A Drexel student was filmed June 22 on the game show “Let’s Make A Deal.” The game show, featured on CBS every weekday, aired Oct. 29 at 10 a.m., showing sophomore biology major Ashley Alveranga competing to win a prize.
The show, hosted by Wayne Brady of “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” features a studio-audience participation game system. Certain participants are called down based on an application and interviews conducted before the show while audience members wait in line to enter.
When they are called down, the participants play a small game of luck (e.g., choose door No. 1 or door No. 2, or you could give it all up for what’s underneath the big box). Many of the prizes include cash, family trips, household renovations and expensive general items or electronics. On the other hand, all of the contestants have the possibility of getting “zonks,” or joke prizes that aren’t worth anything.Alveranga was on a trip with her family to California from their home in Blue Bell, Pa., when she and her mother decided to see the show. Her mother had gotten the tickets earlier in the spring. “We always go [to visit family], but my mom decided to actually be a tourist. So we went to Warner Bros. Studios and did the whole tour thing. I’ve actually never seen an episode of ‘Let’s Make A Deal,’ before she was like, ‘OK, I got us tickets! Do you [want to] go?’ I was like, ‘Why not, let’s do it,’” Alveranga said. Although they were trying to get tickets to other shows that were on hiatus at the time, her mother had seen a couple of episodes of “Let’s Make a Deal” and went with that instead.
To enter the show, according to Alveranga, participants must be at least 18 years old. Audience members are also not allowed to be participants if they have won cash or prizes on “Wheel of Fortune” within the last six months or “Let’s Make A Deal” within the last three years.
“My mom was like, ‘OK, we have to come up with costumes,’ and I had no idea what to do because we didn’t decide that we were actually going to go until we were actually in California, and this was in June, so it’s not like we had a costume shop that we knew of nearby. So I decided to be Thing 1 and she decided to be the Cat in the Hat. I made my costume so I’m in red stockings, a red tutu, a red top, and a blue-colored wig. I bought a sign that said ‘Thing 1.’ I realized that we couldn’t be a trademark character, so I just took the ‘Thing 1’ thing off, and [my mom] was stuck being the Cat in the Hat. We just went, and she was OK with just sitting there,” she continued.
According to Alveranga, she and her mother got in line for the show at 10 a.m. “We were probably one of the last people to arrive, actually. They had us waiting in line for like three hours, in the sun. It was awful. It was so hot, and I was covered in all this clothing, and they kept saying, ‘We’re [going to] pick you based on your energy while you’re waiting in line off of how talkative you are,’ because they have people coming up to you asking you questions, and they’re like, ‘So tell us something interesting about yourself!’ and I was like, ‘I got nothing.’ My mom was yelling at me to be more excited and happy and was saying, ‘You’re not [going to] get picked!’ I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m [going to] get picked.’”
“You ended up bonding with the people around you because you were in line for so long,” she continued. “I made friends with this Latino family in front of us. They were so funny because they barely spoke English, but they kept saying, ‘It’s so hot, awww!’ I just love them, but then you think you’re [going to] sit next to each other, but they assign you seats.”
When Alveranga entered the studio audience, she was placed in pre-assigned seating and was told that the participants for the game portions had been already picked, but before they would be called out to go on, they’d have to continue showing enthusiasm throughout the show. They were warned that they were being observed through a camera to pick out who they want.
“Between commercial breaks, they had music playing. We were all dancing. I’m an awful dancer. It was so bad. I noticed two cameras pulling into my direction, and one of the ladies came out from backstage and [was] looking at me and I was pointing at her while I was dancing at her,” she said.
“When you see the show, you’re [going to] see that no one’s really next to me because I’m next to a wall [in the corner]. I was in the aisle, and there’s an empty seat next to me, and then there was my mom, and then there was an empty seat next to her, so there was no one really next to us. There were people in front and behind us, but you didn’t want to befriend them because now we were competing,” she said.
Brady soon started the show and picked each of the contestants to participate in the games, including Alveranga. “They asked me if I had a boyfriend because that was part of the skit. Wayne Brady was like, ‘Do you have a boyfriend, Ashley?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ He then asked me, ‘Does he do anything special for you?’ and I was like, ‘Oh no, no!’ and kind of laughed,” she said. Alveranga went on to win a new kitchen for her family. According to Alveranga, there were around 10 other people who were picked to participate in the show, including people dressed as a loofah and a nurse.
“I’m not ‘going to] lie, I’ll probably be back on ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ after a couple years, but I can’t now,” Alveranga said.