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Weakest Link (aka The Weakest Link) is a television game show which first appeared in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 14 August 2000 and originally ended on 31 March 2012 when its host Anne Robinson completed her contract. The original British version of the show is still aired around the world on BBC Entertainment. The game begins with a team of eight or nine contestants who take turns answering general knowledge questions within a time limit to create chains of correct answers in a row. At the end of each round, the players vote one contestant, "the weakest link", out of the game. Once two players are left, they play in a head-to-head contest, with five questions asked to each contestant in turn, to determine the winner.
|Created by||Fintan Coyle|
|Original work||Weakest Link (United Kingdom)|
|Films and television|
|Television series||Weakest Link (independent international versions, see below)|
|Video game(s)||Weakest Link (2001)|
|First aired||14 August 2000|
The format has been licensed across the world, with many countries producing their own series of the programme and is the second most popular international franchise, behind only the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, which also originated in the UK.
The programme sees a group of contestants (ranging from five to nine players) who will need to work as a team to try to win as much as possible of a maximum cash jackpot by correctly answering general-knowledge questions in a series of rapid-fire rounds.
Each round features a money chain of anywhere from five to nine increasing cash values, with a maximum cash target that the team must attempt to reach within a time limit. Questions are asked of the team members sequentially. In the first round, play will typically start with the first player alphabetically or by a random-draw (which occurred before the game starts). The team can most quickly achieve the target by stringing together a chain of consecutive correct answers, the minimum number of which depends on the number of "links" in the money chain (usually but not always the same as the number of contestants at the start of the show). A correct answer increases the value of the succeeding question; however, an incorrect answer breaks the chain, losing all money accumulated in that chain. A contestant can secure the accumulated money in the chain by saying "Bank" before their question is asked (but after their name is called); however, the chain resets to zero, and the team must rebuild again. The round ends when the team has either run out of time or banked the target (in which case the round ends prematurely). The target amount is the maximum amount available in the round. If the team banks a total exceeding this amount, it is rounded down to the maximum amount. Only the money that has been banked is taken forward in the game, forming the total prize money available at the end.
Each round ends with the team voting off one person from the game. Before the votes are revealed, a voice-over announcer reveals who statistically is the Strongest Link and Weakest Link (these are determined by how many questions were answered correctly and incorrectly, the amount of money banked, and the total monetary value of the questions asked). The votes are then revealed, followed by inquiry by the host for the reasoning behind the vote, along with berating of the contestants. The person with the most votes is named the Weakest Link (regardless of the statistics), is eliminated from the game, and wins nothing. In the event of a tie, the Strongest Link is immediately deemed immune from the vote and must break the tie.
This process repeats, with each successive round beginning with the Strongest Link from the last round (or the second-Strongest Link, if the Strongest Link was voted off), and the time limit available to them decreasing (usually by 10 or 15 seconds). Once there are two players remaining, they play one final round, where the money banked is multiplied by a certain amount (doubled, tripled or quadrupled). In some versions, however, the game has gone straight to the head-to-head finale after the final elimination.
The final two contestants then compete in a head-to-head round to determine the winner, with the Strongest Link from the last round determining who begins the round. The contestants are alternately asked a series of five questions each. The player who correctly answers the most wins the money accumulated in the game. If there is a draw, the game continues to sudden death, where the first to answer a question correctly over their opponent's incorrect answer wins. The loser, like all other contestants prior, goes home with nothing.
Game rule and format variationsEdit
Compared with the original format, the others have some changes, making them not the same as the original.
In the UK original series, the host is Anne Robinson. Producers chose her with the intention of being both firm to the contestants yet understanding when a contestant gets voted off. However, in producing the show, Robinson began to act cold, harsh and mean to the contestants. Some international hosts like Chazia Mourali, Montserrat Ontiveros, Andrei Georghe, Neena Gupta and Trine Gregorius went to the BBC Studio for instruction and training purpose (meeting the UK production team and Anne Robinson) to replicate the presenting style.
However, the format distributor BBC Worldwide changed the rules and this is not required anymore. As a result, some international hosts are nicer and more relaxed to the contestants. This has changed the whole program style compared with the original BBC series. The first such notable example of this change was seen during George Gray's tenure as host in the 2002-2003 syndicated version of the American edition; other times where this has happened was in France (2014–2015), Turkey (2015/2019), Finland (2017–2019), Cyprus (2017–), Netherlands (2019–2020) and Greece (2019–).
The new Dutch host Bridget Maasland is also the first host worldwide not to wear black clothing on every episode. Although she does wear dark and black suits on about half of the shows, she often wears bright colored outfits in the other episodes. Her style of hosting resembles the style Anne Robinson adapted in the later UK shows, asking contestants more about their private lives, let them sing and dance during the voting and chit chat about more than just the mistakes made.
