“Candice Wiggins…come on down!…You are the first four contestants on The Price is Right!” is probably the most thrilling line I’ve ever heard in my entire life. In 2007, The Price is Right was named by TV Guide as “the greatest game show of all time.” (source: www.factinate.com)
Read this blog for the complete play-by-play of the once in a lifetime experience I recently had. Discover what I believe makes the Price is Right the greatest game show.
The Greatest Game Show
On February 13th, I went to a taping of The Price is Right with my best friend Thomas and his cousin Shelton, who was visiting from out of state. Obviously there were no phones allowed inside so these were the last pictures we took before I made the exodus to the stage.
The Greatest Odds
Before the show begins, the process of entry is very long, and there is a lot of waiting. As you march in line in numerical order for the show, you become aware of how slim the odds are that your name will be called. The studio audience contains about 300 people, with only 10 names being called on any given show. In addition to this, there are diehards everywhere, and you’re not sure how to compete with their energy. You start to question your wardrobe, and wonder if you should’ve taken some time to make a really creative and bright t-shirt with Drew Carey’s name on it. I was happy to be there, but as time carried on, I wanted so badly to be called. It was just too fun and wild of an atmosphere to not want to ride the wave of excitement to the Price is Right promise land.
When we finally got to the studio, we shuffled to our assigned seats. This is when you kind of sink into your chair for a moment, straddling the tight line between extreme hope and extreme letdown. You start to feel invisible, but at the same time you also wonder, “why not me?” Thinking about it now, this balance of anticipation and angst would become the theme of my entire experience. All of it is in good fun, however, because the mood there is too elevated to not enjoy yourself, even if you really wish you could be on stage. You’re watching the greatest American game show live! What could be more thrilling than that??
Well…how about Hearing your name called!?
The Greatest Thrill
My heart began racing as soon as I heard my name; I had to remind myself to breathe. Shaking and jumping, I didn’t even have time to think; it was all about maintaining my composure and trying to overcome the thrill of being called. At this point you already feel like the entire world is watching you even though you know it isn’t live television—a very interesting and complex sentiment. After quickly celebrating with my friend Thomas and his cousin, a new intense feeling came over me as I made my way down the illustrious aisle: determination.
The Greatest Competitive Spirit
All you want to do is win, win, win. From the time I was standing and waiting in line, I wanted to win both showcases. (Speaking of winning both showcases, the young lady on my show was $25 away from winning both. Probably one of the most devastating moments I have witnessed.)
When I was called on stage to contestants row, it was thrilling, but it was also coupled with a sense of determination to win. I had watched this show for as long as I can remember watching tv, and I couldn’t help but feel the moment was mine.
The first item was a cell phone and I bid $975 for it. Actual retail price was $1060 so I was the first winner of the show! The audience erupted for me and you really feel the immaculate energy of everyone in the room rooting for you. Such a euphoric sensation that I had never felt. This caused me to be even more determined.
The Greatest Nervous energy
As the first one on stage, I felt a great amount of anxious energy as I knew my game would set the tone for the audience.
The Greatest Host: Drew Carey
Drew Carey was awesome! Nothing felt more inviting and welcoming than joining him onstage. It was as though you really knew him, which was reassuring for me as the great public “eyeball” was on me during my moment.
He has an excellent read of the energy and emotion of people, and I was instantly comforted by his demeanor. He just seems like a regular guy, and not a larger-than-life game show host as one might presume.
The Greatest Prizes
“What am I playing for?” That was my only thought when I was isolated onstage.
Waiting for the prizes to be revealed was a part of the anticipation process that you take for granted watching on television, but in person the total suspense of it is the game. The first prize was revealed to be a tool kit, and it was hard for me to hide my reservation. It was cool, and honestly just being the first contestant on stage was enough of a reward for me, but it’s not the glamorous prize you usually envision for the show, especially for the first game.
Then of course here comes the lead up to...a brand new car!
A Ford Fiesta to be exact. I smiled and clapped while listening to the details about this vehicle so close yet so far away while the audience went wild. Now I was flooded with a wave of wonder if I’ll get the price right. Honestly, when I was up there it didn’t even register to me about the prize, I more so wanted to win the game. To me, winning came first, and the prize came second. Sounds strange, but that’s the way I’m wired. I just wanted to know which game I was going to be playing to win this prize.
The Greatest Games
I’ve never been a gambler, but when Drew revealed the game I was going to be playing it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was probably going to be a long shot. This is the moment where trusting your gut can quickly become gut wrenching.
The only thought that mattered to me was: “WHICH NUMBER DO I PICK!!??”
I picked 7 and was right! Huuuge thrill. What’s the next number? I looked to the audience. Someone held up a hand which silently screamed, “five!” I wanted to say five. I almost said five. Then I looked to the audience again. I didn’t choose 5. I was incorrect. Huuuge letdown. It went like this until the end of the game, which you can watch to see the results.
The Greatest Peer pressure
The peer pressure from the audience is the hardest element to overcome in a situation like this. It’s so easy to yell at the television to the silly person who isn’t listening to your wisdom (duh! Why didn’t you just go with___?) but it is quite another thing when you are feeling the intense pressure and scrutiny onstage. All your mistakes are magnified, and you feel like you’re disappointing your 300 new friends/perfect strangers in the audience when you get something wrong.
The Greatest Spin
I returned to the stage to do what I had always dreamed of doing since I was a little girl watching this game show in my living room: spin the spectacularly beautiful wheel. The wheel itself is not as heavy or difficult to spin as I thought it would be. I, like each one of the other 5 people who got the chance to spin, wanted to spin a 100 and go to the showcase. I got 1/2 of those things, and you will have to watch my episode to see how it plays out.
The Greatest highs and Lows
In this game, all your emotions are exaggerated. Winning feels so good, but losing hurts so bad.
The disappointment of losing out on a prize is pretty brutal for your psyche. You begin to beat yourself up about what you did or did not do.
For example, all I could think about for the remainder of the time was “I should’ve picked 5.” In fact, I couldn’t get that out of my head for the next couple of days.
However, when I look back and think about it, there was no way that I would’ve gotten all the numbers correct. It’s so hard to be put on the spot like that, and the moment is over as quickly as it comes. I still won, as my friend Thomas pointed out, and he was right. Still, the inner competitor in me was fuming about not winning the big prize in this game.
The Price is Right perspective
It’s really how you look at things. Yes, I was disappointed that I didn’t win the “big prize”, or spin a 100 the first time around, but I quickly got out of my own angst when the woman who advanced to the showcase lost by an overbid of $25. She was literally $20 away from winning both showcases! I saw her afterwards and knew her let down was much more aggressive than mine was. I also thought about the literal hundreds of people who didn’t get called onstage that day, and I instantly became grateful for the opportunity I was given to play on such a classic, cherished game show.
The Greatest Experience
All in all, being a contestant on The Price is Right was a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. There is a reason why this show always has been and always will be the greatest game show of all time.
The Greatest Lesson
In life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but if television taught me anything this day, it’s that you live to play another game.
Missed my appearance? Catch the episode on cbs.com! Look for Season 47, Episode 118!
Four time All-American, WNBA Champion, Edutainer and Coach