This Week's Contestant
I began watching "Wheel" in my small hometown of Sullivan, IL with my grandma and parents around the age of 5, and my mom said I would just yell letters at the TV. Not much to do for kids in a small town, so I turned to playing along with TV game shows.
#1 on my "bucket list" has always been to be a contestant on a game show, with Wheel of Fortune being my top pick! While auditioning for many, many other shows, I would always come back to Wheeloffortune.com once or twice per year to submit a contestant application. In 2010, I got an email letting me know that my application (#13) had finally been noticed and the "Wheel" was coming to my current home of Vegas...AUDITION TIME!!!
In a sea of contestants at the Vegas audition, I made it through the 3-hour process to the final round and had high hopes. The audition coordinator let everyone know that they had made it to the final cut. The chosen contestants would be notified via letter-by-mail by a certain date. I checked the mail everyday for the next 3 weeks and when the "cut-off" date came & went, there was no letter for me.
Jump to March 2011...email from the contestant department of "Wheel of Fortune" inviting me to come to an audition in L.A.!!!! I made the arrangements, booked the flight, went through the 3 hour audition and made it through to the final cut again! This time I felt so great about the whole experience. Less than a week later, I got the letter in the mail!!!! I was so excited and anxious to know when "my time" would come to be a contestant on Wheel. After months of waiting, I GOT THE CALL! My tape date was scheduled. Again I made the arrangements, booked the flight & hotel, and excitedly awaited the date.
The day had come to fly to L.A. and my best friend Deeba agreed to come with me. Getting on the flight was the beginning of the trip but unfortunately was also a major snag...Deeba had forgotten her I.D.!!! Luckily, with some fast finding, fast driving, and kindness of her brother, Deeba's I.D. made it to the airport and we were able to board the flight on time. (Thanks Faraz!) After a quick flight to LAX, short drive to the hotel, and an even shorter night of sleep, it was time to go to the studio!
Arriving at the "Wheel" studio was so great and I remember thinking as we walked into the building, "I'm on the set of Wheel of Fortune!" The Contestant Coordinators were so awesome in welcoming the contestants and before I knew it, we were learning all about the days events. The Coordinators then took us out to the set for rehearsal, an energy boost, and a quick overview of the set, monitors, cameras, and everything else involved in making TV magic. Then it was back to the contestant room for the random drawing to decide who I would be playing with and which show I would be on!
It's time...after being in the audience for 2 other show tapings, an incredible reassuring chat with my amazing on-set make-up artist, and a short bathroom stop, I took my place at the Wheel. Tune in Wednesday, September 28th, to see how I did!