Wheel of Fortune has given us some great TV moments in its 40+ years on the small screen. While it may be easy enough to sit in our living rooms and yell the correct answers at the contestants (we all do that, right?), players have shown time and again that it’s not as easy as it looks when you’re the one standing behind the big wheel. But for all the sympathies that viewers might have, one recent contestant’s wrong answer had fans convinced they’d just witnessed the “dumbest” guess yet.
The January 6 episode happened to mark the 47th anniversary of the classic game show – just a couple of weeks after host Pat Sajak celebrated his own milestone on the show – and the funny/infuriating moment came from the category Song Lyrics. The answer referred to the famous folk song “This Land Is Your Land,” which seemed pretty obvious after most of the puzzle had been filled out, with the board only missing three letters: “TH_S _AND _AS MADE FOR YOU AND ME.” The contestant, Shafi, asked to solve and then offered up a hilariously incorrect response.
Now, again, when you’re up there on the stage, I’m sure forming coherent phrases is much harder than doing so in the stress-free atmosphere that we’re experiencing at home. Also, I don’t expect every person to know every song that exists. If Shafi had simply gotten the word “land” wrong, it would almost be excusable. The fact that he also guessed “has” for the verb instead of “was,” however, was kind of the tipping point. Merciless Wheel of Fortune fans took to Twitter, saying this marked one of the show’s biggest fails.
This might be the dumbest #WheelOfFortune solve ever. Straight fail. pic.twitter.com/FGN3a7dERSJanuary 7, 2022
“The band has” really doesn’t make any sense in this context, and Shafi was probably just making a guess based on the remaining available letters. Either way, fans were in stitches over the misquoted Woody Guthrie lyric.
lmaooooooooooooooo whaaaaaat #WheelOfFortune pic.twitter.com/iw0cw0ffNFJanuary 7, 2022
We should take a vote over who adapted the 1940s song better – Shafi or Joey from Friends, as the simple-minded character once changed the words of the song to “This hand is your hand,” when he happened upon his "hand twin" in Las Vegas. Had he erred on the side of Joey, perhaps the social media ribbing wouldn't have happened. But it did, so come on, everybody, sing it with me!
#WheelOfFortune 🎶 this band has your band, this band has my band, this band has made for you and me 🎵January 7, 2022
Shafi’s answer leaves me wondering what the band he's referring to has made. