Bonnie Baldridge is pictured with "Let's Make A Deal" host Wayne Brady. (Photo courtesy of Hailey Milman)
Bonnie Baldridge is pictured with "Let's Make A Deal" host Wayne Brady. (Photo courtesy of Hailey Milman)
Six months after taping an episode of “Let’s Make A Deal,” a Greenfield woman finally saw Thursday the finished product from a day she calls a “rare opportunity” and “a lot of fun.”

Bonnie Baldridge, who works for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District, said she watched the Jan. 10 episode of “Let’s Make a Deal” on CBS at work Thursday during her lunch break, with her coworkers laughing with her. (Baldridge is also the coordinator of the Greene Countrie Towne Festival pageant through the Greenfield Women’s Queen Association, which she gave a shoutout to during the show.)

Baldridge said the producers of the show do not tell the audience members who will be selected as contestants, and she wasn’t expecting host Wayne Brady to call her name.



“I was shocked when they called my name,” Baldridge said. “I really never expected that. I just thought I was going to go be watching the show and maybe wave. I never expected to get called. I was just happy to get to go.”

Being selected as a contestant on the show was not only a surprise to Baldridge, but it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to even attend the episode’s taping. Her grandson, a student at Fairfield Local High School, was selected to attend the Ambassador Leadership Summit at the University of California – Los Angeles last June, and Baldridge and her daughter flew to California to be near him during the weeklong program.

Once Baldridge and her daughter were settled into their hotel room in L.A., they were looking online for something to do the next day, and Baldridge found the “Let’s Make a Deal” taping.

“I emailed to see if I could get tickets,” Baldridge said. “I did, and I went to the hotel desk and they printed them off. The next morning, I called an Uber, and we got right on.”

Since it was such a last-minute decision, Baldridge and her daughter did not bring the right attire for the taping, as all of the “Let’s Make a Deal” audience members dress in costumes. That wasn’t a problem, as the show offers a rental service, where Baldridge selected her elf costume. Then, just a few minutes into the show, she heard Brady call for “The elf, Bonnie,” to come onstage.

“I just heard him say ‘the elf’ and happened to look, and he pointed toward me and said ‘Bonnie,’” she said. “I was like ‘oh my gosh,” and my daughter’s mouth dropped open.

“He just turned around and pointed at me. At that time, my point went blank. I was just shocked by it.”

Once she went on stage for her short segment – which involved rolling two dice and choosing between $900 or the mystery option, which ended up being the London trip – she said she wasn’t even thinking about being on TV, just enjoying the moment.

“You just get up there and you’re not thinking about it being on TV, although there is a cameraman right in front of you,” Baldridge said. “Even when other people are up there, you’re really cheering them on too because you’ve already met them while you were waiting, filling out paperwork, putting your costume on. You’re already laughing together and having fun, so you’re happy for them when they get up there.

“Everyone’s dancing around, laughing together and talking and having fun.”

In an even bigger surprise, at the end of the episode Baldridge was chosen to go for “The Big Deal,” which is the final round of the show and affords one contestant a chance to win a bigger prize. Baldridge jumped at the opportunity.

“I’m glad with how it turned out. To be honest, London is a place I’ve always wanted to go all my life,” Baldridge said. “I was really excited, but then as I sat there, the more I thought about it, the more I thought ‘who am I going to take with me?’”

Since she won a trip for two, Baldridge said she was worried about choosing just one person among her three sisters and three children.

“I was like, ‘I can’t go to London without all three of my kids,’” Baldridge said. “That’s the only reason I went for ‘The Big Deal.’ I was really happy we could all enjoy the TV.

“I am very happy with the outcome. Someone’s feelings would’ve been hurt. and that would’ve been hard for me.”

Baldridge picked Door No. 3, which wasn’t “the big deal,” but it was still a great deal for her. She won a 75-inch smart television set, cabinet and Apple TV, valued over $5,000. The grand prize would have been trips to both Aruba and Thailand, and she also passed on Door No. 2, which included a barbecue grill. If she had won “The Big Deal,” Baldridge said she would have been in the same predicament, but this time would have to select a person to take with her on both trips.

Baldridge added that she wished her mother, who passed away in 2017, could have experienced it with her. She said that not only would she have been her “only choice” to take to London, but her mom would have loved seeing her on “Let’s Make A Deal.”

“That was my mom’s favorite show,” Baldridge said. “She watched it every day. She would’ve been excited.”

Baldridge said that everyone at the show – from the crew members to announcer Jonathan Magnum to Brady – made it a “fun” experience for her and the other contestants.

“That whole crew is so nice and so much fun,” she said. “It was amazing how much fun they are and how much fun they make it.

“There was so much talent there – Wayne Brady, and even Jonathan was funny and Chris the cameraman. They were fantastic, so friendly and so kind. They laugh with you, laugh at you, joke with you. It was just a lot of fun.”

Baldridge said she’s glad she and her daughter chose to attend the taping June 29.

“It’s a rare opportunity. I never dreamed of it happening to me,” Baldridge said. “It was amazing. I was not only shocked by being selected, I was shocked by how kind everyone was.

“They were all super nice. They interact with the crowd, just like everybody else. I think that’s what made it so much fun.”

To watch the full episode online, select the Jan. 10 episode at https://www.cbs.com/shows/lets_make_a_deal/video/.