Author Topic: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!  (Read 1229 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Plinkoman

  • 5/28/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 1881
Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« on: June 02, 2019, 01:16:54 AM »
Well, it finally happened. On December 11, 2018 I got to hear those three little words I've been waiting my whole life to here that special someone say to me: "Come on down!" Grab some popcorn, a drink, and your favorite candy bar, because I'm about ready to tell you about the most amazing week of my life!

About a year ago some rodeo friends of mine told me they were going to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo, which occurs every year in December. I've always wanted to go, and they told me it was an amazing experience and something every rodeo fan should see. My mom told me there was no way I was going to let me go to Vegas without her (this is something she's wanted to do for years). I looked up the TPIR schedule and saw that they were taping shows the week after we were going to Vegas, so we decided to spend a week in LA for Price. When tickets were available we ordered priority tickets for all four early tapings that week, plus the early tapings of Wheel of Fortune for that Friday.

After spending a week in Vegas, we arrived in LA on Sunday, Dec. 9. We stayed right across the street from the Fairfax entrance to Television City at the Farmer's Daughter's Market Hotel. We got up early the next morning, ate some breakfast, and then walked across the street to the lot. After presenting our tickets we got in our first line. We were numbers 16 and 17 that morning. The guy sitting next to me was a gentleman named Roscendo, who was a LFaT of the show and has been to over 135 tapings with Drew. He was a contestant with Bob back in 1994 and lost Spelling Bee and then went on to the Showcase, but he went over. We talked a lot about the show, the games, and even some of our favorite retired games. The shirt I wore this day said, "Jeffrey is my name and Plinko is my game." Mom wore a shirt that said, "Lydia is my name and Cliff Hangers is my game."

A guy came out and passed out our numbers and paperwork, which just made sure you were eligible to be a contestant. It only took a few minutes to fill out. After this, a lady came by and gave us our nametags. Then we got our picture made at the old Showcase podiums and then our souvenir picture made at the green screen. They only offer the Big Wheel as a background nowadays, as in the past I had heard they gave you a choice of the Wheel, Cliff Hangers, and Plinko.

The next line was for the interview with Stan. He has a ton of energy! He asked me what I did and I told him I work at rodeos and I'm an RN, which comes in handy when I injure myself at rodeos! I wasn't too energetic; at this time I still wasn't sure if I wanted to be a contestant or just watch the show (that feeling didn't last long, though). After the interview security took our phones from us and we got in the last line before the studio. We watched an episode from season 46- and it was awesome to watch TPIR with a bunch of other fans without the distraction of smartphones! After waiting a bit longer we finally got into the studio.

I was in awe of how surreal this was; finally seeing my favorite show in person. The set really does look a lot smaller in person! It also looked a bit dull with all the lights turned off. We walked in and they were playing a collection of party songs, and everyone was dancing and getting into it! After the songs they introduced George, and I went straight into fanboy mode. George did a great job at his warmup and then we heard Adam Sandler's voice, who told George it was time to start the show. From them it was fast and furious, and the next thing we know Drew was walking out the big doors (insert fanboy mode here). From there, it moved fast. This was show 8621K which aired Feb. 11. The show was definitely in budget mode, but it was still a blast, since it was my first ever show in person. The first game I ever got to see was Side By Side, and then Punch-a-Bunch, which was super neat to see live. After Cover Up was lost, Drew and George started talking about the Cover Up strategy and how if you watch the show enough you would pick up on that. They both said, "It pays to watch TPIR!" (I swear Drew is truly morphing into Bob every day!)

I had met Zachary, who played Vend-o-Price, on that show. I was really hoping he would win, but he lost. It was still neat to see someone who I had met in line up on the stage. After a loss in Balance Game we finally got our first win in Swap Meet- and we all went crazy! We finally had a win! After the first show was finished taping we picked up our phones and souvenir pics and grabbed a bite to eat. I was in bed pretty early that night, since the show really does wear you out!

