And Another Inside Scoop On That The Phone Show

The-Phone—Post-4.jpgYesterday, we heard from Executive Producer Chris Berry about Fox 8's new reality game, The Phone. Today, we chat to the "host" of the program, Justin Melvey- you know, the guy from the soapies.

What was your first impression of the show?
To be honest, when I auditioned, I didn't actually know what I was getting myself into. Although it had been done in The Netherlands and Justin Timberlake was doing it in the US, it had never been done before in Australia. It was a new format.

But, you're not really the host of the show though, are you- what is it you do exactly?
I guess I'm a bit of a puppeteer. I play a fictional character who gives contestants clues and challenges to suit my agenda- all for the opportunity to win $25,000. At the end of the day, if the contestants meet the requirements to my game, I praise them with lots of cash.

Your character also seems to have an interesting back story...
He's quite young , wealthy, vibrant, full of life, and he's got nothing better to do than make deals, buy up properties and lead these unsuspecting contestants on a wild goose chase.

What a life, hey?
It's great isn't it?

So what are some of the challenges contestants face?
Well in one, my assistant is getting married and I decide to take him sky diving for his last chance of freedom. The contestants have to follow my lead all the time. So they have to get on the plane, solve a riddle and jump out of the plane to the beach where the memory card [clue]has been planted- which they have to find it in order to get to the next level of the game. You know, they're mental and physical challenges that drive you nuts and the contestants are absolutely exhausted by the end. If they make it through the end of the day, honestly they deserve the money.

And there's a bit of a twist at the end...?
Only one of the contestants can win. So if they've paid attention to the clues along the way, and at the end answer three questions correctly, then they win the cash.

Did many people share the prize?
Some did and some didn't. When someone didn't share the prize money, it was emotional. You felt for the other contestant because it really was a joint effort. But it makes for great viewing.

But money can get deducted from the 25k, right?
If they don't win a challenge, I deduct $1,000-$2,000 from the briefcase. A memory card can cost $4,000. Sure, the money wasn't theirs in the first place, but if they make it to the end of the game, instead of $25,000 they might only win $20,000.

Is it possible to win the full 25k?
It's definitely possible. One of the Melbourne guys did really well...

What do you think the reaction to the show will be?
I think Australia is going to love it. If it's a show that viewers can get involved with, where you start talking to the TV and think, 'you idiot, it's there. I can't believe you missed that', then it's very good television.

The Phone premieres 8.30pm, Monday 19th on Fox 8.

[The Phone]


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