How the Game Works
The first round is a buzzer round in which questions are asked and the first team to buzz in and provide the correct answer is awarded 10 points. 10 points are deducted for incorrect responses.
Round two is also made up of questions, but these have a pop culture theme to them such as "Faithbook" (a play on Facebook). Correct responses are awarded 25 points each, while incorrect answers are docked 25 points.
In round three, only two players on each team participate. Teams all select their best player, who steps behind the other two team members to sit out this round. Questions for this round are multiple-choice, and each team gets two questions. No points are deducted for wrong answers.
Round four sees the strongest players, dubbed the "Chosen Ones," playing solo. Each person gets a single question. These questions all have three correct answers which are offered, multiple-choice style, along with three incorrect responses. Team members must identify the three correct answers to win 100 points each. Again, no points are docked for incorrect responses.
At the end of round four, the two teams with the highest scores move on to the "Final Revelation" round. The lowest-scoring team is sent home with a $2,500 consolation prize for their chosen charity.
The Final Revelation
The Final Revelation round is a speed-answer round with a theme. Teams are given Bibles and ten minutes to study the given theme before being brought back on stage to play, one team at a time. The questions are the same for both teams, and the winner is the team who can answer the most questions within 60 seconds.
The second-place team earns $5,000 for their charity, while the winning team gets $20,000 and an invitation to return for a future tournament to win even more.
Pros and Cons
Like every game show, American Bible Challenge has its ups and downs. While I have few complaints about the game itself, there were some elements that I didn't really enjoy.
- Jeff Foxworthy is a competent game show host and keeps the game friendly and on pace. If you've seen him on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? then you already know what he's like on this show.
- The questions make a good, steady progression throughout the game from fairly simple to tricky as the rounds carry on.
- Each round is different enough to be distinguishable from one another without being confusing for a first-time viewer.
- The overall atmosphere is lively, upbeat, and positive.
- Each team plays for a faith-based charity, and no team leaves empty handed. Lots of money will be given to worthwhile causes, adding to the feel-good atmosphere of the show.
- Much like Deal or No Deal before it, Bible Challenge uses up much of its allotted time period on contestant stories and backgrounds. Granted, it's a little more warranted here, but the game doesn't really get started until well into the hour.
- The subject matter of the show and its questions is limited in scope, making it attractive to only a select group of viewers.
- The religious theme dominates the show so far as to include a choir singing into and out from the commercial breaks.
- The study break that the final two teams get takes up more time that could be used for actual game play. These segments are neither interesting nor informative, and I don't think they're necessary at all.
Should You Watch American Bible Challenge?
The main thing that bothers me about this show is that it's not inclusive. I understand that there are plenty of other game shows that cater to a niche audience, but these games generally show up on specialty networks that target that type of viewer anyway. American Bible Challenge airs on GSN, which is meant to appeal to game show fans of all stripes, not just those who study or are faithful to the Bible.
That said, the game elements are solid. While you're not going to find anything too innovative or ground breaking here, the game itself is easy to follow and works with the team style of play. It's worth checking out the show at least once to see how it plays out.
American Bible Challenge ended up getting the highest ratings of any show on GSN in its history, so plan on seeing it appear more often on the schedule. If this keeps up you can look forward to many more seasons as well.
Preparing for the Show
If you're considering applying to be on the show or just want to brush up on your Bible trivia to play along at home, here are a couple of resources that will help you, from the About.com Christianity site: