Hollaback Girl

"Hollaback Girl" is a pop song written by American singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani and producer Pharrell Williams for Stefani's debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby (2004). The anthemic, beat-driven track was produced by Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. The central lyrical theme revolves around Stefani's declaration that she "ain't no hollaback girl".

"Hollaback Girl" was released as the third single from Love. Angel. Music. Baby. in the spring of 2005. Despite receiving a mixed reception from critics, it became an international success, peaking at number one in Australia and Canada, number eight in the United Kingdom, and number one in the United States. Besides being Stefani's first number-one single, "Hollaback Girl" was also the first non hip-hop, non American Idol number one hit since late 2001. In the United States, "Hollaback Girl" became the first digital download to exceed sales of one million. As of December 10th 2005, the song was nominated for the 2006 Grammy awards for "Record of the Year" and "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance".

Composition and meaning

Stefani had worked with The Neptunes during the early stages of writing her album. However, a case of writer's block left early collaborations uninspired and unsuccessful. She regained her confidence as the album neared completion, and approached The Neptunes for a second attempt. Stefani and Pharrell Williams wrote two songs together, but Stefani was soon prepared to abandon the effort. Before her departure, Williams called her back into the studio. Stefani commented, "I was tired. I wanted to go home, but he was like, 'Don't leave yet.' So I come back, and he starts playing me his solo album. If something's really good, I get really jealous. So I'm like, 'You are a fricking genius. I can't believe I'm sitting in here with you right now, and you have these songs. We have to write another song.' I'm greedy."[1] Although at the time Stefani felt there were already too many songs for the album, she and Williams completed "Hollaback Girl". Commenting later, Stefani explained, "I did the whole record, but I knew I didn't have my attitude song — my 'this is my history, fuck you because you can't erase it' song. I knew I wanted a song like that."[2]

In "Hollaback Girl", Stefani declares that, although she has been "around the track" a few times, she "ain't no hollaback girl". Near the end of the song, she additionally states that "this shit is bananas", and elaborates on that by asserting, "B-A-N-A-N-A-S." The song contains profanity, using the word "shit" thirty-eight times. The word is excised in the North American and Australian radio and music video versions.

Stefani never explained what the term hollaback girl means. In a line-by-line analysis of the song's lyrics, OC Weekly reviewer Greg Stacy speculated that "Gwen is apparently the captain of the cheerleader squad; she is the girl who 'hollas' the chants, not one of the girls who simply 'hollas' them back". Urban Dictionary claims that hollaback girl means, "someone who allows people to treat him/her like a doormat and walk all over him/her", and credits the term's invention to Stefani. However, "Hollaback" had gained popularity in 2002, when it was featured in the Fabolous hit "Young'n (Holla Back)." After Fabolous sang the hook "Holla back, young'n," the line was immediately followed by background vocals responding with "Whoo-whoo!"

Music

"Hollaback Girl" features few instruments. It is primarily anthemic and beat-driven. Each time the chorus is sung, the number of instruments increases.

It uses a Rick Rubin remix of the late '70s Queen hit single, We Will Rock You which was also used by Jay-Z for his single 99 Problems. Another reference to Queen is made with the ending lyric of a verse 'another one bites the dust', the title of their most disco-influenced song written by bassist John Deacon; the bass riff of this song accompanies the music for the short period while this line is spoken.

Critical response

"Hollaback Girl" had a polarizing effect on music critics. LAUNCHcast's Jennifer Nine described it as a "stomping, stripped-back track",[3] while All Music Guide said that it had the "thumping, minimal beats of The Neptunes."[4] Richard Smirke called it "a trademark Neptunes hip-hop stomp."[5] Rolling Stone was pleased with the song, and in their review for Stefani's Love. Angel. Music. Baby. album, wrote: "Stefani's gum-snapping sass brings out the beast in her beatmasters, especially the Neptunes in 'Hollaback Girl'."[6] Blender listed it as the eleventh best song of 2005.[7]

On the other hand, Jason Damas, in a review for PopMatters, described the song as sounding "almost exactly like Dizzee Rascal", and added, "lyrically, this is where Gwen sinks the lowest here, especially on a breakdown where she repeats, 'This shit is bananas/ B-A-N-A-N-A-S!' several times".[8] Eric Greenwood of DrawerB commented: "[The song is] moronic and embarrassingly tuneless. I’d quote the lyrics, but they’re so bad, I almost feel sorry for her. A 35-year-old woman singing about pom-poms and 'talking shit' in high school betrays such a delusional self-image that it's hard not to be taken aback. And on top of that, The Neptunes' beats are clunky and the production is senselessly bombastic."[9]

Nick Sylvester of Pitchfork insulted the track, referring to it as a "Queen pastiche [...] which has about as much club potential as a 13-year old with a milk moustache and his dad's ID."[10] Maxim was not thrilled with the song either, and in their September 2005 issue, published a list of the 20 Most Annoying Songs Ever; "Hollaback Girl" came in first place. It ranked higher than other number-one singles such as Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" (number three) and the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" (number five).

Chart performance

The single was officially solicited to radio in North America on April 5, 2005, although the music video had been released two weeks earlier, on March 21. "Hollaback Girl" entered the Billboard Hot 100, the main U.S. chart, at number eighty-two, and within six weeks of its release, it had reached the number-one position, making it the fastest-rising single to reach the top in 2005; it also became Stefani's first U.S. number-one. It maintained the number-one for four weeks. The single spent thirty-three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, thirty-one of which were in the top fifty. It was removed from the Hot 100 for the week ending October 29, 2005.

"Hollaback Girl" reaching number one on the Hot 100 made it the first non-R&B, non-hip hop, or non-American Idol song to reach number one since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" in early 2002. However, some argue that the song achieved this due to its hip hop–influenced production. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Pop 100 for eight weeks, and topped its component chart, the Billboard Pop 100 Airplay, for four weeks. "Hollaback Girl" was a small success in the dance clubs, and only peaked at number fifteen on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart; it performed better on the Dance Radio Airplay by reaching the top five. The song was also a crossover success, and reached number four on the Rhythmic Top 40, and number eight on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Both positions were the highest that a non-R&B/hip hop solo artist had attained in the 2000s.

Digitally, "Hollaback Girl" also broke many records. It was the best-selling digital download for the latter three weeks of May 2005, and broke the record for the most downloads sold in one week, totaling over 60,000. The record had previously been held by 50 Cent's "Candy Shop", which sold approximately 50,000 downloads. However, Stefani did not hold the record for long, and in September 2005 it was broken by Kanye West's and Jamie Foxx's "Gold Digger". "Hollaback Girl" exceeded one million digital downloads for the week ending October 4, 2005, and was the first single to ever accomplish this; it was certified 5× platinum. Due to its downloads, it reached number one on both digital sales charts, the Hot Digital Songs and Hot Digital Tracks, concurrently.

The success of "Hollaback Girl" was duplicated in Canada, where the song debuted at number twelve on the Canadian Singles Chart. Six weeks after its release, the song reached number one, where it remained for three weeks before descending the chart. It remained in the top forty of the chart for the following four months. In the rest of the world, reaction to "Hollaback Girl" was generally positive, but not as overwhelming as it had been in North America. It was released in Australia on May 23, 2005 and in Europe on June 6, 2005; it debuted at number one in Australia for one week, and also peaked at number one in Iceland for two weeks. However, in the United Kingdom, "Hollaback Girl" did not perform as well as might have been expected from previous releases. The song's predecessors, "What You Waiting For?" and "Rich Girl", had both reached number four. "Hollaback Girl" debuted at number eight, and stalled at the same position the following week. Although its UK success was limited, widespread airplay guaranteed that it remained in the top forty for an additional ten weeks. The single largely was successful across Europe and Asia, and reached the top five in Germany and China, and the top ten in the Netherlands.

Music video

Stefani and her Harajuku Girls in the car, driving to the high school alongside the students.

The music video for "Hollaback Girl" was directed by Paul Hunter and shot in California, United States; it depicts Gwen Stefani spending a day with some students at a local high school. The teenagers first call out to Stefani as she takes photographs of her entourage of colorfully-dressed Harajuku Girls with her HP Harajuku Lovers camera (a Stefani designer edition digicam). Letting out a laugh, Stefani begins to sing, and the students — augmented by a marching band and Japanese cheerleaders — follow Stefani and her Harajuku Girls in a yellow car (with "Hollaback Girl" written on the hood) to the high school's outdoor campus. They stir things up by barging in on a football game, and are later seen at a grocery store, marching down the aisles, throwing cereal and other food products. The video is intercut with sequences filmed against a black background, of Stefani, the Harajuku Girls, and the cheerleaders dancing along to the marching band. The Harajuku Girls visualize the song's bridge by spelling out the word "bananas" with blue and white cue cards. At the end, the Harajuku Girls perform a choreographed dance, in which Stefani rises from the ground with her hands in the air. The camera zooms in on Stefani, and the video is then complete.

"Hollaback Girl" contains a tongue-in-cheek moment which appears frequently throughout the music video. In it, Stefani covers her mouth and looks around whenever she says the word "shit". In the middle of the video, Pharrell Williams, one of the song's coproducers, makes a cameo appearance. "Hollaback Girl" was successful on various video countdowns, including Total Request Live, where it reached the number one position, and was eventually retired from the program fifty days after its first appearance, becoming the first Stefani video to retire. Hollaback Girl also peaked at number one for two non-consecutive weeks on VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown. It debuted at number twenty-nine on Canada's MuchMusic Countdown, and reached number one two and a half months later, where it stayed for two weeks.

On August 28, 2005, "Hollaback Girl" won for Best Choreography in a Video at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Hollaback Girl".

U.S. digital download

  1. "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal)

U.S. 12" single 1

  1. "Hollaback Girl" (radio clean version)
  2. "Hollaback Girl" (instrumental)
  3. "Hollaback Girl" (a cappella—radio clean version)
  4. "Hollaback Girl" (dirty album version)
  5. "Hollaback Girl" (instrumental)
  6. "Hollaback Girl" (a cappella—dirty album version)

U.S. 12" single 2

  1. "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal)
  2. "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal—clean)
  3. "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal—radio)
  4. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix)
  5. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix—instrumental)
  6. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix—a cappella)

European CD single 1

  1. "Hollaback Girl" (album version)
  2. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix by Diplo)
  3. "Hollaback Girl" (instrumental)
  4. "Hollaback Girl" (CD-ROM video)

European CD single 3

  1. "Hollaback Girl" (album version)
  2. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix by Diplo)
  3. "Hollaback Girl" (Tyler Dunphy kardance mix)

Sample


Charts

Week-by-week chart positions (click image to view data in tabular form). "Hollaback Girl" was a number-one hit in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Notes

  1. ^  Nine, Jennifer. Gwen Stefani - 'Love, Angel, Music, Baby' LAUNCHcast. November 25, 2004. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2005.
  2. ^  Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Love.Angel.Music.Baby. All Music Guide. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2005.
  3. ^  Smirke, Richard. Love. Angel. Music. Baby. PlayLouder. November 23, 2004. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2005.
  4. ^  Damas, Jason. GWEN STEFANI - Love.Angel.Music.Baby.. PopMatters. November 29, 2004. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2005.
  5. ^  Greenwood, Eric. Gwen Stefani - Love Angel Music Baby. DrawerB. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2005.
  6. ^  Sylvester, Nick. Gwen Stefani's Love Angel Music Baby. Pitchfork. November 24, 2004. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2005.
  7. ^  Gwen Stefani Answers No Doubt Fans With 'Attitude Song'. MTV.com. Retrieved Nov. 19, 2005.
  8. ^  Gwen Stefani "Love Angel Music Baby". Rolling Stone. Retrieved Nov. 25, 2005.
  9. ^  (2006). The 100 Greatest Songs of 2005. Blender (January): 79.
  10. ^  Rolling Stone. Retrieved Nov. 27, 2005.

References

  • Jeckell, Barry A., managing ed. (2005). Billboard.com. Retrieved from http://www.billboard.com on October 30, 2005. Information from Billboard magazine charts.
  • "Hollaback Girl". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved from http://www.contactmusic.com/new/home.nsf/webpages/gwenstefanix28x04x05 on October 30, 2005. Stefani discusses her inspiration for writing "Hollaback Girl".
  • (2005). Top40-Charts.com. Retrieved from http://top40-charts.com on October 30, 2005. International charting information.
  • (2005). MuchMusic.com. Retrieved from http://www.muchmusic.com on November 6, 2005. MuchMusic countdown data.
  • "Gwen Stefani single hits digital platinum". Mp3.com. Retrieved from http://www.mp3.com/stories/1857.htmlhttp://www.mp3.com/stories/1857.html on November 12, 2005. Club favorite "Hollaback Girl" crosses one million digital downloads—the first track ever to hit that mark.
  • "70 Countries Worldwide Number 1 Hit Singles, week of August 5" (2005). Charly-1300. Retrieved from http://charly1300.site.voila.fr/planetcharts.htm on November 12, 2005.
  • "No Doubt" (Nov. 12, 2005). Rock on the Net. ARC Weekly Top 40 information.
  • "Hollaback Girl's spiritual antecedent 'Mickey'". Retrieved from http://www.edisonresearch.com/home/archives/2005/05/index.html on November 15, 2005.
  • "Hollaback Girl". (Nov. 23, 2005). Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hollaback.
  • "Gwen Stefani Answers No Doubt Fans With 'Attitude Song'". Retrieved from http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1497721/20050303/story.jhtml on November 23, 2005.

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. Clips from early episodes—including several from the Woolery–Stafford era, early Sajak daytime episodes and Vanna's first show—surfaced on the recent E! True Hollywood Story episode chronicling the show's history. These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Hollaback Girl". (Although Vanna's first episode indeed exists, some sources say that most of the remaining daytime episodes up until about 1984 have been destroyed.). On August 28, 2005, "Hollaback Girl" won for Best Choreography in a Video at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. The status of the Sajak/Benirschike/Goen daytime versions is unknown, though it is likely that all of Vanna White's episodes were preserved since a clip of her first show was played during the 1997 April Fools episode of Wheel, in the 4000th episode celebration. It debuted at number twenty-nine on Canada's MuchMusic Countdown, and reached number one two and a half months later, where it stayed for two weeks. All Sajak syndicated episodes are intact, however, and have been shown on GSN.

Hollaback Girl also peaked at number one for two non-consecutive weeks on VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown. Most of the Woolery–Stafford episodes are believed to have been destroyed by NBC, which still has yet to be proven; however, surviving examples circulate among—and are treasured by—game show tape traders. "Hollaback Girl" was successful on various video countdowns, including Total Request Live, where it reached the number one position, and was eventually retired from the program fifty days after its first appearance, becoming the first Stefani video to retire. A clip was shown in the 3000th episode celebration in 1998. In the middle of the video, Pharrell Williams, one of the song's coproducers, makes a cameo appearance. The original pilot with the host Edd "Kooky" Byrnes still exists from 1974, this pilot was made for NBC. In it, Stefani covers her mouth and looks around whenever she says the word "shit". FORTUNE!" audience chant that comes from a machine when a player gets to spin the wheel.

