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Carrie Grosvenor

How to Become a Contestant on Let's Make a Deal

By May 17, 2010

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by Chad Mosher

After a modestly successful first season, Wayne Brady himself has reported that the most recent CBS daytime offering Let's Make a Deal is coming back for a second season. A renewal means one thing for fans of the show: they need new contestants! LMAD taped most of its first season in Las Vegas, spending a few weeks at the end of the season in Los Angeles. Right now, we don't know where the next season will take place but this blog will assume they are back in Vegas. This week's column will help you prepare to wheel and deal with Wayne Brady if you want to stop by on a trip.

One thing I would like to note is that while reading, you may feel like this is similar to what to expect for a Price is Right trip. There's a reason for that: Since the show is run by the same company and even the same executive producer, the processes for the two shows are fairly similar with show-related differences.

The first thing you'll need is a ticket for the show. Once you have that secured, you'll want to arrive for the taping an hour or two before the time stated on your ticket. Depending on the show's tape time, there will be a time where the staff passes out numbers for line order. This line is in a specially designated area around the Tropicana, the hotel/casino where tapings are held. Since more tickets are distributed than seats are available in the studio, if you show up and there are 500 people in line it is safe to say that you're not going to make it in. Two hours before the listed time should be sufficient, but if there's a special event in the area and tourists want to see a game show while waiting for a show that night, that window might not be enough.

So you've got your number and you're in line actually waiting to go to the studio. There are a couple of things you need to make sure you have straightened out, in terms of personal belongings and wardrobe to help maximize your chances of coming on down. First, try not to have anything on you other than forms of ID. Electronics and cell phones are a bad idea as they'll get confiscated right away. It's understandable that you might have these with you as you walk along the streets but you might want to just leave 'em in the hotel.

The next aspect of the show is the most fun: the costumes! There are a couple of options you can use for these. One, probably your preferred option, is to bring your own costume. Whether you want to get really creative and design one from scratch at home or just buy one at the local Halloween shop, a cool costume is an essential part of your individuality and that of Let's Make a Deal itself. If you forget your costume at home, there are some other options, too. Some crafty capitalists sell outfits by the Tropicana, probably at higher prices than at a regular store. You can also walk in to the show with your street clothes and you'll be offered goofy props to wear in the studio. Believe it or not, some people in that situation have gotten picked.

The contestant picking process is as simple as a twenty-second conversation with a producer in line. He/she will ask you one or two questions and that is all they will need to know if they want you on the show or not. Your costume actually has very little bearing on your chance of selection. As always, be yourself, just turned up a couple of marks. They're experienced so it will not be hard at all to spot someone faking enthusiasm as opposed to someone who's genuinely excited. Some people think that Wayne picks people from the crowd on his own volition but that is just not true. The producers make deliberate selections for who they want on their show. Even though the quick interview is the prime spot to show your stuff, don't ever turn off your game. There's a good chance someone from the show will be around watching at most times, so keeping your personality vivid and alive throughout your stay is key.

The last part of this day-long affair is to be led into the studio for a taping of Let's Make a Deal. This part shouldn't take more than two hours, including filing in, the warm-up, and the show itself. There are a whole bunch of spots (anywhere from nine to thirteen, depending on the set-up) open for contestants to take during the hour and you've got a good shot of filling one of them. And, hey, after you win a trip to Tahiti and score $18,000 in the Big Deal, I'd go to the slots. You clearly have got luck (and skill from this article) on your side!

Chad Mosher is a past game show contestant, and has experience in many aspects of the game show industry. He contributes a weekly column here at About.com Game Shows, answering your questions and tackling all facets of the game show genre. If you have questions for Chad, you can post them here in the comments, or contact him directly through the link in his bio.

Photo courtesy CBS


August 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm
(1) Matt says:

As a former contestant on The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal, I can assure you that this article is true. The interview process is the most vital part of the process if you hope to get selected as a contestant. When I was being interviewed for The Price is Right I was unfortunate enough to be the very last person in line (I almost didn’t get in! I waited all of five hours in the studio lot waiting for my group of 20 to be interviewed with little hopes of impressing the producer at this point. Surely enough though he walked right up to me and struck up a very enthusiastic conversation about my life and personality, and sure enough I was the second name called down to the show and I even got up on stage with Drew! (I’ll post a link to the episode below. I even made the CBS Hall of Fame!) Let’s Make A Deal is no different. They personally invited me back thanks to my appearance on TPIR. As long as you are genuinely excited to be there and not just along for the ride, you have a great chance at getting on the show!

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