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Encyclopedia > Distraction (game show)

Distraction is a British game show shown on Channel 4. Presented by comedian Jimmy Carr, the show involves contestants answering questions, while being distracted in various bizarre, painful and humiliating ways. A game show involves members of the public or celebrities, sometimes as part of a team, playing a game, perhaps involving answering quiz questions, for points or prizes. ... Channel 4 is a public service television broadcaster in the United Kingdom (see British television). ... A comedian, or comic, is an entertainer who amuses an audience by making them laugh. ... Jimmy Carr Jimmy Carr (born September 15, 1972) is an English comedian. ...


The format was devised by Fremantle television and was sold to the U.S. network Comedy Central in 2004. The first season of the U.S. version was shown starting on January 18, 2005, and the second season began airing on January 10, 2006. Jimmy Carr has hosted all episodes of both versions. Fremantle is a city located within the Perth metropolitan area on Australias western coast, at the mouth of the Swan River, 19 kilometres south from Perths Central Business District. ... Motto: E pluribus unum (1789 to present) (Latin: Out of Many, One) In God We Trust (1956 to present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York, New York Official language(s) None at federal level; English de facto Government • President • Vice President Federal republic... Comedy Central is a cable television channel in the United States. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in... January 18 is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


Gameplay

At the start of the show there are four contestants, two women and two men. Before the first round, they "get to know each other", finding out about each other's embarrassing moments, unique hobbies, strange talents, or previsious unflattering occupations.


The first three rounds are usually quizzes involving rather easy questions. However, these rounds feature various distractions (hence the name) to cause pain and/or discomfort while contestants try to answer them. The distractions may be endured throughout the round, activated in order to answer questions, as punishment for incorrect answers, or as a result of getting a question right. At the end of each round, the player who has performed worst is eliminated and receives nothing. Look up Quiz in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A quiz is a form of game or puzzle in which the players (as individuals or in teams), attempt to answer questions correctly. ...


Distractions have included being shocked with electricity such as with electric dog collars, pushing buzzers surrounded by cacti, sticking one's hand in live mousetraps to answer a question, being shot with paintball guns, having snakes and maggots put down the pant(ies) of the contestants, urinating in a specially designed toilet to activate one's buzzer, and contestants drinking shots of hot sauce or their own urine. Several of the most frequently seen distractions are explained in further detail below. A buzzer or a beeper is a signalling device, usually electronic, typically used in automobiles, household appliances such as a microwave oven, or game shows. ... This article is about the desert plant. ... Paintball is a sport whose participants use markers to shoot paintballs (roughly marble-sized, .68 caliber, gelatin capsules filled with colored polyethylene glycol paint) at other players. ... Flush toilet A toilet is a plumbing fixture and a disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of the bodily wastes urine and feces. ... There are hundreds of varieties of hot sauce A hot sauce is any spicy condiment sauce. ... Urine is liquid waste excreted by the kidneys and is produced by the process of filtration. ...


In the fourth and final round, the one remaining player wins a prize (or prizes) worth £5,000-10,000. However, the final condition of said prize(s) depends on how well they do in this round. Typically there are five questions, with each incorrect answer resulting in a prize (or part of a prize) being damaged or destroyed. For example, if the prize is a car, getting a particular question wrong could result in the losing contestants getting to spray paint graffiti on the side of it, smash the windshield, or key-scratch the door(s) of the car. Spray painting is painting using a device that sprays the paint. ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ... A caricature of Gustave Courbet taking down a Morris column, published by Le Père Duchêne illustré magazine Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure or symbol against the will of the owner/governing body. ...


U.S. version

The format for the U.S. version is basically the same; however, each round may have its own special rules instead of merely answering the most questions. Round 1 is always an on-the buzzers quiz (the "buzzers" being some of the items described above.) Round 2 may be another on-the-buzzers quiz, or an individual time trial in which each player is given 45 seconds (or so Jimmy claims) to answer questions while continually being distracted by someone or something else. Round 3 is a head-to-head round similar to round one, and is usually a race to 4 or 5 points, although in the episode airing on March 14, 2006, the final two contestants played the Pig Pen game (see below). The word point can refer to: a location in physical space a unit of angular measurement; see navigation point is a typographic unit of measure in typography equal inch or sometimes approximated as inch; on computer displays it should be equal to point in typography if the correct display resolution...


