No freakin' way!
Well, it has come to fruition sort of, in the form of a new game show, Moment of Truth, on Fox. This show takes "what would you do for a Klondike Bar?" to a new level.
Moment of Truth premiered tonight after American Idol. And if you didn't see it, contestants didn't really need to flex any mental muscle. They just had to tell the truth.
First, contestants are hooked up to a lie detector and asked 30-something questions, many of them realllllllllllllllllllly personal and deep. They're not told how the machine interpreted their answers, as true or false. Then they're brought on stage and the host explains that they can win up to $500,000 as long as they answer 20-something of the questions truthfully, to the extent the answers they give on stage match the truth as interpreted back stage by the lie detector. The first six honest answers = $10,000. The next five, $25,000. The next four, $100,000, and so on. The catch is if at any point you give a false answer - at least to the extent it contradicts the polygraph machine - you lose everything, even the money you've "earned" up to that point.
Sounds simple enough, right? Not at all. As you answer questions, three people - loved one and two friends - sit directly across the stage from you, just watching and listening and reacting to your answers.
The first contestant was Ty Keck, a personal trainer and former pro football player. Across the stage sat his very attractive wife of two-and-a-half years, and two good friends of his. And I'm guessing right about now that Keck wishes he'd stayed home.
The first couple of questions were easy, things like whether Keck thought he was the best looking person in his circle of friends, and whether he'd ever feigned sickness to cancel a training session with a client. He truthfully answered yes to both things.
But then Keck was asked if he'd ever looked at another ball player's twig-n-berries in the locker room, whether he'd ever had sex on the first day he met a woman, whether he's ever done anything that would cause his wife to lose trust in him, and whether he had put off having kids because he wasn't sure he'd be with his wife for the long haul. Again, Keck truthfully answered yes to each of these.
To say wifey was shocked is an understatement.
A twist to the game is that if she'd heard a question that she didn't want the answer to she could hit a buzzer and the host would ask a replacement question...with no guarantees that it would be easier than the first question. Or if Keck reached a question he didn't want to answer in front of an audience, he could quit, take his earnings and leave the stage.
I was shocked that Keck's wife, though obviously shaken, kept telling him to continue, because she was curious. He made it past the $25K round, and was two questions away from $100K, when he met his match with a question about his job: had he ever touched a (presumably female) client more than was necessary during a training session?
Keck answered no. The polygraph said that was a lie. He lost.
So let me get this straight. This guy exposed his lack of truthiness and admitted to shortcomings his wife didn't know in front of a television audience for a chance at money?
And he went home empty-handed? I'm gonna guess that it's probably better he didn't make it all the way to the $500K, 'cause by the time he got home he'd have been splitting that check down the middle with Mrs. Keck and her divorce attorney.
Oh, and there was irony. After each uncomfortably honest answer, the host asked husband and wife if they'd like to continue, and "at what cost?"