For the eighth year in a row, entire families have been spending Monday night waiting for the announcement of the favorite RTS person – Jovan Memedović: “The chase can begin.” After this announcement, an exciting competition really begins in which a four-member team tries to know faster and more than the Seeker. Jovan Memedović, the host, and Marinela Kvapil, the editor of the quiz from the Adrenalin production, talk about the secrets of the success of the longest-running weekly quiz in our country.
The eighth season of “The Chase” started this September, viewers cannot imagine this quiz without you as the host. How did that even come about?
Jovan: Eight years ago, the quiz “The Chase” was already planned to be broadcast on RTS, all that remained was to find a host. I was told to apply for an audition. I reluctantly agreed because I was busy filming my shows “Sasvim prirodno”, but the then-director Aleksandar Tijanić insisted that I make sure to appear at the rehearsal… I had nowhere to go because I appreciated Tijanić, and I sincerely hoped that he would choose an already well-established quiz host, for example, Deki Pantelić. After seven days, they told me that they had decided for me… And here I am on the quiz. I wasn’t my own self from the start. I tried to be witty quickly until I realized that I should be what I am.
All of us as an audience are constantly fascinated by the knowledge and speed of the seekers, how do you experience them?
Jovan: Seekers are professionals in their hobby… they are people who, out of curiosity, absorb everything they hear and read. They capture information and store it, and over the years it turns into huge reservoirs of all kinds of knowledge, facts… The role of a seeker in this quiz is the crown of their career. It is often said that they are quiz addicts… I would single out Milorad Milinković, he is not a quiz addict, he is skilled in finding the correct answers. Of course, he also has all kinds of knowledge, but he can figure the correct answer out even when he doesn’t know it.
Marinela: The number of areas that each of them knows is fascinating. At the same time, not only do they know a certain piece of information, but very often also its background, some interesting and instructive story that stems from it. People think that seekers get some questions in advance, and in fact, when composing questions, we always think the other way around, what could confuse them, which question will they have no answer for…
Jovan, sometimes you get annoyed when a contestant gets an “awkward” question. What competitors and situations do you remember?
Jovan: I like when relieved competitors come, they want to have fun, they come to try and play. In recent seasons, there are more and more of them… The biggest obstacle for the competitors is not the seekers, but the nervousness and fear of being embarrassed. But even the most bizarre mistakes can turn into fun if there is such an atmosphere in both the seeker and the host.
What do people most often ask you privately about “The Chase” (and what do you answer them)?
Jovan: “By God, Memedović, do those seekers really know that much… or do you give them questions in advance?” Of course, they know everything and of course, no one gives them the questions in advance.
Marinela: They also ask me why the competitors do not take the higher amount that the seekers offer them more often and whether there is a particular prize pool for every episode. The reason is solely the fear of the competitors that the seekers will get them if they’re only one step behind them. However, this season we had a higher percentage of brave competitors, which resulted in breaking the record in the amount of the award.
In the new season, the competitors have barriers between them, is it to not whisper or because of the protection against the COVID virus, and what was the experience of filming in a pandemic atmosphere?
Marinela: Exclusively because of the virus. In directing and studio, everyone wore masks, even the contestants and Jovan until the cameras came on. We were lucky that with these measures, everything went well and everyone stayed healthy, the only thing missing was a handshake and a few hugs with Joca.
Jovan: The barrier does not disturb the atmosphere of the quiz in any way. Everything is the same as before. I’m the only one a little further away from the competitors and I can’t give them a hand and congratulate them. To be tue, that’s the only thing that bothers me about this pandemic.