The chance for one family to drive away in a brand new SUV was left in the hands of a toddler on Thursday’s Generation Gap, in a recurring segment that doesn’t sit so well with some viewers.
The ABC comedy game show is hosted by Kelly Rippa, who also serves as executive producer alongside people like Jimmy Kimmel and Mark Burnett. It pairs up children with older adults to answer pop culture-related questions from both past and present generations. On Thursday’s show it was 13-year-old Olivia and her grandpa, Irving, who earned the most money during the game, $11,000, and advanced to the final bonus prize round.
That round is called “Tot’s Choice,” where the youngest member of Olivia and Irving’s family gets to choose the prize, which usually pits a big-money adult-like item against a much less expensive kid-themed prize.
In this case it all came down to Olivia’s roughly kindergarten-aged younger sister, Lili. And Lili’s first prize option was a 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid, which the announcer described as “an SUV the whole family can enjoy.” The second prize was a Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart, which “can reach top speeds of eight miles per hour” and has a reverse function.
While they are both nice options, a Kia Sportage Hybrid starts around $30,000 brand new, while the Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart goes for $329. So, on a family game show such as this, the SUV is probably the better option for a young family.
But Lili, being the kid she is, walked straight for the go-kart.
The moment produced plenty of laughs and applause from the audience, along with a few face-palm reactions from Lili’s family as well. The reaction from viewers at home was mixed though, as some have grown tired of the segment.
Tot’s Choice has been called “cruel” in the past, perhaps dredging up similar vibes to a scene from the series premiere of Succession, when Kieran Culkin’s Roman Roy offers a kid $1 million to hit a home run during a softball game as his parents watch on, and of course, the poor kid can’t deliver. And after this week’s Generation Gap, some fans felt bad for the child and were calling for the removal of the segment altogether.
On the other hand, some watching the show didn’t seem to mind the segment, and certainly don’t blame Lili for her choice.
And while not everyone is happy with the segment — or its outcome this week — one thing is certain, based on the show’s closing moments: Lili is stoked about it.
“Well, Lili picked the go-kart. I think we can all agree that’s the one the whole family wanted,” Rippa said to Olivia and Irving and family. To which they all enthusiastically — or perhaps sarcastically — agreed.
Generation Gap airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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