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Spinning the wheel: a once in a lifetime experience

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Spinning the wheel: a once in a lifetime experience

Ihrig represents Santa Fe while doing the wolf sign on Wheel of Fortune.

Ihrig represents Santa Fe while doing the wolf sign on Wheel of Fortune.

photo provided

Ihrig represents Santa Fe while doing the wolf sign on Wheel of Fortune.

photo provided

photo provided

Ihrig represents Santa Fe while doing the wolf sign on Wheel of Fortune.

Lauren Couch, Santa Fe Managing Editor

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Santa Fe Pom coach Lindsay Ihrig.

Photo Provided
Santa Fe Pom coach Lindsay Ihrig.

Wheel of Fortune is the iconic show that most usually encounter on evening nights as they switch through television channels. Contestants from all over the country compete to solve various word puzzles in hope of gaining hundreds to thousands of dollars. On Nov. 25, our own freshman pom coach, Lindsay Ihrig, experienced this mind-bending show herself as a competitor.

“It was surreal and unnerving to watch myself on T.V., but I had nothing but support from all my friends and family, so having them cheer me on while they watched me play made it a lot of fun!” Ihrig said.

The process of applying and actually taking part in the show remains an enigma to the viewers. The best opportunity for an audition is through The Wheelmobile, a bus that scouts out new contestants and stimulates a game of Wheel of Fortune. After playing through the stimulated game, a series of auditions begins.

“At that point they are looking for articulate, interesting people with good stage presence,” said Ihrig. “I used my experience as a Jazzercise instructor to win the judges and crowd over. I got called back for a second audition in June, where there were more intense simulated puzzles. By the end of June, I received a letter informing me I had been selected to be a contestant, and in mid-July I received an email inviting me out to LA to tape an episode on July 29.”

Standing in front of a large crowd can be a nerve-racking situation. With the live audience, standing under the pressure of the timer to solve the puzzle also brings a daunting effect.

“My experience as a Jazzercise instructor made the pressure much more manageable, as I am used to being on stage, with a mic and lights, addressing a group of people,” Ihrig said. “Although all the money at stake made it much more intense!”

As for the audience back in Oklahoma, fellow teachers watched the show eagerly. It is not everyday that your coworker appears on public television.

“I was super excited and proud when I saw her, especially when she did the wolf shape with her hand,” English teacher Melody Wright said. “ It’s like she was protecting the pack while on T.V.”

In addition to coworkers, the freshmen pom girls were also excited and interested in finding that their coach stood in front of America to answer the many puzzles.

“One day she’s correcting me in class and the next day she’s on T.V. where everyone can see her,” freshman Olivia Hanson said. “It was really cool to see her in that type of environment while expressing her love for Santa Fe.”

Wheel of Fortune played true to the name as Ihrig won $6,000 during her time playing on the show. Ihrig plans to use the funds in order to support her growing family.

 

You can reach this reporter at [email protected]

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Lauren Couch, Santa Fe Copy Editor

Hi, I'm Lauren Couch, a junior at Santa Fe High school. This is my second year of writing on the Santa Fe Ruff Draft and my first year of being a copy...

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Spinning the wheel: a once in a lifetime experience