One night in Lisbon, being the wild party animals that we are, Rhi and I ordered room service and watched an epiosde of the Portugese equivalent of The Price Is Right – O Preço Certo em Euros. It had the usual elements – cheesy games, glamorous models, hyperactive host, bellowing studio audience and dopey contestants convinced that a packet of toilet paper is more expensive than a speedboat.
But would you check out the Portugese answer to Larry Emdur? I couldn't understand a word he said, but Fernando Mendes rules. Finally, a game show host without blinding teeth and Lego Man hair.
I checked out Ferdie's profile on the official O Preço Certo website, and even with the awkward Babelfish English translation, he sounds like a nice bloke.
I loved the model chicks on this show. They were all big hair, bodysuits and tight Levis. I was instantly homesick – they looked like a night out at the Bathurst Leagues Club, circa 1992. All she needed was a Tia Maria in her hand and a sequined handbag to dance around.
Likewise the male models all looked like the blokes most likely to crack on to the Tia Maria chicks, swaggering into the Club in their Jeans West ensembles after a rollicking game of rugby.
This was the part where the contestant must put all the prizes in order to win the Showcase and the audience screams HIGHER and LOWER in the local language and the host says ARE YOU SURE? in the local language and the contestant's wife does the rotating-forearm Swap Them Round dance and the contestant just looks more and more confused. I love these universal experiences.
And this is the part when he loses and the sound effects department plays the "wah wah wahhhh" of disappointment. The Dinner Set was worth more than the Encyclopedias, so he must return immediately to his job as a taxi driver. But he is still thankful for the chainsaw and leaf blower he won in the earlier round.
As the credits rolled, Fernando took a towel out of the washing machine that was in the Showcase, wrapped it round his neck like a cape then pretended to fly around the studio! Did you ever see Ian Turpie or Bob Barker do anything like that? Portugal rules.