This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Wheel Around The World|
POSTED on Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Well, the day had finally come when I would have the experience of a lifetime. My husband, Tom, our daughter, Katie, and I had made the 6-hour flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, California. My parents, Stella and Ken, had made their 6-hour flight from Toronto, Canada to be a part of this special day as well. Yes, I am originally from Canada! How cool to be on the theme week of Wheel Around the World! I also enjoy horseback riding, baking and going to concerts. And you would have known all that; however, time was an issue during my banter with Pat at the interview portion of the show!
When I arrived at The Sony Studios in Culver City, I started to get really excited. They were to tape 6 shows that day, so there were 18 of us contestants getting ready. We had to fill out some paperwork and go over the rules of the show. It really hit me that I was going to be on Wheel of Fortune when we stepped out onto the stage and I saw the Wheel and the puzzle board. It was very euphoric for me! As we were taking our turns to spin the Wheel (that thing is heavy!) and practice puzzles, Vanna came out with her cup of coffee and gave us all a pep talk. She is the sweetest thing! She made us all feel good and helped to calm our nerves. We then went backstage to get our make-up done and get some lunch. Lunch? Are you kidding me? I couldn't eat at a time like this! The make-up artist I had worked her magic and was also very comforting and gave words of encouragement.
In the holding area, I met some nice contestants. Sanam from California, Katie from Oregon and I made our own support group. It was soon determined that I was going to be on the first show! OMG! I was quickly ushered out to get my microphone placed and to get on stage for the show.
The moment of truthPat and Vanna are introduced and making their way on stage. The cameras are rolling and this is really happening. It was so awesome! The first toss-up puzzle comes along and one of the other contestants buzzes in, but he didn't get it correct. I sort of panicked and buzzed in right awaybut I didn't know the answer! That is why you see a pained expression on my face. Sweden? Oh great. Well at least I got that flub out of the way! Pat is conducting the interviews and then comes to me. I had some fun with him and then we immediately moved on to the next toss-up puzzle. I buzz in and get it! "Train Station!" I now have $2000! Ok, now I am relaxing a bit.
There are moments from my wonderful 22 minutes on television that are a complete blur. I am anxious to see the airing of the show so that I can fill in some of those blanks. I remember playing the Prize Puzzle and loving it because I was very close to figuring it out when the Wheel got me. The Wheel got me quite a few times during the course of the show, but when it occurred during the Prize Puzzle, I felt pain! Especially after one of my opponents solved it and the prize was a trip to Hawaii!! Ugh! I shook it off and moved on.
I had another euphoric moment that day. I ended up solving the puzzle "Forrest Gump Wins Oscar for Best Picture." You see, Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies of all time. What a joy to be able to solve that one! And it earned me another $6900! I did not pay much attention to the score as I was so focused on the puzzle and letter board, so hearing that made me smile even more.
I was able to solve the third toss-up puzzle and get another $3000. I was currently in the lead and I could taste the Bonus Round. It was to be my turn to spin, but then the sound went off to signal the Final Spin. I called a letter and told Pat that he has nice teeth! The other contestants had a turn and then it was back to me. I knew it was "Listening to a ______" but couldn't get it. Again, another pained look on my face! Bonus land was not in the cards for me, but I had an absolute blast and won $11,900 in cash! Maybe I will get to take a trip to Hawaii with my family after all!
When the show was over, we had the choice to leave or stay and watch the rest of the shows being taped. What do you think I did? Stayed and watched the remaining shows of course! It was fun because I could cheer the other contestants on and relax now that my taping was done. After the sixth show, my family and I were walking outside. My husband was taking a picture of me, my mother and my daughter in front of a huge Wheel of Fortune sign on the side of the studio building. When all of a sudden, Vanna came out with her street clothes on! She called me by name (yes, she remembered my name!) and got in the picture with us! She gave my daughter a nice hug and then walked to her car. What a great way to end a wonderful day! The day could not have been as great if it wasn't for the super contestant coordinators. They are a group of people who know what they are doing and do it well. They made all the contestants feel prepared, at ease and gave us energy to have fun. Thanks so much to you all!
So, will the words "Listening to a Playlist" and "Sweden"haunt me for the rest of my life? No way. I was "Playing the Wheel" in "California" and had the time of my life!