Josh King and Renee Rucks – who have worked together for three years at a Bakersfield area school – teamed up to win $85,000 on the May 5 episode of the FOX competition series “Game of Talents.” They had to defeat – Deann and Erin – a team of teachers from Sacramento for the win.
Rucks said at the start of the episode that she wanted to show young people that they should be willing to step out of their comfort zones. Appearing on a game show is the last thing she ever thought she would do.
It was King who signed up the pair in September 2020 to be on the game show.
“I found out about it and I am so close to Renee it hit me that she would be perfect,” King says. “So, I called her one day and told her I applied for this game show for the both of us and you can’t say no.”
Although Rucks would not have initiated the idea of being a game show contestant, she would have been on board with the idea even if King had talked to her before signing them up to be on the show.
The series features two teams of contestants trying to outguess each other in determining which talent a person has simply by how they look and by deciphering cryptic clues.
Both teams were tied with $25,000 each after two correct guesses through four rounds. King and Rucks successfully identified a Rubik’s Cube Solver and an Alligator Wrangler. The Sacramento teachers had correct guesses with a Slam Dunk Champion and a Slackline Walker.
The teams went head-to-head in the fifth round with Sacramento teachers buzzing in the quickest. Their guess the person was a Fire Dancer was incorrect as their talent was as a Hula Hooper. That eliminated Deann and Erin and put $60,000 more in King and Rucks bank.
The Bakersfield pair could have doubled their winnings to $170,000 with the last round. They had to decide if the person was either a fire dancer or an indoor surfer. A wrong guess would have left them with nothing. They were not certain enough as to which guess was right and opted to walk away with the $85,000. Rucks was more confident the right guess was fire walker and had they opted to play, they would have been right.
Neither is too disappointed they didn’t go for the larger money win. There have been discussions since the taping about whether they made the right decision. But, they always end up knowing they did the right thing.
“We were very confident in our decision,” Rucks says. “We were 100% in support of each other at that time. We are just grateful to have had the opportunity and to get to walk away with a nice piece of cash.”
King’s plans for the money include a charitable donation to the Trevor Project, doing some traveling and getting a children’s book he has written published. Rucks said during the telecast she wanted the money to help her teenage son eventually accomplish his dream of becoming a pilot.
One of the biggest concerns since the taping in late November 2020 – under strict COVID protocols – was whether or not the episode would be broadcast. Game show rules state that contestants only get their winnings if their episode airs.
Now that it has been aired, the pair not only get their winnings but finally get to talk about the experience. Game show contestants can forfeit their winnings if they talk about what happened before the broadcast.
Rucks says, “All we could say was that we were on a game show and had a great time.”
King adds, “I am a people person and I wanted to talk to everyone about it. It is the longest secret I have ever kept.”
“Game of Talents” – that airs Wednesdays on KBFX Fox58 is hosted by Wayne Brady.