December 24th, 2012
10:55 AM ET
The current incarnation of the game show "Wheel of Fortune" has been on in some form since 1975, and is the longest-running syndicated game show in U.S. television history.
Nothing much happens on "Wheel" that would get a viewer's blood boiling, but a pair of pronunciation errors last week has many fans irate and demanding answers.
The problems began December 19, when contestant Renee Durette was ruled incorrect when she failed to pronounce the "G" in the phrase "Seven Swans-A-Swimming." The gaffe cost Durette nearly $4,000, and she went on to lose the game. Watch the above clip to see Durette's error, as well as hear what she has to say about the mistake and her newfound fame.
Fans took to Twitter and other social media sites to complain about the ruling and to ask "Wheel" to give Durette a second chance. However, former "Wheel" contestants are also speaking out, saying that players are warned before show tapings that answers must be read exactly as they appear on the puzzle board to be ruled correct. And the show has said the answer was illegal as it was spoken in vernacular.
As a self-professed "game show guru," I would have to agree with "Wheel" on the Durette ruling. Then again, I did not expect to see what happened on the next "Wheel" episode.
The December 20 show featured contestant Michael Rufus, who won $4600 with "Hickory-Smoked Country Ham." But when he says the phrase, he appears to miss the letter "D" in the word "smoked." For a show that seems to take pride in demanding that contestants say the puzzles correctly, it seems baffling that the judges made contradictory rulings on two puzzles during the same taping session ("Wheel" typically tapes a week's worth of episodes in one day).
"Wheel" has not commented on the Michael Rufus ruling.
What do you think about this "Wheel of Fortune" mess? Should Renee Durette be given a second chance to play? What about Michael Rufus' opponents? And is it time for the show to loosen its rules on pronunciation and vernacular?
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