“Marilyn Turvey, come on down!”
Those were words that Marilyn Turvey, McAlester, never thought she would hear. And, actually, she didn’t hear them.
Turvey was a member of the audience at the “Price Is Right” studio in Burbank, Calif. She and other potential contestants were told to watch the cue cards for their names. It’s a good thing they were told that because Turvey said they couldn’t hear a thing. “It’s a dull roar,” she said, of the sound in the studio. “It’s so loud. It’s a little room but the ceiling’s so high. I think they do it to make you nervous.”
Each of the contestants had their name on a cue card to the right of the stage area. Turvey looked up and saw her name. She said she doesn’t remember much except jumping up and running down. “I held on to the podium with a death grip,” she laughed.
“It’s not like at home. You can’t hear anyone yelling prices at you.” She had also been told not to turn her back on Bob Barker, the host, because he hates that. He also hates when the contestant’s name tag is covered because he can’t see what their name is.
She admitted it was hard to decide on pricing. It looks easy at home, she said, but while you’re standing there, that’s not the case.
For one thing, you’ve only got three seconds to make up your mind and prices vary across the U.S. As an example, she said a picture priced for about $3,000 on the show would sell for hardly anything in this area.
One of Turvey’s dreams was to say “One dollar.” “And I got to do that.”
The show is taped in two sessions. Between sessions, Barker would visit with the contestants.
Turvey was wearing an “OU loves Bob” shirt with a button that had a picture of her granddaughter, Grace. Barker noticed the shirt and came to talk with her. Turvey remembered Barker’s wife, the late Dorothy Jo, had attended OU and told him that.
“He got big tears in his eyes,” she said that she knew that. He talked with her for awhile. “He’s such an American icon,” she said. “He’s one of the most personable guys you could ever meet.”
Turvey’s dream-come-true started when she went with her husband, Mark, on a business trip to Palm Springs this summer. She decided she would rent a car and drive to the “Price Is Right” studio “just for a joke.” She got there at 6 a.m. and found out there were 625 contestants for two shows. And just because you have a ticket doesn’t guarantee you a seat in the audience.
Turvey was lucky to get a contestant number. She sat with the other potential contestants on benches. The producers called them in groups of 12 for short interviews. What Turvey said must have impressed the producers because she was one of 300 people attending each taping.
It was a long day since the first taping didn’t start until 4:30 p.m. and each taping lasted about 45 minutes.
“There were so many people onstage,” she said. “ You couldn’t hardly see the big wheel or the prize tray. You had to watch the monitors.”
And while the show was going on, the contestants were signing contracts and other papers keeping them extremely busy. Turvey also discovered once someone signs a paper for CBS, they can use that person’s face and voice on the air for the next 10 years.
“And the only thing I ever wanted was just to be in the audience,” she said, looking at some of her memorabilia including her name tag. “I would have done it just for the name tag.”
Now that one of her dreams has come true, what’s next? Turvey looked pensive. “If the ‘$10,000 Pyramid’ was still on, I’d try for that,” she said.
Turvey’s show is set to air Wednesday at 10 a.m. CDT on KWTV, Channel 9. Watch to see how well she does.
Contact Teresa Atkerson at email@example.com.
“Marilyn Turvey, come on down!”