Sometimes in round 1 or 2, players must attach clothespins or rubber bands to their faces while answering questions; the player with the most clothespins/rubber bands on their face at the end of the round gets five extra points, and usually moves on because of this bonus. The word point can refer to: a location in physical space a unit of angular measurement; see navigation point is a typographic unit of measure in typography equal inch or sometimes approximated as inch; on computer displays it should be equal to point in typography if the correct display resolution...


The final winner faces the prize round as outlined above.


Frequently Used Distractions

  • Cactus Buzzers (UK only) - This distraction is circulating as a Viral Video on the internet. Contestants must answer questions by buzzing in to a small hand buzzer surrounded by cacti. Halfway through the game, they are blindfolded and the cacti spin, making it harder for them to buzz in.
  • Nudist Relay - Taking place in the second round, the three remaining players don't answer questions, but instead have to do a relay race, featuring the wheelbarrow, the 3 legged race, and leapfrog (or "under the bridge"). The last place finisher is eliminated.
  • Nudist Turntable - players must find the answers on cards stuck to the bodies of nudists on rotating platforms, take them off with their teeth, bring back the card, and put it on the board. Successfully doing so scores a point. In the first or second round, the player with the lowest score at the end is eliminated; in the third round, the first contestant to get 4 points wins the game.
  • Pee Buzzers - There seems to be an obsession with urine on Distraction. As explained above, contestants are seated on specially designed toilets, with only a small door on the stall for privacy. To answer a question, they must "do a little wee" to activate their buzzer. This is the second most commonly featured game in the US version, with only the hot sauce drinking round being featured more often.
  • Shots - To answer a question, contestants must down a shot of an extremely hot sauce, freezing cold slush (to cause "brain freeze"), or in the UK, their own urine left over from drug testing. As the drinking game is usually the head-to-head contest in Great Britain, the final shot is usually the rest of the cup or the other contestant's urine.
  • Wrestlers - Usually the most brutal distraction, each contestant is thrown around and manhandled by "professional" wrestlers for 45 seconds while trying to answer questions. Less "severe" variations on this challenge include answering while being manhandled by attack dogs, being enclosed in a pen with geese and covered in feed, and having one's head stuck in a box containing pigeons.
  • Catapults - This round made its US debut in the second season and is used quite frequently. To buzz in, contestants must pull a lever which in turn launches a cream pie into the player's face. After the contestant has used up the pie, it is replaced with other random food items (ketchup, mustard, guacamole, raw eggs, honey, fruit pies, jelly, and rice have been seen so far.) Incidentally, the contestants are dressed in their regular clothes for this round, and while they may clean off their faces, they must "wear" the food on their clothes and in their hair for the remainder of the show.
  • "Electrocution" - Contestants are hooked up to electrodes and given an electric shock whenever a specific event happens. Depending on the game, any of the following "cues" could result in the contestant being shocked:
    • Buzzing in
    • Getting an answer right
    • Another player getting an answer right
    • Getting an answer wrong
    • Blinking
    • Random intervals
    • Any incident Carr deems deserving, especially arguing or complaining
On several episodes, the contestants' mothers were brought onstage, and they received the shocks instead.
  • Butt Buzzers - The contestants were lined up side by side, and wore gold go-go shorts with buzzers attached to their rear ends. To answer a question, the contestant had to slap the buzzer located on his neighbor's bottom.
  • Pig Pen - Contestants are placed in a pen with greased pigs labeled from 1 to 5. To answer a question, the player (whose arms are greased as well) must pick up a pig and hold it above his waist. If he answers correctly, he receives points according to the number painted on the pig.
  • Bubble Bust (UK Only) - Contestants have cheek extractors placed into their mouths to make it hard to talk and to cause mild discomfort. They are strapped to a chair facing a television that is showing well known celebrities, and must guess the personality appearing on the screen. However, while they are doing this, a bubble machine blows 100 bubbles in their face per second, causing the contestants to blink and making it difficult to see the screen, as well as causing them to inhale the bubbles since they cannot close their mouths.

