Review: You're Back In The Room - Episode 1 (ITV)
The game show that makes its candidates switch off, not its viewers.
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‘You’re Back in the Room’ is a new ITV show hosted by Phillip Schofield who claims it’s ‘a game show like no other’. The concept of the show is five strangers working together to win up to £25,000. They have to complete very simple challenges however they are under hypnosis so those tasks will seem ‘trickier for them and funnier for us’.
Phillip welcomed Keith Barry – the top hypnotist who can ‘shut down the conscious mind and plant thoughts that can influence behaviour’ to the stage and also told us that the contestants were hypnotized before the show so us, the viewers, wouldn’t get hypnotized as well but it just makes us question if the hypnotist is actually in control of them or if they are just simply faking it.
In the first episode of the new game show the contestants were: Kate - a Polo Club manager, Steven – a house husband, Leonie – a receptionist, Ross – a design engineer and Carolyn – a health care assistant who described hypnotism as a ‘strange feeling’ as you are aware of what’s happening but you are not in control of it.
In the first challenge, each of the contestants had to make an object out of clay, the others had to guess it and for every one they got right £1000 was added to the cash pot.
We see Keith Barry wanting them to visualize a ball of energy and he says that as soon as it hits them they should be deep asleep. Leonie is the first one to fall asleep causing the audience to gasp because it seemed very fast and unrealistic. After the hypnotist put them to sleep, he touched each person and made them believe something that made it difficult for them to make their sculpture; in Ross’ case it was believing he’s Patrick Swayze in the movie ‘Ghost’. The first challenge consisted in Carolyn shouting at the host, Phillip Schofield with a French accent and Kate believing that the clay is a face mask causing unstoppable laughter in the audience.
In the second task the contestants had to inflate balloons but of course the task wasn’t so simple as Keith Barry put them back to sleep and made each person believe something that would make the task a lot harder for them such as Leonie believing she’s a world champion balloon artist and Carolyn popping a balloon every time she heard the name ‘Kate’.
In the third task they had to answer quiz questions which were mostly music related. Keith Barry made Leonie believe she’s an X-Factor judge and Phillip is Dermot O'Leary. He also made Ross believe he’s James Brown resulting him in doing very funny impressions. Kate believed she was in love with Phillip and even thought he was in love with her, resulting in her thinking they were getting married. In this challenge all the contestants were also hypnotized into dancing ‘like no-one is watching’ when music was played.
The fourth task consisted of the contestants serving dinner to world class chefs. It was the funniest of the challenges because it ended up in a big mess.The mess was caused by Carolyn believing she lost her ring in the mashed potatoes and Leonie serving gravy but believing she’s on a ship in rough seas. The best moment was when Steven fed the chefs because he believed they were toddlers.
‘Eyes open wide awake and you’re back in the room’ seems like a good catchphrase for the show as it’s quite memorable and we hear the hypnotist say it before every challenge the contestants take part in to wake them up.
The last challenge was the simplest but it was guaranteed Keith Barry would make it tough for the contestants. It consisted of moving balls from one side of the room to another but it was difficult as Steven believed he was a pirate who lost his wooden leg, Ross believed the balls were slippery and Carolyn believed that the floor was a thin sheet of ice.
Being in a trance didn’t stop the contestants from winning as they got £21,060. Each of them was also rewarded with the ‘I went under and came out on top’ trophy at the end of the show.
The show is a good laugh and the things some of the contestants do might make you cringe however it’s worth watching, if you like laughter that is. The first episode sets a very good impression for the rest of the series and the idea of the show has been quite well thought out because there isn’t a show like this one and it’s quite nice to see something refreshing. The only issue is not knowing for sure if the contestants are not faking some of the things they do. After every task we see backstage reactions from the contestants themselves and it seems like they couldn’t remember any of it but there could be more proof.