So, on Saturday, Jessi and I went to the Solomon Pond Mall to go to the Wheelmobile Wheel of Fortune tryouts. Basically, they would pick random people from the audience to introduce themselves and play a mini-game on stage, and they would eventually invite people that they liked to the actual auditions in Boston a couple months.
The web site for the event said that there was no reason to show up hours in advance. As far as I can tell, this was a complete lie. The picture in the paper doesn’t begin to do the line justice. The games were scheduled to occur at 1:00, 2:30, and 4:00. We arrived in the parking lot at 12:15, and finally found a place to park and got inside at about 12:30. The line at that point went through the twisty back-and-forth area they had set up, and then stretched entirely down one side of the mall, and about a quarter of the way back by the time we got in line. That was the line for the 2:30 event. I think that the line quickly kept on forming all the way back to the other end of the mall, and I have no idea where they put people after that.
About 2:00, some people in Wheel of Fortune T-shirts came by the line, and had puzzles on paper for people to solve for T-shirts. I solved the first one (Star and Role, “TOM CRUISE IN RAINMAN”), which I have no idea how I solved, as I’ve never seen Rainman and wouldn’t know Tom Cruise if he came up and introduced himself. But I won a TV 38 t-shirt, which was nice, although 38 has one of the most boring logos of a TV station imaginable.
The actual hour “show”, was interesting to watch. Despite the host making it clear that the most important thing they’re looking for is enthusiasm and people that would be interesting to watch on TV, some people clearly could not manage to show much excitement, while others were much more interesting. Neither Jessi nor I got called up on stage, but that shouldn’t be surprising as there must have been a thousand people in the room, so the odds were very much against us.
All in all, I’m glad I went, but I don’t think I’d go again. As they say on their website, there are over a million people who request to be on the show each year, and 600 contestant slots. The odds are so overwhelmingly against you, that it’s almost not worth trying.
There is, however, a minuscule chance that they’ll randomly pick one of our names to go to the Boston audition anyway, despite not getting picked to come on stage. We won’t be holding our breath, though.