This Week's Contestant
|Hometown:||San Diego, CA|
I started watching Wheel of Fortune when I was about 8 years old with my Grandma Lori. She was a huge fan and would watch the show every weeknight at 7pm sharp! It wasn't long before I started to love the show. I would always tell my grandmother I wanted to wear beautiful gowns and flip the letters around just like Vanna. She would laugh at me and tell me I could go on the show if I really wanted to. Little did she know, one day I would actually be on the show as a contestant -- not to take Vanna's job. =)
Years later, I finally decided to apply online to be a contestant. I thought, what better way to do something I love and hopefully win some cash! It was almost 6 months until I received an email from Wheel inviting me to an audition in Culver City. I immediately thought it was SPAM. Fortunately it wasn't and soon I would be on my way to Culver City for an audition.
The morning of my audition my "check engine" light came on and I didn't want to risk breaking down on the way up there. Of course this would happen to me the day of! I couldn't believe it! I called my good friend, Harry and he was more than willing to drive me up there. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have been able to experience such a great opportunity. What a relief!
We finally made it up to the hotel and once we parked, there was no turning back. I honestly wanted to run away but this was an opportunity of a lifetime that I couldn't pass up and plus, I had used my 2nd to last vacation day at work so this was a must! There were probably about 100 people sitting around in the lobby waiting for the conference room doors to open where the audition would take place. Everybody looked nervous. I was glad I wasn't the only one. They had us playing mock puzzles and we also had to take a timed test to see how well we were in solving puzzles and knowing the categories. Being timed was a challenge for me because I hate being rushed. We were allowed a break after that. When we returned to our seats, they started making cuts. If your name was called, you were to stay at the hotel for round 2 of the auditions. They must have called about 10 names before I picked up my purse and started losing hope. It was a shock to me that the person's names they did call weren't more excited. Finally, a contestant coordinator said, "Maurissa Smith"! I couldn't believe it! I jumped up with both arms in the air and yelled, "YES!" then put my purse back down. Everybody laughed while I sat there with a big cheesy smile on my face.
We were informed by the contestant coordinators if we made it we would be receiving a letter in the mail within 2 weeks. I received mine almost 6 days after my audition. I was screaming and jumping up and down in my apartment which resulted in me getting my first noise complaint! I immediately called my mom, dad, sister, and of course my Grandma Lori whom now lived in Hawaii. Maybe I could finally visit her if I won big on the show!
Almost 6 months had passed and yet, another busy day at work. A Los Angeles phone number had been calling my cell phone. I wasn't able to pick up and also was in no rush to respond to the missed calls or voicemails because I didn't know anybody from Los Angeles. Finally, a co-worker had told me somebody was calling from Wheel of Fortune on our work queue. This call, I had to take! It was a contestant coordinator asking if I wanted to be on the show still and if so I would have to be at the studio in 2 weeks. I had 1 vacation day left for the year. What better way to use it up!
Finally, I was in the studio. This was unreal! There were almost 20 contestants in this small room in the back where the contestant coordinators prepped us for the big show. They had a bunch of food and drinks in the back but once again, my nerves were getting to me and food was the last thing on my mind. They soon walked us out to the studio to practice spinning the wheel, solving puzzles and using the buzzer. Of course when it was finally my turn to step up onto the platform and practice solving, I started calling out letters that had already been called. All I could think about was I hope this was not going to happen when I was actually on air!
Tune in Thursday, March 1st to see if my nerves take over!!!