September 9th 2008
Tameka Jacobs has been a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal since the very first episode, holding case number 21. She's also one of only two models, along with Patricia Kara, chosen to take part in the syndicated version of the show.
Tameka has had numerous modeling jobs, been a morning radio host, and was part of the very first Apple worldwide iPod silhouette campaign. She's very enthusiastic about the new daytime version of Deal, and really seems to enjoy being a part of both shows.
Q: Hi Tameka! Out of all 26 case models on Deal or No Deal, only you and Patricia were tapped to join Howie on the daytime show. How did that come about?
Tameka Jacobs: It must have just been luck! You know, just like the game, I think it was just luck, guts, and timing. I'm just so excited about it, and all of the other girls have been really supportive too. The new show is so cool, and the contestants, they all really pull together and support each other.
Q: That was one of the things I was going to mention – that the potential contestants holding the cases seem to really rally behind the person playing the game. Is it like that all the time?
Jacobs: Totally. It's all about the good karma that they're putting out there, and hopefully it will come back to them when they're chosen to play. You know, all of the contestants, and all of us too, we just really want to see someone win money. With the economy the way it is, and gas prices and everything, all of us can use a little extra money! I'd sure like to win some!
Q: Did you have any reservations about doing both shows?
Jacobs: No. None whatsoever. I'm a workaholic, and I was raised by two workaholics. And here's this great show that wants me to do more with them – how can you say no? It's really been a blessing being part of Deal or No Deal and working with everyone involved.
Q: Is it strange for you to be standing on the sidelines in the syndicated show, and watching other people holding the cases in your usual spot?
Jacobs: Oh I enjoy it! I can raise my hands and cheer for people, I can cover my mouth or cover my eyes, I can just move around, it's great! I feel more involved this way, being able to be more personable instead of just standing in one spot. But I do always check to see who's holding case 21, you know, because that's my case. So I always check them out.
Q: A lot of people I know think that being a Deal or No Deal model must be the easiest job in the world. How would you respond to that?
Jacobs: I say they're crazy! We have really demanding hours. You know, for every show we go through a lot of sitting for hair and makeup, and there are tons of fittings for all of the dresses we have to wear. And the shoes – everyone asks about the high heels. It is actually tough to stand in those for so long. They really keep us all busy, and it's not an easy job. No job is easy.
Q: How long did it take for all of you to perfect the opening Model March?
Jacobs: Oh man! We're programmed for that now, but the new models that come in, you know, the new ones or if someone is off sick or whatever, the replacement models, they're all panicking, like here's this big model march. It took a long time for all of us to get where we are now with it. When we first started, it was just tricky with all of the lighting and making sure everyone was hooked up to their mics and just working everything out. It was at least 20 shows before we were all comfortable with it.
Even now though, we'll come out and do the march and say hi to Howie, and then someone will yell out that one of the models is holding her case backwards or something. That hasn't happened to me though!