Despite some serious lapses in sanity, there is still much to admire about the Philippines and its people. And in a surprising Deal or No Deal twist, my respect for the Filipinos has skyrocketed to a whole new level.
You see, Howie Mandel is taking American contestants to several of the 120 countries where versions of Deal or No Deal appear and playing the game in those foreign countries. Tonight he hosted the show in the Philippines, on the Filipino Deal or No Deal set in front of a Filipino audience, featuring the Filipino models and the Filipino host, Kris Aquino—the daughter of former President Corazon Aquino.
The Philippines version of Deal or No Deal is FUCKING CRAZY! And that's why I love it!
First of all, the models not only open suitcases and look pretty, but they also kick off the show with a well-choreographed sexy-dance! WHAT?! Look:
And they have names like Darling and Kitten.
The Filipino banker doesn't just sit around like the American banker. He paces intensely and, when moved to do so, dances an evil-dance.
Then there's the wild audience. They all participate in the show rather vocally, swinging their arms, throwing their hands in the air, jumping up and down. And, yes, they have a dance too. I call it the joy-joy-dance, a happy bounce that they engage in when the house DJ—yes, I said house DJ—turns up the music. The audience looks like they're having more fun than the contestants.
Howie described it all as having a party atmosphere and that assessment is totally accurate. The American show is filled with the kind of cheap suspense that I have come to know and love. But the Filipino version boasts an undeniable joie de vivre that would put most of us to shame.