Cameron Levy, come on down! You're the next contestant on The Price is Right!
Many may have dreamed of hearing their name with these famous words - nearly synonymous with dollar signs - but Levy, a University sophomore, lived the dream over Christmas break when he attended The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular. The show airs tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.
The Pratt School of Engineering student explained that his mother had always wanted to go to a taping of The Price is Right. His family was traveling home from Hawaii and stopped in Los Angeles to sit in the studio audience - seats that required tickets ordered over six months in advance.
"We had to get there very early even though we already had tickets. It's kind of like the way Duke basketball works," Levy said. "We got there at 5 a.m. on the day of the show. They only gave out 335 seats, and we were number 325."
Donning his Duke sweatshirt, which he thought might help him make it to contestant row, Levy was the second person to "come on down".
"Basically, the way they choose it is to take 40 people in at a time," Levy said. "The producer goes down asking people what they do, and he asked me. I said I was a student at Duke, and I had my big Duke sweatshirt so obviously that got me on the show."
Levy wasted no time bidding in contestant row, and was the first person to make it on stage. He proceeded from his first game, to the "big wheel" and on to the "showcase showdown." Due to legal reasons, his performance cannot be elaborated on until after the show has aired.
"They've got at least fifteen cameras and all these spotlights," Levy said, explaining that he was concentrating on both the game and the television cameras while on stage. "You definitely know you're being taped."
When he got on stage, Levy said the show's host, Bob Barker, asked him what all Duke students want to have. His answer was waiting behind the curtain.
"I was definitely nervous, but at the same time it was an excited nervous, not a scared nervous," he said.
Levy explained that the view from inside the L.A. studio was quite different than the typical view of the show from one's living room television set. "The studio is a lot smaller than I thought it was," he said. "On TV it looks like its a big, elevated, grand studio. But we got in there and it is really small."
And the "Barker Beauties," the women who help the host demonstrate prizes, lived up to their name, Levy added. "On TV you can't really tell, but in person they were pretty perfect," he said.
One thing that was not perfect was the studio's sound system. Levy explained that it was very difficult to hear the announcers, and he had trouble deciphering the names of the various prizes and bidding items.
"You really can't hear any of the features of the items," he said. "There is all of this crowd noise behind you. It's kind of a disadvantage."
He did say the crowd, in actuality, is quite a help to the contestants struggling to make it through the games. "I looked to my family. My brother really helped me a lot," he said about his sibling who knew a lot about the prize for which Levy was fighting. "The crowd does a pretty good job."
But perhaps the best part of the show, aside from the prizes, is its host, Levy said.
"Bob Barker, he's a really nice guy," Levy said. "During the commercials, Bob and I would talk about a bunch of stuff and just 'shoot the shit'. He's a really cool guy."
Tune in tonight to find out if this Blue Devil's price was right, or wrong.
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