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December 18th, 2008

The Price is Right’s Showcase Controversy

I have to preface this by saying I didn’t see it on TV, but read about it after the fact. First, check out this clip from The Price is Right a few days ago.

If I were to watch that with no context I’d think, “Why the hell is Drew Carey so unmoved by this AMAZING EVENT that has only happened twice in the history of the show ever?” He must not be a great host! Guessing the price of a showcase is not an easy thing to do… and to get it exactly right? That’s freaking hard.

Or is it?

As it turns out, guessing the price may be hard but memorizing the prices of prizes isn’t. And that’s pretty much what happened. While the contestant, Terry, did in fact say the price to Bo…er, Drew and bid on it, a member of’s forums was at the taping and shouted out the correct answer when Terry was soliciting help from the audience.

The fascinating tale from Golden-Road is this: after Ted in the audience guessed the correct amount, taping of the show was stopped for a good 45 minutes while everyone figured out what in the world to do. In the end, Terry couldn’t be accused of cheating – lots of people listen to the audience, which is something I consider a strategic flaw on TPIR – but this was certainly a strange event. The consensus at that site, TV Squad, and Buzzerblog seems to be that Carey was just so suspicious of the situation that he couldn’t demonstrate excitement for it… or he just sucked.

I don’t think Carey sucks as a host at all, for the record. He’s holding his own. But this situation would be way hard to handle.

In researching this, I also learned two other exciting things. First, Buzzerblog exists – a pretty hardcore game show devotees’ blog. Second,, holy crap. Daily recaps of every show? Discussion on every single one? Talk about the show in general? That’s the internet right there.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Paul December 18, 2008, 12:27 pm

I should also add that the first contestant did really freaking well too, coming within $494 of the retail price. That too is really hard.

COD December 18, 2008, 1:54 pm

I did see this on TV – the kids usually have PIR on and I was downstairs for lunch a little early that day. It must have really sucked for the black lady though. She had to be mentally planning those trips already when she was within $500 dollars.

Alex Davis December 21, 2008, 4:10 pm

I don’t think you got the idea of what I was writinggoing for. For the record, I’m not a fan of Price is Right; I’m a fan of Drew Carey. I think he’s a great host. Some commenters may disagree, though. My post was making fun of the Golden Road people who obsess over literally every single item of the show, down to if Drew’s wearing a tie or not.

And second, thanks for the shoutout, but I’m not really a huge hardcore game show fan. I like them and write news for them, but I’m not one of those freaky people that obsesses about it ever. You can look to, say, Golden Road, for that.

Dave Walls December 22, 2008, 4:53 pm

Wow, a TPIR Ping, and I missed it. I am slipping. 🙂

The part that makes me kinda suspicious is if you watch the full episode (video on, he looks out into the audience, appears to be reading numbers from the audience, and when he bids, is VERY deliberate and confident. I mean, anyone can guess $23,000 or $23,500 quickly, but to nail $23,743, and look so confident…I dunno.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone in the audience helped the person on stage win something, but I would definitely be suspicious. As for “Ted”..if I’m a producer, I start shuffling him through the doors for the Craig Ferguson Show instead of Studio 33.

A small level of blame should be laid to the staff for not changing up the prizes a little more often. I’m not a face-glued-to-the-set watcher of TPiR, although I do consider myself a fan. However, the repetition of prizes, while necessary, needs to be worked on. The reason Terry even got on stage, is because he saw the Green Egg Smoker/BBQer on TV recently, and knew the price. I mean, duh?

It’s not even the first time someone has seen something on the air, and won it at a taping. Check out

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