"Hollaback Girl" contains a tongue-in-cheek moment which appears frequently throughout the music video. OF .. The camera zooms in on Stefani, and the video is then complete. Indeed, one can hardly walk through a casino anywhere on the continent without repeatedly hearing the "WHEEL .. At the end, the Harajuku Girls perform a choreographed dance, in which Stefani rises from the ground with her hands in the air. The Wheel slot machines are widely believed to be the most popular slot machines ever distributed in North America. The Harajuku Girls visualize the song's bridge by spelling out the word "bananas" with blue and white cue cards. In 2004, a version featuring Sajak and White was produced as a "Special Ediiton," the only machines in the series to feature human voices, aside from the familiar show-opening audience chant.

The video is intercut with sequences filmed against a black background, of Stefani, the Harajuku Girls, and the cheerleaders dancing along to the marching band. These also feature wide-area progressive jackpots. They stir things up by barging in on a football game, and are later seen at a grocery store, marching down the aisles, throwing cereal and other food products. In more recent years, as video-based slot machines with many paylines have become popular, video versions of Wheel machines have appeared, all with the familiar wheel above the screen. Letting out a laugh, Stefani begins to sing, and the students — augmented by a marching band and Japanese cheerleaders — follow Stefani and her Harajuku Girls in a yellow car (with "Hollaback Girl" written on the hood) to the high school's outdoor campus. Lining up three "Wheel of Fortune" symbols wins the progressive jackpot, which is usually linked with other Wheel machines throughout a given state and reaches into the millions of dollars. The teenagers first call out to Stefani as she takes photographs of her entourage of colorfully-dressed Harajuku Girls with her HP Harajuku Lovers camera (a Stefani designer edition digicam). When a "SPIN" symbol lines up on any reel, the player presses a button to start the wheel spinning, and a player could win as many as 1,000 credits (with no "Bankrupt" wedges).

The music video for "Hollaback Girl" was directed by Paul Hunter and shot in California, United States; it depicts Gwen Stefani spending a day with some students at a local high school. The first machines (and still the most popular) featured standard IGT traditional three-reel slot machines, each with a reporoduction of the show's famous wheel above the reels. The single largely was successful across Europe and Asia, and reached the top five in Germany and China, and the top ten in the Netherlands. International Gaming Technology licensed the rights to make Wheel-based games in the 1980s. Although its UK success was limited, widespread airplay guaranteed that it remained in the top forty for an additional ten weeks. Given creator Merv Griffin's fondness for gambling (including being a successful casino owner), it would seem natural that Wheel would be featured as the basis for a slot machine. "Hollaback Girl" debuted at number eight, and stalled at the same position the following week. (see Wheel 2000).

The song's predecessors, "What You Waiting For?" and "Rich Girl", had both reached number four. (see Wheel in Culture). However, in the United Kingdom, "Hollaback Girl" did not perform as well as might have been expected from previous releases. Plus often times the four letters the contestants choose would not be in the puzzle. It was released in Australia on May 23, 2005 and in Europe on June 6, 2005; it debuted at number one in Australia for one week, and also peaked at number one in Iceland for two weeks. Since then, the difficulty of the bonus puzzles has gone up, sometimes with only 1 or 2 instances of the automatic letters appearing in the puzzle. In the rest of the world, reaction to "Hollaback Girl" was generally positive, but not as overwhelming as it had been in North America. The contestant is then given the reduced time of 10 seconds to solve the puzzle.

It remained in the top forty of the chart for the following four months. Starting in 1988, the contestant was automatically given the R, S, T, L, N and E, and the aforementioned 3+1 selection was given to the contestant. Six weeks after its release, the song reached number one, where it remained for three weeks before descending the chart. Occasionally, puzzles would feature none of these letters (or the selections would only produce one or two letters); at that point, the host would allow the contestant to pick three more constants and one more vowel. The success of "Hollaback Girl" was duplicated in Canada, where the song debuted at number twelve on the Canadian Singles Chart. A statistical analysis shows that R, S, T, L, N, and E are the best choices, and these were almost always selected by contestants. Due to its downloads, it reached number one on both digital sales charts, the Hot Digital Songs and Hot Digital Tracks, concurrently. Contestants stood behind the wheel during the bonus round during the first week; after that, they would be standing on the other side of the wheel, with the chosen prize just upstage, and the "Wheel of Fortune" logo on the floor (sometimes a car would be between the wheel & the puzzle board, causing the logo to not be shown).

"Hollaback Girl" exceeded one million digital downloads for the week ending October 4, 2005, and was the first single to ever accomplish this; it was certified 5× platinum. If correct, he/she won the prize. However, Stefani did not hold the record for long, and in September 2005 it was broken by Kanye West's and Jamie Foxx's "Gold Digger". The contestant was given 15 seconds to solve the puzzle. The record had previously been held by 50 Cent's "Candy Shop", which sold approximately 50,000 downloads. He/she then was asked to choose 5 consonants and a vowel. It was the best-selling digital download for the latter three weeks of May 2005, and broke the record for the most downloads sold in one week, totaling over 60,000. He/she then was presented a puzzle and told its category.

Digitally, "Hollaback Girl" also broke many records. When it debuted in 1981, the winner of that's day/night's show chose a prize (tagged with a special gold star, usually worth $1,500 or more). Both positions were the highest that a non-R&B/hip hop solo artist had attained in the 2000s. Pat Sajak's first show in 1981 was also when the current bonus round became permanent. The song was also a crossover success, and reached number four on the Rhythmic Top 40, and number eight on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Then, there was the possibility that the Star Bonus token would not be landed on at all; plus, some haphazard editing also irked viewers. "Hollaback Girl" was a small success in the dance clubs, and only peaked at number fifteen on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart; it performed better on the Dance Radio Airplay by reaching the top five. Also, the Star Bonus prizes were available during shopping rounds, meaning a dominant player could buy that $13,000 Chevrolet Corvette and thus render an opponent's Star Bonus token useless (since no available prize would allow him/her to overtake the first-place player).

It peaked at number one on the Billboard Pop 100 for eight weeks, and topped its component chart, the Billboard Pop 100 Airplay, for four weeks. It was possible for the day's eventual first-place contestant to land on the Star Bonus. However, some argue that the song achieved this due to its hip hop–influenced production. Critics of this format point to several flaws, most notably that merely landing on the space did not guarantee the Star Bonus would be played. "Hollaback Girl" reaching number one on the Hot 100 made it the first non-R&B, non-hip hop, or non-American Idol song to reach number one since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" in early 2002. As before, the contestant was asked to pick 4 consonants and a vowel, then given 15 seconds to attempt to solve the puzzle. It was removed from the Hot 100 for the week ending October 29, 2005. The contestant had to play for a prize that was more than the difference between him/her and the first-place contestant; just like the hour-long Bonus Round, the prize's value corresponded with the puzzle's difficulty.

The single spent thirty-three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, thirty-one of which were in the top fifty. If the contestant landed on the wedge, he/she was provisionally entitled to play the Bonus Round if he/she was the second- or third-place contestant that day. It maintained the number-one for four weeks. A special "Star Bonus" disc was placed on the wheel. number-one. The "Star Bonus" round was played for a time in 1978, which would enable a second- or third-place contestant to possibly become champion by solving a Bonus Round-type puzzle. chart, at number eighty-two, and within six weeks of its release, it had reached the number-one position, making it the fastest-rising single to reach the top in 2005; it also became Stefani's first U.S. The prizes varied widely.

"Hollaback Girl" entered the Billboard Hot 100, the main U.S. For example, if the contestant chose an easy puzzle, he/she might win a $1,000 television-stereo console, while solving a difficult puzzle would win them a $13,000 Cadillac Eldorado. The single was officially solicited to radio in North America on April 5, 2005, although the music video had been released two weeks earlier, on March 21. If the puzzle was solved, they won a prize based on the puzzle's difficulty. It ranked higher than other number-one singles such as Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" (number three) and the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" (number five). Then they were given 15 seconds to guess the puzzle. Nick Sylvester of Pitchfork insulted the track, referring to it as a "Queen pastiche [...] which has about as much club potential as a 13-year old with a milk moustache and his dad's ID."[10] Maxim was not thrilled with the song either, and in their September 2005 issue, published a list of the 20 Most Annoying Songs Ever; "Hollaback Girl" came in first place. When they chose the puzzle, they were asked to give 4 consonants and a vowel.

