The Price is Right

Posted by jay on Dec 10, 2007 in married life |

November 14

What an interested experience. We got up at 4am to be sure we were at the studio - in line - by 5. We’d heard from several sources that you won’t get a spot unless you’re there that early. Well, it may be a slow season, because we were #24 and 25 to arrive. The good news was that we were guaranteed a spot in the audience. The bad news is that they don’t start taping until 1pm. So, we had some time to kill.

We took that opportunity to have a bloody mary (or 2) and write out thank you cards in the car. The accomplish this, we went to the best CVS in the world. They literally had top top shelf liquor - anything you would want! We bought some stuff on sale and headed back to the car.

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How does that song go - “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”. AM counts, right? Anyway, we got all the cards finished up so we headed back to hang out with the cool ladies we met (#s 21-23). And wait…

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…And wait some more. That has got to be the most inefficient process I’ve ever seen. Sure, I’m an ops consultant and have a freakish nature of spotting these things, but I think everyone in line could agree they could speed things up a bit. I felt bad for the poor pages that manage the process. You come early and get an “order of arrival” pass. Then, you return and exchange that for a “priority number”. That’s the number that guarantees your spot in the audience. You could probably guess our priority numbers were also 24 and 25. Then, you move to another section of waiting benches and wait some more. After an hour more, they come around and have you fill out your name, SSN, etc. After that’s done - and another 30 minutes of waiting - they give you your Price is Right name tag. That’s the price tag thing you see on all the contestants. After about 30 more minutes, it’s time for the interview with the producers.

You have about 30 seconds to show you’re right for the show. They ask your name, where you’re from, and what you do for a living. I had a decent pitch prepared involving Cleveland (home of the host, Drew Carey) and our honeymoon. As it is, you only have <3% chance of getting called down, but I was hoping those 2 things could improve it a bit. As luck would have it, they take 12 people at a time to interview. For those math majors out there, that means I (Jay - at #24) was separated from Suz (#25). So, my honeymoon act would have to be improvised. When they got to me, I did the whole “Cleveland, OH” thing, which got a few laughs. For my job, I just said I was a management consultant, but had the sole job of making my new wife happy for the next month. Cheesy, yes, but this is the Price is Right folks. The 21-23 ladies thought for sure I’d get called down.

Once you’re done interviewing, you end up moving to another set of benches (we’ve now seen 3 sides of the Studio City building) and wait some more. See, since we #s 24 and 25, we had to wait for about 300 more people to finish interviewing. The good news is that they let you get up and get food, etc. The bad news was that you were confined to the lot so you had to choose their food. The even worse news is that you had to walk about a damn mile to get back to the front of the waiting areas. So, we got some water and Doritos and made due.

Finally, at about 12:40 (a mere 7.5 hours after we arrived), we got escorted into the studio. I had 2 main impressions. 1) It felt like we were stuck in the 70s, even though the studio had apparently been “updated” for Carey’s arrival. 2) It’s way, way smaller than it looks on TV. The entire stage is no more than 100 feet wide. It’s amazing the camera angles they use to make it look so much bigger. Anyway, being such low numbers, we got seated right behind contestants row. If you watch (December 11), you see us both just 2 rows behind the right most person in contestants row. Jay yelled a lot of prices. He even got one exactly right, which the girl used and won $500. Of course, she never offered to split it, which I thought was the right thing to do! She did do a little turn around to acknowledge that I was the rightful owner of that bid. Such is life.

Before they start taping, one of the producers comes out and notes where all the contestants that will get called down are sitting. Most people in the audience must not realize they’ve already selected the contestants via the interview, because you saw some major cheese going on. They had 70s dance music playing (I guess to pump up the audience), and whichever direction the producer was looking, you saw about 50 people stand up and start dancing something fierce. It almost felt like a really bad wedding reception. In any case, she looked directly at us 2 times, which had hopes high.

Sadly, neither of us got called to come on down.

It was a pretty fun experience, though. Drew Carey is absolutely hilarious and had us laughing the entire time. It was also neat to see the behind the scenes and how they set up for the games. Given the 4am to 2:30pm investment of time, however, we’re not sure we’d go back again. It would be really fun to do in a group, so maybe we’ll keep that option open.

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