Game shows have been adapting pretty well to the coronavirus pandemic, with some programs opting to employ larger lecterns or wheel condoms to ensure contestants are safe and socially distant while trying to win a few thousand bucks. (Or, of course, an all-expenses paid vacation to Sandals Resorts.) The Price Is Right became one of those shows upon its return to CBS’s airwaves on Monday, and if you haven’t already, we encourage you to tune in at the start of every episode for the following reason alone: the Daytime Emmys–worthy work of its contestants, who have to feign shock and emerge from a curtain when the voice of God tells them to “come on dooooooown!” for the One Bid round. (Drew Carrey’s new Kurt Russell-meets-Santa aesthetic is also pretty great, too.) You see, The Price Is Right’s COVID response has been eliminating an audience and preapproving every contestant, which effectively eliminates the element of surprise for everyone involved. Here’s Joshua, who had to pretend like he didn’t have to go through 1/1000th odds to get a chance at playing Plinko.
And here’s Matthew, who’s been meticulously studying for days about the prices of pizza ovens, electric motorcycles, and various Kellogg’s cereals.
Amazingly, the show was able to keep all 77 of its games and its famed Showcase Showdown wheel amid the pandemic, with the only noticeable visual change being a redesign of the One Bid booths — in addition to them being more spaced out among contestants. Plinko, of course, will never die.