The next morning I woke up and started thinking about what I was going to say in my interview. After seeing the show in person I knew I could do it and I started thinking of what I could say to impress Stan and show him I would be a good contestant. I made up my mind and we set off (across the street) to the Bob Barker Studio for the second taping.

The process was the same as the day before, but this time mom and I were wearing shirts that said, "We flew 2,147 miles just to take a walk down the Golden Road." I got to my interview with Stan and he recognized me from the day before. He asked what I did and this is what I told him: "I'm from Augusta, GA and I work at rodeos... and I have a really cool story! Last year in April I was working the arena at a rodeo and a bull named Backstabber came up behind me while I was on the fence and started ramming into me and broke my ankle. I spent a few months out of work recovering from ankle surgery, but every day I watched TPIR with my grandparents. My papa always told me I need to get on this show. He passed away later that year, but I told him I was going to come out here to get on the show, and now I'm here! And don't worry about that bull- he's at McDonald's now!" Stan laughed and then he asked me what my favorite game was (besides Golden Road). I told him Plinko and he asked why. "Because it's pure fun and I love watching the chips bounce around the board! I also love Shell Game, because my Grandma would play that with me using Dixie cups and a marble."

After the interview was over, the lady standing next to my mom, Mary Jane, who had been to over 100 tapings with Drew, told us that she could tell that Stan liked us and that his assistant was taking notes like crazy on me- which was usually a good sign! Also, there was a family ahead of us in line kept calling out people's names "for practice when we come on down!" When he called me I went running down the line and was high fiving everyone. He did this several times- his name was Raymond and I told him that everybody loves him. I hope my energy during that also helped in deciding to call me down.

When we got in the studio for this taping all of the monitors had the "Dream Car Week" logo on it. I freaked out! We were at DCW! Yadi, the stagehand who tells the audience when to clap, be quiet, shout out answers, etc., and who revealed the names of the contestants had two car drawings attached to her headphones. George's warmup was the same as the day before, but he talked about it being DCW and that one person was going to get to play for a luxury car!

The show started like normal, except Drew was pushed out in the Porsche Boxster. The crew on this show was absolutely amazing, as they pushed Drew out in the car, pushed the car back out, showed and took away the first IUFB, brought out Pick-a-Pair and had it hidden behind the GPT all before they played the first game- they are a well-oiled machine! After this, they went straight into the next game, which was an evil setup of Switch? Then they went to commercial and reintroduced Drew to the audience. They had to redo his intro each episode, so they had the first four back in Contestant's Row and redid from George saying, "You are the first four contestants on TPIR!" all the way to Drew asking to have the first IUFB revealed. During the commercial break I noticed there was a camera directly in front of me, and I was thinking that someone from my section was going to be called down. Had no clue it was me, though!

They came back from commercial and then George said a name. I thought he said Jeffrey, but I wasn't sure. Yadi flipped that sign around and there was my name! My mom and I started freaking out! I jumped out and everyone sitting near the aisle started high-fiving me. It felt like a dream. I got to the front and there was Drew. I grabbed his hand. I was kind of in a state of shock- I got called down on TPIR!!! So cool! I knew the next game was Pocket Change, because I saw the side of the board behind the GPT after they had set it up. The next IUFB was a coffee package. I had studied up on prices on the show (thanks to Adam's recaps!) and I knew a lot of the coffee packages were between $800 and $1,000. I figured $899 sounded nice- just over by $30! Darn, although Pocket Change was set up hard, so at least I avoided a mean setup.

They went to commercial and Stan came over to Emelia, Eunice, and me and told us we were doing great and to keep up the energy! He told us that we needed to show the folks at home that same special spark that Stan saw in us. He's awesome!

They came back from commercial and called down Shannon, who was sitting across from me in the line outside the studio. They showed the grill and I knew that those can get pricey, especially those pizza ovens. I also realized that I was bidding last. I didn't see any games on the main stage, so I knew that it was either a turntable game or a game behind the big doors- probably a quickie. I didn't really care, I just wanted to play a game! I listened carefully to the bids and I noticed they were on the low side. I did the old-fashioned one-up bid and I won! That grill is getting sold, by the way; except the knives since mom wants the knives. I can only cook things in a microwave and it's too dang hot to grill out here in Georgia!