And on top of that, The Neptunes' beats are clunky and the production is senselessly bombastic."[9]. The winner of the show would play a sort of bonus round, and have the choice of 4 different puzzles—easy, medium, hard, and difficult. A 35-year-old woman singing about pom-poms and 'talking shit' in high school betrays such a delusional self-image that it's hard not to be taken aback. version tinkered with a bonus round format for 6 weeks in 1975, when the show was 1 hour long. I’d quote the lyrics, but they’re so bad, I almost feel sorry for her. The U.S. On the other hand, Jason Damas, in a review for PopMatters, described the song as sounding "almost exactly like Dizzee Rascal", and added, "lyrically, this is where Gwen sinks the lowest here, especially on a breakdown where she repeats, 'This shit is bananas/ B-A-N-A-N-A-S!' several times".[8] Eric Greenwood of DrawerB commented: "[The song is] moronic and embarrassingly tuneless. Several versions of the Bonus Round – including the long-familiar format introduced in 1981 – have been used, and are detailed below.

Baby. album, wrote: "Stefani's gum-snapping sass brings out the beast in her beatmasters, especially the Neptunes in 'Hollaback Girl'."[6] Blender listed it as the eleventh best song of 2005.[7]. Occurrences of these letters are revealed and the contestant has a small amount of time, but as many guesses as necessary, to solve the puzzle. Music. A final puzzle is put up and the contestant chooses several consonants and a vowel. Angel. The record for the most money won in the speed-up round is $54,000, set during a February 2005 episode from Las Vegas and again in October 2005. LAUNCHcast's Jennifer Nine described it as a "stomping, stripped-back track",[3] while All Music Guide said that it had the "thumping, minimal beats of The Neptunes."[4] Richard Smirke called it "a trademark Neptunes hip-hop stomp."[5] Rolling Stone was pleased with the song, and in their review for Stefani's Love. To save on TV air time, those spins are edited out for broadcast, unless they may be found especially humorous.

"Hollaback Girl" had a polarizing effect on music critics. In other versions, the host gives a random spin. Another reference to Queen is made with the ending lyric of a verse 'another one bites the dust', the title of their most disco-influenced song written by bassist John Deacon; the bass riff of this song accompanies the music for the short period while this line is spoken. Since an average spin is around one rotation, this increases the odds greatly. It uses a Rick Rubin remix of the late '70s Queen hit single, We Will Rock You which was also used by Jay-Z for his single 99 Problems. version, for example, the Speed-Up Round often, in more recent shows, starts before the round has begun, at which point the wheel is pointed at the $5,000 space. Each time the chorus is sung, the number of instruments increases. In the U.S.

It is primarily anthemic and beat-driven. On some versions, such as in the U.S., the host intentionally aims for the top dollar value with the final spin; the wheel is set to give the host a better chance of hitting it. "Hollaback Girl" features few instruments. Previously, the speed-up round was often anticlimactic, especially when the leader had a huge lead over the second- and third-place contestants and Sajak landed on a small dollar amount. However, "Hollaback" had gained popularity in 2002, when it was featured in the Fabolous hit "Young'n (Holla Back)." After Fabolous sang the hook "Holla back, young'n," the line was immediately followed by background vocals responding with "Whoo-whoo!". seasons beginning in late 1999, $1,000 is added to the value of the final spin (for example, landing on $550 means consonants are worth $1,550). Urban Dictionary claims that hollaback girl means, "someone who allows people to treat him/her like a doormat and walk all over him/her", and credits the term's invention to Stefani. In recent U.S.

In a line-by-line analysis of the song's lyrics, OC Weekly reviewer Greg Stacy speculated that "Gwen is apparently the captain of the cheerleader squad; she is the girl who 'hollas' the chants, not one of the girls who simply 'hollas' them back". This round had background music in late 2000. Stefani never explained what the term hollaback girl means. The audience is told to remain silent so the answer is not accidentally revealed. The word is excised in the North American and Australian radio and music video versions. In slower games, the final spin will start the fourth round. Near the end of the song, she additionally states that "this shit is bananas", and elaborates on that by asserting, "B-A-N-A-N-A-S." The song contains profanity, using the word "shit" thirty-eight times. Oftentimes, the speed-up round occurs in the middle of a round (usually the fourth round) although some fast-paced games continue to a fifth and, rarely, a sixth round.

In "Hollaback Girl", Stefani declares that, although she has been "around the track" a few times, she "ain't no hollaback girl". The prize awarded, like the regular round, is proportional to the number of correct letters; unlike the regular round, they don't get another turn if they guess correctly. I knew I wanted a song like that."[2]. When the round commences, each player in turn is given the opportunity to guess one letter, and a few seconds to solve the puzzle if they guess correctly. Commenting later, Stefani explained, "I did the whole record, but I knew I didn't have my attitude song — my 'this is my history, fuck you because you can't erase it' song. In this round, a fixed dollar amount is set by one final spin of the wheel by the host - if the host spins bankrupt or lose-a-turn, or a remaining prize (when they were on the board on the final round), he spins again. We have to write another song.' I'm greedy."[1] Although at the time Stefani felt there were already too many songs for the album, she and Williams completed "Hollaback Girl". Late in the game, if a fourth round has not been played or time is running short in the middle of a round, four consecutive bells are sounded, signifying the start of the speed-up round.

I can't believe I'm sitting in here with you right now, and you have these songs. It is not known how the five digits are computed, and it is possible that either the numbers are randomly generated or how they come up with the digits is kept a secret. So I'm like, 'You are a fricking genius. The 2 letters are the winning home viewer's first and last initials. If something's really good, I get really jealous. Apparently somewhere around this time, the prizes given away became exclusively trips. I wanted to go home, but he was like, 'Don't leave yet.' So I come back, and he starts playing me his solo album. The rules for claiming the car are the same as the Prize Puzzle rules.).

Stefani commented, "I was tired. (Also, starting in the 2005-2006 season, if a contestant won a car in the Bonus Round, a home viewer with the matching SPIN ID would also won the same car as the on-air contestant. Before her departure, Williams called her back into the studio. only) were given a chance to win the same prize as the contestants with a "Special Prize Identification Number" (S.P.I.N), consisting the first letter of their first and last name, and five numbers (example: AB12345) from the show's web site, and having 24 hours to log on and claim their prize. Stefani and Pharrell Williams wrote two songs together, but Stefani was soon prepared to abandon the effort. Starting sometime near the end of 2004 (which was during Season 21), home viewers (in the U.S. She regained her confidence as the album neared completion, and approached The Neptunes for a second attempt. Example: If the solution was "FUN IN THE SUN", the player would win a trip to a tropical island.

However, a case of writer's block left early collaborations uninspired and unsuccessful. (Similar to the 15th season)(Starting in season 23, there would be a prize puzzle every night, appearing in either round 1, 2, or 3.). Stefani had worked with The Neptunes during the early stages of writing her album. As indicated at the beginning of a puzzle, at seemingly random intervals there are Prize Puzzles that award the winner with a prize somehow relating to the puzzle. . Because of this rule, the letter that is painted red is always a consonant. As of December 10th 2005, the song was nominated for the 2006 Grammy awards for "Record of the Year" and "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance". given Australia's other rules, if a person spins $300, picks a P, and one of the P's is red, the person gets $600).

