“America Says” Review

Set Design- 6
Gameplay- 6
Show Flow- 6
Potential Viewer Ratings- 5
Play-Along Factor- 10
Host- 7
Overall Rating- 6.6

Premise: Two teams comprised of four contestants compete against each other to answer survey questions. In each round, both teams have 30 seconds to guess the top seven fill-in-the-blank answers. If there are any unrevealed answers remaining on the board, the opposing team has two chances to confer and attempt to guess the remaining answer(s) on the board. Each correct answer earns the team 100 points and guessing all seven answers correctly on a single turn earns the team a 1,000-point bonus. Points are doubled for the second round and tripled for the third round. The highest scoring team advances to the end game.

In the bonus round, the winning team has one minute to answer four questions and provide all of the top responses for each question. The top answer must be correctly guessed for the first question, the top two answers for the second, the top three answers for the third and the top four answers for the fourth. A team may pass on one question for a new one during the round. Guessing ten top answers correctly wins the team $15,000. Otherwise, the team walks away with a $1,000 consolation prize.

Review: Upon reading about the general description about the new show hours after the network’s annual upfront presentation unveiled its slate of new and returning programming for 2018 a couple of months ago, America Says appeared to be a knock-off Americanized version of Family Feud. After previewing the first episode last month, that is exactly what it is. There are several elements within GSN’s newest series that mimic the long-running survey game show, including a centralized survey board, pairs of teams comprised of four contestants (albeit this was only seen in the 1994 US version), the arched backdrops, the ability for opponents to steal potential points, teams going down the line to give answers and the three-round, single/double/triple front game format.

It is very difficult to create a game show nowadays – or any television show for that matter – without borrowing similar ideas and concepts from other shows. Today’s television age of reboots and revivals is essentially a temporary concession from Hollywood on how increasingly difficult it is to create completely original content. However in this case, it is possible to create a survey-based game show without completely ripping off Feud, as we have seen with Hot Potato, Pointless and Let’s Ask America.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 5.10.07 PM.png

Although America Says is merely hastened, fill-in-the-blank version of Feud, there are few redeeming aspects that make this show worth tuning in. The fast-paced nature of the first halves of each round is a nice twist and, even without Steve Harvey providing candid and comedic commentaries to contestants’ crazy answers, the show is still engaging enough to make viewers want to play along by quickly guessing the answers.

The bonus round, which resembles the Bullseye round featured on Feud during the Combs, ’94 Dawson and O’Hurley eras, has its pros and cons. The great part about the end game is how the difficultly increasingly ramps up for questions since the scope has narrowed for winning teams to now exactly guess up to the top four answers. What irks me about this portion of the show is how upsettingly basic and random the payout structure for wins and losses. I can understand awarding $1,000 for a team winning the front game. I can’t comprehend how the producers arrived to deciding the grand prize would be $15,000. I thought it would be contingent upon how many correct answers a team would guess in the first half of the bonus and the cash at stake would be multiplied by ten in the latter half. I was wrong. It would at least make more sense to me if the top prize were set at $10,000 or $20,000 so it would look more aesthetically pleasing mathematically and the money would be better distributed than stiffing the team a penny. I don’t see a logical rhyme or reason why the top prize was set at a relatively random figure like $15,000 given the show’s structure. I’m also surprised at the lack of consolation money ($100/answer) awarded to the winning team who fell short in the end game.

Overall, America Says is simply a watered-down version of Family Feud. John Michael Higgins is a decent host for the show and does an okay job of playing off some of the bad answers given from time to time. Considering the current nature of GSN’s primetime schedule, I can see the network redundantly airing a slew of Harvey’s Family Feud following a doubleheader of the new show. America Says is not terrible, but it’s also not good enough for me to have faith in the show sticking around for more than one season. However, if you love Family Feud, you will like America Says.

Stay tuned for new episodes of America Says weekdays at 5:00pm on GSN! Screenshots taken from episodes of America Says.

41 Comments Add yours

  1. john says:

    america says sucks its really abad show icant stand it


    1. Kellie Holder says:

      I agree it would be nice to see people win once in a while


      1. Jewels says:

        I can’t stand how Michael Higgens constantly says “well done”! Gets on my nerves.


