Alabama student competes on The Price Is Right

Photo+courtesy+of+Fremantle
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Alabama student competes on The Price Is Right

Photo courtesy of Fremantle

Photo courtesy of Fremantle

Photo courtesy of Fremantle

Photo courtesy of Fremantle

Andrew Littlejohn | @Andrewlittlej19, Contributing Writer

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University of Alabama alumnus Kayla Edwards has been given the chance to compete on “The Price is Right” for its yearly episode of “College Rivals,” where Alabama is set to face off against Auburn. The episode will premiere on CBS on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m.

Edwards graduated from the University in 2018 as a pre-med biology major. Edwards, who is currently seeking a Master’s in biomedical science at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, heard about the opportunity through her Orange County alumni chapter. 

“The president of the alumni chapter [Steven Scholl] reached out to everybody and was like, ‘OK, we need alums and current students to sign up for ‘The Price is Right’’ because they were having a college rival episode,” Edwards said. “I was like, ’Oh yeah, I’m gonna go so I can be in the audience and people back home can see me on TV.’ And then it was a rivalry episode, so people from Auburn were there as well. So I was like, ‘Ooh, lit. It’s gonna be fun.’”

Edwards is originally from Rockford, Alabama, which has a population of about 500 people. For Edwards and her family, the opportunity had a special meaning.

“I took it as an experience,” she said. “I’m from the country. My grandma and my older relatives and everybody from the country watch ‘The Price is Right.’ That’s what people do.” 

Strategy is key to game shows like this. Demarie Corely, a senior majoring in criminal justice, watched a live episode of The Price Is Right back in 2016 as part of her high school’s senior trip. From the front row, Corely made some important observations. 

“Somebody always bets a dollar,” Corely said. “It’s a given someone is going to bet a dollar. That’s because people are either higher or lower. If you’re higher than it, you’re not going to get it, but if you’re lower and you’re closest to it, you’ll be the one who wins. Let’s say the item is $4.98 and someone says $5.99, and someone says a dollar – the person who is the lowest is going to get it.” 

Preparing to be on the show is different for each individual. Edwards spent days on Reddit and the game show’s website to go over rules and learn tips from users. 

“Who goes to a game show blindly, especially when you have that chance of being the one to come on down?” she said.

But for Corely, her tactics as an onlooker were more hands-on, aside from shouting the occasional “Roll Tide” for good luck.

“Study prices,” she said. “That’s what I did. At Walmart, they have booklets that tell you the prices of everything, or Amazon. Know the general price points of everything. If you do that, you’re golden.”

While most episodes are only an hour long, Corely – who attended the Fourth of July special – was expected to spend nearly a full day on the set. 

“It wasn’t what I expected at all,” Corely said. “It was very security-based. You couldn’t have your phone as soon as you stepped into the studio. You had to fill out a whole bunch of information. If you were sponsored by anybody or held public office, you couldn’t participate.”

Corely said the shoot took about eight hours and the studio had about 150 audience members, and that the producers had to keep reshooting because the crowd wasn’t loud or excited enough.

But the producers and hosts, Edwards and Corely noted, also took measures to make sure their guests were having a good time. Drew Carey, the host of “The Price Is Right,” was just as engaging and friendly off-camera as he was in the studio, Edwards said.

“It wasn’t just him being up there talking during the show,” Edwards said. “He actually took a chance to get to know people in the crowd. Everybody was really welcoming.”

While the Iron Bowl is arguably one of the most tense rivalries on the field, competitors brought on an even more heightened level of competition in the studio. 

“I go to Bama,” Corely said. “I will die on this hill that Bama is the superior university. In terms of school spirit, we obviously got them beat. We’re Bama, duh.”

This show is a great way to kick off Iron Bowl weekend, Edwards said. For Auburn fans, she has a final word of advice. 

“Don’t get your hopes up,” she said.