In the United States, "Hollaback Girl" became the first digital download to exceed sales of one million. Only one letter is made red, and guessing the red letter doubles the value of the spin (e.g. Besides being Stefani's first number-one single, "Hollaback Girl" was also the first non hip-hop, non American Idol number one hit since late 2001. In Australia, the rules for the red-letter round are different. Despite receiving a mixed reception from critics, it became an international success, peaking at number one in Australia and Canada, number eight in the United Kingdom, and number one in the United States. The answer is 9, and guessing 9 earns $3,000. Baby. in the spring of 2005. The answer to the blanks is Sweet, and correctly guessing that earns the player $3,000.

Music. Categories for this puzzle include:. Angel. version). "Hollaback Girl" was released as the third single from Love. Some puzzles have a question that can be answered in order to win some extra money (previously $500 in 1992, $2,000 in 1995) ($3,000 on the current U.S. The central lyrical theme revolves around Stefani's declaration that she "ain't no hollaback girl". Beginning in Season 23, the producers show the home audience what's behind the mystery wedge before a decision is made by the contestant.

The anthemic, beat-driven track was produced by Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. After one mystery wedge is revealed, that space becomes a normal cash wedge, and the other mystery wedge acts as a regular $1,000 space for the remainder of the round. Baby (2004). If the player reveals the prize, as with any other wheel prize, they must solve the puzzle without hitting Bankrupt to win it. Music. On the other side of the mystery wedge contains either a Bankrupt or a prize (usually $10,000–$13,000 cars or a $10,000 prize). Angel. If a player lands on one of these mystery wedges and guesses a letter in the puzzle, they may either take $1,000 per letter as normal, or turn over the mystery wedge.

"Hollaback Girl" is a pop song written by American singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani and producer Pharrell Williams for Stefani's debut solo album, Love. Two $1,000 spaces (originally $500 from the round's debut in Season 20 through Season 22) marked with a stylized question mark are placed on the wheel. Retrieved from http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1497721/20050303/story.jhtml on November 23, 2005. A crafty spinner could pick up several of these prize cards in a single round. "Gwen Stefani Answers No Doubt Fans With 'Attitude Song'". As of 2003, along with the announced prize, there were two or three smaller "gift tags" on the wheel – usually gift certificates, gift packages or items such as an XM Satellite Radio, each gift tag carrying a value of $1,000. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hollaback. Its identity was not revealed unless it was won.

Urban Dictionary. The Surprise worked just like a normal prize, except that its identity was kept a secret. 23, 2005). For a time in the 1990s, there was also a Surprise on the wheel in Round 1. (Nov. By 1989, a contestant had to guess a letter to be able to pick up the prize. "Hollaback Girl". Originally, a contestant who landed on the prize simply picked it up and it went into his/her bank.

Retrieved from http://www.edisonresearch.com/home/archives/2005/05/index.html on November 15, 2005. The prize value is usually worth between $4,000 and $10,000. "Hollaback Girl's spiritual antecedent 'Mickey'". The prize – which is almost always a trip – now carries over to later rounds. ARC Weekly Top 40 information. The Prize Round has changed several times through the years, and currently is played in Round 1. Rock on the Net. The player had to avoid "Bankrupt" and solve the puzzle to win the prize.

12, 2005). The Prize Rounds were added to the daytime show in 1989. "No Doubt" (Nov. When the "all cash" era began in 1987, a second Prize Round was added, usually in Round 4; both prizes were specific to that round. Retrieved from http://charly1300.site.voila.fr/planetcharts.htm on November 12, 2005. The prize space originally concealed a $150 amount. Charly-1300. It was played in Round 2, and the prize usually was worth anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.

"70 Countries Worldwide Number 1 Hit Singles, week of August 5" (2005). The Prize Round was added in 1983, for the syndicated version only. Club favorite "Hollaback Girl" crosses one million digital downloads—the first track ever to hit that mark. The resulting Jackpot was not a cash prize; it became available for shopping. Retrieved from http://www.mp3.com/stories/1857.htmlhttp://www.mp3.com/stories/1857.html on November 12, 2005. The Jackpot started at $1,000 and increased by $1,000 for each show it went unclaimed. Mp3.com. The Jackpot space went into the player's bank (for correctly guessing a letter), and won the value for solving the puzzle AND avoiding Bankrupt.

"Gwen Stefani single hits digital platinum". That version of the Jackpot Round worked just like the syndicated Prize Rounds. MuchMusic countdown data. The current Jackpot Round debuted in the 3rd week of Season 14, and was quite different from a Jackpot Round that was part of the NBC daytime show from 1987-1989. Retrieved from http://www.muchmusic.com on November 6, 2005. Until the end of Season 17, the Jackpot Round was played in Round 3. MuchMusic.com. Pat usually asks the contestant if they'd like to solve for the Jackpot, so they know that if they can solve it, they'll win whatever is in the Jackpot.

(2005). If a player spins and lands on Jackpot, they must call a letter in the puzzle and solve the puzzle all in that turn. International charting information. The jackpot starts at $5,000 (when the Friday Finals existed, the Jackpot on that certain episode starts at $10,000 rather than the usual $5,000). Retrieved from http://top40-charts.com on October 30, 2005. After each spin, the value of the spin is added to the jackpot, regardless of whether or not the letter chosen is in the puzzle. Top40-Charts.com. The Double Play was discontinued after Season 13 ended.

(2005). A contestant was not required to forfeit the Double Play if s/he landed on a Bankrupt while possessing the token. Stefani discusses her inspiration for writing "Hollaback Girl". If the wheel landed on a prize after using the Double Play, the Double Play was returned. Retrieved from http://www.contactmusic.com/new/home.nsf/webpages/gwenstefanix28x04x05 on October 30, 2005. If the wheel landed on a penalty space, the Double Play token was lost, but the penalty was only endured once. Contactmusic.com. If the wheel landed on a dollar amount, that amount was doubled for that turn.

"Hollaback Girl". The player in possession of the Double Play could use it before any spin. Information from Billboard magazine charts. A player won possession the token if s/he landed on the space with the token and called a consonant in the puzzle. Retrieved from http://www.billboard.com on October 30, 2005. version, a special token called the "Double Play" was put on the wheel. Billboard.com. During Season 13 of the U.S.

(2005). This space was originally on top of one of the two bankrupt spaces, but is now over the orange $800 space in round one. Jeckell, Barry A., managing ed. When this space debuted in Season 12, it was on the wheel starting in round three and remained on the wheel until a contestant landed on the $10,000 slot and claimed it. 27, 2005. The $10,000 prize cannot be used to buy vowels; Pat will often say "You don't have any spendable cash" if the $10,000 is one of the first prizes claimed in the round. Retrieved Nov. If he/she is correct, the player picks up the wedge and it is treated as a prize.

^  Rolling Stone. Landing on Bankrupt results in a normal Bankrupt; landing on the $10,000 allows the player to guess a letter. Blender (January): 79.. In the first round, a wedge is placed on the wheel that reads $10,000 in the middle peg gap and Bankrupt in the other two. The 100 Greatest Songs of 2005. In 2002, Germany had its own version of a toss-up (called a Turborunde). ^  (2006). The Australian version added their version of a toss-up (called a Flip Up there) in 2004, when the puzzle board was switched from a mechanical one to an electronic board.

25, 2005. No money is at stake in this round. Retrieved Nov. If 2 or all 3 players are tied at the end of the game, then a toss up round is played for the right to go to the Bonus Round. Rolling Stone. If all of the spaces are filled in or all of the players are incorrect, no cash is won, and play began with either the left-most contestant or (if it was Round 4) wherever it left off before. ^  Gwen Stefani "Love Angel Music Baby". An incorrect guess disqualifies that player for the rest of the puzzle.

