I'm in Rhode Island tonight for some stuff (personal, don't ask), mainly because I wanted to see Price Live ($30, all open seating; I got seats halfway up, pretty close to center, great view, even with my short height of 5'7"), which I hoped to get on, because, hey, I don't think the actual show is worth my time, for where it focuses on these days, on prizes, not the contestants. Just my opinion. Thankfully, I was rewarded with one of the best nights out of my life--and guess what, they focused on the players. Fantastic! I got to see Todd Newton as host and some guy from the Travel Channel as announcer, who I couldn't quite hear the name of because it was said once, and stretched out (might have had initials?).
The show was scheduled for 8PM, but started closer to 8:20. Meh, kind of an annoyance, given the "What was the Price of this car/fridge/etc. in the 70s or 80s?" and the soundtrack repeated, such as Crystal Waters' remix (which I danced to, because I thought we'd get a crowd cam at some point; nope), Kool and the Gang
's Celebrate, and last but not least, the Carlton dance theme, from Fresh Prince
to which some people (not me, I suck at it) did the appropriate dance. I thought BigJon had control of the soundboard there, haha.
Finally, the show began, explaining Price's history, going back to Cullen shows, bid freezing, Bob's hair throughout the ages, leading up to Drew and the modern show, noting the thing that had changed most through the years was the prices (Really? Not what I'd say there.). When Drew first came on the monitors (there were 2; one house left, one house right) for the first time, I'd say about a good 3/5ths of the crowd booed. Incredible, I expected a lot more cheers. Kind of sad really, but, hey, they do notice. Todd was introduced, with his background, such as his Emmy award, his work on Whammy!
, as well as interviewing various celebrities, such as Rosie O and Arnold.
So the show was underway, and out popped the first item up for bids, a guitar with amplifier, ARP $462. I was stunned, I was sure this was the $189 model. As a forewarning to the rest of this, I studied the prices, locations of stuff, etc. in a Ted, Voltron, Kev, Vader sort of way--so I knew about 95% of them. I tried to give as much help as I could, we needed winners, especially given the setups on this show (the Live! show in general, and also this one). I tried to given prices during descriptions (okay, annoying, but still), so they'd hear me.
Tech difficulties happened again, while waiting for the first game to come up, which while unfortunate, I relished--more Price time to see! At first, Todd teased her about not playing the guitar or anything of the sort. Kind of reminded me of Bob's interaction with Sally.
Later, while still waiting, someone else was picked out of the audience for $100, to play a game I haven't seen discussed elsewhere, Range Game. The prize was an early 70s fridge, given three letter choices of A, B, and C. The contestant picked one of the 3 range letters, if she picked the right one, she won. A was between $800 and $900, B was between $900 and $1000, C was way at the top, between $1400 and $1500. Yes, a RARE, $100 range prize. I thought A and C seemed too extreme, and B made the most sense. She picked A, and lost, not to my surprise. What DID shock me is that that this was $1495, making C the correct choice; for a fridge in the early 70s (given the size of the range finder). Was this a real episode? Because I'm damn curious. Cars at this point, as I noted, were only around 2600, which makes this intriguing for its high price tag, at the time.
Finally, Cliffhangers came out of the lone Big Door this small stage had. Interestingly, I could see another game (Punch), just off to the side of the stage, at this time. It was played for a $1300 fridge (with Plinko harps!?), which, well, fair enough. The first small prize was a wine server type of item, which the nut gallery, along with the contestant, believed it to be $50. I knew full well it was $30, so this became painful. At least she had some steps, I reasoned. 2nd SP was an alien style item, that got the announcer sidetracked at the end with a joke that nobody noticed but me, nor was it funny or professional. I knew this was $40. Not the contestant, she thought $10. Nut gallery thought $50, again. I knew it was over, and facepalmed. It was $40. Because of this, I never saw the 3rd SP, but I could reason it was $60, based on past patterns of the live show (much like the LA show's 20-30-40 rule). Despite this, had I been on stage, with 0 steps to that point, I'd have gone $75 on the last SP, no matter what, to cover a $50-100 range. You never know!
