Come on Down! Part II: That Time I Was the Next Contestant on the Price Is Right

February 26, 2019

In case you missed it, I went to a taping of The Price Is Right on Dec. 18, 2018. Even though today is Feb. 26 (five days after the episode aired), I am writing this post on December 20 while it’s still fresh, which means by now you should (could?) know that I was called to COME ON DOWN and be the next contestant on The Price Is Right!!!


So anyway, yes, that is a thing that happened, and I am STILL riding high from it! I also imagine I still will be in February (when this post goes live) because it was one of the greatest moments of my life. We are talking lifelong dream stuff here. I MEAN. Whew.

Okay, so here’s what happened.

The night before I set out to make my shirt (“Big Wheel or Bust”). After I made the shirt, I was filled with so much nervous energy, I could hardly get to sleep. The Price Is Right!!! I was going to a taping! The next day. AHHHHH. What if they called me down? What if they didn’t? I couldn’t stand it.

The next morning (aka the day of) was not off to a great start. The friend I was supposed to go with texted me to tell me she couldn’t go because her daughter was sick. I was also dealing with a slight IBS flare up, which meant my stomach was a little in turmoil. For some reason, I was also super itchy and my hives were acting up (it turns out this was because I hadn’t taken my allergy meds 🙄). But! I had determined that I was still going to go and have a blast. So, I gave myself a pep talk and off I went.

When I got to CBS, I immediately felt good about my shirt because the security guard who was checking us (everyone in line) in called me “Big Wheel,” so I knew it made an impression. I was super nice and friendly and enthusiastic with everyone because I heard from several sources (and read online) that the producers were watching from the beginning to see who would they pick to be on the show. (I mean, this is also just how I act now, but I was also super cognizant of it.)

As already documented, I talked to some people in line and made friends. I also learned that a lot of people may not mind being called down but a lot of them really DO NOT want to get called at all. The woman I was sitting next to told me she was nervous that they might call her, and a man on my other side said he was nervous about the interview because he didn’t want them to be interested in him at all.

Okay, so during the interview, Phil, the producer, asked people their names and what they did. Most people gave him one-word answers and then he quickly moved on, so I realized that the trick was to engage him. (Again, I knew this from the reading, etc., but seeing it in person sealed it for me.) When it was my turn, I said I was a professor and that I had stayed up all night making my shirt. He made a little fun of me (“It only has 12 letters!”) so I mentioned that my friend couldn’t come with me, but that I was so excited to be there. I also was bouncing quite a bit because of my enthusiasm.

After the interview finished, my line mates said they thought he liked me, and I might have a good chance at getting called. They also said they would root for me if I did get called since I was by myself.

Blah blah blah all the stuff from my previous post blah blah blah.

Okay, so George Gray starts calling people to COME ON DOWN, and it all happens really fast. A woman two rows in front of me gets called, and we’re like, “Oh this is happening RIGHT NOW.” Again, it’s super loud and we’re watching people go up and it’s THE SHOW and it’s REAL and RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

So I was sitting there not getting called, and at some point it’s like, okay, they really may not call me, but that’s fine but this is fun. George Gray said that they had been watching us from the beginning and were still watching us because even that could make an impression. They want people who are excited to be there! So I was like, “That’s cool. There may be some people more excited than me. I can deal with that.” But I was also like, “Whew, I’m so exhausted from sitting in the audience and WHOO CLAP CLAP YAAAAAAY CLAP CLAP WHOOO.”


Y’all, I flipped OUT. I’m not sure how much they showed on the TV yet (again, writing this from Dec. 19), but I screamed so loud said OMG OMG OMG OMG over and over again, did about 50 praise dances, and then RAN to bidders’ row, high-fiving people as I went.

I don’t know if they showed it, but I kept fanning myself because (a) I couldn’t catch my breath and (b) I couldn’t believe it. I had to tell myself to focus. I mean, I was the second to last person called up to bidders’ row! I was thisclose to not being on the show! But there I was! In bidders’ row!

Okay, so then James (my future husband–again, see previous post) (P.S. I know he is actually married, so, you know, joking) comes out on this scooter, and I’m asked to bid first (first!) and bid $450. Everybody else bids a bunch more and then the actual retail price is $699, which means I GET TO GO UP ON STAGE WITH DREW!!!!

So, I flipped out again hahaha. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. More screaming, more praise dancing. Then, I ran on stage and, again, I was just full of energy and my heart was pounding so fast. I ran and hugged Drew and just stood there bouncing from foot to foot.

Let me just take a minute to say that when I watched the show before I thought sometimes the people were faking their enthusiasm and over the topness, but, y’all, it is NOT A JOKE. Like, the amount of extraness we have is real. Mostly because of the shock of being called up and realizing OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING and also because OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.

I talked to the guy Jeremy who won the first bid (he’s the one who played Temptation), and he was like, “It was an out of body experience. I still don’t remember exactly what happened.” And remember how I said it’s super loud in there? He couldn’t remember his prizes and didn’t really understand/hear that Drew said he could keep the other stuff. Part of it was that he had promised his daughter that he would go for the car if he got the opportunity, but the other part was OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. It’s wild.

Back to me. So I was offered the opportunity to play the switch prices game, and I kept looking at the crowd and being distracted and IT’S SO LOUD and THE PRIZES ARE WHAT? One of the stage managers was holding a card with the brands and a list of the prizes because, again, SO LOUD that I couldn’t hear George Gray. And Drew is talking to me the whole time, reminding me of the game and where to look, etc. And so, as I said before, Drew and I are now friends haha.