... Point can refer to: Look up Point in Wiktionary, the free dictionary // Mathematics In mathematics: Point (geometry), an entity that has a location in space but no extent Fixed point (mathematics), a point that is mapped to itself by a mathematical function Point at infinity Point group Point charge, an... There are hundreds of varieties of hot sauce A hot sauce is any spicy condiment sauce. ... Urine is liquid waste excreted by the kidneys and is produced by the process of filtration. ... Other uses: Goose (disambiguation) Genera Anser Branta Chen Cereopsis † see also: Swan, Duck Anatidae Goose (plural geese) is the general English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. ... Pigeon redirects here. ... A slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie à la mode A pie is a baked dish, with a baked shell usually made of pastry that covers or completely contains a filling of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, cheeses, creams, chocolate, custards, nuts, or other sweet or savoury ingredient. ... An electrode is a conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit (e. ... Sign warning of possible electric shock hazard An electric shock can occur upon contact of a human or animal body with any source of voltage high enough to cause sufficient current flow through the muscles or nerves. ... Binomial name Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758 The domestic pig is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, though some authors call it , reserving for the wild boar. ...

Prize Rounds

Unique to this show is the final round, where instead of answering questions to win prizes, the prizes are given to the contestant upfront; however, the contestant must then answer several further questions to prevent these prizes from being damaged and/or destroyed.


The following are descriptions of the various end games used on the show:

  • "Driven To Distraction" (UK, US season 1):

The player won a car (usually a Ford Mustang, Mazda3, Ford Ranger, MINI Cooper, or a Volkswagen Beetle), and faced 4 or 5 questions. Each incorrectly answered question corresponds to the losing players doing some sort of damage to the car, usually a broken windshield, paint on the roof, smashed headlights, words scratched on the car door, or the roof being completely torn off. The player receives the car in whatever condition it's in after the last question is asked. There was one exception: in one episode, at the end of the questions, every incorrect answer allowed a big burly man 5 seconds to damage the car as much as he could. (Incidentally, that was the only time in the first season that a player won an undamaged car.) The Ford Mustang is a popular American automobile. ... Mazda Motor Corporation assembles the Mazda3, an automobile model (known in Japan as the Axela), and offers it to the public under the Mazda brand. ... The Ford Ranger name is used on two distinct and unrelated pick-up truck lines by the Ford Motor Company: The North American Ford-designed compact pickup truck (documented here) The Mazda-designed compact pickup (documented at Mazda B-Series (International)) sold in more than 130 countries North American Ranger... The BMW or New MINI is a car produced by BMW since 2001. ... The VW Type 1, which was called the Beetle or Bug or Käfer (in German), is a small family car, the best known car of Volkswagen, one of the best known cars from Germany, and one of the most recognisable and distinctive cars in the world. ...

  • Burning Money (UK only):

One version of this game involved the contestant winning a pile of money (usually £5000); answering a question incorrectly resulted in part of this money being shoveled into a fireplace. Another version of this game involved a 1000 pound wedge lodged into each five toasters. For each of five questions they got right, they could pull the money out of one toaster with tongs or gloves. The money would start burning about halfway through the round. Unfortunately, this final round will not be available for American audiences, as it is illegal to burn American cash.

  • "Hot Prizes" (UK only):

The winning contestant is shown 3 or 4 prizes sitting next to a lit fireplace. Each question is for a specific prize; if the contestant gets the question wrong, said prize is shoved into the furnace and burned. If a prize proves difficult to burn, gasoline is poured onto it to speed up the process; this has caused minor burns to a distractor on at least one occasion. Gasoline (or petrol) is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ...

