This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Fun & Fit|
Knowing that R, S, T, L, N and E are the most used letters on Wheel of Fortune by the time I was seven years old, and solving puzzles before my parents by the time I was finished with elementary school, were two ingredients that helped create my love of Wheel of Fortune from a very young age. Being on the show "in real life had been a dream for as long as I can remember, but it was a far-fetched one. I mean, no one really ever makes it on the show, do they?
One day in February I was sitting at work and I received an email with the subject line "WHEEL OF FORTUNE CONTESTANT AUDITION and my eyes quickly read over the opening line: "You're invited to a private audition At first, I thought it was spam. Then I remembered throwing caution to the wind and applying through wheeloffortune.com on a whim about six months before that. I couldn't believe what I was reading! It was so surreal; the audition I was being invited to was being held less than 10 minutes from my home in Phoenix. It was too good to be true. I think I called my mom in a brief moment of hysteria before I called the show back to confirm that I would DEFINITELY be attending the audition.
There were about 100 people in the room from all over Arizona, and to start off, we each got a chance to stand up, call out a letter and attempt to solve a puzzle. They called my name during the second or third puzzle, and I was totally excited because I knew it and was going to solve. I called "Q (remember, I knew the puzzle!) and heard the incorrect buzzer. Puzzled, I sat down. The look on my face must have been pretty clear because they reset the puzzle after checking it and realizing it may be spelled incorrectly. A contestant coordinator asked me if I knew the puzzle and I belted out my guess (Backyard Barbeque), and they confirmed my suspicion. Then, the puzzle coordinator let it be known to everyone that barbeque can be spelled with a "C or a "Q. I was VERY quick to point out that I would never argue with the puzzle coordinator, and everyone had a good laugh over it. It may have been an incorrect letter, but it gave me the opportunity to show a bit more of my personality, which I was thankful for.
Those who made the cut after the written test then played mini-versions of the game. We got an opportunity to give a brief description of who we were, like we would during the real show. I think that's when the fact that I was auditioning really hit me. I grew up in Boise, Idaho and when I was young, I would always come up with different things I would say if Pat Sajak asked me to talk about myself. I probably created hundreds of different versions over the years. Of course, I have no memory of what I said at the audition. Though, I do think I mentioned Boise.
The coordinators told us that if we were chosen to be a contestant, we'd get a letter in the mail within two weeks. After about seven or eight days of checking and double-checking the mailbox, my letter arrived. I spent more than two hours calling every single family member in Idaho with the news that I'd made it on the show, and they were all as stunned and excited as me. There was a lot of screaming and laughing and crying (on my part).
Because of work commitments, I had to decline the first two show dates offered to me, but when the contestant coordinator called a third time, the date worked and I was all over it! My parents, brother and I immediately got our travel plans together, and I probably slept about a total of five hours between then and my show date. I was told the theme for my week was "Fit and Fun, and I was definitely down for some FUN! Tune in Friday, November 4th, to find out just how much.