This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Bed & Breakfast|
|Hometown:||Honey Creek, IA|
It was so hard to sleep, but thankfully, morning came quickly. At breakfast I noticed several people who looked about as anxious as I did some concentrating on an electronic device (I presumed they were playing a last few rounds of Wheel), some speaking in low tones to family and friends, and others, like me, taking a few bites of breakfast hoping to calm the nerves. Soon it was time to go to Sony Studios, meet all of the contestants, review the rules, sign paperwork, and find out through a random drawing which number show (5) and which standing position (1 right next to Pat) were mine. I was thrilled with our show's theme, "Bed and Breakfast," and our sponsor, BedandBreakfast.com, as I often use this website when traveling as it allows me and my family the opportunity to really get to know an area rather than merely visit it.
The contestants were surprised by a visit from Vanna White with a reminder that she, Pat and all of us were here to just have fun. All the contestants agreed that it was a gracious way to put us at ease. Then we practiced our Wheel-spinning technique (thumb up, pull and push), where to clap (well below the microphone), speaking up (loud voices!) and focusing on the puzzle (not looking down at all at the wheel). Once practice was over, taping began, and after several tapings were completed, it was Reggie (from Bakersfield, CA), Ivanna (from Louisville, KY) and my turn. Each of us had agreed that we were going to be a part of one of our "lucky days" and whose-ever "day" it was, we were going to encourage one another along the way; it was an honor just to be playing.
We went backstage so that the magical make-up artists could make us shine. But in the process, a bit of the foundation landed on my blouse and in one sweeping motion meant to remove the flake, the make-up smeared down my front. I was panicked you see, even though we were asked to bring a second outfit "just in case," my eldest daughter strongly suggested I just be very careful and wear our first choice. As the other contestants waited, the make-up artists masterfully removed the smear without a hint or trace and then hurried me onto the set. Later, I was to learn that both daughters had knowingly looked at one another to make sure it was me backstage with some sort of wardrobe malfunction!
The game went by in a whirlwind. You may have noticed my surprise when one of my spins landed on the Million Dollar Wedge! My eyes were on the puzzle and the used letter board so until Pat mentioned it, I didn't know I had landed on it! What a nice surprise to also land on the KIA wedge; I was hope-filled that I might also win a car! Alas, neither one was to be a Bankrupt took them both. There were two puzzles I did solve the Prize Puzzle ("Flight Attendants Prepare for Landing") granted me my trip to the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, Bahamas! The second ("Lemon Meringue Pie") gave me the boost needed to head to the Bonus Round - $15,000 in cash and prizes!!
Unfortunately, there were two missed opportunities as well the first ("Blue Jays and Cardinals") still makes me shake my head as I am a graduate of Creighton University, home of the Blue Jays! This cost me the Jackpot total, too ah, well: I must admit I am far more understanding of other contestants who seem to go blank as I did! The second missed opportunity was during the Bonus Round, but how exciting it was even to get that far! "Calypso Beat" was not something I could recognize, even with the additional letters I chose. When I see it now in type it is all too clear, but then well, that was another matter.
All in all, it was an amazing journey from Honey Creek to Culver City. From Pat Sajak's dry wit to Reggie and Ivanna's encouragement, to Vanna's graciousness, to my friends' and family's support it was an experience I will warmly remember and treasure. Plus, I get to make more memories in the Bahamas while enjoying a second honeymoon how fantastic is that? Thank you, Wheel of Fortune!