I remember thinking two things: don't trip on the stairs and see where Drew was going. I saw Drew go up to the turntable and I just remember thinking, "Turntable, turntable, turntable." I didn't want to be one of those people who get up and are frantically looking all around for Drew. I get up on the turntable and hug Drew (I didn't want to hurt him- big rule of Price is "don't hurt the host"). He asked me where I was from and I told him Augusta, GA. They showed me the trip to Hong Kong and I immediately look at my mom, who told me "Don't win anything stupid like a trip to Asia!" Mom was freaking out. When George said that I could drive across one of the longest bridges in the world, Drew turned to me and told me, "I thought he was going to say a trip to the Florida Keys!" And then he cracked himself up! I love Drew.

While George was describing the trip I asked Drew what game I was going to play. He said, "Oh, I don't know..." and I told him I knew the rules to every single game on the show! I asked him if I was pricing the trip or small prizes, since they had already played a GP game. He told me it was just the trip. So, I was about to get one-prize quickied on The Price Is Right. I figured the price was probably somewhere between $9,000 and $12,000, so I figured Check Game was out. This left Flip Flop, Squeeze Play, Coming or Going, and Push Over. Flippy and Squeezey can be crapshoots. CoG has the trick to it, and I usually win Pushy when I watch at home. George concluded the prize description and the turntable started turning. I remember it felt like an eternity watching that turntable spin around to reveal my game. I also remember thinking, "Not Squeeze Play or Flip Flop, please! Come on Push Over or Coming or Going!"

And then I saw Push Over... I was so relieved. I took one look at the setup and figured it had to be $11k. As you could probably tell, I knew what I was doing. When I stopped at $11,848 the crowd went crazy, so my pick was confirmed. Drew told me I was confident, probably because it didn't take me long at all to decide on a price. Then he revealed that I had won- and I lost it! Mom lost it too! I remember thinking what I should do next. I saw the stage manager, Eric, hold up his tablet with the word "STAY" in red letters on it. I stood right next to Drew and gave him (and the camera) the thumbs up. Eric gave it back to me!

Then I turned to Drew and told him the story about getting my ankle broken and how I promised my Papa I was going to make it on the show one day. The crew was also there listening to my story, including Eric, Chris the game producer, the cameramen, Yadi, and the page who leads people off the stage. I also told Drew that the bull was now at McDonald's.

And Drew cracked up.

I couldn't believe that I had just cracked up one of my favorite game show hosts/comedian/improvisational superstars! Drew turns to the audience and George and says, "Hey, George, listen to this!" He then tells everyone the story and how the bull who broke my ankle ended up at McDonald's. George and the whole audience started laughing! I got to sit right in front of my mom, so that was neat! Next was 1/2 Off (I would've gotten all the SP's right) and then Money Game. Money Game was easy for me. I tried my best to get the contestant to pick 14. I kept yelling, "14! 14! El Cheapo! El Cheapo!" But it was to no avail. After they went to commercial, Drew asked the audience who would have won the game. About half the audience applauded. Then he asked how many in the audience had ever heard of El Cheapo, and about a fourth of the audience applauded. Drew said, "Jeffrey was going crazy over here, trying to get Jose to pick El Cheapo. I bet Jeffrey watches the show every day, don't you, Jeffrey? See? It pays to watch this show!" LFaT confirmed by Drew himself! Yeah!

Then we got to spin the Wheel, which was heavy. I was glad that Eunice got the dollar, since she was pretty upset after losing 1/2 Off. I told her she was going to get that dollar and go to the Showcase! I was hoping she would have won that car, though!

