For decades, our nation’s Price Is Right spokesmodels have pulled on their sequined coveralls and high-heeled work boots, and marched dutifully into the game show factory for another day of pulling levers and pointing. As Upton Sinclair wrote in his historic game show exposé, The Jungle, “Into this wild-beast tangle these models had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded.” Each day, they point and they pull and they smile, as all around them the contestants erupt in the hog-squeal of the universe over the price of a refrigerator.
But once in every generation, a hero comes along who refuses to be a cog, who would rather be a wrench in the great works of the machine. And yesterday, that hero was model Manuela Arbelaez, who stood up to the human Plinko that is the system and said, “No more will we be pawns in your sick game! No more will we play by The Man’s cruelly arbitrary rules and deceptively close dollar amounts! Today, I will just give you a Hyundai.”
As you can see in the video, Arbelaez mimed embarrassment at her supposed mistake, hiding behind the game board and even wiping away a crocodile tear—all as Drew Carey, chuckling tool of the Price Is Right bureaucracy, laughed it off. Later, Arbelaez kept up her ruse by taking to Twitter to reassure everyone that she was “not in trouble,” while at the same time saving face with her superiors by pretending she felt guilty for her brave actions.
But we know better. We know that Manuela Arbelaez has thrown the first gauntlet in the final, bloody Showcase Showdown between the haves and the have-nots. With a simple Hyundai Sonata, she’s kickstarted the revolution. And starting today, we will be the ones to say when the price is right.