Bellevue woman invents Ellen DeGeneres' favorite game

Bellevue woman invents Ellen DeGeneres' favorite game

A dedicated fan of the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bellevue resident Deirdre Boath has laughed along with millions of other viewers as audience members are pulled from their seats to play crazy games – all in the name of good fun.

When DeGeneres encouraged fans to send in their own ideas for show games, Boath responded with a description for Blind- Folded Musical Chairs. Two weeks later, DeGeneres debuted Boath’s game on her show.

“I received a call from Ellen’s staff letting me know my game would be featured on the show,” said Boath. “It was a huge hit.” Both the game winner and Boath received a Wii as a prize.

Blind-Folded Musical Chairs has been a regular feature on the Ellen Show ever since. The Jonas Brothers played, with Ellen moving the padded stools around while the masked celebrities lunged for seats when the music stopped.

Ellen even played it on her birthday show, calling it one of her most favorite things in life – second only to her brother moving out. “I love my life, my job, and I love playing Blind-Folded Musical Chairs,” said DeGeneres.

“An e-mail sent by Boath thanking DeGeneres for liking her game resulted in another call from a show representative. Several hours later, the phone rang with Ellen herself on the line.

“I completely freaked out, screaming – my husband was laughing, the kids were scared,” said Boath. Once Boath could listen, Ellen said she had planned to mail Boath some blindfolds as souvenirs, but decided it would be more fun to fly Boath and her husband to visit the show and greet them in person.

“Let’s just say there was more screaming,” said Boath.

A few days later, Boath and her husband enjoyed a whirlwind, all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles, including an appearance on the show. “I was so excited to be there,” said Boath. “Ellen was amazing. She gave me confidence and held my hand as the curtain opened, and we walked in front of the cameras.”

During Boath’s show appearance, she described a new game for Ellen. The staff dubbed it, “I Scream, You Scream, I Can’t See My Ice Cream”. Boath was promptly recruited to play.

“There are two people per team, both blind-folded,” described Boath. “One stands behind the other, feeding their partner from a bowl of ice cream, racing the clock.”

Boath’s team-feeding game also has been a regular feature on the show, with new variations. A recent segment paired two teams competing in “I Scream, You Scream, I Can’t See My Spaghetti & Pomodoro.”

“Ellen has a huge heart and gives so much to the community,” said Boath. “She’s hilarious and inspiring. What a gift to contribute laughter to her show.”

Marianne Berg Heywood is a freelance writer living in Bellevue.