After the show the four of us guys were lead to the back of the audience, then the three left in Contestant's Row, then Eunice, and then Zakia, whose whole body was shaking after she won the Showcase. They called the $100 door prize winner and he joined us. We were lead to an office and we waited for them to go over our paperwork with us. I talked with Eunice a lot during the time, since they did us towards the end. They gave me all my papers and the cue card with my name on it. I met up with my mom and we freaked out all over again! We went to Chipotle, which is next to the studio, and then we went back to the hotel. They told us at the show to not tell anyone about our appearance, but I had to call my grandma and let her know!

Okay, so that was just my first two days. Since this post is getting a bit long I'm going to stop here. I'll fill in the other two days and my WoF story in my next post!
3,436 days until I am re-eligible for being a contestant on The Price Is Right!

No longer a Push Over!

Offline Plinkoman

  • 5/28/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 1881
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 02:10:17 AM »
Was I going to go back for more shows even after I was a contestant? Of course! I am a true superfan! We went back and I was #1 in line. They had to draw an X over my number, since I was a contestant the day before. I met Jeremy, who was a contestant on Monday's afternoon taping, where he played Plinko! He was in the audience for my taping, so he recognized me. His husband was named Price, and Drew had a field day with his name during one of the commercials. That morning we had met two couples, one from San Diego and one from Austin, TX. I told them about my episode and then we talked about the tricks to some of the games. One couple were true game show lovers. She was on Let's Make a Deal and played the Dating Game with Jonathon and Wayne (she picked Jonathon and avoided a zonk) and he was on Catch 21 and made it all the way to the bonus round. I was hoping once of them would have gotten picked.

The first taping was day 4 of DCW. Our shirts said, "My life will be complete if I complete a Triple Play." During one of the commercial breaks I waved to Drew, and he recognized me! He pointed out to everyone in the audience that I was a contestant the day before and had won a trip on Push Over. That was an awesome moment, having been recognized by Drew. He really is a nice guy. This was on Dec 12, and he mentioned to everyone that that day was Bob's birthday! Everyone cheered for Bob- nice of him to mention that. We went to a steakhouse right behind TVC in The Grove and our waitress said that Drew comes in at least twice a week when he is taping Price. Anytime he sees a serviceman or service woman, retired or current, or a police officer, firefighter, or EMS personnel he always picks up their tab. They said some celebs can be rude and refuse autographs, but Drew never does and is friendly to everyone! They said George comes in too and he is super nice as well!

After the taping was over George mentioned that they had seats available for the afternoon taping and told everyone if they wanted to come back that they could. Mom was tired, so she headed back to the hotel to get some rest, while I stayed and got to see the awesomeness that was DCW day 5. I was towards the end of the line, so I was one of the last to enter the studio. As I walked in George was already doing his warmup and he recognized me and says, "Hey! Jeffrey's back! Hi, Jeffrey! Jeffrey played Push Over and won a trip to Hong Kong yesterday!" I felt like a celebrity at this point. I sat way in the back, which gave me a good view of everything. This one had the perfect Lucky $even playing, and Drew mentioned he was pretty sure that that was the first time that had ever happened! Seeing Plinko in person was awesome as well! 3 Strikes was also neat to see, although the top of the board was visible above the blue curtain. A crew member had to get a ladder out and climb it to fold back the top of the prop, so it would fit through the big doors.

I met (the other) Jeffrey in line that afternoon and we started talking about a lot of the games and tricks to winning them. He told me if he got up on stage he was going to look at me. I told him, "No! Please don't- I'm not that good at pricing things!" Of course, he gets called down and gets on stage to play Bargain Game for two cars. He looks right at me when he's playing the game. It was between a Chevy Spark and a Nissan Versa. Versas are pretty cheap, and the Spark was loaded with a lot of options, so I pointed to the Spark... and it was right! He won two cars! I was super happy for him! He told the Plinko player that I know prices (which I really don't) and to look for me during the Showcases. I was asking the ladies sitting next to me what they would have bid, thinking I could use their bids because I suck a the Showcases. By the time they told me their bids, Nancy had already bidden on her Showcase. It's a good thing because I was over on both of the Showcases that day!

