This Week's Contestant
First, I would like to talk about how I got on the show and what the show means to me. I watched the show sporadically throughout my life. I remember people buying objects as they won money, "I'll take the giant dog statue for $100." But it didn't have any real meaning until my son was about two years old. My son Max loved letters. He would sit for hours and play with letter blocks, puzzles etc. One day, my husband's Grandmother, with whom we were very close, turned on Wheel of Fortune. Well, that was it for my son. To see a beautiful woman turn over letters was just a dream for him. After that we would have to watch it every night. We especially loved to watch with Grandma and she loved how enthusiastic my son was as we watched.
I applied online to be a contestant probably two years ago. I certainly never thought I would hear from them. Things like that certainly don't happen to me. Well, our beloved Grandmother passed away in April of 2010. Probably three weeks later I received an email from Wheel of Fortune asking me to come to an audition in New York City (I live in New Jersey). I was beyond excited.
I put on the loudest bright yellow shirt I owned and went to the audition with much enthusiasm.
There were approximately 60 people in the room. We were all asked one at a time to stand and call out letters, and then we were given a short quiz. After that they narrowed it down to 20 people. I was so excited to be one of the 20! Then, they did another series of mock games with 4 people at a time. I solved two puzzles and was dripping with enthusiasm! At the end, they told us that they would call in a week if they wanted any of us for the Las Vegas tapings. I felt really good leaving the audition and prayed for a call.
That call came! At dinner one night a lovely woman from WOF called and asked if I could come to Las Vegas for a taping. Of course I could! My sister offered to come with me since my husband couldn't and we made it a girls weekend.
We were to report to the Sands Convention Center at 8:30 in the morning dressed in what we wanted to wear and bring a change of clothes just in case the first did not look good on camera. There were about 17 other contestants there, 3 people for 5 games and then 2 alternates. We were greeted by about 5 contestant coordinators who led us to the set. That was beyond exciting. It is much smaller in person than you would think. We were given all of our instructions for keeping everything top secret. We were basically behind a black curtain all day and not allowed to wander the set due to privacy issues. We were given tips on how to do well and were made to look beautiful with a fantastic makeup team. We were also allowed to practice by having a mock game. Oh my gosh that wheel is so heavy!! I was not prepared for that. The contestant coordinators also wanted us to be crazy enthusiastic. One even grabbed me by the shoulders and made me jump up and down to get me excited. It actually had the opposite effect and made me more nervous!
Finally, our groups were and stage positions were picked and it was time to go. I really could not believe this was happening! Watch me spin and (hopefully) win!