A Let’s Make a Deal Observer – Part 9 (Do You Ever Wonder Why Sometimes Contestant Reactions Don’t Make Sense?)

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Picking up from last time –

Now, I don’t, at all, want it to sound like I’m hating on Let’s Make a Deal here, ’cause I had fun there. I watch the show, and I love Mike Richard’s podcast.

But have you ever noticed how there’s something about the contestants that feels a little more fake than the contestants on Price is Right?

Or have you ever wondered why a contestant would be quite so upset about, say, missing out on a trip to Florida (or Illinois, or any domestic place where many people have been) – when objectively (taking taxes and such into account) they ended up winning something sweeter (even if that thing is technically worth less, when you compare the values given by Jonathan)?

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling! (Love it!) And I’d be happy for a trip anywhere – even if it’s just to San Diego, or some other super close place. I’d be ecstatic and grateful to win any trip.

But still, when people lose simple trips within the country (and get money or something to boot), not one of them feels like, “eh, I’ve been to Florida” (or even “eh, I live by Florida”)?

Or maybe you’ve seen every person who’s ever missed out on a hot tub be super bummed about it. I’ve always wondered, “Really?! Every person who plays for a hot tub lives in a house and wants a hot tub? No one ever lives in an apartment complex and feels like, ‘Meh, we have a communal hot tub. I’m glad I got [insert technically less valuable prize here] instead?'”

Well, I have found out why the reactions seem fake (or forced) sometimes, and why it seems like many people have the exact same reaction to losing… It’s because they ask you to!

We re-taped one girl’s disappointment twice(!), because they didn’t feel she was disappointed enough. She’d lost out on a semi-local trip, but she kept over $2,000 in cash! (Yes, the episode has aired, so it’s safe to reveal.)

She was understandably pretty happy with the outcome, but the LMAD producers wanted to see more disappointment that she didn’t get the trip. So they staged it. And when she wasn’t disappointed enough, they staged it again.

So, while I don’t want to hate on LMAD at all, I think that specific part is less fun than Price. ‘Cause we don’t have to act at Price. You get to be exactly who you are. And sometimes that makes for crazy segments (or straight-up-rude people saying they barely even want appliances or whatever).

On Price, anyone who admits they’re not into the prize might vilify themselves to the home audience (or the home audience may sympathize if they don’t like the prize either…), but whatever happens with the audience/contestant relationship, the person gets to play and be herself. But on Deal, if you complain about a prize, you don’t get to continue playing (or at least that’s what the producers tell us).

And I’ll get to that big speech next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?