For a show that seems to be on every night, you may be surprised to hear that NBC's Deal or No Deal is only now hitting the 100-episode mark tonight at 8 pm/ET, with an outing that offers one past player a second chance to become a millionaire... or at the very least top the $10 he won the first time around. What else is on tap for this milestone Monday? Offered the chance to chat up not one but three of the show's 26 suitcase-brandishing beauties about that and much more, TVGuide.com said, "Deal!
TVGuide.com: What can we expect from this week's milestone episode? Confetti? Special guests? The Banker's silhouette is naked?
Claudia Jordan: A naked Banker silhouette? Now that's a good idea!
Lindsay Clubine: Our 100th episode is going to be huge! My favorite contestant ever, "Arkansas" Brooks [Leach], comes back to try his luck a second time. Ozzy Osbourne makes an appearance, Jay Leno and Regis [Philbin] are special guests, and yours truly is the first case picked. You don't want to miss this!
Patricia Kara: I guarantee lots of excitement. This episode is one of my favorites.
TVGuide.com: Claudia, do you carry a special burden being assigned Case No. 1? Do the other girls whisper behind your back cattily?
Claudia: Oh, no doubt. When all the girls are being asked their numbers, they rattle them off, then when they get to me and say, "What number are you?" I say, "No. 1," and I just know eyes are rolling! [Laughs] But I love it!
TVGuide.com: What's the largest dollar amount you have ever held inside your suitcase?
Patricia: Last season on the last episode I had the $5-million case.
Lindsay: A million dollars — three times!
Claudia: Unfortunately, I have destroyed someone's hopes and dreams by being the first case picked [after the contestant's case] and I held the $1 million. It was all downhill from there.
TVGuide.com: Did anyone see the 30 Rock episode where Kenneth has an idea for a Deal-type game, except the cases are filled with actual gold? They are thus wicked heavy, so it's obvious which case to pick. Funny stuff.
Claudia: Nope. I was probably practicing my case-opening skills at the time!
Lindsay: That episode sounds pretty funny. Our cases are heavy enough, I couldn't imagine carrying gold in them. I would fall over!
TVGuide.com: Though they are randomly assigned, do you find there is a dollar amount you often get? Like, "Aw, gee, not $750 again!"
Lindsay: I think I've had 750,000 dollars the most, and having a huge amount is the worst! I feel so bad. Why can't I just have the penny every time? [Laughs]
Patricia: I don't think I ever have the same amount repeatedly, but I have heard from viewers that I tend to have a high amount.
Claudia: I seem to almost always have a low amount — yet folks are afraid to choose me. Or maybe they like keeping me around? Yeah, I will go with that! It's good, because I love to fake out the contestant. Peek in the case, pretend it's bad news and then surprise them with the good news. I just love manipulating the contestants' emotions. It makes my job fun!
TVGuide.com: Hypothetical scenario: Howie Mandel gets called away on a latex-glove-inflating emergency. Which of you is most prepared to step in and host the show?
Claudia: Well, this is a no-brainer. You've got to send in the vet, No. 1! I have been with the show since day one and have never missed a show. Plus I have a wicked sense of humor and am fantastic on the fly. Oh, and I am terribly modest. Oh, yes — me, me, me! [Laughs]
Lindsay: I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I would do a good job. Howie is the host with the most, but I am the hostess with the mostest!
Patricia: Of course, if I have to choose one person, I have to say that I would be the best choice. But I think there would be quite a few of us who can step in for Howie. We have many talented and quick-witted women on the show. It would definitely make it more interesting!
TVGuide.com: Has a fella ever tried to pick you up by capping his overture with, "Deal... or no deal, sweet mama?"
Lindsay: Yes, and then I broke his legs!
Patricia: I have heard it all!
Claudia: They just can't help it, I suppose. But I always have a zinger ready to throw back at these men. They are no match for me!
TVGuide.com: Have all 26 of you ever arrived on stage in your outfit for the night and asked — in unison — "Does this dress make me look fat?"
Lindsay: No, but we have asked, "Does this make my chest look big?" [Laughs]
Patricia: It's definitely thought about in unison. I mean, come on, we're women. And when you have 26 women in hot little dresses standing around craft services and eating all day, well, you feel a little bloated.
