"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak had a lot to say about that viral "feather in your cap" debacle

Mar 3 2022, 8:59 pm

After a “Wheel of Fortune” episode went viral earlier this week, host Pat Sajak tweeted a thread about the contestants’ fail and its consequences online.

Tuesday’s episode had viewers screaming at their TV screens and yanking their hair out after three contestants struggled very hard to guess the common phrase “another feather in your cap.”

The gameshow clip made for a frustrating-yet-fun TV moment that was shared widely across the internet.

Ironically, this was neither fun nor games for the three wheel-spinners Laura Machado, Christopher Coleman, and Thomas Lipscomb. The players were mocked on social media for their inability to guess the phrase.

After eight turns and 10 total attempts, Lipscomb managed to solve the puzzle. Host Pat Sajak immediately offered some words of consolation to make the players feel better about things going awry.

“What happens is you get a word in your head, and once you figure it out, you go, ‘Huh! What was I thinking?’ You know? Anyway, it’s fine. That round is over,” Sajak said to console the players. “But it was fun, in a sort of perverse way!”

The players received a barrage of hate messages and comments from people making fun of them. Accounts with millions of followers were calling the clip “the dumbest two minutes in Wheel of Fortune history,” prompting at least one of the contestants to ask people to stop.

“Just go easy on me and the other contestants because we are very educated people,” Coleman told TMZ after he was bombarded with hate messages on social media. “We don’t want to be put in a situation where we are being cackled and publicly humiliated on a show that was a lifelong dream.”

Sajak wrote an extensive thread on Twitter in the contestants’ support, explaining why it’s so different to guess things from home versus being on TV for millions to see.

“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,” he wrote on Thursday. “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 first attempted solve was ‘Feather in your hat’ which, by the way, is how a lot of people say it,” he explained, adding that all three players were stunned when he said it was wrong.
Sajak then asked people to put themselves in the contestants’ shoes.

“Now imagine you’re on national TV, and you’re suddenly thrown a curve and you begin getting worried about looking stupid, and if the feather isn’t in your hat, where the heck can it be? You start flailing away looking for alternatives rather than synonyms for ‘hat.’ Of course, when it’s solved, you want to crawl in a hole.”

The host said he has 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. But mocking them online and calling them names? 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.”

Now, the host’s heartfelt thread is being hailed as a masterclass in empathy.

“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 wrote.

He said he has fun with players, even teasing them occasionally, but feels for them when things go wrong and tries to “salve the wounds” on and off camera. The host admitted that the puzzle was oddly entertaining and laughable, but requested his followers to “have a little heart.”
“After all, you may be there one day. And no one wants to be trending on Twitter,” he ominously concluded.
National Trending StaffNational Trending Staff

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