Yes, you read that right!!! ME! Little ‘ol me is gonna be on Wheel of Fortune!! I have been holding this in for quite some time… and finally I can spill the beans! Well, some of them!! Do you know how hard it is for a blogger to have this super-duper-amazing experience and NOT be allowed to take pictures?!!! Like no cameras allowed!! No cell phones allowed!! Complete isolation!! Yup, that was me back in July! But boy was it a blast!! I mean, the real deal!! In LA!! Sony Pictures Studios!! I spun the wheel. I met Vanna White. I chatted with Pat!!!
But how is a girl supposed to blog about this amazing experience with no pictures?? Insert our totally fab-tastic Junk Adventure that we took last week! All 15 of us… total strangers… with one common thread, huntin’ JUNK!!
On said, junk adventure, look what I found!!! A vintage “Wheel” of Fortune!! What are the odds?! Well, that’ll be some pretty eye-candy to tell my Wheel of Fortune story, so I started clicking away!! Enjoy the pics… I think I may try to make one of these bad boys!! So, back to the real Wheel…
First, how did I get here? That’s what everyone asks me. “How did you get to be on Wheel of Fortune??” Well, it all started nearly a year ago!!
Back in November of 2013, I heard on TV that the Wheelmobile would be in Burlington, NC! I was excited! The Wheelmobile treks the country seeking out contestants to appear on the show. This was my second time auditioning for the show… but with the way the audition works, it’s all luck the first go-round. More than 10,000 people audition every year and fewer than 600 get on the show!! Here’s what they do…
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people show up for their chance to audition for the Wheel of Fortune. You all write your names on a contestant entry form and the form goes in a BIG ‘ol barrel, kinda like a bingo ball drum. Then one-by-one they draw five names to come up on stage to audition. They do this oh-about-10-15 times. So literally, they are only letting 50-75 people audition and everyone else goes home. Womp. Womp. The first time I auditioned over three years ago, that was me. I watched as everyone else auditioned and home I went.
But NOT this time!!! Woot woot!! When I heard them call my name I was shocked!! Stunned! I couldn’t believe it! I was honestly there for fun and really didn’t think I would make it on stage. But I did!!!
Once on stage, I was interviewed by a Pat Sajak “fill-in”. They want to see your spunk! Your attitude! Your charisma! So I gave it to ’em and I gave it to ’em good!! They ask you all the same things Pat does… “what do you do for a living?”, “what are your hobbies?”, and kinda shoot the breeze! I nailed it! Or I felt like I did. But really, what are the chances I’ll make it through?
After the interviews, you play a round of Wheel! The five of us on stage take turns guessing letters just like a real game and then solve it when you know it. And guess what?? I got it!! I wish I could tell you what the puzzle was… but gosh, that was a long time ago!! I bet my Mom remembers!! After that, we all got tee shirts and we left. That was it! Then we had to wait!!! If they wanted us to come back for a second audition, they would contact us… within the next SIX MONTHS!!! SIX MONTHS!!!! So I waited.
In February, I got an email that said this…
Congratulations! You have been selected to attend a WHEEL OF FORTUNE contestant audition (by invitation only). We have reserved the following appointment for you: Thursday February 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM
Are you kidding me? A call back?! We delayed a scheduled trip to Florida so we could make the audition and headed to Greensboro for audition number two!! The second audition was more intense. There were about 40 of us there. We all stood up and introduced ourselves as the judges made notes on their clipboards, and then we played the game. They had a little wheel that they spun and they would call out an amount and we guessed a letter. Just like the real game. When they had seen enough, they would give you the inevitable bankrupt and move on to the next person.
Then a test! A written test!! Yes, they mean business!! The test was full of puzzles with just a few letters filled in. We were given five minutes, I think, to do all we could do, filling in partial answers. Anything we could think of. We needed to prove we were smart puzzle solvers. So for instance, if the category was “What Are You Doing?”, they wanted to see that you would fill in “ing” in the first word, even if you didn’t know the rest. I felt like I did okay… but wasn’t sure. Then the tough part….
The contestant coordinators go into a room with your tests and grade them. They discuss who they want to keep and who they want to send home. Only about 15 people got to stay. They came back in the room… all of us wringing the sweat from our palms, and they say, “If we call your name, you are invited to stay for a third audition. If we don’t call your name, thank you for coming, but we aren’t able to accept you at this time.”
Eeeeeeeek! They called my name.
Without boring you with more details, it was yet another intense audition. More game play. More projecting your voice. More charisma. We even had to spin a fake wheel. Like a non-existent wheel! All mime-like!! Ha ha!! That part felt really silly!!! But I hammed it up!! And had fun with it!! After the 15 of us had gone, they told us what would happen next. We still had to wait… but not quite as long this time. Only two weeks! If they wanted us on the show, we would get a letter within two weeks. If we did not receive the letter, we were not selected. And THIS was the last step! If you get the letter, you get to be on the show!
So I waited. And waited. If you remember the audition was on February 20th. Well, my birthday is March 2nd. 10 days later. I thought to myself, how cool of a birthday gift would that be?! Right?! But alas, my birthday came and went and no letter. As I went to bed that night, I folded back the covers and HOLY SHENANIGANS!!! What is that?? A letter from Wheel of Fortune!! Apparently the hubs checked the mail and wanted to surprise me…
I ripped the letter open.
I WAS IN!!! I MADE IT!! I WAS HEADED TO LA!!!
I got the letter on March 2nd. And it said that I would receive a call TWO WEEKS before they wanted me to be in LA for the taping! Only two weeks notice!! And it could be any time within the next year!! A whole year!! For the first couple weeks I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the phone to ring. But then I kinda forgot about it. Then an email…
Good news! We have a tape date for you: Wednesday July 23, 2014!
So, we rushed to make plans. The hubs took off work… and we went to LA!! We were fortunate enough to spend a few days out there and I checked out lots of cool junk shops!! I’ll have to share those with you later for all my west coast peeps!! I woke up on the morning of the 23rd full of excitement and to be honest, really wasn’t nervous. Perhaps the TV background helped me there!! I woke up, curled my hair, and snapped this selfie before my BIG DAY!!
A Sony Studios shuttle picked me up as well as some other contestants staying at our hotel. And that was the last time I saw the hubs until after the show!! We were wisked off to complete isolation. No phones. No communicating with the outside world. Ha ha!! It was quite the experience!!
We spent several hours rehearsing and filling out paperwork. We practiced spinning the wheel! It weighs 2400 pounds!! It’s a beast!! We met Vanna during rehearsal… her and her PB&J breakfast! Yes, that’s what she had that morning!! And then the music started… Pat and Vanna walked out… and I picked up my signaling device…
Watch me on Wheel of Fortune, Thursday, September 25th!!!
You got it??? This Thursday, the 25th!! Make a note. Mark your calendars. Tell your friends! I’ll be the one in the blue shirt!! Ha ha!! That’ll be funny when you watch the show!!! See ya on TV this Thursday!!!!