I couldn’t believe it. Nor could an amazed, exasperated Wheel of Fortune audience recently, when a contestant blew an obvious puzzle solve. Was it a slip of the tongue? A freak out under the pressure of a close game? Or what?
Maybe she was just unclear on the concept, I thought. But jokes have always abounded about how dense some game show contestants seem to be. The latest such mega-fail aired earlier this week when Wheel of Fortune contestant ‘Khushi’ set the ‘fail’ bar lower than ever before:
On the big board:
A total gimme
It was a total gimme. A no-brainer. Maybe the key to a game victory and a trip to the Bonus Round.
But when contestant ‘Kushi’ spun up her chance to choose the next letter, she blurted out, “I’ll go with a ‘G’!”
“What?’ a sole incredulous audience member blurted back.
Then the audience (and soon, the social media continuum) erupted in a mixture of emotions ranging from amusement to amazement.
In what universe, you ask, doesn’t everyone know, almost instinctively, that the right answer could only have been “s”?
A strategy to handle it
Contestants standing up there with godlike Pat Sajak must be under a lot of a lot of pressure to perform. And, to his credit, the seasoned and unflappable Sajak seems to be able to pull the show out of any silly siltuation that comes up. It’s clear he’s been instructed to console any contestant who makes an opbvious bludner and move on, rather than make things worse. Kudos for Pat, keeping his cool!
“The “P” has already been called,” Pat might mumble in a sad voice two or three times a week when a contest makes that kind of memory error. He always follows up with something like, “Happens all the time!”, “Don’t worry about it!” And pushes right on.
Imagine the pressure on Sajak
But imagine the pressure on Sajak when a contestant makes an obvious howler like ‘Kushi’ did! That kind of thing certainly does NOT happen all the time.
And imagine how the audience – which must identify at least a little with the contestants up there in the limelight – feel when their proxy to the altar of big money blows it so bigtime. That’s got to embarrass them, and make them upset.
Thankfully, Wheel of Fortune doesn’t seem to attract the kind of fans that European Football playoff games or WWF title fights do. I haven’t heard about any audience riots when a Wheel of Fortune Teen Week favourite loses to an unattractive, squeaky-voiced upstart junior from Trickle Creek, Iowa.
Just a matter of time?
But the way things are going, is it just a matter of time? And will a ridiculously easy food puzzle be at the centre of the incident?
The whole kerfuffle just seems to point up the need for greater food awareness among the great American masses!
And why do I feel so bad – and share the embarrassment of – folks like Kushi, when they make such an immense screw-up? “There but for my education, broad life experience and shaky ego, go I?”
~ Maggie J.