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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN ~ EPISODE 4!

BEHIND THE SCENES: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN ~ EPISODE 4!

Wow! Hider contestants Ron Stoczynski and Beau Nolen really gave us a run for the money in this episode and, in the process, gave us some great TV moments – hearing Beau sing live gave me chills and really did move Mary to tears. The guy should be given a shot on The Voice.

This episode again proved how difficult it is to judge human nature. Just like it was hard to believe one of the South Beach sisters from Episode 3 would actually keep her eyes closed during the hide, it was hard to believe Ron and Beau would still have the briefcase with them when they stopped to buy cupcakes. Beau’s use of his jacket to hide the briefcase handcuffed to his wrist was brilliant.

The employees in the bakery weren’t lying to detective contestants Michelle Wood and John Korolis when the said Beau and Ron didn’t have a briefcase with them in the bakery – they just didn’t see it and unknowingly gave the detectives, and subsequently Mary and me, bad information. It was only after the interrogation of Ron in his cell, when we tried to con him we had seen security video from the bakery (there was none), and he told us to review it, that we began to believe they had the briefcase with them.

I was glad the edit of the episode showed Mary warning Michelle she might throw her under the bus by making out she didn’t like her. It was cool, because then the viewers could see how great Mary was at selling that scenario to Beau.

The interrogations were as highly charged emotionally as they appeared to the TV viewer. Mary is such a genuinely good and caring person that she struggled when she believed she was successfully conning Beau – causing her to leave the interrogation room before moving in for the kill. It is really hard when you are interrogating basically innocent people, guilty only of auditioning for a game show. We genuinely liked Ron and Beau, both really nice guys, which made it doubly hard.

One scene that didn’t make the final edit was the extension of my final interrogation with Beau (where he tells me to bring out my big guns if I’ve got them). I told Beau up front my goal was going to be to make him mad, because I needed to see genuine emotion from him. The interrogation became very intense and personal, to the point where Beau verged on becoming verbally threatening before I cooled things off.

What I didn’t know was the producers, who were watching all of this from the screening room, became so concerned, they actually sent two actual police officers (we were filming at the Niles Police Station just outside of Chicago) to stand outside the interrogation room door, in case Beau decided he wanted a piece of me and came off his stool swinging.

And let’s talk a little about that stool and several other similar points. A couple of people have mentioned that we got ‘lucky’ last night, but I disagree. In interrogations, there is always an A-game and a B-game. The A-game is the actual verbal exchange, the questions asked and how they are asked. The B-game is all of the other little things you do to gain an interrogatory advantage.

Both Ron and Beau were tall and broad, so we made them sit on a stool that would allow Mary and me to remain in a position of dominance while sitting in a normal chair – it’s why we kept bringing our chair into the interrogation room and taking it out with us.

Like the cells in San Francisco, the cells in the Niles Police Station have solid doors, making the small cells seem even smaller – the walls can really close in on someone. By contrast, the barred cell doors in Miami didn’t work nearly as well at psychologically confining the hider contestants. The solid cell door really has the effect of cutting off and isolating the resident from everything outside.

Prior experience has taught us the hider contestants hate being interrogated in their cells. You could see it clearly when we woke Ron up and invaded his cell. He was really flustered, even at one point asking me to move back, which I refused to do – again maintaining a position of dominance.

I didn’t take Ron’s toothpaste, toothbrush, and notebook just to be mean. It was a display of ‘parental disapproval’ done to place a subject in a position where they feel you are ‘disappointed’ in them.

When I told Ron that Beau was in “a much more comfortable place because he had been cooperating with us,” it was a throwaway line – just something said to try and raise the pressure. However, when we talked to Ron after the show was over, he said it was what put him over the edge – the thought he was stuck in the cell while Beau was off somewhere enjoying himself.

All these things were part of our B-game, and since Beau and Ron did such a great job of throwing off our A-game, it was the B-game that came to our rescue – not luck.

On another note, if the show gets picked up for a second season, I think there is a good chance the use of a ‘cut out’ person – somebody the hider contestants call to call somebody else – will probably be disallowed. It is not really fair to the detective contestants if there isn’t a direct line for them to be able to track between the hiders and the location where they leave the briefcase.

NEXT WEEK: SAN FRANCISCO ~ I’ve always maintained the smartest thing I’ve ever done on the show was conning Mary into becoming my partner. Next week, Mary will have the coolest moment ever in the spotlight, proving my point – this woman is dangerous!

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