If you know me, you know I LOVE The Price is Right.
Like really LOVE. Like LOVE love.
To hear Johnny (or now, Robbie) yell “Come On Down!!!” has long been on my bucket list. It’s right up there with skydiving, which I still haven’t done yet, but I digress. I don’t mean I love TPIR like my grandmother-and-I-used-to-watch-that-when-I-was-a-kid-and-it-holds-a-special-place-in-my-heart-because-it-reminds-me-of-my-grandma. No, ma’am. Although that run-on sentence is very true.
It’s the kind of love like men love football. If I’m around a TV and it’s 11:00 EST on a weekday, it’s on. If I’m not around a TV, I’m finding one. I don’t record it though, because much like sports, I only want to watch it “live.” And, when it’s on, I yell at the screen. It’s an all-encompassing 60 minutes of an adrenaline rush.
A recent opportunity (READ: cheap flights) presented a chance for me to not only travel to the West Coast but to Los Angeles, specifically. Only there was no TPIR taping scheduled for the date of my arrival. So, what do I do? You guessed it, Bob. I flew in two days earlier. There was no way in hell I’d be that close to a live taping of TPIR and miss it. No siree, Bobby. I’d convinced two friends to go with me so we went straight from LAX to CBS studios because…pressed. We’ve established that up there.
I’ve mentioned that I was, in fact, going to check off a major item item on my life’s to-do list, right? The next step I had to do was what? Get a witty t-shirt made for my appearance, of course. All the experts agree that you have to have on a tee-shirt without logos or profanity that’ll stand out in a crowd. And by “experts,” I mean anyone who has ever written an article or a blog or a sentence about how to get on stage at TPIR. So, my girl Shaunte of Too Dope Apparel came through in a pinch and made us all catchy tees to take with us.
Speaking of those articles, I stumbled upon one by Slate magazine, that detailed mathematical strategies of winning all the games on The Price is Right. So, I crammed for the “test” on the plane. It really wasn’t all that much of a cram because I’d had 30+ years of experience so…
So, we arrived in Los Angeles, rented a car, blasted Biggie’s Going Back to Cali. and drove straight to CBS Television City in Hollywood, California. We changed clothes in a nearby parking garage and headed over to the studio! So, let me tell you…standing in line in Television City with my two friends, Chelsea and Kelly, is where I began to lose it. I was really here! We each got stickers with numbers on them and we had to line up according to that number. I walked a few steps and signed a release form. It is here that an actual person–not a computer–wrote my name (spelled right) on the famous yellow name tag. It also here where I finished losing it.
There was only two things standing in my way to Contestant’s Row and then The Showcase Showdown–time and my interview.
Yes, there’s an interview.
I’d been expecting that because, blogs. The thing is: you’re interviewed in groups of 10-20 folks and you have to stand out. I knew this. So, I had gotten my nails done with TPIR graphics at home so I’d have talking points.
The interview is pretty much on-going after you sign the release, but there’s also one special time to show off your crazy. I was grouped with my friends (ours, the only brown faces) and a group of college kids who’d never seen TPIR and/or were unfamiliar with the games. Easy peezy. Each time the interviewer scans the crowd, I flash my nails, jump up and down like a crazy woman, shout “pick me,” and have my two friends point at me and shout “pick her.”
The Interviewer stopped at me each time, talked, winked, gave me a long once-over, or asked to see my nails. He did something ev-er-y single time. Kelly tells me The Interviewer is giving me mad chemistry. Chelsea agrees. I agree. And I’m nervously excited. Here I am!
Here’s what they don’t tell you. This process takes all day. I mean like all damn day! So, we’re in line for hours, acting crazy, hoping to get picked (some of us, anyway) and now we’re hungry and kinda sleepy. Oh, and by they way, they take your phone…bummer! They show you old episodes of TPIR to pass the time, which was fine with me because that’s exactly what I do to pass the time at home. Anyway, we get to the studio (finally) and it’s everything and nothing you’ve ever dreamed of at the same time. How a place can be simultaneously bigger than it looks on TV and smaller than it looks on TV is beyond me, but that’s exactly how I’d describe it. We took our seats eagerly. Here, it is important to remember that cameras are still watching you and you still need to be full of energy and pick-me-mania. It’s also here that I started to fade.
If you’ve ever seen TPIR you’ll know it’s famous catchphrase is “Come On Down!!!” You hear the name being called, you see the crowd cheering wildly, and you notice somebody jump up out of their seat, blind with elation. Well, that’s because they tell the audience to stay seated during that part. Then, after that person gets to Contestant’s Row, the audience jumps up and goes even wilder. So 8 times in one hour or less, we sat down, waited for a name to be called, and then jumped out of our seats to cheer that person on with more jumping. Kelly said it was the equivalent of burpees. She’s absolutely right. No, jumping burpees. We’re all fading fast by this point.
I should mention that Drew Carey has been the host of The Price is Right since 2007. With his dry and sarcastic humor, he’s absolutely hilarious. He kept us entertained while the cameras are rolling and especially when they were not. Chelsea and Kelly had no interest in being called down to Contestant’s Row; they saved that energy for me. But, they both were looking forward to Drew and Drew did not disappoint.
For approximately 35 years, I had dreamed of going to see a live taping of The Price Is Right, making it to Contestants’ Row, win a car on One Away, spinning $1 on The Big Wheel (which is kinda disappointing in person), and winning the Double Showcase on the Showcase Showdown. After six hours, though, I was ready to eat and go to sleep. Nevertheless, I waited patiently for my name. Robbie never called it, though. *insert The Price is Right loser buzzer here.* The eight people who did make it were screaming, body-rolling, cartwheeling, chest-bumping, snake-dancing fools who absolutely deserved to be on that stage after six hours of crazy antics.
If you’ve made it this far, you know that my title was a bit misleading. Blame clickbait. The experience was a great one and I’d go back in a heartbeat. Only it’d have to be at least a year from now. And with different friends. Kelly and Chelsea already said once was enough for them.
You can see us in the audience of The Price Is Right on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 on CBS.