The Price is Right hits Toronto, proceeds to suck
There was something just a little off about The Price is Right Live, a watered-down touring version of the longstanding mid-day game show that rolled into the Molson Amphitheatre on Sunday. Not that it mattered one iota to the throngs of eager wannabe contestants on hand.
Outside of the iconic branding, a few familiar games and the ever-recognizable urging to “come on down,” there weren’t many elements that were consistent with the beloved show. For one thing, there was no Drew Carey — rather, a grating “tour host” was in his stead.
But even beyond the host, the show was clearly stripped-down in comparison to the TV show. The staging was surprisingly minimalist, with little glitz beyond a big “The Price is Right” banner and, of course, the presence of the signature wheel. For those contestants lucky enough to hear their names called, the prize offerings paled in comparison to those served up in the Burbank, California studios. Where prize packages on the TV program are routinely highlighted by cars or exotic vacations, Toronto participants couldn’t aspire to much more than a free fridge or kitchenware.
But you wouldn’t know it by the response of the spirited audience.
The 4,000 hopefuls on hand were colourful in more ways than one, donning a rainbow’s worth of bright shades and loud clothing. The traditional spirit of The Price is Right is distinctly kitsch, and the show’s Toronto fans responded accordingly. Ladies proudly exhibited shirts identifying themselves as “Barker’s Beauties” (the collective identity of the eye-catching models who display the show’s prize offerings, named so in association with former Price host Bob Barker), while men donned Maple Leafs jerseys for a clear Canadiana flavour.
The fans’ spastic responses were no different from what you’d see on TV, nor was the frantic energy during the Showcase Showdown and the fan favourite game of Plinko.
In short, an enthusiastic crowd made the most of the road show, even if the price wasn’t quite right.