  • "Prize Plunge" (US season 1):

The player was shown five prizes (usually totaling $10,000 or more in value) in a bulletproof glass box hooked up to explosives, and usually faced five questions. For each question answered incorrectly, the player had to push one of five detonators, each of which would randomly trigger one of the explosives. At the end, whatever wasn't blown up, the player won. The prizes usually included a Vespa scooter, a computer of some sort, a plasma TV, and a smaller electronic device. One of the five prizes was usually a stereotypical game show parting gift, such as a supply of Rice-A-Roni or a can of peas. This booby prize allowed for a 1-in-5 chance of getting one question wrong and still walking away with all "valuable" prizes intact. Bulletproof glass is glass that is capable of stopping all manner of bullets fired at it. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... New Vespas The Vespa is a line of motor scooters that was first manufactured in Pontedera, Italy in 1946 by Piaggio & Co, S.p. ... A computer is a machine for manipulating data according to a list of instructions known as a program. ... A plasma display is an emissive flat panel display where light is created by phosphors excited by a plasma discharge between two flat panels of glass. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... A booby prize is a joke prize, usually given in recogition of a terrible performance or a last-place finish. ...

  • "Car Smash" (US season 2, also referred to as "60 Seconds of Destruction"):

The contestant is awarded a car, and as in the first season, he must answer questions to protect it from vandalism; however, instead of each question being worth a part of the car, the round is now timed. Jimmy asks the player three questions, which usually have multiple answers. After the first question is asked, a 60-second clock starts. For the first 20 seconds, the three losing players must stay back from the car. However, once the pointer passes 20 and goes into the red zone, a bell sounds, and the first loser sprays graffiti on the car (generally, a message making fun of one of the winning contestant's "quirks"). A second bell sounds, and the next loser attacks the hood with a sander. Finally, a third bell sounds, and the remaining loser smashes the windshield with a sledgehammer. The player can pass; however, the losing players only stop attacking the car when he has completely answered all three questions or when the 60 seconds expire. The episode originally airing on January 24, 2006 shows that a player can win an undamaged car even if the initial 20 seconds expire: The player answered the third question correctly, giving the fourth answer just as the first losing player was about to start graffitiing the car. Jimmy then ordered that player not to do anything, as that was the last question needed. Time taken was approximately 22 seconds. A caricature of Gustave Courbet taking down a Morris column, published by Le Père Duchêne illustré magazine Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure or symbol against the will of the owner/governing body. ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ...

  • "Barrel Drop" (US season 2):

The player is shown three prizes (usually a computer, a large Sony Wega HDTV, and a Vespa). Jimmy asks the player three (usually multiple-answer) questions, each corresponding to a given prize. The player has 10 seconds and as many guesses as needed to completely answer the question. If the player runs out of time, a 1,000-pound barrel (about 455 kilograms) drops down and smashes the prize. Whatever isn't smashed, the player wins. Sony is a Japanese leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. ... WEGA (pronounced vega) was a pioneering German radio manufacturer, manufacturing some of Germanys earliest radio sets. ... High-definition television (HDTV) means broadcast of television signals with a higher resolution than traditional formats (NTSC, SECAM, PAL) allow. ... New Vespas The Vespa is a line of motor scooters that was first manufactured in Pontedera, Italy in 1946 by Piaggio & Co, S.p. ...

  • "Conveyor Belt" (US season 2):

This game follows the exact same rules as "Barrel Drop", but the prizes are placed on a conveyor belt. The player has until the prize is carried by the belt to a red "X" (again, approximately 10 seconds) to completely answer the question. If the prize reaches the crosshairs of the red "X", a wrecking ball immediately swings down and destroys the prize. The player wins whatever isn't hit by the wrecking ball. Insert non-formatted text here Point of contact between a power transmission belt and its pulley. ... A wrecking ball is a heavy steel ball, usually hung from a crane, that is used for demolishing large buildings. ...

  • "Rope Burn" (US season 2):

Each of three or four prizes is placed under an anvil suspended by a rope attached to a device reminiscent of a Rube Goldberg contraption. The contestant has 20 seconds to answer as many questions as there are prizes. If the contestant does not answer all the questions in the allotted time, a blowtorch aimed at the first rope is ignited. The rope in turn burns, allowing the anvil to drop onto the prize and crush it. The remaining torches are lit in 10 or 15 second intervals, depending on the number of prizes. As soon as all questions are answered correctly, any lit torches are extinguished, and the contestant wins whatever has not been crushed. (This is the only prize round where contestants may still lose all of their prizes even though they answered some of the questions correctly.) A blacksmith working iron with a hammer and anvil An anvil is a manufacturing tool, made of a hard and massive block of stone or metal used as a support for chiseling and hammering other objects, such as in forging iron and steel items. ... Rube Goldberg Reuben Lucius Goldberg (July 4, 1883 – December 7, 1970) was a cofounder and first president of the National Cartoonists Society. ... The top torch is a welding torch and the bottom is a cutting torch, or blowtorch A blowtorch is a torch used to cut metal. ...


