Winning Combination – The DVDfever Review – Omid Djalili – ITV Gameshow

Winning Combination Winning Combination is a new ITV gameshow from the makers of The Chase, so I’d be hoping for something good and long-lasting, but then they also brought us Bradley Walsh’s Cash Trapped.

Hosted by Omid Djalili, there are 9 players (all socially-distanced), and four will be required to get through to the final round to unlock the combination. The rules are stupidly complex, but it will kinda make sense as you watch it. At least it’s not Cash Trapped.

Five players are required for the first ‘battle round’, though. If you answer a question, you get shown 6 names and must select two which fulfil a particular topic, one being ‘famous female footballers’. Personally, I struggle with male footballer names, so I wouldn’t have a clue either way.

When you get to a ‘battle round’, this is a much faster one. Each of the five players can attain a maximum of 9 points, starting with 4, so they need 5 more, ideally, but you must take points away from the others in order to get your points. Hence, even when you have 9, you’re not safe because someone else can steal them away from you, and since you’re the ‘top dog’ at that point, everyone will want to bring you down, so they can rise victorious.

If no-one has 9 by the end, then whoever has the most at the end of two minutes will win that round, and must state where in the four-digit combination their number will go, in order to give an amount of money that can be won. So, you want the higher numbers at the start, obviously, and working down.

When you get to the final round, you have to answer the number of questions that represents your number – which felt a bit unfair given that the 1-9 numbers were assigned randomly. Anyhoo, once you answer that number of questions, the clock stops. All four players begin with 30 seconds to share between them, and every correct answer adds 5 seconds. Hit your personal target before the clock reaches zero, and you get a share of the final monies.

After player one has completed their questions, things move on to the next, but the time remaining that they left is picked up by that next played. This is very unfair because one player can take forever, leaving the next player with very little to go off, as it times down, but adding five crucial seconds after each correct answer.

As for who wins and who loses, you’ll have to find out when the series begins, but all I’ll give you – and which sticks with me – is that Spencer is an “AFOL”, i.e. an Adult Fan Of Lego. He’ll no doubt get the piss taken out of him at work for that.

There’s the usual light-hearted banter befitting of an afternoon quiz show, and naturally, the audience laughter and applause is canned, but then it would be even if we weren’t going through a pandemic.

Overall, Winning Combination is… okay, and has a run of 20 episodes to decide whether or not it is recommissioned for me, but… at least it’s not Cash Trapped.

UPDATE 11.12.20: After four weeks, the series comes to an end today, and despite not being a massive fun originally, I’ve really warmed to it, so I would like it to come back for me. In the meantime…. GET OUT!

Winning Combination begins Monday November 16th at 3pm on ITV. It’s unlikely to ever be released on Blu-ray or DVD.

After broadcast, each episode will be on the ITV Hub.

There were also some very interesting tweets as the show went on…

Director: John L Spencer
Writers: Adam Bostock-Smith, Blanche Carter
Music Paul Farrer

Presenter: Omid Djalili