The final tapings were back to budget mode. My shirt said, "I love Manuela, Amber, and Rachel," while my mom's shirts said, "I love Drew, George, James, and Devin." During the early taping's warmup, George asked the audience what he says at the beginning of the show. Everyone started screaming, "Come on down!"... except for me, who said, "Here it comes!" George said, "Thank you, Jeffrey! You know, Jeffrey watches this show everyday and he won a trip the other day... you all need to be more like Jeffrey!" Another awesome moment for me!

I entered into my ultimate state of fan-boying during the early taping because the first game that day was Shell Game! I was super excited to see my favorite game in person! And it saved the show from a skunking! I went back to see the afternoon taping and the guy next to me plays Check-Out... which he would have won if he would have listened to me. I talked to George a bit, since I was sitting near his podium, and told him I loved watching him on Weakest Link!

After the show, I was walking by Contestant's Row on my way out of the studio for the last time. I met Mike Richards, who was on the stage talking to George. He actually seems like a nice guy! I told him I loved watching him on Pyramid. Yadi was walking my and yelled, "Jeffrey! You're awesome!" to me!

The next day we went to see Wheel of Fortune; not as exciting as Price, but still fun to see. I had a shirt that said, "I love Vanna" and Jim Thornton, the show's announcer, told me I had to point this out to Vanna when she took questions from the audience. I did so and Vanna said, "Awww... I love you too!" (And my life is now complete.) My mom asked Vanna who taught her how to cross-stitch, and she said it was her grandma and then she talked about her line of yarn that supports St. Jude's Children's Hospital. These episodes aired way back in January, and we got to see two $36k winners in the bonus round!

Overall, it was an awesome experience. The only thing that is left is the delivery of my grill. I decided to turn down the trip to Hong Kong, since I'm not a big fan of traveling and it is quite a long flight. But, since I was a kid, I have always said I didn't care what game I got to play on the show or what prize I won, I just wanted to win my game- and did just that! I'm on the countdown for December 11, 2028, when I will head back to LA and do it all over again! I have a good friend who was on Wheel a few years ago who is also a game show fan. We are planning a trip out there (hopefully this year) and hopefully he will be able to come on down too!
3,436 days until I am re-eligible for being a contestant on The Price Is Right!

No longer a Push Over!

Offline LiteBulb88

  • 4/15/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 867
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 06:13:00 AM »
Nice! Great reports. These really illustrate the value of going to multiple tapings in a short time span if you really want to be a contestant; it doesn't matter how many times you watch the show, watching the show doesn't prepare you for Stan's interview of the massive amount of waiting you have to do before you enter the studio. So people are typically much more confident at their second taping and Stan picks up on that. Plus, he's really good at recognizing people who have been there before! I don't know how he does that with the hundreds of people he interviews every single show, but he can pick out a face from a crowd from a mile away. If there's one person I'd love to talk to on the staff besides Drew or George, it'd be Stan. I would love to pick his brain or even just watch him do his job for a day.

Enjoy your grill once you get it, and congrats again!

P. S. 5 months without telling anyone what you won? That would've driven me insane. Going two months was hard enough for me. And just imagine if you had been a dream car winner and had to go 5 months without telling anyone you won a Jaguar.

Offline Plinkoman

  • 5/28/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 1881
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 08:03:38 AM »
P. S. 5 months without telling anyone what you won? That would've driven me insane. Going two months was hard enough for me. And just imagine if you had been a dream car winner and had to go 5 months without telling anyone you won a Jaguar.

I just told a lot of people to watch the show on May 28th. My phone lit up when I was watching the episode! I had a viewing party at my grandma's assisted living facility and was in chat that morning.

Before leaving work the other night I had to run some blood down to our lab. Some of the lab workers told me they didn't get to see the show, so I showed them a video of me playing Push Over. When I won the whole lab was screaming! I'm a celebrity at the hospital where I work now. For the past few nights I've had staff members, patients, and even some visitors recognize me.

Now, we just need to hurry up and make it to December 2028 so I can do it all over again!

