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Being wrong on TV is never a fun thing, especially when the correct answer is literally staring the contestant right in the face. Such a situation was faced recently by Jonny, a Wheel of Fortune contestant who became instant Internet fodder upon mispronouncing the solution to a puzzle where all of the letters had already been revealed. He opted to go with Flamingo instead of Flamenco, and the look of confusion and thinly veiled rage was abundantly present after he was told he was wrong. Check it out!
Seeing the words "Flamenco Dance Lessons" up on the Wheel of Fortune board, Jonny was a tad too confident in laying his answer out, and perhaps his mouth was just far more used to saying "flamingo" than "flamenco," for one reason or another. But he certainly thought he'd gotten it right, as did quite a few people in the audience, and so it was a truly painful few seconds as host Pat Sajak assumedly got word from the judges that Jonny's answer wasn't being accepted. But not as painful as Jonny's gobsmacked face in the aftermath.
Jonny not only lost part of his mind during that Wheel of Fortune moment, but he also lost $7,100 and a special trip to Spain, where he could have spent time taking the very flamenco dance lessons that he couldn't say properly. Instead, he'll probably just second-guess everything he does every day for the rest of his life.
To say that Twitter had a field day with Jonny's Wheel of Fortune snafu would be underselling it, and many hyperbolically thought that he might go buck on Pat Sajak and his fellow contestants. (Such as Ashley, who won the round by very specifically making that hard "C" sound known.) But is this the kind of event that inspires comic book tyranny? Yes, to one viewer.
Amazingly enough, this wasn't the first puzzle that Jonny messed up on, although at least there were animal names in the other one. Earlier in the episode, one of the puzzles was "Dog and Pony Show Me the Money," and when there were only two letters left in the puzzle, Jonny went and shouted for a "C." If only it had been "Cog and Pony Chow Me the Coney." But that doesn't make any sense.
Game show fans will note that Jonny's situation was somewhat similar to a recent Jeopardy! contestant who botched the pronunciation of the word "gangsta" when referring to Coolio's 1990s hit "Gangsta's Paradise." Both contestants mispronounced something, and both contestants looked ready to use the planet as kindling after hearing they were wrong. This was also similar to another recent Jeopardy! situation where fans complained about a clue, since a Wheel of Fortune fan or two pointed to dictionaries' pronunciation keys for "flamenco," where a "g" can sometimes be seen therein. It's a total gonspiracy!
Amazingly enough, Wheel of Fortune set up a killer punchline of a puzzle to cap things off, with the following toss-up puzzle's answer being "What Just Happened?" And yes, Jonny did get that one right. But his old friend the flamingo will not let him live this one down.
Failure is one of the key reasons why contestants love game shows so much. It's, of course, fun to see people win a lot of money and jump around all excited, but there's just something really reassuring about watching contestants screw up in the saddest ways.
For a compilation of the biggest game show fails ever, hop on over to the next page and get ready to alternate between laughing and feeling really bad.