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What You Really Have To Go Through In Order To Be A Contestant On The Price Is Right

Did you spend large swaths of your pre-streaming-services childhood faking sick to avoid school, lying on the couch with only soap operas and game shows at your fingertips? Or perhaps you're a person who's reached an age where all-day, everyday adulting is inescapable, and you find yourself wandering supermarket aisles weekly, comparing prices of frozen fish sticks and laundry detergent and lamenting the ever-present rise in prices.

In either case — or both — you may have developed an exaggerated confidence in your ability to predict prices, a key skill for contestants on "The Price is Right." Surely you'd kick butt and take names if you ever got the chance to play for real as you appear on set in sunny California instead of watching in your own dim living room.

So, okay, let's say you really would have a shot at the showcase if you were a contestant. Let's do this then. How does an aspiring contestant get on the show?

Read the rules, including the fine print

You know that thing you see on TV, where the camera sweeps over the "Price is Right" audience searching for the next contestant? And then it zooms in on the most extravagantly costumed audience member and that person is called up to the stage? (Hold on. It's "Let's Make a Deal" that has the costumes, not "The Price is Right.") Anyway, the selection process looks pretty random, right? Except, there's no denying the announcer — vocal wonder George Gray, since 2011 — knows the names of the people he's calling when he invites them to, "Come on down!"

This is a clear indication that the selection process is not as random as it appears. You can't just show up in the audience, cheer with lively abandon, and hope to get plucked out of your mundane existence by fate. You've got to work for it! And that doesn't mean merely honing your knowledge of up-to-date pricing information.

First step: Make sure you're eligible to compete. The most up-to-date rules are listed on the "Price is Right" contestant application. They state that you must be 18 or older and you should be able to honestly attest that you're not running for public office anytime soon, you haven't been a contestant on the show in the past 10 years, and you and your family members shouldn't be employees of certain related companies. There's a whole slew of legalese you'll want to peruse about the details of these requirements. (Also, check the "Price is Right" website frequently since the rules may change.) Assuming you meet all the basics for eligibility, it's on to the next step.

This is no place for a poker face

Planning ahead for your big moment as a contestant on "The Price is Right" is fraught, because you have to move forward without knowing whether it's even going to happen. If you're committed to this project, it's time to take a leap of faith. Get thee to Los Angeles. You'll want to get a ticket to the show, reserve your hotel room, and head to Bob Barker Studio (named for the show's longtime host and producer).

There, you'll find a lot of other hopefuls, brimming with enthusiasm for the show just like you. They wear homemade T-shirts designed to attract attention (via The Washington Post). They pump their fists, jump around, and try to pass gifts to the people in charge of their destiny (via New York Post). Technically, co-producer Stan Blits is the guy you need to impress, but he doesn't take bribes and he's not about to be swayed by your clever T-shirt either, even if it has his face on it.

Blits works his way through the line granting each aspiring contestant one minute of his time. Interviewing about 53,000 hopefuls each year, he knows what he wants. Is this a case where your face is your fortune? It can't hurt to look your best (this is television, after all), but appearance is far from everything in the selection process. "I am looking for energy, sincerity and potential humor," he said. "And if they can equal my energy or exceed it and maintain it, they are at the top of the list."

Your teachers were right: You must apply yourself

Until recently, "The Price is Right" had potential contestants complete an application much more interesting than the average form you'd fill out for a job in the food court at the mall. It asked people to describe their personality, divulge a secret no one else knows, and confess the craziest thing they'd ever done for money. Blits probably won't get around to such detailed and intimate questions during your 60 seconds of facetime. He'll likely ask more typical queries about where you're from and which game you like best on the show. Still, it can't hurt to go into this with a strong sense of self — you know, the specifics that make you shine and will help you stand out from the crowd.

When your interview time is up, Blits will move on, and you may think you've done all you can do to secure your spot as a contestant. That's where you'd be wrong. According to The Washington Post, he's going to be sneaking looks down the line to check whether you're still energized — so be sure to maintain your enthusiasm!

If you can manage to silently convey your excitement (like superstar contestant Amie Yaniak, who caught Blits' eye by miming avocado mashing), you could gain the opportunity to spin the Big Wheel or play Plinko or compete in the Showcase Showdown. Any number of wonderful outcomes could be yours, including not only playing, but winning cold cash and amazing prices. Keep these goals in mind, and you just might pass the test to become the next contestant on "The Price is Right!"