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Carrie Grosvenor

What Happened Today on The Price is Right?

By December 16, 2008

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There are times, like today, when the hustle and bustle of the holiday season mean that I can't watch all of my favorite game shows when they air. Instead, I end up recording them and watching them in the evenings, as I'm sure many of you do. Tonight, catching up with today's episode of The Price is Right, I was stunned by the ending.

The two contestants competing in the showcase, Terry and Sharon, both made excellent bids. Sharon ended up just shy of $500 under her showcase, while Terry nailed his exactly to the dollar. That's right, he got the exact retail price of his showcase, and ended up winning both of them. You'd think this would be cause for celebration, but host Drew Carey delivered the news as if he were notifying the next of kin in a homicide case. He deadpanned the entire reveal, mentioned that this hasn't happened since the early 70s (and even then it wasn't on the daytime version of the show, so this is an historic moment for daytime), and segued seamlessly into the "get your pet spayed or neutered" line. And that was that. Or was it?

Apparently, according to the message boards at Golden Road, one of their regular members was in the audience on the day this show was taped, and had been shouting out pricing answers throughout the show. This isn't unusual in and of itself - anyone who watches the show knows that the audience does this, and that contestants look to these shouted answers for guidance. However, in this case, the audience member, who calls himself "Ted" at Golden Road, is an expert on pricing these items and has some experience giving correct dollar amounts away to contestants. If you watch the show again, it's very clear that contestant Terry was looking directly at a single person in the audience for help.

So, this begs the question, is all of this fair? Is it fair for someone with a vast amount of knowledge about the show and the items that go up for bids to be seated in the audience and able to help out the contestants? There don't appear to be any rules being broken here, but does it take away from the game? I think it does, but where does the fault then lie? Whoever puts together these showcases recycles prizes quite often, so an astute viewer could easily start to memorize some of the more common items. It should really be up to the show's staff to bring in a few new prizes, or change around some of the ones they seem to favor.

I'm also very disappointed with Drew Carey's actions on the show today. Even though there might have been some controversy surrounding Terry's big win, Carey killed the moment completely for those watching by not showing even a hint of excitement. The average viewer would never know that there might have been something odd about Terry's guess, and walks away from the show with a bad taste in his or her mouth over Carey's reaction, or complete lack thereof.

If you missed the show, CBS.com has the entire episode available, or you can catch just the showcase segment (along with some interesting captions) on YouTube. What do you think of this whole situation? Was Drew right to react the way he did, and is it okay for audience members like "Ted" to be involved in the game to this extent?

Photo courtesy CBS

Comments

December 16, 2008 at 11:45 pm
(1) Myke25 says:

I can tell you how much Hot Pockets are and how much V8 juice is because one of them is featured on every show. If they don’t want people memorizing prices, don’t reuse the same items every day. I bet the producers of Press Your Luck didn’t think anyone would notice the pattern of the flashing lights, either. Don’t treat viewers like we’re stupid. We sometimes prove you wrong.

That said, even if they suspected foul play, it should have been treated on-air like it was greatest freakin’ bid ever…not buried. The show and Drew handled this very badly.

December 17, 2008 at 10:28 am
(2) tonya j says:

well, maybe Drew knew something was up. I hate when folks gang up on Drew as if he makes a million mistakes…
I have not seen that episode in question. As I am responding to this e mail, there is a link which states The Price is Right Cheats…hmmm..
Maybe Drew did right by keeping it low key. I am sure that the audience’s excitement was hyper enough…
I wish they would get some new items for the contestants to bid on. I tivo each episode and I can tell you the price of most of those grocery items.

December 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm
(3) Mark Baker-Wright says:

I disagree. As was said before, even if Drew knew something was up, he should have shown more surprised and emotion at the feat. That’s his job as a host, and he failed miserably.

I’ve been a Drew defender more often than not, and I’m certainly not going to call for his replacement on this issue alone. But this time, at least, he blew it.

December 17, 2008 at 9:20 pm
(4) mike says:

Drew was exactly right. It’s about guessing and about fun, and not about cheating to win. What the guy did was cheat. He’s lucky he came away with anything. People like him are why this country is where it is today.

