Tuesday's episode of Wheel of Fortune has gone viral online after the contestants failed to solve a puzzle that had audiences tearing their hair out.
The puzzle's solution was meant to be "Another feather in your cap." With most of the letters filled in, the players were missing the consonants in "cap", left only with "--A--". After guessing "hat" and being incorrect, all were stumped for the solution.
Fans were quick to make fun of the contestants online, prompting the show's host to speak up, himself. Pat Sajak took to Twitter with a thread of Tweets where he shared his disappointment in the reaction. He stated,
"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. 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."
Sajak reminded viewers that many people do believe the saying contains the word "hat," and don't know the alternatives. He continued,
"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.'"
He then addressed his relationship with the players, and why he feels it's important to never make fun of them, saying,
"And, of course, when it’s solved, you want to crawl in a hole. 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. 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."
Sajak ended the series of tweets by telling viewers to "have a little heart," adding,
"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."