TVGuide.com: Share with me a Deal or No Deal blooper. Faulty latches, ripped minidress seams, your case was full of joke spring snakes....
Claudia: Hmm... what am I allowed to share with you? One girl tried to, um... and... um, never mind. Let's just say she doesn't work on the show anymore!
Patricia: We have had a few girls, including me, accidentally drop their case. If the case opens, the game has to be restarted and the case amounts have to be reshuffled. It's quite the process.
Lindsay: I played an April Fool's joke once on the girls and producers. I convinced the guys who handle the cases to give me an empty case and when we were getting ready to do the model march, I said, "Hey, girls, look what's in my case!" Everyone freaked! I think I gave the producers a heart attack. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: How often do you get recognized from the show?
Claudia: A lot. I do a lot of other stuff as well, so I had a little fan base going in. But I really get it now, and I am always flattered because it's difficult to stand out amongst so many lovely ladies. "Hey, you're No. 1!" Well, yes, I am! [Smiles]
Patricia: I don't get recognized very often, because I look very different on the show than I do day to day. My hair on the show is super-curly, like Shirley Temple curls, and we have a lot of makeup on. On my off days, my hair and makeup is more natural.
Lindsay: One time, when I was flying from L.A. to New York, a flight attendant asked me if I was No. 26. It's so funny to be known as a number. My name is Lindsay!
TVGuide.com: What would people be most surprised to know about The Banker?
Patricia: He's really not such a mean guy all the time. Just most of the time.
Claudia: He is even more sarcastic in person than he is on the show. He's an East Coaster. He loves surfing the Web while he's waiting on his next vict-, I mean contestant. And he is always in silhouette — even in the sun. It's really creepy!
TVGuide.com: Admit it: When you go through airport security, do you ever instruct business travelers on how to pop open their briefcases with a bit more flourish?
Claudia: Well, duh! Of course!
Patricia: I haven't acted on it yet, but I think about it regularly. "If they only knew how to do it correctly.... " Maybe I should start teaching classes?
TVGuide.com: How often does a contestant's emotional roller coaster get to you?
Patricia: Every time! I have never cried so much or laughed so hard or felt my heart pounding like it has during the show.
Lindsay: I really want them to do well, so it breaks my heart when they don't.
Claudia: Well, I will say about 50 percent of the time. I love seeing other people happy — even if it's at the expense of my feet hurting when I am the last one picked! — but sometimes, when they are annoying, I can't help but snicker when they get too greedy! Me and Stacey simultaneously say, "Good!"
TVGuide.com: Claudia, when you made it to the Miss USA top 10, it was only the third time in 46 years that Miss Rhode Island has gone that far. Is there anything we as a country can do to better promote beauty and poise in the Ocean State?
Claudia: [Laughs] I think it's the New England accent that throws people off. We have some beautiful women, but when we talk and we drop the Rs, we can sound a little rough around the edges.
TVGuide.com: Lindsay, your bio touts you as an "adrenaline junkie" and lists many dangerous activities you have braved. Which was the most frightening, honestly?
Lindsay: Out of all the things I've done, great-white-shark cage diving in South Africa was the most frightening! Have you ever had a great white stare you in the face? Scary!
TVGuide.com: And Patricia, what's the strangest thing you've ever had to do or wear for a magazine ad?
Patricia: For one ad I was lying down and there were ties over my upper body — with nothing underneath.
TVGuide.com: How do you think you would fare as a contestant on Deal or No Deal?
Patricia: I think I would be like so many people where I can say I would play it one way, but when you are actually in the situation, nerves take over and it's played out differently.
Claudia: I think about this every show... as my feet are throbbing after hour 13 and a lone tear makes it way down my cheek. I say, "Damn it, why did I become a model and not a contestant?! I was born for this!" I am quite the gambler — I am packing for Vegas right now — so I think I would do very well. I think they should let the models play and give half to charity. NBC, are you listening?
TVGuide.com: Have the lot of you gals ever been propositioned to engage in a "ménage à 27"?
Patricia: Nobody has personally asked me that, but I am sure there are a few people out there fantasizing about it.
Claudia: Wow, I don't know any man who can handle 26 chicks — and if he can, keep him the hell away from me!