Last weekend, there were Wheel of Fortune tryouts locally, and Stephanie and our friend Melissa decided to go see if they could get on the show, and I tagged along to take photos. This is definitely Stephanie’s game show – she’s very good at it. Watching the show with her is fun, if a bit disconcerting; her “I know it!” comes so early that she occasionally has the answer before there are letters turned.
So we hopped in the car and drove to Shelbyville to the Indiana Live! Casino where tryouts were held. 800-some other folks had the same agenda; there was quite a long line. Here’s how they run it: Two days of tryouts. Each day, there are 3 hour-long blocks of tryouts. During each hour, they do about six puzzles. For each puzzle, they have 5 contestants doing the “speed” round. Contestant names are drawn at random from a bin.
If you calculate all that out – about 180 people get on stage out of 800 or so folks who apply. Getting on stage is no guarantee of being picked for final tryouts, nor is solving the puzzle, but both of those help.
The “set” for tryouts is pretty lo-fi – the turning blocks don’t light up – they’re just dry-erase letters that the “Vanna” for the show turns around and writes the letters on. There’s no real “wheel” except a spinner that picks what kind of schwag the contestants get if they get on stage. And the host was way too enthusiastic. Melissa had planned to hip-check him if she got on stage, just for fun.
But it was pretty entertaining to see, and the folks who got up on stage were a fun cross-section of Indiana. I didn’t go back for the second day of tryouts, so I missed it when Stephanie got on stage and actually solved the puzzle, unfortunately. Melissa said she did really well.