"Deal or No Deal" got into the Christmas spirit in a big way on Monday night, with a two-hour special, audience giveaways and the banker recast as — who else? — Scrooge.
And lest any viewers were wilting from the fatigue of early-morning Santa shenanigans or falling into tryptophan comas after heavy holiday meals, the show took pains to remind people at every turn that this was, indeed, Christmas!
Contestants and audience members in Santa hats? Check. Howie in a red outfit? Double check. Revelations from the "DOND" models about what the holidays meant to them, in which we learned that one wants a house, another longs for a puppy and still another decorates palm trees with Christmas lights? Triple check.
In case we needed the concept hammered home even further, we had Skip Allen, a contestant from the great town of Santa Claus, Ind. While he seemed like a lovely man — and I’m always partial to anyone else with two first names — I have to admit that I was a bit unnerved by the fact that he knew every single one of the models’ names.
Despite the relative creepiness of his talent, not to mention the fact that he managed to fit the word “Christmas” into what seemed like every other sentence, he managed to pull off a good game, leaving with $136,000 of the banker’s money — and all of us perhaps with the idea that maybe there was such a thing as being too into Christmas.
The holiday spirit did not prevail on Friday’s episode of “Trading Spouses,” however. Henrietta DeConciliis, the Miami model’s wife, switched places with Marla Hawkins from Brooklyn, N.Y.
While Marla Hawkins went into Henrietta’s home and essentially saved the marriage — getting her supermodel hubby to admit that the passion was gone, seemingly solving that problem by coaxing him into quitting modeling for good and pursuing a culinary career, and divvying up the money so he could go to cooking school and they could take a romantic trip, open a savings account and enjoy the good life — Henrietta DeConciliis did not return the favor.
Although Henrietta seemed to do some good when she was with the Hawkins, getting Maurice not only to hug his kids but also to covertly admit that the only reason he didn’t before is that his dad never hugged him, she shafted them in a pretty serious way when dicing up their $50,000.
She decided that they should give the bulk of the money to their church and a local politician, and she left bizarrely explicit instructions on how they should re-do their house. Marla did not take it well, and who could blame her?
While it wasn’t too cool of her to tell her husband — seemingly transformed into a nice guy from all the hugging — to shut it, I couldn’t help but side with the woman.
I almost wished I could comfort her — except I wouldn’t have known what to say except that it could have been worse. She might have had Skip Allen dividing up her money and thus be left with $50,000 worth of Christmas ornaments.