Interestingly, I spoke with this contestant after the show, and what she told me was interesting: She didn't get to keep the wine SP (no shock), but that guitar was merely for show, and she would not be awarded it. The show not giving the IUFBs to me is strange. I know they have to keep a budget, but that looks odd after Todd teased her about the guitar, no? She also claimed to have never seen a guitar before, according to her friend, and her one-bid bid was the first number to pop into her head, no rhyme or reason.
Throughout the show there various gift cards given away (4 Subway $25 gift cards, 4 $25 Home Depot gift cards, and one $200 amazon.com gift card). As expected, the $200 Amazon card was also the IUFB wadding bonus. What I didn't expect was Todd giving fake build up that the gift card was typically $100, and doubled for tonight's show (look out, Richard Karn). Seems like everyone believed that hype but me. We also watched varying clips, like Yolanda, Patricia, etc. The reactions on people's faces who had never seen these clips before was priceless.
Next, 4 new players were called down, as is done, to maximize the number of players, to bid on a scooter. $223. Like THAT, when the image came up, I knew it from my studies. It was a little more, like $249, but still, easy enough; at least I wasn't over. In contrast, we had a stagey bid $900. Yeah, everyone knew that was doomed, except the bidder.
Time for Punch, with a $2500 max prize (with Plinko harps, X2!?), which I had seen earlier in the stage area. Punch wasn't the best game to tell, but this player claimed to watch the show every day, a LFaT, and was super happy to get on stage. Todd told her to stop kissing butt, considering she made it that far, hehe.
The GPs (since that's what they used, still a H/L format) were actually fairly easy to get; 3 of 4 punches were won. I expected them much harder. I knew going in that it would be around (but obviously not exactly) the lower right hand corner. ALL the taping reports I'd read/memorized told me this. My punches would have been: 5,9; 4,8; 3,8; 4,9. I forget her first punch spot, but Todd was most poetic describing it; calling it "straight, graceful, [and] dainty," the last of which was said with a slight twinge of sarcasm, yet also a bit of an oral bold, to put emphasis on the word. 5,10 was punched, and I knew this was going to be painful, though I still had some hope, since her other punches were scattered across the board, near its center, giving me the feeling she'd walk out with maybe a $500 slip. No such luck, two $100s (which Todd rightly tossed without asking, given it was the minimum) to start, followed by a $200, her forced and final punch. As I was anticipating, Todd revealed the $2500 slot. Egad! 4,9!
The crowd was absolutely hyped despite no full wins to this point. Todd made it a point to applaud all those serving or those that had served in the US Military to that point, to a rousing Standing O. Beautiful. He also wanted to point out that there were so many people made the show possible that we wouldn't see, pointing out his Executive Producer, as well as his Stage Manager, Melanie, who had her birthday today (5/25). This lead the drunk section of the crowd (literally about 1/4th the crowd) to begin singing to her, and Todd to remark and to cut off, "Oh, we're all so off-key!" I did like the good ribbing nature, but the way Todd led that up, I thought he was going to lead in to the whole crowd singing to her. Guess not.
The 1st SCSD was by far the most entertaining for the crowd, but I don't blame them at all, given what happened. As Todd explained, $250 for winning the SCSD (if you can call it that), $100 for $1 on the wheel, $500 for a bonus spin ending up on a green space, $1,000 for a double dollar. First player spins, somehow manages .75, despite her spins adding up to a lot more than that (I was expecting a 'MRRP!'). I guess they don't want people going over? Confused me am. Second spinner pulls off a .95, and I think 2nd lady has this in the bag. 3rd spinner is a little old lady, who you worry if she gets it all the way around or not. Well, prove me wrong, her first spin, she ONE HANDS the wheel, lands smack on the dollar. Bonus spin goes with 2 hands, and it slloooooowllllyyy creeps down, and she BARELY makes the 2nd dollar (I thought she hit 15 at first, that's how close it was). The place ERUPTED. Absolutely amazing. Atmosphere was juuust as you'd want it. Sadly, that intensity died thereafter, but more on that in just a bit.
