Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The Price is Right
I left Ojai this morning at 9:30 and headed for Hollywood to be a contestant on the Price is Right. CBS invited the ladies from Curves in Ojai and Oak View to be a part of the studio audience and have a chance to be on stage with Drew Carey, the new host. Before I share with you my exciting adventure, I'll answer the question that is on all of your minds...no, my name was not picked. I did not hear those magical words, "Christine Hodge, Come on down. You're the next contestant on the Price is Right." I did not get to hug Drew Carey (thank goodness!). I did not win a new car and I did not win the Showcase Showdown. But I did have a blast!
We arrived at CBS Television City at noon, registered and then ate our sack lunches that we brought. Then we waited. First, we waited for a seat on the long, uncomfortable benches. Then we waited for the people with the red coats (pages) to bring us little pink papers to record our name and ss# (in case we win). Then we waited for the pages to bring us our nametags. Then we waited to be interviewed. Ah, now it's getting interesting.
Contestants on the Price is Right are not just randomly picked out of a hat. Anyone who wants to be on the show, must be interviewed. Well, it's not as glamorous as you'd think. This is how the interview process went...We lined up in groups of 12 and one of the producers asked us where we were from and what we did for a living. I said, "I'm a stay-at-home mom to two preschool girls and I work with teen-agers." Well, my job must not have been as exciting as the health inspector, train conductor, pediatric nurse and house manager who actually got to go on stage and try to win prizes. None of us in our group could figure out just how they choose the contestants. We thought they chose the most enthusiastic people, but in the interview process, there was never a chance to show your enthusiasm. The selection process is rigged, we just couldn't figure out how!
Once we were interviewed, we started the waiting process again. We waited in a long line to go through security and we waited on those hard benches again to go into the studio. While we were waiting, we had fun chatting with the people around us and commenting on everyone's names, since we all could see each-other's name tags. You had to use your full, legal birth name on your name tag. One big, biker-type man's name was Harmony.
Then, at almost 4:00 (four hours later) we were led into the studio where the fun really began! First of all, they do some major trick photography when they air the Price is Right because the studio is very small. It's smaller than my church sanctuary. Seriously. And the set looks like it's the same set they used more than 30 years ago, although I understand it's been revamped. The audience is less than 200 people. (I was number 96, btw) We got to sit in the middle and the camera was on us a lot, so I'm sure we'll be seen in the audience when the show is aired. And there were at least a dozen crew members on stage the whole time. It's amazing that you don't see them when the show is aired!
After a few instructions, they called out the first four contestants. One woman's name was Kay-Anne Pepper (like cayenne pepper). No wonder she was chosen! A guy two seats down from us was called and a guy (Freddie) directly behind us was called. He actually won $37,000 worth of total prizes, including the Showcase Showdown. When they call the names, the contestants only have to run a few feet down to the stage, yet they make it look so much longer when you see it on T.V. One guy was so excited, he tripped and fell on his way down, and we had to wait while the on-site EMT cleaned his scraped elbow. He ended up winning something.
The first item they bid on was an iphone. I would have won because my friend just bought one and I knew the price. I guessed $795 from my seat, and the total retail value was $798. I should've been on the show!
Drew Carey was very funny. He cracked jokes and made fun of the contestants when the cameras weren't rolling. It was like we got to see a free Drew Carey Show. He sang and almost danced. He was very entertaining. He makes a good host!
Even though the show is taped live, it isn't aired live, so they actually do things over if they're not good enough. They re-taped one of the contestants' husbands shouting out prices to her. They asked him to get all excited again and shout out numbers to her as they zoomed the cameras in on him. And the announcer had to re-announce products. It's all rigged! I wasn't surprised.
Well, I had a blast even if I didn't get on the show. On the way home, we drove down Hollywood Blvd. and I saw the stars on the sidewalk and the Pantages Theatre (from the moving car). We got home at 9:30 p.m. I am tired, but too wound up to go to sleep.
If you want to watch me in the audience, the show is #4081-K. Go to cbs.com and click the Price is Right to see the air date. It won't be available for a few days. If you do watch the show. I'm wearing red and white.
P.S. We couldn't take cameras into the studio, so all I have are a few pics I took from the car.