HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — “Come on down, you’re the next contestant on ‘The Price is Right!’”
Millions have tried, few have heard their names called to take a spot at one of the four contestant podiums on the popular game show. But that’s exactly the case for first-time audience member Shane Philipsen, a Greenville resident.
“I jumped up and was literally pumping my hands in the air,” said Philipsen of when his name was called.
The 37-year-old event director for Barfly Ventures could barely contain himself.
“I was barely breathing. I had to compose myself because so much was going on,” he said.
Philipsen could say very little about what happened from there, because although taped early last month it does not air until 11 a.m. Thursday.
He was, however, able to reveal he did make in on stage and he nearly lost control when his bid was, of course, closest to the actual retail value without going over.
“So I’m going crazy, I get up on stage and shake Drew Carey’s hand,” he said.
Which game did he play? Well he couldn’t really say, but did hint it was for a nice prize. And as he played, he, like other other contestants, sought input from the crowd, but mostly the two other Greenville natives who went with him, his girlfriend Kelly Stapp and friend Chris Pelfrey.
Philipsen admitted the excitement and noise of the crowd got him a little flustered.
“You can’t hear a thing, you’re up there trying to figure these things out and everyone has their fingers in the air telling you what numbers to pick,” he said.
But Philipsen, who had never before even considered trying out for a game show, entrusted a lot of his decision making to Pelfrey, who is a “Price is Right” veteran.
Pelfrey, who got the tickets for Philipsen and Stapp for the latter’s birthday, was on his 31st attempt at “Price is Right” glory.
“I would go to several tapings several days in a row,” said Pelfrey, who makes regular trips to California to try to get on his favorite show. And of course, it’s Philipsen, a first-timer, whose name was called.
“I’ve been there 31 times and Bob Barker is my idol, and he gets picked,” joked Pelfrey of Philpsen.
And he was extra hopeful because Thursday’s episode will run on Barker’s 90th birthday and the former host made a special appearance. But Pelfrey said he was thrilled one of them made it to the podium, despite the fact they were assigned to the front row.
Pelfrey said “nobody every gets picked from the front row.”
“We just went ballistic. We couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Although Philipsen’s actual time on stage was limited, the path to get there was long and tedious.
After arriving at the studio at around 7 a.m., the trio waited in line to get through to the interview phase. They did, however, cruise through a little quicker than normal because they obtained the free tickets in advance.
Show hopefuls fill out the famous name tags and have their photograph taken with their contestant numbers. They then enter the first interview with one of the show’s staff, and then a second with producers.
It wasn’t until 2 p.m. that the three first stepped foot in the studio.
“People were going crazy and doing the wave. Producers were pumping up the crowd and getting it going,” Philipsen said. “It was like one big party.”
Philipsen will watch the episode at a party with friends and coworkers and hopes others tune in to see how he did.
With the kind of luck he had in his first stab at game show stardom, Philipsen said he will no doubt try again.
“I would definitely go do it again,” he said. “It was fun, it was just a riot.”