This Week's Contestant
|Hometown:||New York, NY|
Full disclosure: I coordinate my gym routine around Wheel of Fortune so I can force myself to stay on the treadmill for at least thirty minutes. One day, it dawned on mewhy not apply to be a contestant? I recently graduated from law school with a mountain of debt, and figured a stint on my favorite game show could be a great opportunity to repay some loans while having fun in the process. After dutifully logging thirty minutes of cardio, I raced to my computer, logged onto wheeloffortune.com, and filled out the form to be a contestant.
Fast-forward several months. I was at the theater seeing a play, when my Blackberry started buzzing. I glanced at my inbox and saw an email from "WOF Auditions." I assumed it was spam, but opened the email just to be sure. Lo and behold, the email was notifying me that I had been selected to audition for Wheel of Fortune! Imagine how happy I am that I didn't send one of the most important emails of my life straight to the spam folder!
Two weeks after receiving that email, I attended an audition with about 70 people; apparently several auditions were held in New York that week, so I knew the competition was fierce. The contestant coordinators displayed puzzles on a screen, and randomly called on each person in the room to guess letters or solve. I was the fourth person called, the first person to solve a puzzle, and won a t-shirt! After everyone had a chance to play, we were given a five minute test of partially completed puzzles. The contestant coordinators then conferred for a bit, and cut the group to about 15 people. I survived the first cut! We then played a couple of rounds of Wheel and pretended to introduce ourselves to Pat Sajak. When the audition concluded, we were told if we didn't receive a phone call or letter within a month, then we probably were not chosen to be a contestant.
Almost four weeks later, I got THE letter! I learned that I could be contacted any time in the next EIGHTEEN months about a tape date. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait very long; a month later, I was called to be on the show! Unfortunately, the tape date was scheduled for the week I was due to start a new job. I made the contestant department promise not to forget to call me again! I really hoped I would not have to wait a whole year for the next phone call.
Sure enough, four months later, I received a phone call inviting me to Culver City, CA to tape "Desert Oasis" Week. To prepare, I asked my family and friends to email me "desert" words, and I created a master list that I reviewed nonstop. My friend Abby pointed out that it was "kismet" that I was picked for a desert-themed week because we had recently traveled to Morocco with our friend Ali and spent a few days in the Sahara Desert (and even encountered a sandstorm!).
Armed with my knowledge of desert wildlife, flowers, fictional characters, and more, I was ready for my TV debut. Watch me spin the Wheel on April 26!