Verniece L's Blog Post
Why did you decide to apply to be a contestant?
I’ve watched Wheel since I was a little girl and have always LOVED it! My grandmother would watch every day and I would sit down with her and watch too. I’ve always been good at solving puzzles and crosswords, so I thought I would be a good candidate for the show. I never dreamed I would actually get the chance one day! My husband and I still watch the show faithfully and will continue to watch as long as it is on television.
How did you apply? Online or at a Wheelmobile event?
I completed the online application maybe a year or so ago. I had actually forgotten that I had completed an application until I received the email informing me that I had been invited to an audition in Springfield, VA, which is about two hours away from where I lived. During the audition, I competed against other candidates in simulated Wheel games. The hardest part was the written test that we had to take. It was timed and way harder than I thought it would be. After the written test, the Wheel audition staff went to the back and discussed who should stay for the second part of the audition. They came back and called about half of the candidates and asked them to stay. Luckily, I was one of them! After completing the audition, I waited (anxiously) to receive a letter in the mail informing me if I had been selected as a candidate, which we were told should arrive in two weeks. I checked the mail everyday for two weeks and received no letter. I was so bummed! I even stopped checking the mail! Then on day 17 after my audition, I got a letter saying I was selected to be a candidate! Then after that, it was another four months before I received an email giving me my tape date!
How did you prep for the show?
I made sure not to miss any episodes of the show! I watched every night. If I couldn’t watch because I wasn’t home, I made sure to set my DVR to record that night’s episode. I practiced using a loud voice and pronouncing all letters clearly. I read the tips from Pat that were included in my contestant information packet too. They were extremely helpful. On tape day, I was so nervous! I was in a room with other candidates from all over the U.S. We practiced playing Wheel, we completed paperwork, and went through makeup and hair. We went out on the stage and practice spinning the wheel and being in front of all of the lights and cameras. I felt like a star! The thing that made me nervous the most was waiting for my turn to tape my show!
What did your friends and family say when they heard the news?
They were so excited! We’ve planned to have a huge “watch party” where we are all going to get together and watch the taping!
What was it like meeting Pat and Vanna?
It was so surreal! I couldn’t believe I was actually talking to and meeting them in person! Pat is just as funny in person as he is on TV. He comes up with jokes right off of the top of his head. And Vanna is even more beautiful in person than she is on TV. Her gowns are amazing!
What was it like being on camera, in front of so many cheering fans?
I was so nervous at first! But after the first toss up and talking to Pat about myself, I kind of warmed up and relaxed. I was constantly wondering how I looked or sounded. I can’t wait to watch the show to see myself!
Do you have any sage words of advice for hopeful contestants?
Keep applying to be a contestant on the show if that’s what you really want to do. Don’t give up! It may seem impossible that you would get picked, but you never know. Anything is possible! When other contestants are spinning and guessing letters, study the puzzle and be prepared for your turn. Also, USE THE “USED LETTER BOARD”!!! It is extremely helpful when trying to figure out the puzzle. Most importantly, have fun! This is a once in a lifetime experience that only a few people can say that were fortunate to experience. Make sure you enjoy yourself, no matter the outcome!