The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 10, 2013

Visit turns into big ‘Deal’ for Johnstown contestant

JOHNSTOWN — Will it be door No. 1, door No. 2 or door No. 3?

That’s a question Rachel Van Riper of Johnstown might have to answer on Monday when she’s a contestant on “Let’s Make A Deal.” It will air at 10 a.m. on KDKA and 3 p.m. on WTAJ.

“I was with a friend visiting her mother in southern California and her mom suggested we go on the show because we’re both kind of goofballs and like that kind of thing,” the 24-year-old said.

The two attended a taping of the show in October at Sunset Bronson Studios in Hollywood, Calif.

Van Riper dressed as a pizza maker and went by the name of Luigi. Her friend, Kayla Hiner, wore a pepperoni pizza costume. She played the role of Van Riper’s culinary creation.

“You go there in costume and you sign in and get a number. They take you to a room and tell you the rules,” she said. “There’s a lot of excitement about being on TV and winning.”

Next, participants had an opportunity to take pictures. They were offered food while waiting for the show to begin.

“It was interesting to follow the production of it all,” Van Riper said.

She said they were brought to the studio in groups of 15. They had to give their name and say something interesting about themselves – the cornier the better.

“I used this Italian accent to introduce myself as Luigi and my creation,” Van Riper said.

One person out of each group was selected for a contest and featured on the program.

“It was like a dance party the majority of the time and between commercials,” Van Riper said. “They were watching us to see who was having a good time, smiling and had high energy and would be a good person for the show.”

She admitted when her name was called she starting jumping up and down with excitement.

“You go down to host Wayne Brady. He asked me some questions and made a joke out of it,” Van Riper said. “He was really nice and made me feel at ease because I was nervous.”

Although she can’t say what games she played or the outcome, Van Riper said it was a lot of fun.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience. I had a blast,” Van Riper said.

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