The Ramblers rally around freshman Aaron Michalko to celebrate his success on “The Price is Right,” which aired Friday, April 8. Courtesy of

The first words the announcer said at “The Price is Right” episode taped on March 9 were: “Aaron Michalko come on down!”  Michalko, a UR freshman and member of the Midnight Ramblers, traveled to L.A. with the entire a cappella group over spring break and attended a taping of the game show, but didn’t anticipate that he would actually be able to compete on the longest running game show on television.

“The announcer announced the first name, but it’s really hard to hear when you’re in the studio,” Michalko said.  “And I look up, and some people are holding a poster and I was like, ‘Oh cool, I know that name … Oh wait, that’s my name!’”

If unfamiliar with “The Price is Right,” the game show consists of contestants bidding on prices of everyday household items, trying to get as close to the price as possible without going over. Four contestants at a time are bidding on these prizes, and for each one who wins, they get called up on stage to compete for an even better prize  that ranges from cash prizes to living room sets, to new cars.

Finally, at the end of the game, contestants that made it up on stage spin a giant wheel with five-cent intervals up to a dollar. The two people who spin closest to a dollar get to compete in the “Showcase Showdown” in which multiple large prizes, like cars, sailboats, international vacation packages, and more are bid on.

Michalko did not end the day by simply being called down, however. Despite being somewhat nervous for a few rounds, he finally managed to guess the price of a retro diner-inspired dining room set within a few hundred dollars, and continued his adventure up on stage with Drew Carrey.

“Oh man, it’s Drew Carrey, I’m on stage with Drew Carrey,” Michalko said about the adrenaline-rushed and intense excitement he felt when called on stage. The prize that he was attempting to win was a retro, ’50s style kitchen to accompany his dinnete set, complete with stove and oven, refrigerator, and a variety of cookware that included dozens of pots and pans.

Michalko played a game called “Safe Crackers.” In order to win all the prizes, he simply had to guess the price of the cookware — he was given three numbers, and had to arrange them to get the right price.”

“I was just looking into the audience, looking for the Ramblers, they were screaming out numbers …  I have the guys in the audience so I’m going to be good,” Michalko said.

Michalko swiftly organized the numbers — with help from his Rambler cohorts — and won the entire prize set. Michalko appeared later in the game to spin the wheel and see if he would be able to further his winning streak, but in the meantime found time to strike up a conversation with Drew Carrey during the commercial break. Carrey asked about the Midnight Ramblers and why they were wearing baseball jerseys that had their names on it.

“It was all pretty spontaneous,” Michalko said. “During one of the commercial breaks, Drew Carrey asked me what my jersey meant and I told him all about the a cappella group, and he called us up on stage and we actually sang for the audience during one of the commercial breaks, but they couldn’t air it on TV because they would have to pay royalties for the song.

“When I spun the wheel, I asked, ‘Hey, Drew do you want us to sing again?’ and the audience cheered for us, so he called everybody up and they sang a little jingle.”

The Ramblers went to “The Price is Right” to simply watch a game show, but ended up having a member win hundreds of dollars in prizes and even managed to sing on national television. Michalko hasn’t received his prizes yet, but plans on using all of his retro-inspired kitchen products when they are shipped in the upcoming weeks.

Penney is a member of the class of 2012.

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