“Wheel of Fortune” tryouts


wheel of fortune trailerI took a break from social media today as the Wheel of Fortune show came to town looking for new contestants. As a tribute in memory of my grandmother, who used to give me grief when I would blurt out the answers before she knew them, I decided to go to the tryouts. I must say, it was an incredible disappointment. The way they chose people to come up on stage was completely random, names drawn out of a big drum.

The event was held in a closed storefront that used to be a Best Buy. It was completely empty save a few tall tables with no chairs, a display from the local affiliate station and the stage.

I’m guessing a few thousand people were there, and only about 100 got to shine on stage. They encouraged people to be outrageous. One woman brought her husband up with her and they danced. Another woman sang. It nearly became a talent show.

The “traveling Pat Sajak” and “traveling Vanna White” (not the actual people, but people who play their parts during the tryouts), were less than spectacular. The man was practically yelling into the microphone and did a number of weird jumps and leaps on stage. I guess this is minor leagues for television emcees. I’ll say the man especially, was trying a little too hard.

The “traveling Pat” did his best to pump up the audience. He was asking people what their favorite show was. And the answer was a screaming, “Wheel of Fortune!”

There was no wheel to spin. The letter board was made up of small dry erase whiteboards. The “traveling Vanna” would write in the letters as they were guessed. After talking to five “contestants” they just asked each person to guess a letter and then they had three seconds to guess the puzzle. There was only one puzzle, then the next group of five came up to the stage and were interviewed. This went on for four hours.

I guessed almost all of the puzzles before the people up on the stage. I hate to brag, but I am pretty good at that game.

Each of the people who made it to the stage received some kind of WOF swag. The rest of us poor slobs got nothing. Well, I won’t say that. There were stickers and key chains from the local affiliate. Lame.

After all the “games” were played they promised that everyone would be put into a “second chance” drawing. In fact, even if people were picked to come up to the stage and even if they guessed the puzzle correctly, there was no promise that any of them would be on the show.

And, of course, if chosen I’d be responsible for getting across the country to where the show is taped. I seriously doubt they’ll be doing a Baltimore group of shows, but you never know. The best part of the whole experience was the ridiculous Winnebago pulling a trailer with the tackiest artwork on it (see above).

It was an interesting experience, but not too much fun. The person who was supposed to go with me had a pet emergency so I had to go it alone. They are doing it again tomorrow, but there is an Orioles baseball playoff game and a Ravens football game that need watching!

My feet hurt. Some people brought their own folding chairs. But those were the only seats available. I probably should have stayed at my computer. This is what happens when I leave the comfort of my home office and venture out into the real world.

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