“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak took to social media to defend the show’s contestants after three “dumb” players went viral for taking eight turns and 10 attempts to solve a relatively easy puzzle on Tuesday night’s episode.
Sajak, 75, took to Twitter on Wednesday to share a lengthy thread in which he called on viewers to “have a little heart.”
“It always pains me when nice people come on our show to play a game and win some money and maybe fulfill a lifelong dream, and are then subject to online ridicule when they make a mistake or something goes awry,” Sajak stated.
“Last night’s ‘Feather in your cap’ puzzle was a case in point.Sitting at home, it seems incredible that they couldn’t solve it, but I knew in real time what was happening,” the veteran host explained, claiming the contestants were “flailing” due to the pressures of being on TV.
The three competitors — Laura Machado, Christopher Coleman and Thomas Lipscomb — were all attempting to solve the puzzle “Another feather _n yo_r _a_”
While the correct answer was simply “Another feather in your cap,” they took several tries to get there — and they were ridiculed by those watching at home.
But Sajak called for kindness.
“Of course, when it’s solved, you want to crawl in a hole,” he continued. “I’ve been praised online for ‘keeping it together’ and not making fun of the players. Truth is, all I want to do is help to get them through it and convince them that those things happen even to very bright people.”
“These are good people in a bad situation under a kind of stress that you can’t begin to appreciate from the comfort of your couch,” he wrote. “Good-natured laughter is one thing. Heck, they laughed at themselves. But, hey, cut them some slack. Unless you’re there, you have no idea how different it is in the studio.”
Sajak said he often tries “to salve the wounds” of embarrassment both on and off camera.
“It was an oddly entertaining puzzle and it’s okay to laugh at the situation. But have a little heart,” he concluded. “After all, you may be there one day. And no one wants to be trending on Twitter.”
In the episode, player Machado had three guesses to win as Sajak and legendary letter-tuner Vanna White looked on. However, Machado’s maddening wrong answers included “Another feather in your hat,” “Another feather in your lap” and “Another feather in your map.”
Meanwhile, fellow contestant Coleman didn’t guess any of the correct letters and landed on “Bankrupt” when he twirled TV’s most infamous wheel.
Lipscomb spun a “Bankrupt” and “Lose a turn” for his first two times in the hot seat. But on his third try, he guessed “C” and correctly solved the phrase.
Of course, Twitter has its thoughts — with fans and viewers venting their vexation over the game into the digital abyss.
“Hey if you feel like screaming at the TV in agony and want to throw something at your screen round 2 of tonight’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is *perfect* for you,” one outraged viewer griped on Twitter.
“Frozen” actor Josh Gad also gave his two cents, tweeting, “God help us all.”
“I’d like to solve … ANOTHER FEATHER IN EVERYTHING BUT YOUR CAP. Thank you, Wheel, for not editing out 6 of these 8 lost turns in a row like you normally would,” someone chimed in.
One even suggested that the game “should have ended this ‘Wheel of Fortune’ episode with no winner.”
“Tonight’s Wheel of Fortune. I can’t. That round was brutal,” another added, alongside a meme of Jesus talking on the phone and ordering they “start the rapture.”
“The dumbest two minutes in Wheel of Fortune history,” a fan simply stated.
“A woman on Wheel of Fortune got this puzzle wrong three times. I’m yelling at the television like I’m watching a football game,” someone quipped, with another saying they were “in utter disbelief” about the turn of events.
We understand where Pat’s coming from — but these contestants really tried it. See the moment for yourself below.
The dumbest two minutes in Wheel of Fortune history pic.twitter.com/8vlSIfHcWE
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 2, 2022