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Neither the author nor the host of this blog is affiliated in any way with The Price is Right, FremantleMedia North America, CBS Television, or any of the products or services mentioned herein.

The views and opinions expressed are entirely those of the author, and do not reflect those of Google, CBS, FremantleMedia, Drew Carey, or indeed any other known human being.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

TPiRecap: 23 April 2014 (with a rant at the opening)


But first, allow me a moment to get something off my chest.

[deep breath]

You want to know the truth? The real, unvarnished, honest-to-god truth about what Mike Richards is doing with these Pricing Game setups on The Price is Right? Well, I'll tell you.

It is Mike's job to make the games challenging, so that they're not simply giving all these cars and things away; the idea is for the contestant to earn his or her rewards. However, counterbalancing that part of the job description is the requirement that the games also be fair, and still allow for a player to potentially win that prize -- even if only through dumb luck. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a situation where a player is presented with a game that is impossible to win as advertised.

...Actually, that's not true, strictly speaking. "Impossible" setups have happened accidentally a few times over the course of 41½ years -- wrong digits being put up in Switcheroo or Pathfinder, a missing slip or two on the Punchboard, things like that. But, hey, you try running a show like this for four-plus decades without at least one game-breaking glitch slipping through the editorial cracks. That's one of the reasons Standards and Practices exists, after all, to ensure these things don't happen and are flagged when the occasional odd slipup does occur. In the rare cases when a mistake manages to get by everyone, standard Price procedure has always been to award the disadvantaged player the top available prize in that game as if s/he had won it outright... in other words, not only is there is no practical budgetary advantage to "rigging" a game in that fashion, it actually produces the exact opposite result. They are the exceptions that prove the rule.

So if you're going to go around complaining that "Mike rigs the games" and is this evil, moustache-twirling villain straight out of Whew!'s Gauntlet... sorry, folks, that's not how it works in the real world. Maybe it's not as "sexy" or sensationalist a story as it would be if there was chicanery going on behind the scenes at Studio 33, but sometimes, the truth just doesn't play by the rules of Hollywood-style drama. The truth is, simply, the truth, and that should be enough in and of itself. It doesn't have te be shouted from every rooftop with the passion of an overcaffeinated Howard Beale, nor does it have to conform to anyone's idea of hidden motives and agendas in a post-X-Files world where nothing is permitted to be taken at face value. Hey, even Sigmund Freud, who all but invented this culture of extracting hidden and often sinister meanings out of any seemingly inoccuous situation, is quoted as saying "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

If we're quite clear on that subject, and can thus accept my occasional jabs at Mike as being of the "good-natured ribbing" variety (and not as an indictment of any procedural wrongdoing), we can proceed with today's extravaganza with as clear a conscience as we're likely to get.

Episode #
6714K
Airdate
24 April 2014
VTR
3 March 2014
First Four
Christopher, Peggy, Brandon, Leetah
Lineup
L-R
Models
Amber Lancaster, Rachel Reynolds

As to what prompted my little editorial in the open... let's just say "I have my reasons" and let it go at that.

1. HTC smartphone w/1yr calling plan (2GB data & unlimited mins/mo) (RR)
Christopher
Peggy
Brandon
Leetah
425
800
801
802



$1870

The "discounted phones in exchange for service contracts" business model of the mobile industry is killing peoples' knowledge of just how much these things are actually worth...

Freeze Frame:
Trip to Rivera Maya, México (6n, Altruistica; AL)

Gut instincts suggest $7,938 as being the only reasonable price on the wheel today.


54
25

11
$5425
79
87
WIN!
38

43
96


Of course, I guess they were in no mood to be reasonable today. Great Robin Hood there, Leetah!

2. Sultana ladies' watch (RR)
Christopher
Peggy
Brandon
Linda
551
850
1
550



$500 Bonus

Do the Math:
  1. Samsung 60" 3D plasma HDTV w/4 pairs of glasses (RR)
  2. Kawasaki KLX-110L offroad motorcycle (AL)
Since TVs end in -00 and motorcycles in -99 more often than not, smart money would be to subtract here.

Linda has her own idea, however, and adds...
As a math kind of guy, it always frustrates me when I see losses like this... until I remember that not everyone is as numbers-oriented as I can be. That knowledge takes some of the sting out of it. Still, it hurts. >_<

3. The /////Alpine Car Audio System of Extremely Unsubtle Foreshadowing (AL)
Christopher
Peggy
Brandon
Elizabeth
1700
1200
1
1600
$2040




A car audio system as the IUFB? That's Too Predictable!:
2014 Ford Mustang V6 coupe (3.7L, 6MT; RR)

$21,115
$22,325
$23,460
$24,995
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$

...is where I would have stopped, but Christopher keeps on keepin' on...

$21,115
$22,325
$23,460
$24,995
$26,451
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$

...well, to one more price, anyway.

$24,995
$26,451
$22,995
WAY, WAY TOO MUCH

$21,115
$22,325
$23,460
$24,995
$26,451
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$

Hey, I would've been wrong too...

