This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Going Green Portland|
POSTED on 7-24
It happened! I got to be on Wheel of Fortune! What a complete rush. Many of you may have seen it on T.V., but for those of you who didn't, and those of you who want to hear all about what was going on inside my head, here you go...BUCKLE UP!
They day started really early for me, considerable early, I'm talking the night before early. I had 3 outfit options, all of which were interchangeable. My friends dutifully evaluated each outfit, with prideful smirks because rarely do I give them the chance to judge me out loud! I decided on an outfit that didn't have my usual loud colors because this was going to be on T.V. after all! I am guessing I got a total of maybe 2 hours of sleep because my excitement kept me up all night!
I was staying with some friends in Portland who were nice enough to get up super early and drop me off, because I knew I would end up wandering around the convention center aimlessly. I arrived early enough to mingle with my fellow contestants, one of which ended up being a friend from college and we were able to catch up on the 9 years we haven't seen each other.
Throughout the morning there was a lot of excited chatter and more than one person uttering "If I only win one puzzle, let it be the Prize Puzzle!" Much of the time was spent going over the rules of the game, the types of puzzles we may get, and to make sure everyone's contact information is up to date.
Soon we were broken up into 5 groups of 3 (the players we would ultimately play against, or with, however you look at it). One person from each group of three gets to randomly draw a ball out of a bag that has the numbers 1-5 listed and that is your show position. I got to the ball drawer! I drew out the number 1, which I was very pleased with because I have always enjoyed going first! After that each person in the group of 3 got to draw their placement on the show (red, yellow, or blue). Of course, everyone wanted to stand next to Pat! My show ended up with Manny directly next to pat, me in the middle, and Lindsay on the end.
Before our taping we were allotted some practice time to make sure we could call out letters loud enough, spin the hefty wheel, and ultimately not freeze up on stage. This is when everyone started to get nervous! It was really happening!
It felt like only minutes and we were up on the stage. I couldn't help but beam when Pat and Vanna waltzed up on the stage arm in arm. Then the game started! Oh no! I missed the first toss-up! Manny takes the toss-up and quickly starts us off with our introductions. He is telling Pat about how he is a fire dancer and all I can think is "Emily you're next, don't say anything stupid to PAT SAJAK!" Pat's introducing me and it seems to go smoothly, oh my, did I just tell millions of viewers about our Big Foot obsession! Oh well, Pat seems to think it's funny. My thoughts are immediately back into the game and on nabbing this next toss-up that I don't even hear what Lindsay is saying. BAM! I nail the next toss-up calling out "LONG DISTANCE RUNNING". Yes! $2,000 in the bank, that gets the dreaded thoughts of the consolation $1,000 out of my head (which is actually an awesome amount of money, I just didn't want to be that player!).
I get to start of the next round and in true nail biting fashion my first spin lands on the MILLION DOLLAR WEDGE, I call out a correct letter and get to pick it up. Oh no, I lose a turn and the game moves on. Eventually the game gets back to me and I know the puzzle. WHAT DO I DO???? Yes, America, I went all out and with a Million Dollar wedge and $1000 in the bank I say "SPIN". BANKRUPT. WHAT!!!! I can see all of America yelling at their T.V. screens! Oh no, I can't believe I did that. There goes my Million and we cut to commercial bank. At this point I am noticeable agitated with myself and Pat assures me that I am there for a reason and he asks me "Why wouldn't you take a chance, there are still a lot more rounds to go". He's right, I made my decision and I am still in this game.
The next two rounds are a blur. I managed to lose both Kia wedges in one game, yes folks, I lost an ENTIRE car. But I didn't know the puzzle! That's what happens, it goes so fast! The prize puzzle is over my head too. I call out an "I" when I should have went for "O" but I was so flustered! Oh my gosh, I lost a trip to the CARRIBEAN. Ugh. Meanwhile, in my head I am questioning whether I am even good at this game! But I remind myself there is another toss-up coming and I am good at those!
It's the third toss-up and I know the puzzle! As I am buzzing in I see Manny's buzzer light up first. He beat me to it!!! I am happy to say (sorry Manny) that he missed the puzzle which then allowed me to buzz right in with "ELECTRIC WOK".
Woohoo! Another $3,000 in the bank. That puts my total up to $5,000 which also puts me only a few hundred behind my fellow contestants. If I can win the Final Spin round, I could get to the Bonus round. Every ounce of my body was on high alert. In my head I was chanting "YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU CAN DO THIS".
It's the final spin round and I can clearly see the words "covered cranberries" in the Food & Drink puzzle. But what is that first word? It's my spin. Holy Moly I know what it is! "YOGURT COVERED CRANBERRIES". In my head I am thinking "Wait, do people eat those? Is that a real thing?" I am staring at Pat sure he is going to say I am wrong, but he waits 2 nerve wracking beats. "YES!". I am never ever going to forget that puzzle for the rest of my life!
WHOA, I'M GOING TO THE BONUS ROUND!!!! My cheeks may actually fall off from the smile that is stretching across my face. Talk about the comeback of the century. I lost a million, I lost a car, and I totally went blank during 2 puzzles. But I did it! YES!
We cut to commercial break and I get a quick chance to practice spinning the bonus wheel. Pat asks me how I'm doing and I can't help but shake with complete and utter excitement and joy. I just won $11,200 dollars! Wooohooooo!
We're starting the bonus round and I have no idea how I am going to do at this. This is the type of puzzle I practice a lot with my co-workers though, so maybe that will come in handy. I spin the bonus round wheel, pick an envelope (the letter G) and take Pat's hand to move into position to watch the puzzle unveil. RSTLNE. I quickly add my 3 go to consonants BPD. I always choose "A" but in a last minute change I go with "I".
Here is what I see:
B I R D
_ _ _ D
I have 10 seconds allowed to solve the puzzle and I must have burned through at least 8 of them before even opening my mouth. In my head I am thinking, "Okay there are worse puzzles...I can do this...there is no E so it cannot be SEED". I know that my time is dwindling so in a last stitch effort I mumble "Bird Food". IT'S RIGHT!!!!!
I JUST SOLVED THE BONUS ROUND!
Pat asks me if he should open the envelope. Of course he should! He shows the audience first and there are cries of delight. In slow motion he turns it around to me and I see....
WHAT IN THE WORLD. Cannons go off and there is confetti everywhere! Am I in a dream? This is absolutely crazy. My Mom, Dad, Brother Graham, and friend Joscelyn (who was on the show in 2004) rush the stage. We are all so shocked. I am nauseous with disbelief, excitement, and happiness.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME? This was literally one of the best days of my life. From day 1 at the Wheel Mobile audition and all the way to winning $111,200 it was the greatest adventure. I had so much fun and met some amazing one-of-a-kind people. This could happen to anyone, you just have to try out!