Judging Oprah's Big Give may seem like an easy task to fans of the show, but judge Malaak Compton-Rock says there is more to the job than what you see on TV. Holly and Rodney talk to Malaak about the judges' choice to eliminate contestant Carlana Stone from the competition in Episode 3, and Malaak shares some insight into the judging process.
Holly says she was among many viewers who felt contestant Rachael Hollingsworth , a take-control singer from Los Angeles, should have been sent home over the passionate Carlana , a TV producer who is wheelchair-bound. Malaak says the judges were privy to things viewers didn't see, and they all agreed Carlana had to be eliminated. "Rachael is strong-willed—no one can say that is not the case—but when it came down to it, she got a lot of work done," Malaak says. "Carlana spent the entire time being upset about not being able to move into the team, when as far as I am concerned, she should have given up after a few hours and asked 'What can I do, what can I accomplish?' … So that is pretty much why she was eliminated."
Malaak says the judges observe contestants at all stages of the challenge and get a very good idea of how much individual contestants are contributing. "There are times when we are out observing them that we are asking them questions—we just show up, we pop up—they don't even know we are coming," she says. When it comes to the judges making the final decision on who goes home, she says the choice is solely theirs. "The judging is done [in private], producers can't be in the room with you, cameras were not in the room," she says.