More clips played, Todd came back to center stage, as we heard more names called down. Neatly enough, someone literally 3 to 5 seats to my left got called down! I gave her a high-five for good luck. Next item was one I hadn't seen, a beer stein dispenser, like one you'd see at a bar to serve a brew on draft, using Heineken beer for its example in the videos. I did remember seeing one like this in stores a few years back, so I reasoned it'd be around $219. ARP was around $250, winning bid was $225 (the first bid). The old lady from my row bid $450, sadly.
Next game was Any Number (played on a screen, with the updated set), played, as I thought, for a trip to Vegas (with the IITB 'It's a chance to win up 16K!' cue!?). This was either $1254 or $1279, from memory. Shockingly, the player didn't think to call 1 in the game for the first digit, which meant this wasn't being won. The other prize was a (piano) keyboard, headphones, etc. Wound up with an $8 Big Mac combo piggy bank, but Todd upped that to $108 and change, making her McDonald's more of a chateaubriand at Ruth's Chris. Vegas wound up being $1370. I was shocked it ended in 0, didn't except it to be that nice of a price.
Well, okay, I didn't expect a lot of wins, oh well, still more chances. Besides, it's about the contestants, and having a good time (and I did, the contestants were great fun). That left another IUFB--maybe someone would listen? 4 new people came down, and out came the prize. A slot machine! This seems to be a prize they give away every show, and I knew immediately it was $500. It took until the last bidder to do so, but someone listened to me, $500 bid, I heard the clangs, and I got excited, knowing that bid was right. It was indeed $500, and there this player got her $200 amazon.com gift card.
I was happy for her, and hoped she would continue her smart pricing in her PG, Plinko (with the appropriate cue, thankfully, sadly no sign). Granted, hard setups I knew would happen, but still. First SP was a women's dumbbell, fake price $37, she guessed the 3, I believe it's 27, it is 27. No chip. Then comes a fake 5, which I know is fake (given the show uses the anti 0/5/9 rule), also missed. Then comes a fake of $69, I mean, really? I knew the 9 was a fake, so it was the 6, but still--I'd rather see a $60 fake there. No chip. During this SP, Todd asks the contestant if she's been drinking, to which she affirms. Todd fires back he can smell it on her breath, because it was it either her or the model, and well, Todd hoped it was her.
Another fake 5, and she won no additional Plinko chips. I know I'm not the average goer, but for scorekeeping purposes, I had all 5. The contestant dropped her lone chip, and I was afraid I'd see what so many saw before me: A 1-chipper, $0 won. The chip was in good position, going with a slight bounce to the right at first, looking like it would hit the right-side $100 (to the right hand side of the right $0). Then, about 60% down, it shifted suddenly left, remaining at the left $0, until it suddenly took a slight to the right---$500! Not great, but hey, the max with one chip, you know? I found it interesting the winning bells were played at this time, that's not a dang win!
After the chip was dropped, Todd noted that in all his times seeing Plinko players, he never saw one that, after the game, gave him jaw-snapping, alligator approaching its prey, motions towards him. I have no idea why this was done, but it sure was funny.
Then another SCSD, of sorts. I thought: "Huh? No 5th PG, specifically Hole?" Guess either the size of the stage, or the tech fails made it not possible, in time interests.
As for the spins themselves, again, spinner one goes over, but still has the scoreboard read 75 cents for her. Huh? Spinner 2 gets 95 cents again--that is not what she spun. Confusing, much? Spinner 3 again gets the buckaroo. I'm getting suspicious, that if this is the dollar AGAIN, something's up. Her bonus spin got close, but only about 85% of the way up on the 25 space. I genuinely thought there would be MORE bonus cash.
