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