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August 29, 2014

Wheel of Fortune contestants make me sad/crazy

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 31st 2009 10:02AM
Wheel of FortuneThe way that game show fans feel about Wheel of Fortune is so well-documented it has sort of become a cliche. Wheel of Fortune is for a certain type of person, and shows like Jeopardy are for another type. I don't know if I agree with that.

There's something for game show fans in each show, whether you're solving a letter puzzle or trying to answer a question about ancient Rome or literature, though I can certainly see why one would appeal to a person and the other wouldn't. But I have to admit that I drifted away from Wheel of Fortune for many years because of contestants such as the one from last night's episode.

Here's one of the puzzles from last night, a song and artist:

E V E R Y

B R E A T H

Y O U

T A K E

B Y

T H E

_ O _ I _ E

The player asked for an N. Yes, an N. And she had just landed on the million dollar space.

Am I wrong in thinking that this is one of the more famous pop songs of the past 25 to 30 years, played at many weddings and on VH1 countdown shows? Shouldn't this be a music song and artist that people of a certain age (or even out of that age range) should know?

I also hate how the players often waste money buying vowels when they don't need to. They'll get a bunch of money and then start buying vowels until there are no vowels left to buy, and then they immediately solve the puzzle. But it's not as if they had to get those vowels to make sure the puzzle was what they thought it was. They do it because ... well, I don't really know why. Vowel-buying is an important part of the game, but it has to be done cleverly, not swung like a hammer.

Oh, and I don't like this new impatience that contestants seem to have. They'll ask for a letter, and it will be in the puzzle, sometimes a few of them, and before Vanna can even turn one of them, they're spinning the wheel again. They're not giving themselves enough time to even look at the puzzle to see if they can figure it out. This could help with vowel-buying too. Maybe everyone has ADD now.

I wonder if Pat Sajak has ever punched anyone in the head while they're playing the game?

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Preston

Maybe that was a younger contestant that didn't know the song. He or she might have been more into '90s/2008-2009 music and never listened to '80s songs, probably followed that music era. Might have never heard of the Police song. Or probably though the word was notice and not police. Or Every Breath You Take was a very new song to her. Some contestants are like that on Wheel of Fortune--they're just completely blank at that moment and can't solve the puzzle right away. It happens.

March 28 2009 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Preston

Here's what I don't like about Wheel of Fortune. When a contestant spin the wheel and try to get most of the consonants/vowels of the puzzle just to solve it to win more money. Don't they know the puzzle already? They should solve it right away so they don't end up getting the Bankrupt slot of the wheel! Save them some headache. I don't care if you've only got $1900 and you want to get $5400, just SOLVE THE PUZZLE! I keep screaming at the TV many times when that happens!

March 28 2009 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Happy Steve

The part about contestants being impatient? That's actually due to the post-editing department. (I was a contestant just last year.) If you ever watch any of the 'classic' WoF episodes where they leave in all the "dead air time", it feels much much slower. Nowadays, they really light a fire under your butt the whole time to keep things moving and hopping constantly.

February 02 2009 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jason

Is Wheel of Fortune still on?

BTW, I think Pat Sajak's hairpiece is old enough to remember that song.

February 02 2009 at 7:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy

I'm only 20 and I knew the answer immediately and understood why the topic was brought up. Maybe I'm one of the few in my age range who would know that, but wow, I am shocked that so many people who have posted thought it was difficult. I don't watch WOF, so I don't know how old the contestant is, but I thought it was reasonably easy.

February 01 2009 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ravi

For what it's worth, I didn't remember the answer either. People of my age group (teens) are more familiar with P. Diddy's version of the song. I remembered the original was by Sting, but I didn't know the name of his former band. A generational thing, I guess.

February 01 2009 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Megmat

We watched that same episode and were amazed when that dumb lady couldn't solve the puzzle. My 10 year old solved it. She must have been thinking of that famous band the Nolice.

February 01 2009 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lynnie

I must say I agree with you about the purchase of unnecessary vowels. It's a "screaming at the TV" moment almost every time someone does that. Another thing I've noticed is the lack of close games between 2 or all 3 contestants...lately it seems that two of them win low amounts like 3 or 4 thousand-ish, and one runs away with 15 to 20 thousand, EVERY SINGLE SHOW. I have no proof of it, of course, but it seems awfully fishy to me. Coincidence? I think not. It makes it seem fixed to me.

I'll stick to Jeopardy!, tyvm.

February 01 2009 at 2:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Gunter

You have to realize that every vowel that is purchased is that much less money someone can win so of course it's encouraged.I watch WOF off and on and see a mix of fairly reasonable people as well as morons.I suspect the "test" for the game is pretty low brow and designed to bring on a mix of types.As for nthe Police it's an age thing.If you're from the time of their popularity you know but would a 25 year old know?Maybe not.

January 31 2009 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

Ken, you are a bit off base. When I was a kid, I rarely saw intelligent people on these shows. My grandma asked me, while watching an episode of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and hearing me answer every question correctly, why I didn't try to go on the show. I then answered, they don't let people like me on the show. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy are no different. Call it conceited if you want to, it is still true. Every once in a while someone slips through. That Jennings guy from Jeopardy for example.

Has anyone noticed that highly educated people are rarely, if ever, featured on the these game shows. Don't get me started on Deal or Not Real.

No they aren't scripted. The one contestant on a show that I saw as I was sitting in a sports bar had her bride's maids there, her wedding dress, mother, the whole nine yards. WTF?

January 31 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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