Kids say the darndest things, as an old-time entertainer once observed.
On Monday’s episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” a Teen Week contestant literally drew a blank when confronted with a puzzle that the rest of the audience had all apparently solved, Fox News reported.
From the resulting outcry, one would think that the universe was hanging in the balance.
Players on the long-running game show have to decipher a phrase by guessing the missing letters.
The teen in question was confronted with the phrase, “FRE__ TROPICAL FRUIT.”
Spoiler alert: The missing letters in the first word were “SH,” which, of course, everybody knows spells “fresh.”
Everybody, that is, except the contestant, who was identified by WKRC-TV as Khushi Tailuru, a 10th-grader from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
To her credit, she correctly guessed “H” as one of the missing letters.
But things went rapidly downhill from there. She studied the phrase uncertainly until the host, Pat Sajak, prompted her, “Solve it or spin it, but do something quickly.”
After spinning the giant wheel, she announced hesitantly, “I’ll go with a … G”
The audience groaned. A lone voice yelled out, “What?”
Tailuru looked bewildered.
The play passed to her opponent, who quickly solved the puzzle, winning $650 and a trip to Antigua.
Sajak was quick to jump to the girl’s defense.
“You know when that happens, and you’re sitting at home, you’re saying, ‘How in the world … ?’ But you know, sometimes it’s a word that just doesn’t want to come into focus for you,” he said.
The internet wasn’t buying that excuse.
Many jumped onto social media to lament what they saw as a grim future for the human race, all because a teen under pressure made a mistake.
Okay Wheel of Fortune, Teen Week is a horrible idea. pic.twitter.com/iuEtEmd7W3
— Mike Marcotte (@mike_marcotte) February 21, 2023
LOL, reality check for people who are raising teens.
— Rick Greko (@RGreko) February 21, 2023
Fregh? What even is that?
— RGG (@RGrhm) February 21, 2023
I held my head for a full minute.
— Sam R 🇺🇸🌈 (@flickr2754) February 21, 2023
One fan of the show remarked, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single audience member audibly have such a violent reaction on Wheel of Fortune, as this lady did when a poor contestant called a G in ‘Fresh.'”
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single audience member audibly have such a violent reaction on Wheel of Fortune, as this lady did when a poor contestant called a G in “Fresh”. pic.twitter.com/FiFWTNlphM
— Chad Mosher (@ChadMosher) February 21, 2023
It must have been a slow news week, judging by the number of news and entertainment outlets that wrote about the mistake.
“‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant’s Epic Fail Stuns Audience,” was the headline on TV Insider’s story.
“‘I’ll go with a … G’: Another ‘Wheel of Fortune’ fail is going viral,” was WKRC’s title.
A few kinder, gentler souls defended the poor teen.
She blanked out. It happens to the best of us.
— BMT | TSUMFAAF (@Fitotheman) February 21, 2023
Well, I can tell you first hand that it’s much different when you’re actually on a game show under pressure vs. thinking comfortably on your couch.
— Thrillho ✨Buy Me Bonestorm! (@kenyaislove) February 21, 2023
Perhaps the best comment came from the TV Insider writer Martin Holmes, who concluded his story on the event with this observation: “Hopefully, Khushi can get over this monumental fail; after all, tomorrow is a new day to make a fregh start.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.