A seventh-grade Bible class teacher at Grace Christian Academy asked her students to pray for her before she went to Los Angeles in October to record an episode of "Wheel of Fortune," and one of her students caught her off guard.
Tina Arwood, 44, said she was excited about appearing on the show until one of her students told her, "I was praying you don't end up on Epic Fail," which is a website that compiles the failures of celebrities and everyday people — including contestants on game shows.
The West Knoxville woman laughed and said she made the mistake of going home that night and checking out the site, discovering just how wrong things can go for contestants who embarrass themselves on national television.
Although Arwood can't reveal the outcome of her appearance, she is at least fairly confident she won't end up on Epic Fail.
Her episode of "Wheel of Fortune" airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WBIR, Channel 10.
Arwood's adventure began early last year when she auditioned at a "Wheelmobile" stop in West Knoxville. She got a call back for a second audition in August and ultimately made the cut. So two months later, she and her husband, Neal, flew to Los Angeles for her to be on the show.
Arwood said she was one of 18 contestants gathered on the day of shooting (six episodes were filmed in one day) and most of them were young adults. "I was the mama of the group," said the real-life mother of four daughters — Allison, Amy, Anna and Avery — who range in age from 8 to 17. She added that there was an older woman in the group of contestants who served as "the grandmama of the group."
She said the show's stars Pat Sajak and Vanna White were graciously accommodating.
When asked why she wanted to be on "Wheel of Fortune," Arwood replied, "It's the only thing I can beat my husband at." Then she laughed.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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