In the second syndicated version of the American version, after the second last round, the last two contestants do not face the clock and the money tree. Instead, the remaining two contestants go straight into the head-to-head round. In the event the Strongest Link is voted off, the Second-Strongest Link makes the decision as to who goes first.
Unlike the original version, the top prize money available increases after each round. The top prize money starts at $25,000 in round 1 and increases by $25,000 per round until round 4. The top prize money in rounds 5 and 6 is set at $250,000 and $500,000, respectively.
A minor addition to the game is that of a buzzer added to each contestant's podium. This is used both to bank money (with contestants not only have to say the word "bank" before being asked the question but must also press the buzzer), as well as to reveal the contestant's vote.
Some non-gameplay variations were also adapted to the revived series, the contestants no longer handwrite their votes, rather they vote via a touch screen panel, tapping the button of the player they wish to vote off. This screen is also used to present visual information for visual questions - where the host will ask the contestants to identify that appear on the screen. Additionally, the host will discuss the contestants' mistakes before the vote reveals - with the weakest link being eliminated immediately after the vote reveal. Like season 2 of the syndicated version, once only two contestants remain, the game goes straight to the head-to-head round.
The latest French version (aired from 2014 to 2015) also does not use the clock and money tree for the final round, and in the penultimate round is the 3-player triple stake round for €15,000 and lasts 90 seconds.
In the current Dutch version that started in May 2019, just like on the latest French version, round 8 was cut from the format after they aired the show for two weeks. Instead, in round 7, the money triples, and one last player is eliminated after that round. Making the top prize money no longer €10,000, but €9,000. After that, the remaining two contestants go straight into the head-to-head round. However, in the 2nd series, the number of contestants dropped to 7. The top prize money decreased to €8,000, and the 90-second round returned.
The format is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and also produced by different production companies. Australia was the 1st country to adapt the format; not all the international versions share the same title as UK.
As with the original British version, all of the hosts wear black clothing (or sometimes dark colours with black). Most versions also have disciplinarian female hosts, again similar to the British original—with exceptions being Fausto Silva (Brazil), Tasos Tryfonos (Cyprus and Greece), Julien Courbet (France), Riku Nieminen (Finland), Nikolai Fomenko (Russia), Eamon Dunphy (Ireland), Edu Manzano, Allan K. (both Philippines), Shirō Itō (Japan), Pedro Granger (Portugal), Enrico Papi (Italy), Tseng Yang Qing (Taiwan), Baybars Altuntaş (Turkey) and George Gray (United States). Gray and Courbet are comedians, and those versions were designed to play off comedy.
In Croatia, in May 2010, the quiz reached its 1,008th episode, and with the British original is the only version to have reached as many episodes.
Legend:Currently airing No longer airing Unsold pilot (Only Brazil) Future version
|Country||Local title||Host||TV station||Top prize||Catchphrase||First episode||Last episode|
|Arab World||الحلقة الأضعف
|Rita Khoury||Future Television||$16,000||أنت الحلقة الأضعف ، الله معك||14 October 2001||April 2003|
|Australia||Weakest Link||Cornelia Frances||Seven Network||$100,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||5 February 2001||22 April 2002|
|Magda Szubanski||Nine Network||TBA||2021|
|Azerbaijan||Zəif bənd||Kamila Babayeva||Lider TV||AZM45,000,000 (2004–2005)
|Ən zəif bənd sizsiniz, xudahafiz!||May 2004||April 2007|
|Solmaz Süleymanlı||AZN9,000||3 March 2012||2014|
|De zwakste schakel||Goedele Liekens||VTM||fr. 2,000,000||Jij bent de zwakste schakel. Salut!||29 August 2001||December 2001|
