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Million Second Quiz Chronicles Part II

When we got into the building, which they refer to as the "MSQ Campus," it was like getting on an airline... metal detectors, security patdowns and inspections. When it was clear we had no Weapons of Mass Destruction, and our documents were all verified, we got to go to a little holding pen, where we waited for our turn to play to the cameras and explain a bit about ourselves. But you have to keep in mind, the game was actually already underway, with the contestants sequestered (oh that word) in their area, the top winners safely hidden in another area and the massive "hourglass" set on the rooftop of the building.

It must have been about 10:30 when I got to do my first little bit, and I tried to make it fun without being weird. I got to mention my experience on "Millionaire," and of course talked about being a clown. we then got taken to another larger room where a bunch more forms were handed to us... these included the rules of the game and some medical releases, typical boilerplate forms that guarantee you won't sue them if anything happens to you while you are on their property, and all of that.

The rules of the game are pretty complicated and they have different rules at different times, with the prime time game play being totally different. I'll fill you in about that in a future entry.

About an hour later, I was beginning to wish I hadn't skipped breakfast.

After we filled out the forms, there was a lawyer working for the show/NBC Universal who signed off on everything. It's so odd, since these legal forms are seriously like 20-30 pages long... there is no legal counsel for you to help advise you and you have to read through it all in the space of like an hour or maybe two if you want to be thorough?

One of my line people walked out of the room because she didn't like the legalese. Not good old "Mel," tho. We thought he got pulled out of the line, never to be heard from again, but he was, in fact, still around.

After all the paperwork... they showed us a video about how to read and fill out the paperwork.

Yes, you read that right. They showed us the video about what we should do with preparing to read and sign off on their legal documents AFTER we had already done so. Sitting through those pointless videos took another hour. They asked if we had any questions and I was extremely tempted to ask why they didn't show us the videos before we signed their documents, but I figured I'd be escorted off the property and that would be the end of my MSQ experience. Mouth remained shut.

Finally, about 1pm we got into our holding center, where they had set up an actual Subway restaurant. If you look online at nbc.com, you'll see that Subway is one of the big sponsors of MSQ. So we all ate our Subway sandwiches, had some snacks and used the bathrooms portapotty...

I can't begin to tell you how disgusting that was. I meant the bathroom situation. They had 5 - FIVE portapotty units for all the potential contestants. One portapotty for each dollar in the 5 dollar foot longs!

There were hundreds of people there. This with everyone eating Subway sandwiches and drinking Seattle's Best Coffee!

In case you were wondering where they skimped on the cost of producing this program, that would be it.

So, on to the more pleasant aspects of all of this, in the holding pen, there were laptops for everybody. Mel managed to remove one and was using it as a visor because they lighting was so bright. See, everything is online for you to view at the MSQ webpage:


the lights are there for the (not so) hidden cameras, which showing the feed from that room, from Winner's Row, where the current top players are resting and relaxing, and also from the "basement" studio, where the game is played during non-prime time hours.

How Mel got a laptop loose, I don't know. But there it was. I figured he was going to try to either claim it was his or just smuggle it out later, which probably would have been okay, since the show had his name, address, social security number... he'd be pretty easy to find!

So, after hanging around down there for a couple of hours, they gave us some activities, like posing for the camera, "putting your game face on." Here's mine:

It got tweeted out to the world via @MSQMirror, the official Twitter of silly contestant faces. I'm sure you'll find your favorites as you scroll through.

Finally, we got to take a test to see if we qualified to move to the next level. Seventeen questions in 500 seconds. They are multiple choice A, B, C, D as on the show.

Great. I breezed through the questions. and was finished about two minutes before the time.

They collected our clipboards, and hauled them away to discuss.

I felt maybe I missed one question or possibly two, but I did really well.

About an hour later, they came back to give us the results... and they told us that if we weren't picked, we could still take another test at 7pm. They selected 8 people, and they were packed up and sent to some other location within the MSQ Campus. They referred to it as "Area 8." I was not selected.

In fact, I wasn't selected for the next quiz, where I know I got at least one wrong... the color of the G in google's standard logo... I said red for some reason, even though I knew it was blue.

And I decided that I would take the quiz one more time and just walk away from the whole thing. At that point it was approaching midnight and I had been awake since 6am. Everything stopped when the prime time telecast was on the air. And then President Obama gave his speech about Syria. You have to stay in touch with current events and trends, because anything is fair game to ask on the MSQ.

Mel was still hanging about... and had managed to corral about 25 bottles of 5 Hour Energy into a plastic bag. Since Mel still hadn't been chosen, it seemed like he was going to give up hope and make a break for the exit with his haul.

The MSQ rep, much like a homeroom teacher, marched right over to him and told him he was not allowed to do that. He was then walked over to some other place and was not heard from again.

Anyway, we bleary-eyed took the test one more time and waited for the results. This time it was only about a half hour wait. They brought in a camera crew and they started listing off 16 people's names... and sure enough, I was selected!

It was then I realized that I wouldn't be getting much sleep.

More to come.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2013 05:51 am (UTC)
This is so exciting!--I'm happy for you :)
Sep. 13th, 2013 06:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, what Deb said! :D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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