Notes

  • As of March 28, 2006, two contestants in the US version have won cars in perfect condition (one in each season). One contestant has won a prize round with no prizes being damaged (playing 3-prize Rope Burn). Three contestants have walked away empty-handed after all their prizes were destroyed (one playing Prize Plunge, another playing Barrel Drop, and a third playing 4-prize Rope Burn.)
  • The timed car round has been played five times as of March 28, 2006. (Given that Comedy Central only ordered 14 episodes for the second season, and the details for the 13th and 14th shows are listed on Comedy Central's website, this number is likely final.) The three rounds in which a Ford Mustang was featured all resulted in the car receiving the maximum damage possible, as the minute ran out before the contestant could answer all three questions. The two final rounds that featured a Volkswagen Beetle each had more successful contestants - one who only received two letters spraypainted onto the side of her car before getting the third question right, and the contestant mentioned above who won his car untouched.
  • The set for the British version is a library/study area, while the American version is set in a brightly colored loft apartment. In the British version, Jimmy Carr simply told the players their scores at the end of the round. In the US, the plasma TV beside him shows the scores, with Jimmy only telling the contestants how many clothespins or rubber bands they have on their faces at the end of the round.
  • Distractor (noun): Someone who aids Jimmy Carr by distracting contestants painfully or emotionally. Examples include losing contestants, nudists, creepy carny guys, tattoo / piercing experts, professional wrestlers, Jimmy's "interns", midgets, Roller Derby girls, professional hockey players, professional volleyball players, Ammo Ladies, paintball players, and a large bouncer-type male nicknamed "Tiny".
  • Carr claims that in an individual time-trial-based quiz, the players have 45 seconds. However, the time is not displayed on-screen. Viewers who time the round with a stopwatch will find that most times, the horn goes off after 35-40 seconds. This leads the viewer to believe one of three things: either the players are given a limited number of questions (perhaps 7, although this is unlikely; in the episode airing February 28, 2006, each player got through significantly more than 7, and, indeed, one scored 8), several seconds of footage are cut out of each quiz, or the timekeepers approximate the 45 seconds by counting it in their heads. If the first case is true, Jimmy doesn't tell the viewers, and if the third case is true, then human error becomes a major factor; a player could be given a significant amount of extra time over the others and thus have a better chance of advancement to the head-to-head round.
  • There is a quiz book for "Distraction" in the United Kingdom, featuring most of the distractions featured on the show. Requires Buzzers, Distractions, and a brand new car.
  • On the US episode airing on March 14, 2006, one of the rounds featured contestants answering questions while ping pong balls were fired at their faces. The questions in this round dealt with the subject "strange foreigners." One of the questions was "Name the extremely sexy host of the hilarious TV game show Distraction", with the answer being Jimmy Carr.

March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in Leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Ford Mustang is a popular American automobile. ... The Volkswagen New Beetle is a new line of Volkswagen Beetle. ... A plasma display is an emissive flat panel display where light is created by phosphors excited by a plasma discharge between two flat panels of glass. ... Carny is slang for a carnival worker, as well as the language they employ. ... A tattoo is a design or marking made by the insertion of a pigment into punctures or cuts in the skin. ... Field hockey game at Melbourne University. ... Volleyball is one of the most popular sports to play in the world. ... Paintball is a sport whose participants use markers to shoot paintballs (roughly marble-sized, .68 caliber, gelatin capsules filled with colored polyethylene glycol paint) at other players. ... A stopwatch is a timepiece designed to measure the amount of time elapsed from a particular time when activated and when the piece is deactivated. ... March 14 is the 73rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (74th in Leap years) with 292 days remaining in the year. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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