8 things that always happen on The Chase
"The Chase is on" - me, when The Chase is on.
If there's a show on our television screens more wholesome and pure than The Chase, we must protect it at all costs but also not because it simply doesn't exist.
The Chase is perfect. It's got everything - quiz questions, lunatic contestants, villains, banter and Bradley Walsh. It cannot, it good conscience, be faulted.
Sure, every episode is more or less the exact same, but therein lies its beauty. The Chase is a reliable and comfortable watch every goddamn time.
Here's eight things that happen during every episode.
1. One of the contestants' occupations will catch you completely off guard
Look at this woman, look deep into her eyes. Now tell me, what is her job? What does she do to earn a living? Well, would it surprise you to learn that she is the President of Namibia? Or what if she was an astronaut? Maybe a Gregg's pasty maker? You're wrong. Kay is actually a casino company owner from Surbiton and she's here to take part in The Chase so that her husband can afford to get a facelift. Legitimately.
At least one of the contestants always blindsides you with their occupation and backstory. Looks are deceiving, but also our preconceived notions of appearances relating to occupations are usually way off. Kay can have any damn job she wants, that is her God-given right. Kay could be a bouncy castle installation technician if she wanted to be. The Chase teaches us that a) Bradley Walsh is precious and we must protect him at all costs and b) Never judge a quiz-thirsty book by its cover.
2. The smack talk from the Chaser will be incredibly tame and laughable
By right, the Chaser should walk onto set like a gown-clad Conor McGregor heading to a fight. The Chasers are all geniuses, they're big dicks in a very small pie. But for some reason, they timidly emerge from behind a screen and offer up some very low grade smack talk against their opposition. The contestants often get incredibly simple questions wrong and deserve a ruddy good bollocking over it, but instead, the Chaser goes for a weak line of ridicule.
"Ooh you're going for the lower option, you big bloody chicken. Wow, what time do you have to head back to the coop? Because that is what you live in since you are such a chicken haha *does chicken noises for three minutes until Bradley Walsh puts a halt to it after briefly joining in*". I want to hear some legitimate insults, call the contestant's mother a hoe or something, get creative. This is The Chase, not Blue Peter.
3. The Chaser will smugly deliver an unrequested history lesson after getting a question correct
Rather than simply taking their wins with humility and dignity intact, the Chasers will often launch into a brief history lesson about the subject and bore everyone to the verge of tears. We get it, you answered the question correctly. You have supreme knowledge on that matter, you are very smart yet for some reason aren't using your quiz skills to go on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and get a large amount of cash money. Good for you.
This segment always weighs heavily on the contestant, they're frazzled. Not only have they answered the question correctly, they're now being schooled on why they were so stupid with their misguided answer. It knocks their confidence, makes them feel insignificant and ultimately impacts their chances of emerging victorious after such a severe bodying. The Chasers are bullies.
4. The question writer will have a bit of controlled fun with proceedings
A cheeky little glimmer of humour will present itself throughout the show, letting the viewer know that things aren't as serious on The Chase as they are over on Eggheads. Hey, we're having fun here. Some of these questions are so easy, we're going to throw in a couple of joke answers. Why? Because this is a fun time. Everyone is smiling, laughing and giving unnecessary lectures. This is living.
The Chaser never laughs at the joke answer because they are simply too focussed on the game. The Chaser has tunnel vision, he/she is locked in. Nothing will amuse them. But the contestant is in a vulnerable position, they'll laugh because it's the right thing do. They'll laugh for Bradley because he needs it. They'll laugh for the viewer because we need it. But they'll also laugh for themselves because they want to come across as banter on the telly.
5. Bradley Walsh will absolutely lose it at several stages throughout the game
Sometimes it'll be due to one of the quizmaster's quirky answer options, other times it'll come from the contestant's stupidity. It varies. The point is that Bradley Walsh is guaranteed to erupt into convulsions of laughter during every episode of The Chase because that is what he is paid to do. Bradley is banter. Banter is Bradley.
His laugh is infectious, the subject matter doesn't even have to be that funny. Bradley Walsh is eternally up for a laugh and that is a solid 90% of The Chase's appeal. They've tapped into a very wholesome format which combines quizzing with banter. Bradley Walsh should present the news and also everything else on our garbage televisions because he is a delight.
6. One of the teammates will be OBSESSED with the other contestants "getting back for the final"
With all due respect, John, get a fucking life and live a little. Sure, Alan was hammered after going for the middle offer, but that doesn't mean you need to tar all the other contestants with the same brush. If Kay wants to go for the biggest offer, let her. It doesn't matter anyway. If she can't beat the Chaser on her own, she's no good to you in a team setting. Let her fall on her own sword.
But John can't contain his anxieties. He wants a full team together for the final round and will stop at nothing to get there. Bradley's consulting of the seated contestants about what the current contestant should do is always a waste of time. Their mind was made up the day they got the call asking if they'd go on The Chase. Just sit back and let Kay fulfil her destiny. Your desperate pleas like "We really need you back here" sound pathetic. Man up.
7. Someone will be planning to spend the prize money on an utterly batshit pipe dream
In a bid to get to know the contestants a little better, Bradley will ask each of them what they're intending to do with the prize money. Here's where we find out what calibre of lunatic we're dealing with. Most will gloss over the specifics, citing a holiday, a new car, paying off their debts or getting the house done up. But every so often, a self-awareness-lacking contestant takes part on The Chase.
Sally is hoping to take home some dough to fund her pet cat's ambitions of becoming an air hostess. He's been begging her to put him through flight school for years. He's even printed off the paperwork. The problem is, it's quite an expensive process and Sally just doesn't have the cash right now. So she's brushed up on her general knowledge and applied to go on The Chase. If she can secure just £1m, her cat is going to see all of its dreams come true. "Sky's the limit", says Bradley as he throws a confused look to the camera. We feel you, Bradders.
8. All pretences of friendship and harmony are quickly dropped in the last round as things get heated
Up until the final round, the contestants have been quite harmonious and supportive of each other. They worry about having all four players back for the crucial final round and seem to genuinely be getting on like a proper team. Then the money quickly becomes at stake and everything changes. Cordial glances and pats on the back are ceased as they commence the round. This is out and out war, and everyone needs to shit or get off the pot.
Lucy gets a few questions wrong and suddenly becomes enemy number one. Meanwhile, Hugo keeps buzzing to pass questions too early, meaning the others haven't got a chance to think. A subtle elbow in the ribs or stomp on a pinky toe is undoubtedly occurring while the camera pans to Bradley. It's carnage. Each contestant is livid that they've been placed on a team with morons. Of course the Chaser is going to catch their measly score of 8 with great ease. Pushbacks or not, they're fucked. It's over. Defeated, they slash each others' tyres in the carpark, then head off on the long and lonely journey home on the M1. The Chase is off.
Images via ITV