(CC1: Caveman-approved patent crooks attorneys)
Showcase Showdown #1

Linda
85
.85

$1,050

Christopher
40
95
1.35

$2,040
Leetah
25
75
1.00
$1,000 Bonus
Bonus Spin
95



4. Bosch dishwasher (RR)
Francis
Peggy
Brandon
Elizabeth
599
600
499
1

$699

SUICIDE

Danger Price: $2400
  1. 3 pairs of L.A.M.B. Urban Chic designer shoes (AL)
  2. Golden West Billiards pool table w/accessories (AL)
  3. StairMaster climbing machine (RR)
  4. Sony 15.5" laptop computer (256GB SSD, 12GB RAM, Bluetooth speaker, Epson AIO; RR)

Gotta think the pool table is the one to avoid here, but you never know around here...
...then again, maybe sometimes you do! ^^;


5. Bradley 6-rack digital smoker w/bisquettes (AL)
Francis
Marcianne
Brandon
Elizabeth
1
1100
699
900
$691




Check-Out:
Beachcomber Leep hot tub & wicker canopy lounger ($9,045; RR)

  • Hungry Jack Diner Stily instant hashbrowns
  • Walgreens Ology facial tissues (90)
  • Good & Plenty candy (6oz)
  • Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
  • Libman Freedom multi-surface floor cleaner

Product
Bid
ARP
Difference
Hashbrowns
2.49
$1.49
$1.00
Tissues
2.00
$1.99
Candy
1.09
$1.29
20¢
Dip mix
4.00
$2.59
$1.41
Floor cleaner
5.00
$5.99
99¢
TOTAL
14.58
13.35
1.23
WIN!

Some scary bidding going on there (four bucks for ranch dip mix? Really?), but he saved it on the last product -- and this is one of those games where a mistake like that can still be recovered from!

Last chance for Brandon to avoid getting his ticket to Leftover Island stamped...

6. Schecter electric guitar w/case (thrashin' GG)
Kevin
Marcianne
Brandon
Elizabeth
575
1200
699
700

$1319



It's off to the Ohio River for Brandon, while Marcianne gets to play Master Key (and I get to test the potency of my headache medicine):
  1. Pair of Wikipad gaming tablets w/2 $250 download gift cards ($900 [1]; RR)
  2. Gas for 1 year (12 gal/wk for 52 weeks; approx. $2,290 [2]; RR)
  3. 2014 Volkswagen Jetta S (2.0L, 5MT, FWD; $16,895 [3]; AL)

Fortunately, that was painless this time. Hopefully the game itself follows the same trend.

Cuisinart 1½qt ice cream maker
Mini vaccuum sealer
4
6
0
5
8
0

6
0
5
8


6
0

8
0
Key #2
NO

Key
Tablets
Gas
Car
#2
DUD
LOSS

I direct all outrage over this result to my opening paragraph, which I stress I wrote before I knew this was going to happen. And as far as Master Key being "unwinnable," I point out that as long as you have at least one key, you have surprisingly good 3-2 odds of winning any one of the three prizes, including the car (the definition of a Master Key "win" regardless of anything else). The odds of picking the dud key? 4-1 against. That's better than most car games based on blind chance, or nearly so; it's a better bet than Gas Money by far (4-1), and not that much worse than the straight-up 50-50 proposition that is Let 'em Roll. But to suggest Master Key, or anything else on this show, is "rigged" in the sense of being set up for a deliberate loss is to display your ignorance of how television game shows work in 2014.

And with that being my final word on this subject, we can put this tired old topic to bed once and for all and move on with our lives.

[1] Source: Google
[2] Source: Based on current national average of $3.67/gal supplied by AAA.com
[3] Source: vw.com

(CC2: Tums / CTT)
Showcase Showdown #2

Marcianne
55
65
1.20

$1,379
Peggy
15
40
.55
WIN
Francis
25
85
1.10

$9,736


Showcases: Peggy top winner, Leetah runner-up.

1. Major Awards
(Fishnet-stockinged leg lamps not included)
  • $2,000 Beverly Hills shopping spree (6h; RR)
  • Ashley 7pc living room group (AL)
  • 2014 Scion xB (2.4L, 4AT, carpeted mats, cargo mat, paint/fabric prot, LoJack+; RR)
Peggy bids $27,500.
(My bid: $25,438)

2. Your Showcase is Now Boarding at Gate 33
  • Trip to Washington, D.C. (1-way, 5n, Capella Washington; AL)
    • 1 dinner
  • Trip to Zadar, Croatia (from DC, 6n, Falkensteiner Hotel Adriana; AL)
    • Park tour
  • Trip to Sydney, NSW, Australia (from Zadar, 6n, The QT Sydney; AL)
    • Harbor Bridge sightseeing tour
  • Return to LA from Sydney
Leetah bids $21,127.
(My bid: $22,599)


Moment of Truth
1. Leetah
Around the World
2. Peggy
Car
Bid
$21,127
$27,500
ARP
$26,485
$25,707
Result
$5,358
$1,793

Leetah wins!
$34,780
$9,153
My result
$3,886
$269


LEADER BOARD: Episode #6714K
Leetah
$34,780
Francis

$9,736
Peggy
$9,153
Christopher


$2,040
Marcianne


$1,379
Linda


$1,050
Offered
$133,105
Won
$58,138
Pct.
42.55%
Bonus
$1,500
Avg.
$9,690
Median
$5,597