HOLEY MOLEY Boss on the Finale Shocker: 'We Were Losing Our Minds' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOLEY MOLEY Boss on the Finale Shocker: ‘We Were Losing Our Minds’

July 12, 2022 by  

HOLEY MOLEY season 4 winner

HOLEY MOLEY – “The Greatest Game” – In the epic conclusion of the season, finalists compete to make it to the next phase on Full Mooney and break a leg at Holeywood. The round one winners battle it out in a game-changing second knockout round at The Parcade, where one is eliminated. The last two remaining champions face off in a glamourous final round at The Distractor, all while Miss Piggy prepares to take center stage, and Kermit the Frog joins in on the action from the booth on the season finale of “Holey Moley: FORE-EVER!,” airing TUESDAY, JULY 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
(ABC/Christopher Willard)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the HOLEY MOLEY season 4 finale.]

HOLEY MOLEY has a new champ: Kathy Valyo!

But Valyo didn’t just conquer the final hole (a souped-up version of “The Distractor”)…she managed to get back-to-back holes in one—on “Holeywood” and “The Parcade”—before she even reached the deciding round.

“Kathy is a great example of what makes HOLEY MOLEY so fun,” executive producer Charles Wachter admits. “It’s not typical that you can see a show [where] such a wide demographic performs great at. And it’s so unsuspecting and surprising.”

“I can promise you, when she started rolling those hole in ones, we were losing our minds,” he continues. “Because we’re like anybody else; we’re fans of the show. So we’re sitting in the truck, watching these putts roll, and it was like the most intense live sporting event you can imagine.”

And while announcers Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore (understandably) lost their minds on-camera over the feat—a show first—the producers knew that accomplishment could stand on its own, no matter who ultimately won the season.

“To be honest, there’s so much joy and sort of weirdness in in in the way things play out on a show like this,” Wachter acknowledges. “Listen, were we hoping she would win? Yes. But at the same time, I think that the show was culminating in a way that we were really excited about…she was still the underdog going in, so the fact that it was Kathy who won in the end was amazing.”

Trying to make everything come together for the final hole—which featured a Jeannie Mai musical number, combined with distracting elements around the ball path—was a whole other challenge for the team, as they had to figure out how to pull off all of The Distractor gags with the length of time it took for someone to finally sink a putt.

“We do gags, and we do golf. We rarely do both actually in the same moment,” Wachter says. “Usually it’s different teams. So pulling off the gag and the performance and the reveal, while also honoring a quarter-million dollar putt was electric, it was challenging, and somewhat stressful, because we had to figure out how to edit. You can imagine editing a song that has lyrics, but also editing for tension and drama. It’s challenging.”

“We learned a little bit from season 2’s final putt, Tomb of Nefer–Tee–Tee, which was like a 100-foot putt,” he continues. “We knew a big hard putt would make for good TV. Generally it only that took us 45 minutes back in season 2 and there were four people on that putt; this one was two people, and so we felt confident we would get it in a certain amount of time. In terms of the chaos, it’s always a bit of a crapshoot, because chaos works great. But when you’ve got to do chaos for 30 minutes straight, it gets challenging. And so sort of managing that energy and making sure that we were constantly sort of delivering on that. Then, certainly, also just the mayhem of the Muppets over the season—making sure that we had had some of that chaos that you’d expect from a Muppet finale.”

The finale also marks the end of the officially ordered run of HOLEY MOLEY. (ABC renewed the series for season 3 and 4 in its last pickup.) When ABC orders more, Wachter notes it could work to the show’s benefit to get another multi-year renewal.

“Obviously, we’d love it, because it gives us a lot of resources to take really big swings,” he says. “It’s really hard, creatively, because we shoot them both simultaneously; we have to keep both lanes separate. But a lot of that comes down to timing, logistics, schedules and things like that. So it’s less of a creative decision [about if we do two seasons at once], as much as it is a business and schedule decision, in many ways.”

And even with four seasons under their belt, “we’re always learning; every season I feel like we learned something new,” Wachter says. “I still don’t feel like we’ve made the perfect HOLEY MOLEY season yet. So we’re seeing and tweaking.”

One of the things they’re constantly reevaluating? Which holes are working and which ones need to be overhauled. But what impact does the contestants’ success in making it across the obstacles without being foiled play in that? “Generally, with the big wipe out-type holes, we’d like to see a success rate of about 25 percent,” Wachter shares. “Because what makes them fun is people wiping out—they’re getting hammered in water, the corn’s exploding, they’re hammering into a pole or on fire. But if it’s impossible, it doesn’t feel like a sport anymore. Too many make it through, it feels like a promise not kept, because I want to see something hilarious. And then if not enough people make it through, you’re like okay, well, that’s impossible.”

And the producers make some of those assessments as the season is ongoing. “There were some holes that turned out too hard, and sometimes we’d dial it back,” Wachter says. “We’d plan to shoot a hole eight times and we do it, and we’re like, ‘That wasn’t as funny as we’d like, let’s do four.’ And we mix it up that way. So we do tweak as we go, too, because a lot of these [ideas] are so big, we build them somewhat at the last minute. You eyeball and you obviously do your stunt and safety tests and everything, but then you shoot it. And then we’ll switch up the competition schedule to do that [more] or the other way, [where] we dial it down a little bit. It’s pretty, pretty insane.”

But all things considered, HOLEY MOLEY season 4 “was a dream come true,” Wachter gushes.


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