Anyway, I lost my game because I listened to the audience. Hot tip: the audience cannot hear what George is saying either and most of them can’t see the prizes that well. There are monitors up but most of us were watching the actual stage. The thing that threw me off was the laser printer because I knew–I knew–that the washer and dryer cost at least $3k, but I wasn’t sure about that stupid printer. ALSO, and this is important, I wasn’t really looking at or seeing the prizes. It wasn’t until I had already said to switch that I actually paid attention, and I knew as soon as I actually looked at the washing machine in that split second before they lifted the reveal cards that I had made a mistake. I am still kicking myself because I really needed/wanted a new computer. Bah.

Okay, but IN THE MOMENT, I was like, “Bummer,” but then Drew told me I could go say hi to the models, so of course, I flew across the stage and into James’s arms (see above/previous post re: planning our wedding). I then hugged the female model (Amber, I think) (mostly because she kind of made a face like “of course” when I bypassed her and went to James, but also because she was part of the experience) who was super nice and told me not to worry about it because the games can be hard and confusing, especially at the moment. She was like, “There’s just so much going on.” Everybody said not to worry about it because “you still get to spin the wheel.”

After that, I was seated in the front left of the studio. A page called me backstage so they could put a mic on me. It was so hard to concentrate on what was happening on the stage after that. I spent some time talking to the woman sitting next to me, Phil came out and shook my hand, and I kept lamenting how I knew I blew it but also OMG BIG WHEEL.

And remember how I said I was so exhausted from being an audience member? WELL NOT ANYMORE. The adrenaline was zipping through my veins, and I had so much energy that I could barely sit still.

Also, the last pricing game was super hype because Connie was the actual best. She was so hilarious when she first got called up (again, not sure what’s going to make it on the aired show), and we were all cheering for her. When she got called up, we were all chanting her name: “Connie! Connie! Connie!” I mean, we all wanted her to win.

Oh and like I said in the previous post, everybody is rooting for everybody. We were all just out of our minds that we were either there and/or got called up so kept congratulating each other and didn’t stop rooting for each other.

Ok, so then it was time to spin the wheel. The main thing to know is that the wheel is HEAVY. I had dreams of being one of those people who made it spin and spin, but honestly, I was just excited it got around one full time.

After I lost out on the big wheel (I spun 30 cents. I mean, seriously), I went to sit back in the front row and that’s where Jeremy and I had our talk about the out of body experience. We were both just like, “I can’t believe this is real. I can’t believe this happened.” That’s also when I explained to him that he could have kept his other prizes and he admitted he couldn’t even remember what they were.

Then someone came out and explained that we would be escorted to a room to go over all the prize business.

Blah blah showcase showdown that I wasn’t a part of blah blah YAY CLAP WHOOOO YAY.

Prize business is that you can elect to keep or forfeit your prizes, all prizes are taxed, you don’t get them until about three months after the episode airs (so May for us), paperwork, more talking to each other about how this was the best ever OMG IT’S REAL out of body experience, etc.

Then we all say our goodbyes, get handed the cue card they held up with our name on it when they called us to COME ON DOWN (again, super loud/hard to hear in there, plus it’s just confirmation that YES, THEY CALLED YOUR NAME), and then we go collect our cell phones so we can go home.

img 4327

See? Proof.

And we get to take the memory with us forever. And keep pretending that nothing big happened except being part of the audience until the day the episode finally airs.

BEST DAY EVER. I really cannot emphasize it enough. Gah.

So, if you want to see me act a fool on national TV and missed it airing on TV, episodes stream on CBS. It’s the Feb. 21 one. :D

Anyway, if there’s something else you want to know that I didn’t cover in the post, please ask away!

slice of life individual

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

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  1. Ally Bean

    You are a star now! I’m humbled to be able to say I knew you back when you were on your way up. What a cool experience to be on that show. Congratulations, Big Wheel.

  2. Kim A.

    Way to go, Big Wheel! Your writing is as exciting as you are! I could feel your excitement as I read on and on!

  3. Sharlene

    What an experience!! And thanks for sharing it with us! Just reading your post was exciting. :)

  4. Lisa Corbett

    I am so jealous! I loved Price is Right when I was a kid, and always wanted to be on the show. I haven’t watched it in years, but I am sure my dad would have seen you because he never misses. Thank you for sharing so many details. :)

  5. Adrienne

    Congratulations!!!! When I was a kid, I watched TPIR every day after school with my mom. Those were the Bob Barker days and reading your post has brought back many happy memories.

  6. K E Garland

    Girl, what? I can’t believe you held onto this secret so long!

  7. Leigh Anne Eck

    This is like so awesome! I can’t believe you have not been able to talk about this. I loved TPIR, but I do miss Bob Barker – no one can replace him. Great story!!

  8. Brian Rozinsky

    Big Wheel, keep on turnin’! Thanks for this behind-the-scenes glimpse, brimming with your enthusiasm.

  9. Elisabeth Ellington

    This is hilarious! The Price Is Right was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid–so I totally get your enthusiasm.

  10. Andi

    OMG OMG! I have a happy headache just reading this! <3

  11. Ramona

    Oh, the show is so noisy. I can’t imagine being there in person. You captured all the excitement and thrill. Sorry I’m too late to your blog to see the segment when it aired. BESTDAYEVER. Congrats on being selected.


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