The Price was Right for Joel Hanson
This is a brief interview with Winona local, political enthusiast, Old Style drinker, and last but not least, my younger brother, Joel Hanson, pertaining to his crazy experience out in LA on The Price is Right. The episode he’s on airs tomorrow, Thursday, February 6th at 10am Central Time on CBS— from what I hear.
Todd: So, you were on The Price is Right, huh? Did you go all the way to LA for that, or was there some other reason you were out there?
Joel: Actually, I made the trip with the main intention of seeing my friend, Tim Olstad, perform on The X Factor. Tim had asked me to come to LA to see him perform, however I was torn due to school and work obligations. At the last minute, I made the decision to go. I booked my flight on Sunday night, my hotel on Monday, flew out on Tuesday, and threw caution to the wind the rest of the week. The Price is Right did not even enter the equation until Tim and I’s college friend from the University of Minnesota, Evan Forsberg, agreed to fly to LA with me. After booking our flights, Evan called me later in the evening on Sunday. He mentioned that he always swore to himself that if he ever traveled to Los Angeles, he would attend The Price is Right. Tickets to the show are free, however you need to request them online. Amazingly, the only tickets available all week were for the one day and time slot we were able to attend. So, when he told me that, we got them immediately.
Todd: Did you have a strategy or plan for actually making it in the door and for getting on the show or were you just letting the chips fall as they may?
Joel: The Price is Right features three different “types” of tickets: priority (guaranteed seating), general (line voucher), and waitlist. Since our tickets were general tickets and did not guarantee us a seat, we planned on getting in line as early as possible. CBS recommends general ticket holders arrive 30 minutes before gate time (8:30AM for the morning taping), however since our hotel was located directly across the street from CBS Television Studios (not a coincidence), we were in line by 7AM. By the time the gate opened, we had successfully befriended a family from Wisconsin, made friends with a woman from New York, whose mission was to attend as many live studio tapings of various television shows as possible, and were the first non-priority ticket holders through the door. Luckily, I had researched keys on how to get on the show. First, I knew I wanted my attire to stand out. After weighing several different options, I settled on a baseball bobblehead Hawaiian shirt with clashing blue Bermuda shorts. Additionally, I knew the most important part of the contestant selection process was the interview. The Price is Right separates audience members into groups of twenty, having a producer shortly interview the prospective contestants, making light small talk with each. From what I had read, if you “hijack” the interview, you’ll be on the show. So, I was as energetic as humanly possible, and it worked out.
Todd: So you made it on as a contestant then? Did you win anything?
Joel: I’m under legal obligation to not divulge the entire results, however I can tell you I made it out of Contestant’s Row and onto the main stage.
Todd: So, I hear you ran into some people from the show at a bar afterwards and partied with them. Who from the show was there and give us the details of what transpired.
Joel: That may have been the most unique part of my Price is Right experience. Once The X Factor live show ended, Tim had press obligations for the show. So, Evan and I waited for Tim to meet us for dinner at a restaurant nearby the studio. When we walked in and sat down at the bar, I noticed one of the CBS pages who I met earlier at The Price is Right. I made a point of saying hello, and upon greeting me, she pointed out that I was sitting next to the announcer of the show, George Gray. Shortly thereafter, one of the camera guys and the stage manager of the show came up to me and introduced themselves. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by The Price is Right crew, talking about my “performance” on the show, and the tricks of The Price is Right trade. I was really taken aback by not only how much I stood out to them, but also how genuinely interested they were in my experience. Also, a drink or two may have been bought for us…
Todd: So, you’re not going to go into that part about the stage manager and some of the crew who were at the bar thinking you and Evan were there on the show together as a gay couple and all that stuff?
Joel: (no comment)