Vincent and Jennifer S's Blog Post
Wheel of Fortune is a show I watched with my mom when I was in my early twenties. So after years and decades of contemplating that I was good enough to solve puzzles, I decided to give it a whirl. I had sent in a videotape the year prior and was called into Brooklyn to audition that June. I thought I had done well during the auditioning and was able to solve two puzzles. I was rewarded with a Wheel of Fortune thermal insulated lunch bag and a mug. I did decent on the test and thought I was a shoo in. Much to my dismay, I wasn’t asked to stay behind as they let most of us go and kept only a handful to continue to play. They said we still might receive a letter to be on the show in the near future. However, a letter never came in the mail and I let my Wheel of Fortune dream fall fast asleep.
Fast forward to the next summer and I received an email to audition again, this time in Manhattan and to bring my wife as they were looking for couples. My reluctant wife agreed after I said and begged that she might be my ‘Lucky Charm’. The morning of our audition, I being super anxious and my wife still unsure why she agreed, we drove into the city amid bumper to bumper traffic and made it into the audition with minutes to spare. This time we didn’t fare as well in solving a puzzle, nor with the written test, but for some reason the contestant coordinators asked us to stay. After playing some more and introducing ourselves in a fun manner of how we met, when we went back to our seats, the people around us said our chemistry was great and that we ‘nailed it.’ Needless to say they were right and two weeks to the day we got our dream come true, ‘you made it as a contestant letter.'
After a somewhat longer than usually wait, because they don’t tape couple shows all that often, we were emailed to fly out to LA in January of this year to tape for Sweethearts Week airing in February. The day arrived, we were treated like mini celebrities and pampered throughout the day. Each of the four contestant coordinators, Alex, Shannon, Jackie, and Teddy, made sure to pump us up and to have fun and make this moment memorable. We introduced ourselves a few times, spun the wheel (which is quite heavy like most people say), got to meet Vanna (she’s a sweetheart) during the rehearsals, got to play a practice round with an imitation version of Pat and Vanna and sat back and watched four games before we went up to bat.
The show is about twenty-two minutes of play time and the first two toss-ups along with the first puzzle went right past us. I was overwhelmed and distracted and my wife was in total panic. Going into the first commercial break, my wife basically told me to snap out of it much like Cher smacking Nicholas Cage’s character in the movie Moonstruck, happily without the palm of her hand to my cheek. Luckily, with the wheel on our side, my wife whispering parts of the different puzzles as I spun, we went on to solve the remaining three puzzles and the last toss-up. A disappointing bankrupt to another couple added a trip to Antiqua in our bank as well. Pat (a by far great host) had some fun with us and told us after winning that “we were causing all kinds of trouble and to go back to hugging”, which we did throughout the show with each win.
We were going to the Bonus Round! We picked the category Food and Drink. We then picked your standard C,M,P, and A and before the clock started, my reluctant wife who helped in more ways, guessed TOPPING as the second word. But with what felt like a blink, the ten seconds evaporated and GOOEY never came to our minds. All in all, the experience will last a lifetime. We were still winners. The contestant coordinators were superb, the onset staff were all fun professionals, and Pat and Vanna are simply a class act. Standing alongside them after the bonus round was as surreal as it gets. Jen and I still don’t recall the conversation we had with them. Again, all in all, we played, we spun and we won. Our wish to be Wheel of Fortune contestants was a dream come true.