Time for me to give you my personal lists of the Best/Worst of Season 30 and this is usually gameplay-related.
1. All six grand prize wins (including Autumn’s $1M win on 5/30/13)
2. Tammy Mitzel (who responded to my Final S30 Stats posting) cleaning up on 2/25/13 and ended up w/ almost $82K+ cash and prizes (highest non-grand prize total of the season).
3. Despite losing the BR that had double Z’s (HIT THE BUZZER), Leanne McLaughlin (12/21/12) sets a new maingame record of $69,300.
4. A strong season finale episode — $68,715 given away in the maingame and Ryan Schwenk closing things out for $30K in the BR.
5. $74,772 is the highest given away in the maingame (12/28/12) before Cindy Kling went on to become the highest non-millionaire winner w/ $147K.
6. Zoee Rottenberg (4/19/13) may have lost the MDW, but she made a great comeback in the $6K Speed-Up to win the maingame w/ $31K. She then went on to win $40K after solving ROUGH SURFACE.
7. Jeremy Peck (11/5/12) easily solves his BR puzzle (ON THE PHONE) w/ a complete board for $45K.
8. Double car winners in Jerry Wichern (10/8/12) and Rossalene Cox (1/3/13).
9. On 5/13/13 in NYC, Jen and Adam’s gamble pays off in the Mystery Round to the tune of $20,250 cash and California (doesn’t include the $10K MW).
10. A miraculous $50K BR win by Laura Cassidy on 12/11/12.
1. All four $100K losses, two of them via TOTAL TRAINWRECK (PHOTO BOOTH and WORLDWIDE HIT)
2. Only 2 out of 20 BR wins on the NYC road trip from the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Maybe they should go back to Radio City Music Hall if the show plans on a road trip to NYC in the future.
3. Two women blow a 1/2 car prize (Ford Fiesta) AND their MDW chances (Nicole Lavigne on Oct. 4 blew the solve in the PP Round while Sharonda Rose painfully hit LAT in the Mystery Round on Nov. 5).
4. When it comes to a $6K Final Spin, you should call multiples if you’re behind. Unfortunately, Tara Dilley made the GRAVE MISTAKE of calling the frontloading W instead of the L’s (WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE). She and Dwayne lost miserably to the Stranges $12,920-$10,300. Watch her blunder HERE.
5. If you have the MDW in your possession and call a correct letter while on a Mystery Wedge, don’t even think of risking it. Unfortunately, Rita Mercadante (April 16) risked $700, a 1/2 CAR tag, the WC and the MDW for a BANKRUPT. That was a very STUPID GAMBLE by her.
6. On April 23, Sam Ehinger (female) forfeits $16,330 and her WC (including that smart car) in the Mystery Round. If that wasn’t bad enough, she gives up almost the same amount in the next round for saying L instead of the remaining H’s (GREEN GRASS AND HIGH TIDES FOREVER).
7. Valerie Medina made so many crucial mistakes on May 8 in NYC. First, she takes an unnecessary $2,550 MW gamble late in the round. Second, she calls the one dud vowel in the PP Round to cost her $3,550 cash and gift tag plus the Chevy Sonic (the puzzle was LET’S SPICE THINGS UP A BIT). Finally, she says MARLIN and MARLON THE MAGICIAN in the Speed-Up Round instead of MERLIN THE MAGICIAN. She deservedly gets the WORST CONTESTANT OF THE SEASON award from me.
8. Ugly gameplay to start the second week of the season (Sept.24; that includes a $27,100 BANKRUPT loss).
9.When it comes to the BR, always keep track of what letters of what you call. There were some bad losses this season, but the three I thought were the worst happened on Jan. 8 (JUST SAY THE WORD; Bill Murray said JUST SET THE FORK and JUST SPY THE DORK), Feb. 6 (LAUGHING IT UP; Alletta Cooper didn’t even get IT UP) and Valentine’s Day (VORACIOUS APPETITE; the Stranges thought it was some kind of ATHLETE when the category isn’t PERSON).
10. Nov. 13, 2002: SITTING IN THE HOT SEAT fiasco in the Speed-Up Round.