Todd announced it was time for the Showcase, how it varied, 10 Chances and such, blahblahblah, I was really hoping I'd get picked for this, I had a good idea of the prices. If I didn't oh well, but wishful thinking such as this doesn't hurt, you know?
A guy gets called down (a rare guy this show, lots of ladies called), and he gets introduced to an Every Room in the House SC, with SPLENDIDO (hell yea, I was singing along) as the cue, containing a coffee maker, PS3 with extra game controller, TV with one year subscription to some Netflix knockoff, and a trip to Los Angeles (3N at the W, PVD to LAX, round trip coach). Before he begins his 10C style guesses (before you ask, no, no 0 rule), in a moment somewhat similar to Drew's "It's the million dollar game.", Todd adds the showcase is going to get even better, as a Nissan Versa S is added into the SC. It interestingly is paired with the LA trip, so if/when he got that far, he'd put his price down on both. To my surprise, on the coffee maker, PS3, and HDTV package, Todd eventually stated he'd get 3 guesses on each, so he'd have at least one chance at the LA trip and the Versa. At least Todd was totally honest before any of the guesses: "This showcase, well, it's a doozy."
Let's make this fun: I remember the setups and ARPs of all 3. I'll let you know my results here, the setups below, and the ARPs in small font, so you can play along as I did. Coffee maker would take me 3 chances, PS3 I knew as soon as I saw it (so one chance), HDTV package I knew in 2 tries, and the LA/Car in literally one. I'm not kidding, either, 100% honest, had I been up there with one shot, I reasoned my way through the package, nailed it, made the place nuts. Oh, if only. Oh well. The contestant won the coffee maker and the PS3.
Coffee Maker (pick 3 digits): 6, 1, 2
PS3 console and extra controller (pick 3 digits): 2, 3, 4, 5
HDTV and 1Y subscription to Netflix clone (pick 3 digits): 9, 8, 6, 4
Los Angeles Trip, 3N@The W, roundtrip coach PVD to LAX/Nissan Versa
(use all 5 digits; as Todd said, "There are no trick digits here."): 8, 6, 5, 4, 1
Coffee Maker: $216
PS3 package: $325
Los Angeles/Nissan Versa: $15,468. I knew this because the Versa was $13325 base. And what would be the path of least expectation for the final 3 digits? The reverse of the price of the HDTV, 468. That, and it was sequential, a slight trick. I knew the 8 would be least expected, figured an LA trip makes it 15K. That puts me at 15648 or 15468. The latter just looked better in my mind.
Many people sadly left before the car bidding- I think they knew he had not much of a chance. Of course, I stayed, tried to help him on, to no avail. It was a mob scene getting out- no option to spin the Wheel for me (or anyone). Todd said he'd be available for photos and autographs after the show. If he hadn't done such a stellar job, I'd bolt. But he was very good, much better than he appears on TV.
I wait in line, where I talk with the Cliffhangers contestant, get my photo and tell him that from his job tonight, his work on Whammy!
, his new book (The Choice is Yours
), and his works with Souls4Soles, he should be doing Drew's job. I stupidly forgot the Emmy! Nonetheless, Todd looked very happy, with a big grin, shook my hand, said how nice I was. The iPhone's camera snapped, thanked Todd, and I was off. Hope to be back soon, I'll never forget this, especially not now that it's in post form.
Prize total won: $3,349
Prize total offered: $28,143
Percentage of prize values won: 11.90%. This figure is rounded to the nearest hundredth place.
Note, prizes offered do not include one-bids, as they are not given way. $1,350 is considered the most possible for any one SCSD (so $2,700 offered for SCSD figures of prize totals offered), for realism purposes, though I realize it could be $4,050, in reality. Amazon.com gift cards for perfect bids are added to total won and possible. Additional gift cards, such as those related to Home Depot and Subway, that are given out by default, and are irrelevant to pricing skill, are not included.
Questions? Ideas? Concerns, besides how much free time I have? Dislikes/Likes of my show report (of the show itself)? Post away!