  2. richard needham says:

    U need to award the winners with more money. No one ever wins the big $15000 and $1000 isn’t enough. Losers could get something


  3. Dolly Crawford says:

    this is the worst game show ever in the history of tv. The host is a complete a – – hole. I can’t stand the complete show.


  4. patsy t francese says:

    u idiots think family fued is good.i like america says


  5. looker says:

    They need to start focusing close in on the board instead of the people so that those watching on tv can read the board!!!!!


  6. John Doe says:

    I like the America Says show, and I like the host. But if you can’t pay for contestants to win the big prize, then you should probably rework the business model. Don’t make people try to used words like “jackalope”. Are you fu**ing kidding me?


  7. Ron Buck says:




    I like the show, but they really need to make the words much bigger. It’s way too hard to read because the font is so small.


  9. David says:

    Sorry but the Host had to be the worst dress game show host I’ve ever seen. They need to call Steve Harvey for some needed help.


    1. Bettina Laverriere says:

      I liked the old America Says much better than the new setup. It’s a joke.
      So, the contestants aren’t allowed to stand next to each other or talk to each other, but how do you think they got there? Either in a plane, train or car…sitting close to each other….HELLOOO. So stupid. And, I saw a family all “hug” each other when they won the bonus round. Give me a break!!!!!


  10. mary ellis says:

    I watch the show, I’m not satisfied with some of the choice of questions.it seems as though some of them are designed for certain americans.the questions should be something that all Americans go through or deal with or just familiar with.thats why I don’t really like the show.i’m a black female and it’s questions about certain actresses or musicians that I’ve never heard of.which a team that’s Caucasian may know every answer.i think that’s very Bias


  11. Lynn m Watters says:

    america says sucks!! Split 4 ways it’s less than $4,000 each. but no one ever wins the piddly $15,000.


  12. DAVIS CONNELLY says:

    A recent discovery, and a new favorite of mine. Host Higgins has loosened up, and is quite amusing when contestants say/do something wacky! (Do you remember his as Elaine’s boyfriend who shaved his head for the swim team on “Seinfeld?”) Season three has just been announced. Also, “Family Feud” was a rip-off of Match Game’s bonus round, created specifically for Richard Dawson, so to treat that show as some touchstone for game show originality seems misguided.


  13. Kathy Woolsey says:

    I wish the the cameraman would not zoom out on the last word that contestants didn’t fill in. You can’t read it while watching on TV.


  14. Maureen baker says:

    Use to love this show, but HATE the play by play!!!!! Why did they start that??


  15. Nance Peet says:

    Like the show BUT when audience gives answer to last blank it often os not audible on TV and host turns away when he says what it is. Also cannot see it on the board (do not have a giant TV screen). Can this be corrected


  16. S.thomad says:

    I watch this show as often as I can… l like the host because he does not shout like all the other hosts. I am not familiar with him prior to this show but I enjoy him and the questions…most of the hosts do not speak but shout all the time and it is annoying…..


  17. Jim Trootta says:

    I like the show, but, winner rounds should get $1,000 for each of the 10 correct answers. If you get all 10 correct, you get a $5,000 bonus for a total of $15,000 max. This way, winning finalists win more. Also, fans are more interested,


  18. Lana says:

    How do they determine “best answers”? I seriously doubt, sometimes, if an answer in the final round, is really a top answer. For instance, in an episode I just watched, the question “____ melts quickly”. Neither ice nor snow was one of the top 4 answers, but plastic was? it just seems that there is often some kind of obscure answer that someone may have said, but it seems unlikely very many people did.


  19. Susanna Hancock says:

    I have a suggestion. It is so hard to see the final answer after both teams have guessed . Michael turns around and asks for it – It would help if the camera would zoom-in on it, too. Its frustrating not to know ALL the answers. Watch the shows every night. Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention.


  20. DON says:



  21. Jay says:

    The review said something about how $15000 is a bad amount because the contestants get screwed out of a penny. Not sure what they were talking about: 15000/4=3750 exactly.


