Ronald T's Blog Post
What is your Wheel Story?
Growing up, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy was a family tradition. My grandma was a faithful watcher and eventually inspired me to start watching every day. At about 13, I started keeping score with my cousin and would compete to see who would guess puzzles first and claim the title of ‘Best Puzzle Solver”. Fast forward to my college year, I still never stopped watching Wheel and every day I would become frustrated with myself for solving the Bonus Round successfully when the contestants couldn’t. I finally, told myself I should be on this show and so I applied.
How did being on the show compare to watching it at home?
Ahh! Being on the show was literally a dream come true! Having lights and cameras in your face while trying to focus on a puzzle can really become overwhelming, but it truly was an eye-opening experience. Think about a situation in which you felt under constant pressure, multiply by 100 and there you have what it is like to compete in front of contestants in front of a live studio audience. Also, being on the show was such a phenomenal moment because we get to see what happens during commercial breaks which is a lot of fun as the whole wheel crew pumps you up for the next round.
What was it like meeting Pat and Vanna?
Oh my gosh! Meeting Pat and Vanna was surreal. I literally could not believe that I was given this wonderful opportunity to stand in front of (as well as greet) Pat and Vanna. Prior to the show, we got to meet Vanna before she went into hair and makeup and she was truly flawless (the television doesn’t even compare to her beauty in real life). Vanna was full of energy, kind, and wished everyone a successful experience while on the show. Meeting Pat during the show was such a great experience. Pat is hilarious! His sense of humor and jokes are second to none. I got the awesome opportunity of surprising Pat with a hug that he didn’t even see coming!
What was your favorite part of the entire experience?
My favorite part of the entire experience was meeting 14 other contestants and hearing their stories on how they got on the show as well as watching their episodes from the audience and cheering them on. Everybody was truly a pleasure to meet and I was shocked to see the amount of support we all had for one another. Everyone wanted everybody to do well and it was such a humbling experience to be a part of College Week. Even to this day, I am still in constant communication with the two contestants from my episode. Wheel has established a bond between 3 people that will never be broken.
What’s something Wheel fans should know about you that they won’t get to hear in your contestant interview?
Something that I think Wheel fans should know about me is that I truly believe that I was the “miracle contestant.” I applied to be a contestant online in December of 2015. I was unaware that Wheel was holding closed auditions in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia. I was told by one of the team members that work with contestant recruitment that they were already headed to auditions with all the contestants already chosen. However, Gary from the contestant department took one last look before heading to auditions and saw my application online. I received an email (during my first week of classes) Monday night (1/11/16) asking me to come to auditions on Wednesday morning (1/13/16). I literally had about 36 hours to prepare for auditions, but I couldn’t pass up such a rare opportunity. A few months later, I can say that I am truly grateful for this life changing experience.
A special shout out to the entire audition crew! You all do an AMAZING JOB and I appreciate each and every one of you!