By now most of you know that I was a contestant on the Price is Right this past month! The episode aired on Monday February 21st and the entire process was an absolute blast. (If you missed it, you can catch the show at the CBS website here.) Here’s the low-down on the Price is Right inside experience:
1. You arrive at the studio hours early and wait online with just under 400 other people. The studio takes a photo of each audience member with a Price is Right backdrop of the audience member’s choice (this is the digital photo that we posted previously) and you make small talk with the crowd, most of whom are decked out in super bright-colored personalized t-shirts that read “Drew, choose me!” or “Carey me to the showcase!”
2. The selection of contestants is not random. Every audience member is interviewed by the producer of The Price is Right while waiting online. You only have about thirty seconds to answer his open-ended questions of “How ya doing? What do you do?” and I don’t think that anyone comes out of that experience feeling like they will be picked because it’s such a short first impression! But the producer and his assistant definitely look for smiles and energy.
3. You must use your legal name when you fill out forms and write your name tag, even if you don’t normally go by it. That’s why I was Amy on the show instead of Ayo.
4. There is a rush of noise and excitement when contestant names are announced, so the onstage assistants also write your name on huge white poster board so that you can see who is being called. As the lights went on and the show started, I turned to Yair and said “I wish I was the type of person that gets picked. There’s no way they’re going to choose me”. A moment later, we heard: Amy Oppenheimer, come on down! You’re the next contestant!
5. The assistants tell you to act really excited, and high-five and hug people when your name is called. Though for the other contestants and me, it definitely wasn’t acting! There’s no real time to think or process what happened as everyone cheers you down to the stage and the whole experience begins.
6. Always go with your gut! I was going to choose the “1” for my last digit on Cover Up but the entire audience directed me toward the “4”, so I went with it. I was down to a 50-50 chance at a brand new car and missed. It was a big bummer, but playing the game and getting the audience input was so much fun.
7. When you’re no longer on stage, you are seated in a special area to the left of the stage in the front row. You’re offered water and begin to complete paperwork for the prizes you’ve won. It’s your responsibility to pay taxes on the prizes, and you have the option of forfeiting any prize won and therefore not having to pay tax on it. The tax rate was only 7%, which is less than I thought it would be and our obligation was only for around $100 for two rockin’ brand new bicycles.
8. Commercial breaks are just as much fun as show time because Drew Carey hangs with you. I told him about the RV, teaching yoga in the Dominican Republic and he even announced our blog to the folks in the room. You get vibes about people, and Drew seemed like a solid guy.
9. The wheel is not a stationary part of the stage at all! During the commercial break, the red carpet is laid out and the wheel is rolled in on top of it. The wheel itself is very heavy and the assistants warn that you may not be able to spin it. That is why I used all of my body weight to jump and pull the wheel down. Ooh, and I was so preoccupied with the wheel spin that I forgot at first to say hi to people at home, but Drew was nice and let me give a late shout out to my family and my good friend Shira B.
I was on an incredible high for the entire afternoon and wanted to shout it to the world, but had signed an agreement stating that I wouldn’t blab about the contents of the show at the risk of forfeiting my prizes. So difficult!
On an amusing note, a man came up to me on the street after the show and said “my wife wants to talk to you”. I agreed and she said the following: “I knew you were going to get picked. I’m a psychic, you see. I, eh, have a feeling that you are traveling on a journey right now. Across the country.” I took her card, mentally applauded her for being a good listener when Drew announced our RV trip and checked “Be solicited by a psychic” off of the fun, random and quirky list of firsts for the day.
The prizes and the experience were equally thrilling, and the show really brought the audience together from a disjointed bunch of individuals to a room where everyone is rooting for you. Tres cool.
posted by ayo