Malta’s TV mentions of the decade are off to a great start… if you call being roasted for 60 straight minutes great, that is.
In the latest episode of popular US game show Let’s Make A Deal (Season 11 Episode 59, aired on New Year’s Day), our tiny islands were brought up a couple of times by beloved comedian and impromptu satirist Wayne Brady, who made fun of everything from Malta’s international sport accomplishments to the national anthem.
It all started with Jenise (which already sounds very Maltese), an excited contestant who shared her cool snowboarding past with the TV host.
“I tried to go to the last Olympics but that’s when I blew my knee out and missed it by one spot, so 2022!” she explained as everyone in the studio erupted in encouraging cheers. But as Brady cheers Jenise on himself with chants of “Team USA!”, this is when she corrects him with “Team Malta”… and everything goes south.
What follows is a number of jokes that ran through the entire show, from comparisons to Cool Runnings to even a cheeky prize at the end.
“My grandma had the maiden name that she married into and her mother also had the same maiden name that she married, but all of them were related, they were all different families with the same last name,” Jenise explains to a visibly confused (but very entertained) Brady. “Hmm… family tree with one big old root,” the hosts slyly replies.
At a point, Brady also asks the entire studio to stand for the Maltese “national anthem”… only this time, it’s just three quick lines because “it’s such a small country it just says ‘Oh Malta, teeny tiny land’.”
Towards the end of the show, the host returns… this time sporting a crown and rainbow sash bearing the word MALTA.
“Over the commerical break, I was promoted and I am now the official king of Malta,” he says, giving everyone the islands’ “customary salute” of what looks like a facepalm (very fair, considering our 2019).
By the end of the show, one of the prizes given out was actually a trip to Malta… leading an excited Leslie to come back to the audience as the “national anthem” kicked off all over again.
Oh, and Jenise? Not only does her story check out, but she really is one badass snowboarder who could very well be representing our islands in the next Olympics.
Back in 2016, a 23-year-old Jenise Spiteri from California had opened up about representing the tiny isles in the 2018 Olympics.
“I called my dad in California to contact the Maltese consulate,” she had said in an interview a coupe of years back. “We tried to get it together for the 2014 Olympics, and, looking back, I’m glad that didn’t happen. I don’t want to go to the Olympics to just go. I want to go and give it a fight, and I think I can do that now.”
Sadly, a last-minute knee injury and eventual surgery had left Jenise unable to make it to the last Olympic Games… but she’s definitely not holding back ahead of 2022.
Equal parts extreme athlete and vlogger, Spiteri regularly shares everything from updates on her recovery to her trips around the US online, with her 20,000 subscribers closely following her adventures.
Here’s to Jenise making it to the next Olympics… and her proudly standing for the actual Maltese national anthem when that happens!