|Brazil||Ponto fraco||Fausto Silva||TV Globo||R$1,000,000||2001 (Pilots rejected by BBC)|
|Chile||El rival más débil||Catalina Pulido||Canal 13||$40,000,000||Tú eres el rival más débil. ¡Adiós!||2004|
Tài ruò liú qiáng·zhìzhě wéi wáng
|Chen Luyu||Nanjing TV||¥200,000||你被淘汰啦，再见!||9 February 2002||2004|
Zhìzhě wéi wáng
|Croatia||Najslabija karika||Nina Violić||HRT 1||kn 90,000||Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja!||26 April 2004||31 May 2010|
|Daniela Trbović||Vi ste najslabija karika. Zbogom!|
|Cyprus||Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
|Tasos Tryfonos||RIK 1||€5,000||Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ!||18 September 2017|
|Czech Republic||Nejslabší! Máte padáka!||Zuzana Slavíková||TV Nova||Kč 1,000,000||Jste Nejslabší, a máte padáka!||15 February 2002||1 July 2004|
|Denmark||Det svageste led||Trine Gregorius||DR1||kr. 200,000||Du er det svageste led, farvel!||2001||2003|
|Estonia||Nõrgim lüli||Tuuli Roosma||Kanal 2||kr 80,000||Sina oled nõrgim lüli, head aega!||5 September 2004||July 2005|
|Finland||Heikoin lenkki||Kirsi Salo||MTV3||€16,000
|Sinä olet heikoin lenkki, hyvästi!||6 September 2002||18 February 2005|
|Riku Nieminen||Nelonen||€20,000||20 March 2017||28 June 2019|
|France||Le maillon faible||Laurence Boccolini||TF1||F 150,000
|Vous êtes le maillon faible, au revoir!||9 July 2001||12 August 2007|
|Julien Courbet||D8||€45,000||8 September 2014||22 July 2015|
|Nino Burduli||Rustavi 2||ლ10,000||თქვენ სუსტი რგოლი ხართ, და ამიტომ ტოვებთ პროექტს!||2005|
|Germany||Der Schwächste fliegt!||Sonja Zietlow||RTL Television||DM50,000 (2001)||Du bist der Schwächste, du fliegst, und tschüss!||19 March 2001||23 February 2002|
|Greece||Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
|Elena Akrita||MEGA||₯5,000,000||Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ!||27 October 2001||15 February 2003|
|Tasos Tryfonos||Skai TV||€10,000||21 September 2019|
Jat1 bat1 OUT siu1
|Carol Cheng||TVB Jade||HK$3,000,000||你係眾望所歸，無得留低，你要一筆OUT消, Goodbye!||20 August 2001||18 January 2002|
|Hungary||A leggyengébb láncszem||Krisztina Máté||TV2||Ft 3,000,000||Ön a leggyengébb láncszem, viszlát!||12 August 2001||2002|
|Nincs kegyelem||Ft 6,000,000|
|India||Kamzor Kadii Kaun||Neena Gupta||Star Plus||Rs. 2,500,000||Kamzor Kadii aap jaa Sakte hai, Namaste!||December 2001||21 May 2002|
|Ireland||Weakest Link||Eamon Dunphy||TV3||€10,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||September 2001||2002|
|Pnina Dvorin||Channel 10||₪100,000||!אתה החוליה החלשה, שלום||2002||2004|
|Italy||Anello debole||Enrico Papi||Italia 1||€15,000||Lei è l'Anello Debole, se ne vada!||29 October 2001||17 November 2001|
Uikesutorinku: Hitori-gachi no Hosoku
|Shirō Itō||Fuji Television||¥ 16,000,000||ウィーケストリンクと決定しました。__君、退場!||16 April 2002||16 September 2002|
|Mexico||El rival más débil||Montserrat Ontiveros||Azteca Trece||$200,000||Tú eres el rival más débil. ¡Adiós!||2 August 2003||October 2009|
|Lolita Cortés||Tú eres el rival más débil, te vas.||27 July 2013||27 December 2014|
|Netherlands||De zwakste schakel||Chazia Mourali||RTL 4||€10,000||Je bent de zwakste schakel, tot ziens!||6 May 2001||28 August 2004|
|Bridget Maasland||€9,000 (2019)
|Je bent de zwakste schakel, dag!||6 May 2019||March 2020|
|New Zealand||Weakest Link||Louise Wallace||TVNZ 1||$20,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||17 July 2001||March 2002|
|North Macedonia||Најслаба алка
|Živkica Kalenikova||Alfa TV||ден 420,000 (2010)
ден 320,000 (2011)
|Вие сте Најслабата алка, збогум!||3 May 2010||July 2011|
|Norway||Det svakeste ledd||Anne Grosvold||NRK||kr. 200,000||Du er det svakeste ledd, adjø!||30 August 2004||6 December 2004|
|Philippines||Weakest Link||Edu Manzano||IBC||₱1,000,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||15 October 2001||October 2002|
|Poland||Najsłabsze ogniwo||Kazimiera Szczuka||TVN||zł 27,000||Jesteś najsłabszym ogniwem, do widzenia!||1 March 2004||26 January 2006|
|Portugal||O elo mais fraco||Julia Pinheiro||RTP1||€10,000||Você é o elo mais fraco, adeus!||11 June 2002||2003|
|Pedro Granger||19 September 2011||25 May 2012|
