Thomas Gottschalk seems agitated, Michelle Hunziker tries to save what can be saved, and the hoped-for feeling of nostalgia doesn’t materialize. What was going on? All about an evening that left many viewers perplexed in front of the screens.
You don’t really know what to say about the current edition of the TV cult classic “Wetten, dass…?” should say first. On the one hand, there are thoughts of the first revival a year ago, which brought together more than 14 million viewers in front of their home screens and in which Thomas Gottschalk moderated the show so confidently that it was as if there had never been a ten-year gap to the last regular edition.
With great anticipation, people looked forward to this second revival on ZDF, only to quickly realize that the warm feeling of nostalgia that flooded the hearts of the TV nation a year ago has given way to a certain foreign shame that developed over the course of the The broadcast was also accompanied by sadness, worry and bewilderment.
Gottschalk entered the big show stage in a glittering red leopard print suit and was frenetically celebrated by the audience for minutes. But as soon as he greets his co-moderator Michelle Hunziker, who is wearing a dreamlike princess robe, it becomes embarrassing.
“As soon as I’m gone, you end up in the arms of a six-pack doctor,” says the 72-year-old presenter and probably means it in a funny way, but it’s Hunziker to note how uncomfortable it is for her to be overwhelmed with internals about her private life to become. She skilfully smiles at the dumb blunder and maybe, the viewer thinks, that’s just one of Tommy’s shallow old man jokes. He’s just a child of his time, one says mildly. And in addition to pipe bursts, many of his sayings have always hit the mark.
Half past four in the morning in the karaoke bar
This evening, however, the worm is in there from the start. Everything looks old-fashioned and cramped, and Joachim Llambi would probably say now that someone is on the road with the handbrake on. Gottschalk seems restless, sometimes even disinterested and absent. Michelle seems to sense that her colleague is clinging to his index cards more than usual and tries to salvage what can be salvaged. She often takes on entire parts, leading through the show almost alone, while the “Wetten, dass…?” veteran next to her sometimes seems as if he doesn’t understand how he was able to end up on this show at all.
The show doesn’t get going at all. Guests like “Bully” Herbig and Christoph Maria Herbst, whom Gottschalk constantly calls “Strooooomberg” instead of Stromberg, don’t change that either. The ZDF people from the sound also seem to have immense problems. Maybe they accidentally inhaled Robbie Williams’ hair powder, because the singer’s first song sounds about the same as Karl-Heinz in the morning, half past four, drunk in the karaoke bar.
Later, when Williams sits down on the famous sofa and talks about the secret of his full hair, “Strooooomberg” says: “Better to put the powder on your hair than through your nose.” Then the singer’s look: priceless! But of course that was “not an innuendo”.
It all looks like Gottschalk has completely lost his flow. On Twitter, commentators talk shop about whether something is wrong with his teeth, it’s so difficult to understand him. Even a linguist joins the discussion. Maybe the bit isn’t right?
John Malkovich and the Jell-O
But the bets can still inspire. Two 15-year-old twin sisters can name 200 identical-looking teddy bears, a woman driving an excavator manages to pierce raw eggs with her excavator and a game fan can recognize parlor games by the sound they make when they are poured onto the table.
Veronica Ferres and her daughter Lilly Krug are welcomed. They have Hollywood star John Malkovich in tow because they just shot a movie together. You soon feel terribly sorry for poor John as you watch him experience his very own Tom Hanks memory moment. After losing a bet, the 68-year-old Hollywood star is supposed to eat jelly with his fellow actresses, and unfortunately, unfortunately, unfortunately – there is no plane he has to catch quickly! So he perseveres despite all the unpleasant things happening around him.
This time, however, Robbie Williams is allowed to reach the plane. Where to doesn’t seem so important. But maybe you don’t want to mention that it’s going directly to the World Cup in Qatar. The betting king is a 41-year-old 3D designer from Lützerath, who among other things can find Gottschalk’s and Hunziker’s fingerprints among more than 1,000. “Lützerath is saved,” says Gottschalk to the climate activist, who wants to try to save his lignite village from demolition with the prize money of 50,000 euros.
At the end Herbert Grönemeyer sings his new song “Deine Hand”. He also associates an emotional message with the song: to move closer together again. And maybe that’s also a good moment to finally let go of a show like “Wetten, dass…?”, which has been carried through time and with which a whole generation has grown up. To lean back, deservedly and proudly, and to say: I have once again been able to light a family campfire in the living rooms of this country and in the hearts of the audience, but I am leaving before the embers are completely extinguished.