19, 2005. (The first one determines who the host introduces first.) The $3,000 toss-up determines who starts the fourth round, which is usually the speed-up round. Retrieved Nov. version, two toss-ups for $1,000 and $2,000 start the game, with the second one determining who starts round 1. MTV.com. In the 19th season to the present U.S. ^  Gwen Stefani Answers No Doubt Fans With 'Attitude Song'. In Toss-Up, usually the player will start the first round after the introductions, and before the fourth round which is still $1,000 in the 18th season.

3, 2005. The Toss-Up Round debuted in Season 18. Retrieved Nov. version). November 24, 2004. A player may buzz in to solve the puzzle for a set amount of money ($1,000, $2,000, or $3,000 in the U.S. Pitchfork. A puzzle is revealed one letter at a time except for the last letter (similar to the Speedword on the Scrabble game show).

Gwen Stefani's Love Angel Music Baby. This was made possible with the advent of an electronic board, compared to the mechanical board. ^  Sylvester, Nick. In recent years, various special rounds have been introduced. 31, 2005. Like the shopping format, the total value of any prizes won is added to the contestant's overall score. Retrieved Oct. In any event, the person who solved the puzzle won whatever amount he/she had in cash, excluding prizes the contestant won earlier in the round.

DrawerB. In one episode, Wheel tried to incorporate the $10,000 wedge as a normal space not surrounded by two Bankrupts, but it was eventually scrapped. Gwen Stefani - Love Angel Music Baby. Earlier this decade, to account for inflation, the top dollar value changed to $2,500 in round one, $3,500 in rounds two and three, while the $5,000 space remained in round four. ^  Greenwood, Eric. It began with the $1,000 space as top dollar value for round one, $2,500 for round two, $3,500 for round three, and $5,000 in round four until the maingame was over. 31, 2005. From 1987 to the turn of the previous decade, to generate building interest as the game continued, the maximum dollar amount for each round increased significantly.

Retrieved Oct. Now, 6 maingame puzzles are rare with all the time taken up by toss-up puzzles, prize puzzles where a home viewer can win the same prize as the contestant via SPIN I.D., and advertisements for various rounds, most notably the Jackpot round. November 29, 2004. In 1987, the syndicated version of Wheel switched to an all-cash format that, while originally planned to last only for the month of September of that year, became a permanent fixture as it sped up gameplay where it would be common to see 4, 5 or even 6 puzzles on a given night. PopMatters. When the show started, the emcee, either Woolery, Sajak or Benirschke would say, "Watch out for the black space, "Bankrupt", because you will lose your cash, but not your merchandise, because once you buy a prize it is yours to keep." That saying became one of the most famous lines in game show history. GWEN STEFANI - Love.Angel.Music.Baby. During a special "Retro Week" in 1999, shopping was re-instated except the "shopping" portion was treated as a special space, and the contestant "bought" a prize package from a turntable.

^  Damas, Jason. When the player spent enough to not be able to buy the least expensive prize, or when they didn't feel like shopping anymore, they could choose to put their money on a gift certificate or "on account" (which meant they risked their money for the next round; they had to avoid Bankrupts and also had to win the succeeding round in order to keep the money and use it for shopping.) The "on account" option was rarely used. 31, 2005. From 1975–1989 on the NBC daytime version, and from 1983–1987 on the nighttime syndicated version, after a contestant won a round, he/she had the option of shopping for prizes amidst the studio, like cars, furniture, trips, furs (until animal activists complained), and jewelry. Retrieved Oct. In the current season, the house minimum is $1,000 per player, meaning during special weeks where two players compete on each team, the minimum is $2,000. November 23, 2004. In the early 1990s, the minimum was boosted again to $500, where it remained until 2005.

PlayLouder. During the show's early months, the house minimum was $100; this was quickly increased to $200. Baby. If the player's total is less than $1,000, a house minimum of $1,000 is awarded. Music. Only the player who correctly solves the puzzle keeps the earnings from the round. Angel. If the solution is incorrect, the player's turn ends, although this seldom happens.

Love. Once enough letters have been revealed, a player can attempt to read the solution to the incomplete puzzle. ^  Smirke, Richard. The host usually (if not always) asks if you want to buy a vowel before you spin the wheel, assuming you have the money. 31, 2005. That is, if it gets to your turn and you spin the wheel, you lose the ability to buy vowels until it's your turn again. Retrieved Oct. In Australia, not only do you need the $50, you also must not have spun the wheel for the turn.

All Music Guide. (For those who are interested, if they consistently kept rising the cost of the vowel to keep up with inflation, and $250 was the value now, vowels would've originally cost approximately $65.). Love.Angel.Music.Baby. However, when you account for inflation, $250 in 1975 would be worth almost $1,000, meaning if you use this inflated price to buy a vowel with the current values on the wheel, most of the time you'd have to spin the wheel twice and/or get more than one instance of a letter to be able to buy a vowel — which, it should be pointed out, was exactly the situation in 1975. ^  Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Indeed, the lowest value on the wheel nowadays is $300; for many years it was $100, then $200. 31, 2005. Some argue that, because of the inflating dollar values, the amount spent for vowels should increase.

Retrieved Oct. It is rarer in the UK and Australia. November 25, 2004. version, mainly since many puzzles have large numbers of vowels, particularly E's (it is not uncommon to see five or occasionally even more of a vowel, especially E, in a larger puzzle—the record appears to be 11 E's). Gwen Stefani - 'Love, Angel, Music, Baby' LAUNCHcast. Vowel buying is very common on the U.S. ^  Nine, Jennifer. When the daytime show moved to CBS in 1989, vowels became $200, and then $100 by 1991.

"Hollaback Girl" (Tyler Dunphy kardance mix). This proved to make the game ridiculously hard, and the space was scrapped in favor of a dollar amount before the show logged one month on the air. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix by Diplo). network run, contestants had to land on a space marked "Buy a Vowel" in order to ask for a vowel. "Hollaback Girl" (album version). Very early in Wheel's U.S. "Hollaback Girl" (CD-ROM video). The contestant does not pay for every copy of the vowel revealed; in the above example, if the contestant guessed E, although 2 E's are in the puzzle, the contestant would not have to give up $500.

"Hollaback Girl" (instrumental). If the letter is not in the puzzle, the player's turn ends, but the $250 must still be paid. "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix by Diplo). If a player has at least $250 in cash ($50 on the Australian version), the player can pay that amount to have all instances of a single vowel (A, E, I, O, or U) in the puzzle revealed. "Hollaback Girl" (album version). run, and sometimes still happens today if a contestant is asked to clarify his/her choice (for example, "S as in Sam," although this is quite rare). "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix—a cappella). This does not happen in the United States, although it was common early in the U.S.

"Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix—instrumental). Hence: "C for Charlie" and "I for indigo" and the famous (in Australia, anyway) "N for Nellie". "Hollaback Girl" (Hollatronix remix). In many countries, the contestant gives a word beginning with the chosen letter along with it. "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal—radio). (Note: Through 1989, the wheel had a "Free Spin" space in the game's first round, which automatically gave that player a Free Spin token; this idea was scrapped as skillful contestants often racked up six or more tokens before actually attempting to play the game). "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal—clean). If he or she later lands on Bankrupt or Lose a Turn, or guesses a letter not in the puzzle, the Free Spin can be redeemed to continue playing.

"Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal). If the pointer lands on a Free Spin space, the player can win the free spin in the same way as a prize. "Hollaback Girl" (a cappella—dirty album version). If the pointer lands on "Bankrupt", not only does the player's turn end, the player loses all earned cash and prizes in that round. "Hollaback Girl" (instrumental). If the pointer lands on the wheel's "Lose a Turn" space, the player's turn ends. "Hollaback Girl" (dirty album version). The prize is lost if he/she lands on "Bankrupt" later in the same puzzle.

