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The Chamber (game show): Wikis


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The Chamber
Format Game show
Directed by Don Weiner
Presented by Rick Schwartz
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 3
Running time 60 Minutes
Original channel FOX
Original run January 13 – 25, 2002

The Chamber was a short-lived game show television program that aired on FOX. It was an hour-long show that debuted on January 13, 2002. The show featured contestants answering questions while strapped into a torture chamber.


Pre-game Faceoff

To begin, two contestants (always one male and one female) were posed a question by host Rick Schwartz. The contestants went back and forth, providing a single answer that fit the category. Once a correct answer was given, the opponent had to do the same. If a contestant gave an incorrect answer, repeated an answer, or took too much time, the opponent could score a point by giving one more right answer. The first to score two points in this way moved on to the main game, the loser left with nothing.

Main Game

Before entering the Chamber, the contestant was offered a $500 buyout to leave the game (nobody took this). To begin, the contestant was strapped into a chair, arms raised over the head. Electrodes, muscle contractors and medical equipment were attached to the player before entering. During the pre-game setup, a "randomizer" would choose whether the contestant would play against the "hot" or "cold" chamber.

Just before the player is sent into the chamber, he or she must sign a document, stating that he/she is willing to play the game of his/her own free will, clearly understanding the torture of the chamber. (This was likely for dramatic effect, as contestants on any game show must sign dozens of forms and contracts before even setting foot in the studio.). However, one contestant filed a $100,000 lawsuit against the production company and won.[citation needed]


Once sealed in the chamber, the game began. Each player's goal was to answer as many questions, and to last in the chamber as long as possible. The game could end in any of the following ways:

  • Answering two consecutive questions incorrectly.
  • The player's "stress quotient" entering a predetermined "Danger Zone" for 20 seconds. Viewers only knew that it was an equation that used blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature as variables. However, unlike ABC's The Chair, players were not penalized monetarily for entering their Danger Zone.
  • The show's medical staff could stop the game if they felt that the player would not be able to continue, or if he or she was rendered unconscious from the stress (which did not happen)
  • Voluntarily ending the game by saying "Stop the chamber!"

As each round began questions were asked to the player, each worth $1,000 if answered correctly. If the player lost the contest for whatever reason, that money was cut in half. If the player could survive the entire minute, the game would go into stop down mode for a few seconds, the conditions inside would intensify, and the game continued. The maximum amount of questions has never been stated, but it has been stated that it is possible to win over $100,000 (if 25 or more questions are answered successfully and all seven levels are completed, the winnings are tripled).



Depending on the chamber chosen, the player would face a different set of challenges:

Hot Chamber

  • The inside temperature would begin at 110°F (43°C) and increase to 150°F (66°C) by the end of the round.
  • Muscle contractors would work at progressively greater intervals as the contest proceeded.
  • A simulated earthquake would shake the player (Richter scale 5.0 to begin, going all the way up to 9.0)
  • The chair would begin to rotate back and forth (level two), then up and down, through 270 degrees, and finally it would spin in complete circles.
  • On the last show, foul odors would be piped in after the fourth round.
  • Wind gusts of 55 mph (88.5 k/h) joined in at level four.

Cold Chamber

  • The inside temperature would begin at 30°F (-1°C) and decrease to -10°F (-23°C) by the end of the round.
  • Muscle contractors would work at progressively greater intervals as the contest proceeded.
  • A simulated earthquake would shake the player (Richter scale 5.0 to begin, going all the way up to 9.0)
  • Instead of rotating, water jets would squirt the player, causing ice to form on the player.
  • Wind gusts of 55 mph (88.5 k/h) joined in at level four.

The contestant would answer as many questions as possible while trying to remain focused around the distractions and pain caused from the chamber. The game would end if the contestant could survive for seven minutes in the harsh environment. If the winner could also manage to answer 25 questions correctly, the total winnings would be tripled. Additionally, that environment would be retired, and something new created.

Show Format

For the first two aired episodes, there were three games played per hour. For the final episode, a fourth game was added to fill out the time. For the first two episodes, host Rick Schwartz was little more than a color commentator for the Chamber rounds; a male voice asked the questions and a female voice provided instructions. On the final episode, Schwartz asked the questions as well as conducting interviews during the down time.

Matt Vasgersian, formerly of Sports Geniuses, was originally slated to host, but was disgusted by the show's premise and left before it even premiered.

No one ever won the grand prize of $100,000 by answering 25 questions correctly. But one contestant, Scott Brown, managed to survive all seven levels in the chamber and walked away with $20,000 by answering only 20 questions and became the show's top winner.

External links


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