|Romania||Lanțul slăbiciunilor||Andrei Gheorghe||Pro TV||L 500,000,000||Ești veriga cea mai slabă din lanțul slăbiciunilor. La revedere, Drum bun!||13 October 2001||2002|
Leonid Yakubovich (25 December 2002) 
|ORT/Channel One||₽300,000 (25 September – 30 October 2001)
₽400,000 (1 November 2001 – October 2004)
₽350,000 (October 2004 – 2 July 2005)
₽1,000,000 (celebrity editions, 2001–2004)
|Вы самое слабое звено, прощайте!||25 September 2001||2 July 2005|
|Nikolai Fomenko||Channel 5||₽350,000||2 December 2007||28 December 2008|
|Mariya Kiselyova||Mir||₽320,000 (14 February – 5 November 2020)
₽400,000 (since 13 November 2020)
|14 February 2020|
|Serbia and Montenegro||Najslabija karika||Sandra Lalatović||BKTV||din 5,000,000||Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja!||2003||2006|
|Yvette Cui (Cui Lixin)||Mediacorp Channel 8||S$100,000||你是最弱一環,再見!||19 May 2002||2003|
|Weakest Link||Asha Gill||Mediacorp Channel 5||S$1,000,000||You have been voted the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||27 October 2002||2003|
|Slovenia||Najšibkejši člen||Violeta Tomič||SLO 1||SIT 2,400,000||Vi ste Najšibkejši člen! Adijo!||3 October 2003||2006|
|South Africa||Weakest Link||Fiona Coyne||SABC3||R 50,000 (2003–2004)
||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||3 September 2003||2007|
|Spain||El rival más débil||Nuria González||TVE1||€7,200||Eres el rival más débil, ¡adiós!||15 May 2002||2004|
|Sweden||Svagaste länken||Kajsa Ingemarsson||Sjuan||kr 100,000||Du är den svagaste länken, hejdå!||31 October 2011||2013|
|Taiwan||Weakest Link 智者生存
Weakest Link zhizhe shengcun
|Belle Yu||STAR Chinese Channel||NT$400,000||你是本回合被淘汰的參賽者, goodbye!||22 October 2001||11 February 2002|
|Tseng Yang Qing||第_回合被淘汰的是_,再見!|
|Thailand||Weakest Link กำจัดจุดอ่อน
Weakest Link Kamchat Chut On
|Krittika Kongsompong||ThaiTV 3||฿1,000,000||คุณคือจุดอ่อนของทีม เชิญค่ะ||7 February 2002||26 December 2002|
|Turkey||En zayıf halka||Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver||Show TV||TL100,000,000,000||En zayıf halka siz oldunuz, güle güle!||2001||2003|
|Baybars Altuntaş||TV8||₺54,000||21 September 2015||15 November 2015|
|İpek Altınbaşak-Farina||ATV||₺80,000||24 July 2019||21 September 2019|
|United Kingdom||Weakest Link||Anne Robinson||BBC||£10,000 (Daytime)
|You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||14 August 2000||31 March 2012|
|£15,000||17 November 2017|
|United States||Weakest Link||NBC||$1,000,000||16 April 2001||14 July 2002|
|George Gray||Syndicated||$75,000||7 January 2002||20 May 2003|
|Jane Lynch||NBC||$1,000,000||29 September 2020||1 February 2021|
- "Millionaire dominates global TV". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "Jane Lynch Says Hosting 'Weakest Link' Has Her Channeling 'Glee' Role". Entertainment Tonight.
- "Weakest Link back after 9 years with new host Magda Szubanski". au.lifestyle.yahoo.com. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- "Video". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
- Due to Daniela having surgery in March 2010, HRT asked Mirko to temporary host the show until Daniela recovers.
- "Πότε κάνει πρεμιέρα "Ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος" του ΡΙΚ" [When does RIK's "Weakest Link" premiere?]. offsite.com.cy (in Greek). 7 September 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- Nincs kegyelem was the alternative name of this show, but both show used same identity A leggyengébb láncszem
- A special Christmas and New Year celebrity edition.
- "Violeta Tomič | predstave". www.violetatomic.si.
- Original production was Kanal D but later decide to drop and TV8 was takeover.
- "En Zayıf Halka 1. Bölüm Fragmanı". 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
- 8/7 players version (2000–2001)
- Westbrook, Caroline (19 July 2017). "The Weakest Link is coming back to TV - complete with Anne Robinson". Metro. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
- Adalian, Josef (8 July 2020). "Jane Lynch Is Hosting a Weakest Link Revival for NBC". Vulture.
- Otterson, Joe (25 January 2021). "'Weakest Link' Renewed for Season 2 at NBC". Variety. Retrieved 16 February 2021.