This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Mom's Week NYC|
|Hometown:||Harrington Park, NJ|
POSTED on Saturday, May 11th, 2013
OK, it's time to take our places on the set! The Contestant Coordinators are juggling what seem to be 100 balls effortlessly, yet without pause they call on me and the other 2 contestants to get on our marks at the wheel. The mechanical platforms rise and fall individually to suit our own personal height making us all level; I hadn't realized until today that all the contestants on Wheel of Fortune seemed to be the same height. Of course!
Locate the clicker to my right... check
Fix my eyes on MY "stopper" and placement at the wheel, not my neighbor's... check
Be sure my nametag is still straight and stuck firmly on my sweater... check... BRING IT!
Jim Thornton starts what is now the final show of the day and the energy suddenly surges as soon as Pat and Vanna appear. Side note, Vanna White is stunning up close and in person. Instantly, I grab my "clicker" with my right hand as the first round begins. Whoa, I thought I was ready but so were the other contestants! That puzzle was solved fast, and NOT by me. And now, the "Pat Chat" moment... I must say, Pat is absolutely amazing! I've always watched him smoothly speak to contestants with barely glancing at his notes. I was pretty impressed by that actually having watched him do this all day. No mistakes, no editing needed... the man doesn't trip up or get inarticulate. I think his poise helped me with my own "camera conscious personality". We spoke about my family who was in the audience right off the bat; about my children, about my husband, about the fact that I donated a kidney to my father. The chat went well. Hard part over.
Round 2 Toss-Up... Missed it AGAIN! Oh Betsy and Bobbi are on their game! And I'm cheering them on because I promise you; we don't feel as if we're competing against each other. We're all just hoping to get a shot at winning something without hitting "Bankrupt" or "Lose a Turn"!
OK, Round 3... NOW I showed up. This is where it starts for me. I couldn't lose!
Phrase: "I'D LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY"
Phrase: "READING A BOOK BY THE POOL"
Before and After: "READY TO RIP VAN WINKLE"
Solving these puzzles awarded me cash, a trip to Aruba, a CAR, and a $1,000 spa gift certificate! Wait, WHAT? I'm seriously at somewhere around $37,000?? I'm not keeping close track, it's all going too fast.
Now, to the Final Spin. Pat hits $5,000 per letter! That means $6,000 per letter and NOW it's anyone's game!
"B_G_ _S A N D _ _E_ _ _ _EESE"... what IS it? What IS IT? I have $18,000 in cash sitting in front of me right now, not mine yet, but if I could just solve this one I'm just going to explode with bliss! But alas, I don't get this one. Contestant #2 creamed me here... "BAGELS AND CREAMCHEESE". Way to go Betsy!
On to the Bonus Round! And I see my amazing family headed down to the set now to cheer me on. While the last puzzle was being set up and the small Bonus wheel was being placed on the stage, Pat and Vanna approach them graciously introduce themselves. Unbeknownst to me, my father told Pat and Vanna about my daughter Nina's recent success. Just a few days prior, she won the New Jersey State spelling bee!! Well, Pat called that out as soon as we were back to the game. Can you imagine? This made my daughter's day to say the least.
I try my best to solve the phrase in the bonus round. When R S T L N E was revealed, I have to admit, I had no leads. I threw a few "popular" letters out, and hoped for the best.
Nothing. Blank in my mind. I had absolutely no idea. It's "Mom's Week". Gotta use that as a lead, right? What phrase could correspond with the theme of the week? TIME'S UP! And I didn't get it.
"ZIP UP YOUR JACKET" (I smirk as I write that) $35,000 dollars unclaimed.
A few days later on at my daughter Maddie's twelfth birthday party, I took a bunch of her friends snow tubing. "Zip up your jacket" ... if I said it once, I said it a hundred times at the party. Had a giggle each time.
Let's sum it up by saying this this experience was one of the greatest in all of my years. I'm a stay at home mom who lives a fabulous but quiet way of life. This ride, from the moment I applied, through all the waiting, up until the end of the day we taped and finally with the honor of being asked to write an entry on the official Wheel of Fortune Contestant Blog, has been an absolute joy that I won't soon forget.