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I’ve always been curious about what really goes on behind the scenes of TV quiz shows. Things like do any of the contestants ever drop their signal buzzers and if they do, does the show have to reshoot that scene? Does Vanna White ever stumble in those very high heels she wears on Wheel of Fortune? Does Alex Trebek ever goof up while reading a Jeopardy clue? Does Pat Sajak forget which contestant’s turn is next? Inquiring minds want to know. And that’s why I found myself going to the websites of these shows recently. I discovered all sorts of interesting background facts there. For instance, have you ever noticed that Jeopardy contestants all appear to be fairly close in height? That’s because the show puts platforms of different heights behind the podiums these folks are standing behind. Not only does this look better, it also makes it easier for the camera, since it doesn’t have to adjust each time it focuses on a different person. What you don’t find out is if any contestant has ever fallen off this platform. (You just know this has to have happened.) Getting back to Wheel of Fortune, you’ll enjoy film clips of shows where none of the competitors are capable of solving the puzzle, even though almost all of the letters are visible. They keep picking wrong letters or mispronouncing the words. You start wondering how they qualified to be on the show. Of course this is when I remember what my mom used to say when I made critical remarks about the contestants’ performances. “If you were up there, you probably wouldn’t know your own name!” she always said. And I’m sure she was right. All those lights, the audience, the pressure – it must present quite a challenge. One thing I have realized after watching Wheel and Jeopardy for ages – they’ve each been on the air for at least 35 years – is that you need totally different skill sets to do well. Jeopardy is a trivia-based game. You need a broad knowledge of a wide range of subjects. That is not one of my talents. Sports, art, geography, history, flags, current music and science are big challenges for me. Wheel of Fortune is a lot easier, to me, since it’s based on how words are formed and letters work together. It helps to be right-brained! So the next time you want to entertain yourself, Google these quiz programs and explore their websites. It’s interesting to get a view of what really goes on backstage. Then if you are really brave, check out the websites for information on how to try out to me on a show. You might win both fame and fortune!

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