Reality Bites

Reality Bites: The American Bible Challenge (With Jeff Foxworthy!)

There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

I know, I don't usually check out game shows for Reality Bites, but ever since making a throwaway joke about The American Bible Challenge a few weeks ago, I've been kind of obsessed with the show. It debuted in August as GSN's (formerly Game Show Network) biggest show in its 17-year history, drawing 2.3 million viewers for the night. That included 1.7 million viewers for the premiere itself.

Clearly, this "Bible" is pretty popular.

Two things about the show were enough to set off the warning klaxons in my head from the get-go: the terrible theme song ("Everybody put your hands up! Come on now stand up!" all accompanied by what sounds like a Casio keyboard) and host Jeff Foxworthy. He was probably as surprised as anyone when his "you might be a redneck" train ran out of steam after a mere, oh, 30 years. Then again, who else could you possible get who'd be squeaky clean enough? Not Pat Sajak (too drunk, not Bob Barker (too randy), and not Alex Trebek (too Canadian).

The setup is fairly simple: three teams of three compete in five rounds of questions related to the Bible (the Christian one, not Anton LaVey's). The winning team earns $20,000 for the charity of their choice (the runner-up receives $5,000) and gets to advance in a season-long tournament that could get them a cool $100K for the charity.

Right away I feel bad. Not only am I pretty sure I'd be smoked in a Bible trivia contest, but I'd be disappointing thousands of cancer-stricken dogs, or whatever.

The three teams in my episodes were Team Joshua's Place, comprised of two sisters and their grandmother playing to get a physical building for their church, currently housed in a roller rink (big surprise, Foxworthy works this into a "you might be a redneck joke"). There's also "Team Judson's Legacy," husband and wife Cristina and Drake's and their "friend" Dean, playing for a charity for Krabbe Disease, which claimed the couple's firstborn son. Damn. Finally, a trio of brothers calling themselves The "Horns of Jericho" (their last name's 'Horn," hee ha ho). They're playing for the American Cancer Society.

The first round consists of guessing which Biblical character would have Tweeted things like, well I'll just show you:

For the record, this was the only question I got right the entire show.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar