This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Wheel Around the World|
|Hometown:||Kansas City, MO|
When I opened the email inviting me to a private audition for Wheel of Fortune to be held on April 1, 2010, my first thought was, "Surely, someone has hacked into Sony's email and is playing the biggest April Fool's joke of all time." I called the hotel where the auditions were to be held, and they confirmed: it was real. I couldn't believe it! I was so excited. I have been watching Wheel of Fortune for most of my life. The email said I could bring one guest to audition with me. I immediately called my best pal, Nicholle, and we screamed together like school girls.
From the moment we found out we were going to audition, we made it a priority to be home by the time Wheel of Fortune came on every night. My amazingfriends and co-workers helped me daily.My friend Jen even dubbed herself my WOF coach.We had mini Wheel of Fortune games during our lunch breaks at work,with my friend Maria acting as Vanna.I had support and help from everyone around me. So, when it was time to audition, I wasn't so nervousit actually felt like I was just practicing. The contestant coordinators are incredibly helpful. They make you feel comfortable and at ease, like you're just playing a game, not trying out for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be on "America's Game Show."
There were about one hundred of us there. They called us one by one to guess a mock puzzle. When our turn came up, I had no clue what the puzzle was. I asked Nicholle, and she didn't know either. I called out the letter P, but it was not in the puzzle. I sat down thinking I had just ruined our chances. Luckily, they came back to us, and this time, we solved the puzzle! We were jumping around and screaming. The contestant coordinators said, "Ladies, you know you didn't actually win any money, right?" I thought, "Perfect. They will remember us."
We played a few more mock puzzles and took a written test. The contestant coordinators left the room to grade the tests, and came back to let us know who made the second cut. Both Nicholle and I had, but this time they split us up. We had a few more mock puzzles. I solved one again! I was feeling great about the audition. They let us know that if we were chosen as contestants, we would get a letter in the mail within two weeks.
Every day, multiple times per day, I checked the mail. One day, Nicholle and I were hanging out, and she said, "When do you think the letters will come?" I said, "Today is the eighth day since we tried out. It's a day of new beginnings. The letter is coming today." Twenty minutes later, the mailman pulled up with my letter! I could not believe I was actually going to be a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune. Of course, I called every single person I knew and told them.
This was when the real waiting started. In the letter, they let me know that they have up to eighteen months to put me on the show. I started practicing right away, every day. I watched the show, I played online, I memorized the alphabet in accordance to the percentage each letter is used, my friends and co-workers continued to give me puzzles to solve daily, and I dreamed about solving puzzles for three months. Then one day, I got the phone call!
I had a lot of friends and family help me get to California for the show. My best pals, Nicholle and Melissa, were able to come with me. We booked our rooms and flights. We were on our way!
I was so nervous when I arrived at the studio on the day of taping. It was surreal; I was waiting for someone to pinch me. At the studio, I met the other contestants, who were all so nice and just as nervous as me. Before filming, we were led into the studio where we were allowed to spin the wheel, see the puzzle board, and become familiar with our surroundings. After working with the contestant coordinators to prepare for the morning, it was time to tape the shows. I was on the last of six shows that were filmed that day, and with every show, my nerves were building and building. Watch me on Monday, August 1st, to see if they got the best of me!