"Hollaback Girl" (a cappella—radio clean version). They must then solve the puzzle in that round to win the prize. "Hollaback Girl" (instrumental). If the pointer lands on a prize, the player gives a consonant, and if it is in the puzzle, the player picks up the prize and sets it in front of them (previously, if a contestant had landed on a prize wedge, they could automatically pick it up, call a right consonant and spin again). "Hollaback Girl" (radio clean version). If the letter is not in the puzzle, or the player guesses a letter that has already been guessed, the player's turn ends. "Hollaback Girl" (Dancehollaback remix by Tony Kanal). For example, if the puzzle was "TOO LITTLE TOO LATE", and the player spun $700 and guessed L, he or she would win $2,100 (on the Australian version, the spun value is not multiplied; in the previous example, despite the fact that the player has three L's on the board, he or she would only earn $700).

If the letter is in the puzzle, the co-host reveals all instances of that letter in the puzzle, and the player receives the cash value multiplied by the number of instances of that letter. If the pointer lands on a cash value, the player names a consonant (Y counts as a consonant). On a turn, a player can choose to spin the 24-sector wheel, buy a vowel, or attempt to solve the puzzle. Any punctuation (hyphens, commas, periods for abbreviations, apostrophes), and ampersand signs (&) are revealed.

When a normal round begins, the spaces in a puzzle are shown as blank white spaces on the board. Three players take turns. Besides the Australian version, France's La Roue de la Fortune is the most famous non-American version. Some other countries that air "Wheel of Fortune", and the titles used, include Belgium (Rad van Fortuin), Malaysia (Roda Impian), Brazil (either Roletrando Novelas or Roda a Roda), Vietnam (Chiếc nón kỳ diệu), Ecuador, Spain (both use La Ruleta de la Fortuna), Italy (La Ruota Della Fortuna), Germany (Glücksrad), Canada (La Roue Chanceuse in French, Wheel of Fortune in English), Israel (Galgal Hamazal), Turkey (Çarkıfelek), Poland (Koło Fortuny), Finland (Onnenpyörä), Denmark (Lykkehjulet), France (La Roue de la Fortune), and Argentina (La Rueda de la Fortuna, inside a show called Tiempo Límite XL).

Actor Rustom Padilla hosted the Philippine edition of the show on ABC-5 during its short run from 2001-2002. This version ran from 1991 to around 1996. There was a version in New Zealand with Phillip Leishman as host and Lana Coc-Kroft as co-host. There have been three Glücksrad versions in Germany: 1988-1998 on Sat.1 hosted by Frederic Meisner and Peter Bond, 1998-2002 on Kabel 1 hosted by Frederic Meisner (-2001) and Thomas Ohrner (2002), 2004 on 9 Live hosted again by Frederic Meisner.

The 5000th episode is set to be recorded at ATN-7 on Thursday 16 February 2006, for airing in late February/early March 2006. On the first episode of 2006, the car (Mitsubishi Colt) was won by Sara from Blacktown, NSW. On the 19th January 2006, Seven officially announced Wheel of Fortune's new host, Larry Emdur, with Laura Csortan as co-star and John Deeks returning as announcer. In December 2005, rumours abounded of the Wheel's return in 2006.

In mid-2005, the show was rested, with Seven filling its 5pm timeslot with reruns of M*A*S*H. John Deeks has been the announcer since 1984. Sophie Falkiner was co-host from 1999-2005. This record stood until 2001 when Vanna White surpassed that total.

Co-host Adriana Xenides became the longest serving game show hostess in the world having featured on Australia's Wheel Of Fortune from 1981 until early 1999; a total of 18 years. Other hosts included John Burgess (from 1984-96), Tony Barber (1996), Rob Elliott (from 1997-2003/04) and Steve Oemcke (from 2004-2005). The first host was Ernie Sigley, who hosted from 1981-86. It then moved to ATN-7 in 1996, where it has stayed ever since.

The show moved to SAS-7 when the 2 stations swapped callsigns & affiliations at the end of 1987. The current Australian version began in 1981 on the Seven Network at ADS-7. Steve Hamilton was the announcer. It was hosted by Nicky Campbell, Bradley Walsh, John Leslie and Paul Hendy with Angela Ekeate, Carol Smillie, Jenny Powell and Terri Seymour in turn being co-hosts.

The British version ran from 1988 to 2001, produced by Scottish Television for the ITV network. The very first away-from-home theme song was made specially for those shows; it is unknown at what point the same away-from-home theme was used over and over again. Wheel has always had a special opening theme for away-from-home shows. In pre-taped promos that appeared before each "New Orleans" episode, Sajak and White urged viewers to contribute to hurricane relief charities via the American Red Cross (via the show's Web site), and noted that the show would provide up to $100,000 in matching funds; they also commented the shows were a celebration of what the city once was and would someday become again.

A third week of shows was cancelled, and Wheel's production team barely made it out of New Orleans before the storm struck. Two weeks of shows were taped at the New Orleans Convention Center in August 2005, just days before Hurricane Katrina struck the region and caused incredible devestation to the city and Gulf Coast region. Perhaps the most poignant of these "road" shows was New Orleans, Louisiana. Due to all the election coverage it was not aired in many places on Election Tuesday.

The show was again aired on the following Saturday. Contestant Raymond Lee made it entertaining with his answer to a particular puzzle. The November 7, 2000 airing was interesting especially since the taping was in Washington, DC with it being a very close election between George Bush and Al Gore. Through the years, other stops have included Las Vegas, Honolulu, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Nashville, Atlanta, Georgia, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C, Miami, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and more.

The first of these shows was taped in the fall of 1988 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. Frequently, Wheel went "on location" to cities across the United States. (Source: The Wheel of Fortune Timeline). They switched back the next day.

On one of these theme weeks, College Week in 1996, Pat had laryngitis for almost that whole week, which became so bad that on the Monday episode (aired on November 21), Pat and Vanna had to switch roles for the bonus round. Other weeks invite sports stars to play for charity along with some of their fans. Wheel is notable for having 'theme weeks' in which all of the set decorations revolve around a common theme. Wheel is syndicated by King World, although Griffin, through Califon Productions, still holds the show's copyright -- which has been lucrative through its use in casino and lottery games.

When Griffin went into retirement that year (but kept a small financial stake), Sony Pictures Television, which had bought Griffin's company several years earlier, took over fully. by Merv Griffin's company, Califon Productions, until 2002. The series was produced in the U.S. One of the clips included rare footage of a circa-1978 Wheel opening, which featured the "Big Wheels" theme, the prize sets and Charlie O'Donnell's opening-spiel (including a shot of a Ford Fairmont station wagon, one of the prizes offered on that day's episode).

In November 2003, Wheel celebrated its 4,000th episode in syndication with a retrospective of the series. The puzzleboard's border was changed to match that of the wheel. The gold, glitzy decoration that surrounded the wheel was changed to a neon blue decoration. In 2003, as part of the 21st season, the entire studio was revamped.

Sometime around 1976, the display was changed to allow for five-digit figures (along with the "$" sign); six-digit figures have never been achieved in maingame play, although the eggcrate display was again changed in the late 80s or early 90s so a six-digit figure could be displayed with the dollar sign. Incidentally, the eggcrate display had room for the "$" sign and four digits in 1975-1976 (although the "$" sign could be removed in the rare event someone had more than $10,000). In 2002, the tote boards that showed the totals for each player were changed from eggcrate lights to monitors; the eggcrate lights had been in use since 1975. (Actually, the old four-row trilon puzzle had 52 spaces like today's board, with 13 in each row; the light border got in the way with the spaces in the corners, leaving only 11 trilons in the top and bottom rows).