  22. Andrea Miller says:

    I used to watch Family Feud until answers and questions got to be too raunchy. I mean….’family’ means children included in the viewing?? I stopped watching Family Feud. Now am I going to have to stop watching America Says? I can hear raunchiness sneaking in at times. What gives? Maybe you people don’t have children that are asking questions ‘about’ the questions or answers?


  23. Christella Small says:

    This morning on the show it was a question- Name a green animal. The survey said grasshopper, but the second ‘g’ was not an animal, it was an insect.


  24. Richard Childers Jr says:

    BOGUS BOGUS BOGUS!!..Cheesy low paid actor wannabes…on a game show with insanely stupid answers!!!..This was a 110% fake game show!!…Game Show Network should be ashamed to broadcast this garbage!!!..Will take the reunion of Match Game and Concentration and Supermarket Sweep…on Buzzr channel ANY DAY!!


  25. Patricia Ruland says:

    Love this show but you can never see the last answer when they review the board.


  26. Roydan Curtis Conley says:

    Turn on “closed captioning” to see everyone’s answers.


  27. Giselle McAllister says:

    I wonder where they get some of these contestants from, they can’t even get the simplest answer correct on America Says.


  28. Nancy Hunter says:

    I love the older version where they stood together & had a captain. The camera work was poor in it but had hoped they’d eventually correct it. Instead, they came out with a newer version but don’t like it half as much as original. They’ll probably cancel it now.


  29. Nancy says:

    Loved the original show with the team closer together & a captain. The camera work was poor but had hoped it would be eventually corrected & had hoped prize would be increased to $20k for more interest. Didn’t like new version this season at all so I’m guessing it will probably be cancelled after this season. At least, we’ll still have the old version to watch until we’ve seen them too many times.


  30. Jack D'Amore says:

    I love this game show before this STUPID covid 19 bullshit 6 feet away from eachother..I will NEVER watch another episode of the the new format.
    Love Michael when he was able to have fun with the contestants
    Now he can’t get near them you stupid producers..get it together ..I’m sure everybody has there VACCINE..
    Get it back to t huh e way it was..


  31. Lyle Hammond says:

    The premier of the new set on May 31st due to COVID-19 has ruined this show! It has taken all the interaction, fun, and excitement out of the show! I would rather watch reruns of the old shows .


  32. Floyd Joswick says:

    Love it!!!! One of the best games going. John Michael Higgins is absolutely the best!!! Please keep this show going.


  33. Pam Jung says:

    The camera work at the end of the puzzle stinks. I have good hearing but I cannot hear the solutions to the last few words and the cameraman NEVER shows the solved puzzle with ALL of the words.


  34. Rob says:

    Have to agree about the zooming in on the last answer issue. Poor directing, don’t need to go to a full zoom, stay on the board. IMHO, JMH should back off the tiresome “We Asked America” phrase, and go with the name of the show “America Says”. The puzzle is more of a statement with blanks than a question. And, I suppose he is made to do so, but his continual outbursts of $15,000 are also tiresome, and he makes it sound like a monetary windfall, when it is chump change divided among four players.


  35. Gary James Avins says:

    I love the concept, the host is great, the only problem is at the end when they show the missing answers or should I say don’t show. I don’t know why the cameraman doesn’t focus on the board to let people know what the answers are to the missed questions. To me that would complete the show.


  36. Karin Foster says:

    He is the worst game show host ever. Must have connections. He’s a fake. Does more dance moves than?? He’s on a game show but acts like he’s dancing? Then the noise when you’re wrong is as annoying as the host. Time for change? 👍


  37. Jane Doe says:

    I can barely hear and i like that i can enjoy something on tv with my disability, when the tv shows the last answer to the question, the cameras turn away from the answer. Can the camera man please keep the camera on the screen so we can see the answer. It sucks not knowing all the answers


  38. Gigi says:

    I don’t understand why contestants jump ahead of their time and lose 5 seconds. Nor do I understand why they just stare at the screen when then don’t know the answers wasting precious moments, I often think that the contestants must take an IQ test and if their IQ is above 75 they are not allowed on the show, What a stupid comment in the beginning of this blog that this show wouldn’t last more then one season–welcome to the 5th season.


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