"The Moment of Truth" Game Show

Host Mark Walberg Reveals His Truth About the Show

The Moment of Truth - Mark Walberg and Contestants
courtesy FOX

"The Moment of Truth" became the show that fueled water cooler discussions across North America during the course of its run from 2008 to 2009. With its premise of hooking contestants up to a polygraph machine and then asking them some intensely personal questions, FOX had to know that "Moment" would be a hit. Throw in some innocent bystanders in the form of friends and family watching and listening and a few contestants who aren't afraid to reveal their deepest darkest secrets and audiences were hooked.

In a behind-the-scenes interview, Mark Walberg, host of "The Moment of Truth," once spoke to the media about the show and what we could expect from contestants and the show itself. This article combines his answers with a general understanding of how the show operates and what to expect from this hit reality program. 

The Contestants on  "The Moment of Truth"

The question on everyone's mind seemed to be, "Where did they find those contestants?" Walberg told the that the people who apply for the show aren't "freaky or crazy," they just stand out because they're willing to share their truths on national television. While there were definitely more of the sensational contestants who ended up uncovering unsavory details about their sex lives and infidelity, we also saw more "feel-good" rounds, where contestants ended up vindicated and the overall feel was uplifting. Walberg said that he argued for those stories to make up every episode, but with the format of the show, there would always be something shocking.

During the show's first season, contestant Lauren Cleri delivered the most shocking episode by admitting to infidelity, being in love with another man on her wedding day, and that she took her wedding ring off when she went out with her friends, among other things. Walberg said that he felt "horrible" after taping that episode.

"I felt like she was almost maliciously throwing her husband under the bus," he said. As it turns out, "they were young and had problems in their marriage anyway. I went over to the husband afterward and told him that I was so sorry, and he replied, 'Yeah, we almost won that $100,000 didn't we?'"

Is It Really Shocking?

Walberg used this story to illustrate that contestants knew what they were getting into and what questions would be asked by the time they made it on the show. He felt that they knew exactly what they were doing and there were no surprises for the person in the hot seat. Even the appearance of special guests to answer questions couldn't be that surprising since they knew about this little gimmick. "It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that there might be a surprise guest. (Cleri) contacted her ex-boyfriend about a week before being on the show and asked him if he was going to be on it."

With content like this, it's no surprise that "The Moment of Truth" was under media fire for causing problems for families, breaking up marriages and using sensational content to lure viewers. Walberg was straightforward in his opinion. "The wrecking-your-family, evil-doer rap the show gets is crap.

No family gets wrecked unless it's being wrecked anyway." He explained that families and marriages don't suddenly break apart because of an admission on the show – there had to have been underlying problems there in the first place for these revelations to cause so much damage.

"That doesn't necessarily mean we're doing God's work," Walberg continued, "but what I'm saying is that things happen on the show, conversations happen that are uncomfortable. But on the other end, there is a relief for everyone involved who has known that the issue existed and has been avoiding it."

Could Celebrities Take the Hotseat?

In an earlier season producers approached Roger Clemens to appear in an attempt to clear his name after the MLB steroid scandal broke. Shortly after that, Drew Peterson, who had been suspected in the deaths of two of his four wives, wanted to be on the show as well.

Walberg said that, while he's the host and doesn't get involved in the production side of things, he "would like to bring it into those territories, but a lot of people might be gun-shy" after seeing the show. He added that he would "like to explore that angle, and it could happen in the months and years to come." 

Unfortunately, the show never got the chance to feature "that angle." It was canceled in 2009 after only one season. 

It's no secret that Walberg felt uncomfortable quite often as the game played out. He frequently warned contestants that there were more personal questions coming up and that they may not want to continue. When asked if he ever felt bad about how an episode has played out, he clarified that he does indeed feel uncomfortable, but no, he doesn't feel bad. "By the time a contestant is on the show, they have begged to be there. I'm uncomfortable with their answers sometimes, and I think that's why I'm the right host for the show. I go in with trepidation rather than licking my chops waiting for their demise."

According to Walberg, the second season of the show planned "exploring more than just the sex talk, although those topics always come up. What makes the show interesting though is that each new contestant has an entirely different life story. So even if some of the questions are the same, the reactions are unique to that person." 

It's a shame the next season of the show never got a chance to film or air. 

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Grosvenor, Carrie. ""The Moment of Truth" Game Show." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/mark-walberg-the-moment-of-truth-1396969. Grosvenor, Carrie. (2017, August 29). "The Moment of Truth" Game Show. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/mark-walberg-the-moment-of-truth-1396969 Grosvenor, Carrie. ""The Moment of Truth" Game Show." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/mark-walberg-the-moment-of-truth-1396969 (accessed December 13, 2017).