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Entertainment

Tom passes test with flying colors

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - GMA 7 recently made its late-morning slot more interesting and highly anticipated by fielding in a daily game show, Don’t Lose the Money. It is the network’s answer to TV5’s Let’s Ask Pilipinas and ABS-CBN’s The Singing Bee, competing game shows that air on the same, late-morning timeslot.

With primetime actor Tom Rodriguez as first-time host of a morning game show, Don’t Lose the Money is a successful franchise from Germany. GMA 7 secured the franchise early this year but the program started airing only last September.

Directed by Mark Reyes, Don’t Lose the Money brings the thrill and excitement to late-morning TV. As Tom reminds everyone at the start of the show, there is only one rule for the game and that is, “Don’t Lose the Money.”

Two teams — Blue and Red — composed of three players are given P250,000 each at the start of the game. They have to go through three different challenges that will make them use the money they have. They have to be careful not to lose the money. Whatever amount they get in every challenge will be stored in the “bank.”

The challenges are action-packed and nerve-wracking in every round. Some can be grueling and really physical. Players have to transfer money from one huge box to another. In between, however, there are obstacles like a swamp, revolving platform or using a pair of chopsticks to make a wad of bills stand on a steel bar.

Every challenge is timed, so players need to combine their strength, balance, courage, tactics and strategic timing to hurdle the test. They also have to exercise their teamwork, skills and communication while playing in order to win.

The accounting team immediately counts the money after every challenge. At the end of three rounds, the team that  finishes with the bigger amount of money effectively gets the chance to play in the jackpot.

The team also has a choice to pass and let the other team play. If the other team wins, they take home half of the jackpot money. If they lose, the competing team takes home the cash that it banked.

Early episodes of Don’t Lose the Money featured celebrities (actors, athletes, singers, even child stars) going through the different challenges. Lately, however, ordinary players get to hurdle the challenges.

It may be Tom’s maiden assignment to host a game show and Don’t Lose the Money is totally a new challenge for him, but he passed the test with flying colors. GMA 7’s gamble to make him host a late-morning game show has paid off. Now, Tom is so at ease and comfortable in the game show genre aside, of course, from doing drama.

Last month, players surprised viewers, studio audience and even the host himself when the players attempted to stage a “walk-out” while doing a particular challenge. The team members, however, returned on-cam to surprise Tom, who was celebrating his birthday that day (Oct. 1).

The players who connived in doing the “walk-out” were John “Sweet” Lapus, Rafael Rosell, Pauleen Luna, Victor Basa, Bettina Carlos and Pancho Magno. Carla Abellana even made a special appearance in the show to greet Tom.

It will be remembered that Tom and Carla first teamed up in GMA 7’s phenomenally successful drama series, My Husband’s Lover, which was also topbilled by Dennis Trillo. Then, Tom and Carla were next paired in My Destiny, another primetime series of the network.

Tom’s parents, sisters, brother-in-law, nephews and nieces who are all in the US were also videotaped for their respective greetings, which made Tom break down and cry.

Tom is apparently braced for the daily challenge of hosting a game show. He is also ready for the network’s battle in the ratings game as he propels Don’t Lose the Money to consistently enjoy a wide audience following in its late-morning timeslot.

AS TOM

ASK PILIPINAS

BETTINA CARLOS AND PANCHO MAGNO

GAME

LOSE

LOSE THE MONEY

MONEY

SHOW

TOM

TOM AND CARLA

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