Every weekday, Breckenridge resident Jayson Perlman gets out of bed and starts his morning routine. Like most valley residents, he probably ponders a shower, coffee, breakfast or a heavy smack to the snooze bar on his alarm clock, but no matter the order of events, his day never really gets going until the TV has spit out a few rounds of “come on down!”
That’s because Perlman, like many Americans, times his morning clock to the granddaddy of all game shows, “The Price Is Right.”
“I watch it every single morning,” he said. “My day doesn’t start until 11 o’clock when ‘The Price Is Right’ ends. Even on powder days, it’s hard to decide (whether to ski or watch).”
Perlman has been following the show religiously since the Bob Barker days with his mother and grandmother.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “It just got a hold of me. I love the games, and people are so silly on that show. It’s just fun to watch.”
Now, Perlman cranks up the volume on host Drew Carey’s antics each morning, which entices his girlfriend, Katie Pickens, into spectating.
“I wouldn’t watch it without him, but normally he turns it on and I get excited, as well,” Pickens said. “He’s yelling at the TV on the couch before snowboarding in the morning. And he always says, ‘I would totally do this and I would win this game.’”
‘Come on down’
Perlman got the chance to put his money where his mouth was recently when he, Pickens and friend Brandon Schweda decided to tack on an extra day to a six-week trip to Indonesia for the express purpose of stopping over in Los Angeles and throwing down on “The Price Is Right.”
The trio arrived at the CBS studio before sunrise to wait in line, decked out in Colorado themed T-shirts.
“We were there from 5 a.m. to 4 in the afternoon, a really long process of standing in line waiting,” Pickens said. “They take groups of 10 to 15, and you’re standing right in front of the guy who’s asking the questions, rapid-fire questions, ‘Where are you from? What do you do?’”
Pickens said you think you know what you’re going to say when you walk into the interview, and all of a sudden, you clam up, which is what happened to her. Luckily, Perlman was able to hold it together and answer the questions. The three finally took their seats in the studio audience, just thrilled to be there, and were completely floored when announcer George Gray threw out, “Jayson Perlman, come on down!”
“I blacked out pretty much,” Perlman said. “I can’t even recall how I acted. I was in extreme surprise; I was so overwhelmed, it was amazing. We got there at 5 a.m., we made awesome, awesome, T-shirts, and we were saying, ‘We’re going to get here early we’re going to be uppity and do silly things, and when they call us up, we’re going to act crazy.’
“It all changes when you get your name called. Everything goes out the window, just sheer excitement and fully overwhelmed by the whole thing.”
“I was screaming,” Pickens said. “I couldn’t hear anything. It all went silent, the lights, I couldn’t believe it. I started jumping up and down and it was kind of surreal, as well. You don’t really know what to expect and then you think you know what you’re going to do. It was over so fast, and I was looking around and I couldn’t believe I was there and I couldn’t believe he got called.”
Pickens said there was a man who stood by the stage, encouraging the audience to clap and scream as Perlman took his spot on contestants’ row to bid for the first item.
“I was just screaming,” she said with a laugh. “I wasn’t yelling out any numbers. I didn’t want to lead him in the wrong direction. I was just screaming out random things.
“I thought, ‘No way, this is awesome.’ I got super happy for him, and Brandon — we just stood up and we couldn’t stop screaming for him because he was so excited and we were just excited for him. With his personality, we knew he was going to get picked. How wouldn’t they want him?”
Heat of competition
Perlman gave credit for his selection to the trio’s enthusiasm and their sweet matching T-shirts. His inaugural bid was for an Xbox One, and careful consideration ended with the classic “The Price is Right” bid of $1.
“I was one of those people to dollar up somebody,” he said. “If you have any idea of what you think you might do if you get called on that show, all that goes out the window. I was fully blacked out. I was asking the crowd for numbers, and I wasn’t even using the knowledge they were giving me. I was just like, ‘I can’t believe I’m up here.’ What an awesome way to start a vacation.”
Perlman wouldn’t divulge which game he played after making the initial winning bid and getting called onto stage to play another game, but said meeting Drew Carey was a bucket list moment of a bucket list day.
“I definitely thought I’d be picking him up and hugging him and everything, but I was beside myself, I couldn’t believe I was standing next to him,” Perlman said. “My friend said I was poking him, like he wasn’t real. I remember looking at my friends in the audience doing arm motions like, hug him, hug him, and they said I was just poking him.
“I had my arm around him at the end. He’s super funny, the way he talks to the crowd. He spoke to me in the contestants’ row after that. He spoke directly to me; it was awesome. He’s definitely a lot skinnier and good-looking in person than he is on TV. The whole cast, George, the guy who says ‘Come on down,’ the models, the whole cast is awesome. They’ve got one of the coolest jobs in the world.”
“Everybody there was so nice, and Drew kind of did a stand up throughout the whole show,” Pickens said. “They were blasting rap music between segments, which I thought was kind of interesting. I wouldn’t have thought that at all.”
Pickens said it was a hyped-up atmosphere with lights and cameras and loud music, definitely exhausting but she would do it again in a heartbeat.
“I got to spin the wheel, which was a dream of mine, I can’t believe I got to spin the wheel, it’s just so dope,” Perlman said. To aspiring “The Price Is Right” fanatics such as him, he advised, “Follow your dreams. Wear something exciting or a piece of clothing that’s eccentric, I think that definitely helps, and just be yourself, when they talk to you, be yourself.”