Meteorologists Guess What America Thinks For ‘Sandy’ Relief

By Kevin Eck 

Last week TVSpy wrote about four local meteorologists competing on the TV game show “Let’s Ask America”.  This week we got the chance to find out how the show went and how much Steve Raleigh, Ashley Brown, Denis Phillips and Lisa Hidalgo raised for the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy Relief.

“Let’s Ask America” is a show similar to the “Family Feud” where contestants answer questions based on what groups of people think about certain subjects.  For self-admitted science geeks like these meteorologists, that proved harder than they predicted.

“I’m a science nerd,” said WRTV meteorologist Brown.  “I don’t know what normal people think.  But I had fun guessing.”  Hidalgo, the morning news meteorologist for KMGH in Denver echoed the sentiment, “It’s totally opposite of what we’re doing on a daily basis.”


You can watch a clip from the show after the jump.

Show host Kevin Pereira told TVSpy his advice to the contestants boiled down to, “Always answer in the form of a question. If you’re stuck, buy a vowel. And NEVER land on a Whammy!”

While Periera may be confusing his show with some classic game shows, each of the four contestants went in thinking they would be the frontrunner but came out a little humbled by the experience.  “It’s crazy,” said Hidalgo. “Because you think, ‘Oh yeah.  I’m going to win this thing.  I’ve got it.  I’ve got it in the bag.’  But you’re, again, guessing other people’s opinion and so what I think can be totally different from what 900 men that were polled have to say.”

Since all four were competing for the same charity, the weathercasters said the show wasn’t as competitive as it could have been.  “We were all there to raise money,” said Brown.  “I think we all felt like we won.” Steve Raleigh, chief meteorologist for WCPO in Cincinnati, told TVSpy.  “The fact that the money went to the Red Cross made the experience that much better. I realized no matter the outcome, the organization would do well.”

In the end, the meteorologists raised $8,000 for the American Red Cross and learned something about their profession along the way.  “I figured the general perception of anybody with weather people is they don’t know what they’re talking about.  They’re always wrong,” said Denis Phillips, chief meteorologist for WFTS in Tampa.  “But the answer was 70 percent of the time (meteorologists forecasts) were right.”  Raleigh agreed, “I think, the funniest moment concerning the lack of knowledge came when myself and the Tampa meteorologist both blew the question about viewer trust. Who knew that viewers actually support us at 70%?”

Turning back to the reason they all came together Raleigh added, “Personally, I found it incredibly important that we were able to help Sandy’s victims.”

Since the show has already aired, we feel comfortable revealing Denis Phillips was the winner.  But he has no plans to quit his day job.  “People said Denis congratulations you won.  And I go, well, I don’t really know that I would say that I won.  I might just say that I stunk less than everybody else.”

Though if he did, Kevin Pereira has a few ideas he’d like to try out in case he gets the call to forecast some weather. “With each forecast, I would dress up a handful of adorable kittens in weather-appropriate attire. Rain slickers and tiny umbrellas when there’s the slightest chance of rain, or miniature sunglasses with hot-shorts for a Los Angeles summer day.”