitting to anything you didn't do. Why risk having those things come out for free (as secrets of that nature tend to do). Might as well get paid (extremely well) for it...

Maryem from Morocco: (9 days 23 hours ago.)
I like that show but i'll never be on it, because somebody who clean up in public that is the real madness!!alf gordon that lady didn't win any cent 'cause she lied after all she said that she's a good person but the real fact was not like that.Anyway I enjoy watching the show...and i still not understanding how people can be so miserly ...

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