December 18, 2008 at 7:51 am
(5) Bob says:

The Price is Right is supposed to be about who is the best pricer, not who knows the best pricer in the audience. The show has turned too much into just relying on the audience for help instead of doing it yourself.

Honestly in my opinion, the contestant did nothing wrong nor did the creepy fanboi who has too much time on his hands to have every price memorized (go to Golden-Road) and just see how many creepy people there are.

The producers are totally at fault for allowing this to happen. They know there are people out there who know the prices backwards and forwards. They need to mix it up a little, get some different prizes or for things like trips and cars, throw different add-ons.

As far as Drew, I think he does a good job and while his reaction to the perfect bid was probably his feeling inside. He needs to know as a TV performer, he has to at least pretend like he’s extremely excited about it.

December 18, 2008 at 9:39 am
(6) mb says:

My comment is simply this. If the contestant was not in collusion previously with the expert, but simply knew that he was good at shouting out the prices then the reaction of Drew Carey is a disgrace. This has to be one of the most akward moments in television history, that I can remember. This is the equivalent of hitting a homerun to win a game and just mumbling about it. Or returning the final kick for a game winning touchdown and just commenting about it in a passe way.

Simply horrible way to destroy the franchise and rob it of an incredible moment. Drew Carey should speak out as to what was wrong with him and why he reacted this way and too be honest, if he doesn’t like doing this show, they should replace him.

December 19, 2008 at 2:35 am
(7) Mike says:

To the other “Mike” this is why the world is today? Lay off the crack pipe bro and read some real news. I like Drew in his standup and old TV show, but he is totally wrong for this gig. A real undertaker could do a better job. Oh wait, what was the tall skinny guy from his 2 shows (quick google) Ryan Stiles would have been great! His improv is outstanding, maybe thats why Drew just sat around during Who’s Line.

December 19, 2008 at 10:21 am
(8) Joe Boles says:

Drew Carey is a virus that has been killing this show since his first appearance. I used to watch every morning, or at least TiVo the shows. Now I only catch one in a long while and when I do, I’m appalled. There was one episode where he mixed up the rules for Bullseye and Grocery Game. Another time, instead of letting the contestant say, “Do I have at least X numbers right?” Drew did it himself and went right on down the line: “Does he have one right? Yep. Two right? Yep. How bout three? Nope. You gotta change three numbers.” What the hell?? I hope he goes into cardiac arrest from his fatness so we finally get a better host.

December 19, 2008 at 1:23 pm
(9) GameShowJunkie1 says:

Drew’s reaction to what should’ve been the greatest moment in TPIR history was definetly killed by his bitter emotion or lack thereof on Terry’s perfect showcase bid. If Bob Barker was there, he would have gone out of his mind with excitement and would’ve been happy for Terry. That bad reaction from Drew left a very AWFUL taste in my mouth.

Drew needs to be replaced ASAP simply because he does not give a damn about the show or the contestants any longer and he never was right for The Price Is Right from the beginning.
What they need to do is get somebody like John O’Hurley to host the show. John is like the Bob Barker of the new millenium and should not be wasting away on Family Feud!
I heard Drew almost lost his job beacause of how he acted when should’ve been FIRED on the spot! Besides all that; Congrats to Terry!

December 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm
(10) Jason says:

Terry is a cheater and Jim Carey is an bad host for not getting more excited.

December 22, 2008 at 7:46 pm
(11) Jim says:

OMG
JIM Carey would be an awesome host !!!!

December 24, 2008 at 10:54 pm
(12) andrew b says:

How is that cheating?

Audience participation is legal. This is audience participation, whatever you make of it. Either it is or it isn’t.

December 26, 2008 at 5:58 pm
(13) Jason says:

Fine Andrew it really isn’t technically cheating but I still fell it is unfair to have an expert in the audience who can give you EXACT dollar amounts. Also I agree that Drew Carey needs to be replaced with either John O’Hurley or Maurey Povich (I’ve seen both of them host game shows and liked them both)

December 26, 2008 at 6:32 pm
(14) Christina says:

I think Drew was stunned and then moved onto finish the episode the way he needs to.

December 26, 2008 at 8:19 pm
(15) Bronson says:

Technically anyone with an iPhone or similar device in the audience can almost instantly know MSRPs. Same goes for Jeopardy and Millionaire, but the audience can’t blurt out anything on those shows.

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