'Wheel' contestants receive the star treatment - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Donna Davis

'Wheel' contestants receive the star treatment

It's exciting, nerve-wracking, and suspenseful...a day in the life of a 'Wheel of Fortune' contestant.

"You only do this once in your life, so you gotta reach down deep," said contestant coordinator Gary O'Brian. "Whatever muster you got, you gotta bring it to the top."

The process to get on the show started with an online application for the contestants we talked to.  Then they face months of interviews, auditions, and waiting.

Tens of thousands applied to be part of Wheels 25th anniversary shows shot at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

"It seems like our best players on our show have a good strong natural presence, and presence translates into your vibe," O'Brian said. "Your voice...your energy..the way you keep the game going."

But ultimately 'Wheel' producers want to know: Can you take the heat?

"We're tryin to look for people that can survive under pressure," O'Brian said. "We know people are great at home, nice and relaxed. It's always your turn. In this environment, it's a nerve wrecking experience."
The most intimidating part of the show is spinning the wheel. Most contestants comment it is heavier than it looks.

O'Brian said contestants are provided make-up artists and even assistants, truly making them feel like stars for a day.

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