Also, Brian, I have a theory: the days of not wanting LFaT's on the shows are over. I noticed you said the first day you were getting most of the prices right and Stan kept on looking at you. Then, you got picked. I could tell from the cast and crew they knew I was a superfan and it seems like they really appreciate us. Just wondering what yours and others input on this is.
3,436 days until I am re-eligible for being a contestant on The Price Is Right!

No longer a Push Over!

Offline LiteBulb88

  • 4/15/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 867
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 08:43:37 AM »
Also, Brian, I have a theory: the days of not wanting LFaT's on the shows are over. I noticed you said the first day you were getting most of the prices right and Stan kept on looking at you. Then, you got picked. I could tell from the cast and crew they knew I was a superfan and it seems like they really appreciate us. Just wondering what yours and others input on this is.

They definitely want people who at least know something about the show--that's why Stan asks what your favorite game is. It really doesn't look good when someone plays Clock Game horribly wrong like happened a couple of weeks ago.  So they'd much rather have a superfan that's confident & energetic than a know-nothing-about-the-show contestant that's confident and energetic. And they use a much larger rotation of prizes and random add-ons to trips so it's much harder to pull off perfectos than it was when Terry Kneiss had his (with Ted Slauson's help).

On the flip side, if they know you're a superfan, don't be surprised if they seat you against the wall behind George's podium. That's what happened to me at the taping I was called at and the guy next to me at that taping had been to probably 100 tapings, never been called, and was clearly a superfan. So they're happy to have you as a contestant but they don't want you helping contestants on stage throughout the show.

But overall, yes, their attitude toward superfans is much more relaxed than it was 10 years ago. However, I still wouldn't tell Stan or any staff member you're a member of this site  :oldlol:.

Offline LiteBulb88

  • 4/15/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 867
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 08:52:21 AM »
BTW, how do you think Stan knew you were a superfan? Apologies if I missed it in your recap.

Offline Plinkoman

  • 5/28/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 1881
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 05:14:32 PM »
BTW, how do you think Stan knew you were a superfan? Apologies if I missed it in your recap.

Well, my shirt had Golden Road and I mentioned Shell Game. Drew and Grorge could tell I was a superfan too. I only got seated by George once, and that was my last taping whrn I had come bzck for the afternoon one.

After I had gotten called down my interviews were more about how much I loved the show. Fun fact: Stan has never created a pricing game (I asked him).
3,436 days until I am re-eligible for being a contestant on The Price Is Right!

No longer a Push Over!

Offline PhillyFlash

  • In the Audience
  • **
  • Posts: 54
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 01:36:50 PM »
Are you going to take the trip? I'm hoping to go to a taping when I'm out there for the American Hockey League All Star Game in January of 2020.
Do Not Pass Trolley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Plinkoman

  • 5/28/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 1881
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 04:08:32 PM »
No, I turned down the trip. The one thing I was hoping to NOT win was a trip, since I hate traveling. I'm selling the grill.

The show is super fun, though! You'll have a blast if you get to see it in person!
3,436 days until I am re-eligible for being a contestant on The Price Is Right!

No longer a Push Over!

Offline COINBOYNYC

  • Taking a Bonus Spin
  • *****
  • Posts: 897
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2019, 10:00:19 PM »
What was it like to be an audience member in the later tapings, since you didn't have to deal with the pressure of wondering if, or hoping, you'd be called?
"Now folks, I want to thank you very, very much for inviting me into your homes for the last 50 years.  I am deeply grateful.  And please remember - help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered.  Goodbye, everybody!"
- Bob Barker signs off for the last time, June 15, 2007

Offline Plinkoman

  • 5/28/19
  • TPiR Alumnus
  • *
  • Posts: 1881
Re: Plinkoman, come on down! My TPIR experience!
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2019, 01:56:07 AM »
What was it like to be an audience member in the later tapings, since you didn't have to deal with the pressure of wondering if, or hoping, you'd be called?

Hoping that people I had met in line would be called down! Plus, seeing which games would be played and noticing how hard the crew works.
3,436 days until I am re-eligible for being a contestant on The Price Is Right!

No longer a Push Over!