The puzzle board itself has 52 spaces, divided into four rows (with 12 spaces on the top and bottom rows and 14 spaces in the middle rows, making it one column wider than the old trilon board; occasionally puzzles will use up almost all of the board). A fill-in-the-blank puzzle is displayed on a grid of video displays in front of the players. Also, when the puzzle is solved, instead of the hostess turning the hidden letters to reveal the entire puzzle, the missing letters electronically fill in themselves. On February 24,1997,the original board for displaying the letters was replaced with a digital electronic puzzle board, touching the letter spaces instead of turning them.

This puzzleboard would remain the same, except for light border changes and the "half-trilons" on the sides of the board being removed on road shows, and in 1994 and 1995. On December 21, 1981, a new four-row puzzleboard (consisting of 11 trilons on the top and bottom rows and 13 trilons in the middle rows) was introduced, allowing for bigger puzzles and more cash to be given away. The original puzzleboard was three rows consisting of 13 trilons on each row. Shopping was eliminated beginning with the syndicated Wheel's 1987–88 season premiere, though it would remain on the daytime version until 1989, when the show moved from NBC to CBS.

Eliminating shopping sped up the game, and allowed more time to plug the big prizes, such as cars. When the show first aired, the money the contestants won had to be used to shop amongst prizes on the TV show, but now the game is played for cash. All others are alterations of this theme from 1989-92, 1992-94, 1994-97, 1997-2000, and a somewhat new variation from 2000-present. The original theme song from 1983-1989 is called "Changing Keys" by Merv Griffin.

Pat Sajak and Vanna White have hosted the nighttime version since its debut. This version still airs today, and after two decades the show continues to have the highest Nielsen ratings of any syndicated program. A nighttime version of Wheel, which is syndicated to stations around the country, debuted on September 19, 1983. The daytime show moved back to NBC on January 14, 1991, and was canceled for good on September 20 of that year.

Former football player Rolf Benirschke hosted the daytime show until NBC dropped it on June 30, 1989; Bob Goen became its host when it moved to CBS on July 17 of that year. Sajak left the daytime show on January 9, 1989, to do a nighttime talk show for CBS that would fail after one year. She was replaced by Vanna White. Susan Stafford left a year later to pursue volunteer work.

Three days later, Pat Sajak replaced him. Chuck Woolery left Wheel on December 25, 1981, after a salary dispute with Merv Griffin. The theme song used from 1975 to July 1983 is called "Big Wheels" by Alan Thicke. After Clark passed away in 1988, Los Angeles-area disc jockey MG "Machine Gun" Kelly briefly filled in until O'Donnell, who was still under contract with Chuck Barris Productions, was able to take over permanently.

Charlie did come back on occassion to fill in for Clark, who was also announcing on other game shows. Announcer Charlie O'Donnell has been "the voice of the Wheel" since episode one in 1975, except between 1980 and 1988 when Jack Clark announced due to O'Donnell's obligations to other shows. Woolery was the show's original host, and Susan Stafford was the original hostess. Wheel debuted on January 6, 1975, on NBC; it was put on the air as compensation for cancelling Jeopardy! (which Griffin produced; ironically enough, Wheel is now paired in syndication with the current version of Jeopardy!) with one year remaining on its contract.

The theme song used in the 1974 pilot was "Give It One" by Maynard Ferguson. The early pilot for Wheel was called Shopper's Bazaar; Edd Byrnes and Chuck Woolery hosted pilot episodes in 1974. . version has been distributed by King World since 1983.

The current U.S. The highly-successful format has been seen daily in one form or another since its NBC debut in 1975. The name of the show comes from the large wheel that determines the dollar amounts and prizes won (or lost) by the contestants. It involves three contestants competing against each other to solve a word puzzle similar to Hangman.

Wheel of Fortune is a television game show originally devised by Merv Griffin which runs in local editions around the world. Some other versions, like Glücksrad in Germany, still use the 15-second time limit for their bonus rounds. Theoretically, enough money ($38,000) can be earned so as to call every consonant. In Australia, the contestant earns two consonants and a vowel, but can earn an extra consononant for every $2,000 scored in the main game.

In other foreign countries, the "R, S, T, L, N, E" is never given to the contestant, although Germany used this sort of format around the late 90s to the early 2000s. Natasha and Robert Purdum $132,000 February 6, 2006. Babette Dominguez and Bob Griese (former NFL QB for the Miami Dolphins) $114,310 January 24, 2006. Denise and Ariel $120,170 November 21, 2005.

Jessica Derenbecker $121,650 November 14, 2005. Taylor and Vlada $117,640 February 3, 2005. Nancy Coon $105,500 May 21, 2003. Byron Pope $119,100 April 24, 2003.

Bonnie Malone and Karen Davy $121,831 December 4, 2002. Douglass Ross (first winner) $113,800 December 19, 2001. The remaining envelope concealed the grand prize of $100,000. There were 4 wedges for each of the 3 cars available that week.

11 of the wedges held $25,000. The contestant first spun a small 24-section wheel to determine which prize he/she would be playing for. 2001 (The Bonus Wheel) – The Bonus Round was revamped and allowed the contestant a chance to play for $100,000. In keeping with the lower stakes of the CBS show, the other bonus prizes typically included trips and sub-compact cars.

This was not done on the CBS daytime version (and later on when it moved back to NBC for the final few months); contestants picked one of five prizes on offer, one of which was always $5,000 cash. The extravagant prizes continued on the syndicated version, meaning someone could win such items as a Hummer, a speedboat or a log cabin as their bonus prize. Each prize could be won just once in a week. 1989 – Each of the week's prizes went into a blind draw, each hidden in an envelope and placed behind a letter in the word "WHEEL".

On the CBS run, one bonus prize was always $5,000 in cash. The NBC daytime show, meanwhile, used the 1981 Bonus Round format until the blind-draw method was introduced in 1989, no cash was offered and contestants just chose what prize to play for. The cash quickly became far and away the most popular bonus prize, while cars were second. One of the prizes was always $25,000 in cash.

Examples: a Ferrari, a vacation for six on a private island in Jamaica, a 5-acre plot in Maine, a motor home plus an invitation to tour Alaska with an RV club, a cabin cruiser, tickets to every major sporting event for the next year, a time-share vacation home at Lake Tahoe, and valuable annuities. 1987 syndication – When the syndicated "Wheel" began its all-cash format, much larger bonus prizes were offered. It was used until 1997, when the puzzle board was switched from a mechanical board to a electoronic board. If the person who solved the puzzle could unscramble the word, s/he won bonus money.

Red-Letter Puzzles: From 1992-1997, a puzzle would occasionally have a few red letters that were scrambled on the board. Due to its extreme unpopularity with the show's fans, this category is no longer used. The person who solved the puzzle could win extra money by using the word in a sentence. Megaword: This puzzle is a word of at least nine letters.

For example, a Fill in the Number puzzle would look like this:. The person who solves the round has to fill in the number/s. Fill In The Number/s: The puzzle contains numbers, except that the number/s is/are replaced with sharps (#). Who Said It?: Like the category quotation, except that the contestant must identify who said it.

The contestant has to guess where the puzzle "is.". about the location. Where Are We?: Similar to to Who Is It? except that the puzzle gives landmarks, traditions, etc. The contestant must identify the person/people the puzzle is talking about.

Who Is It/Are They?: The puzzle is a description of (a) person/people, dead or alive, real or fictional. Slogan: The contestant must identify the brand or company that uses the slogan used in the puzzle. Next Line Please: The puzzle is a sentence of some sort; the contestant wins money for continuing the sentence. After guessing the puzzle, the contestant can identify the word that goes in the blank.

Fill In the Blank: Three question marks appear by themselves in the puzzle, representing a common word. Clue: The puzzle describes a person, place, thing or event, and the contestant wins money for guessing that object.

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