Toeth's Pyramid City Sweep Report
Hello everyone! I've been to the Mall of America a bunch of times, this time, had to be the best of them all.
On 9/27/03 we started out at the mall around 9AM, plenty early for the 10AM audition, we came into an empty store front refixed to become the audition room. Executive producer Stephen Brown and another woman associated with Pyramid, brought us down to the portable set. It was reasonably quiet at first, so I decided to walk back over to the audition room to see if a crowd had accumulated there... but on the way there, a number of mall security guards come walking by, I look over figuring there had to be some sort of explaination. In the center of the crowd of guards... the host of Pyramid, Donny Osmond! I paused to get out my camcorder and follow them along, Donny and the guards made an unscheduled visit to the set.
I don't know quite how I managed to get such a good spot, I'll call it luck. I was able to stand in an unoccupied area and get some great video of Donny's entrance.
He went up on the stage and talked with some of the event operators. Afterwards, he came down and signed some autographes for the growing crowd.
I really couldn't have had a better spot on the edge of the rope, suddenly a large number of people are crowding around me as Donny hurriedly signed vintage records and other memorabilia of his. As Donny come within a foot of me, having signed an autograph to the person next to me, his cell phone rang and away he went... oh well, maybe I wasn't as agressive as everyone else. Close didn't count in this situation.
Later in the day, I stood for a few hours enjoying the Pyramid stage show. Steve Saunders did a fine job hosting, the former GSN Emcee and Pyramid warm-up guy, brought the game together with humor and fun.
The game monitors they had set up on stage were virtually impossible to read, so the contestants were given cards to read from. The stage game consisted mostly of simple back and fourth qualifying rounds, calling up 2 people at time to give back and fourth. Unfortunately, of the many qualifying mock games, there were no more than 3 winner circle games. Steve also mentioned that some major changes were coming to the Pyramid show and to stay tuned, as he wasn't allowed to say what it was. He also stated that the shows ratings were up and to stay tuned for what he thought would be many more seasons.
Later, Donny's scheduled appearance for 12PM is counting down, past 12:20 and still no Donny in sight. Steve continues the games, and pretty soon, he announces he had been spotted around the mall. Shortly after, Donny returns to the stage. Donny told some stories about the show in general, memorable moments and had a question and answer session from people in the crowd, one person had asked him where he saw himself in 10 year, he replied to say that he hopes he's still doing what he's doing now, including hosting Pyramid.
Taking Steve's place, Donny hosted a couple games on stage for about an hour and a half, including a question and answer session.
Soon, he came down to sign a few more autographes then and ran off, Steve announced he had a plane to catch and in a blink he was gone. I wasn't able to grab an autograph, but I still a great time.
Later in the day, they were announcing the audition finalists to come on the stage, one of which Mary-Lynn McCann was called to the stage. For the avid Game show insight readers, Mrs. McCann did an interview for me the previous year for her appearance on Millionaire. Unfortunately, Mary was not picked as the big winner of the Pyramid final 15 they picked, her game partner, Brian won the big honor and receieved a trip to California for a guaranteed contestant spot on an upcoming show. Getting in contact in advance, Mary and I were able to meet in person and chat a little while in person after the event, Brian, the big winner joined us and stood in for a picture.
I also met Des, another finalist and his group that accompanied him. I also met Brenda, a Donny.com'er. The Donny.comer's were quite active in the event, and a few made it on stage.
I also was able to visit with Pyramid Executive Producer Stephen Brown, who was a real thrill to meet.
All in all, it was a great time at the City Sweep, I'd love to come again if it returns to the Mall of America again, the crowd was amazing, I think it's a possiblity.
I stayed overnight in Minneapolis and when I woke the next morning, I looked out the window and I couldn't believe what I saw, the Pyramid City Sweep truck was parked right under my hotel window. It's funny, I had joked about going to go get a picture in front of it when it was parked in an out of the way parking area across from the mall. I would actually be able to get a picture at this easy location!
Well, we've now come to the end. I hope you've enjoyed my little report! I hope to have another story to share down the road.
- Jason (Toeth's Game Show Insights Webmaster)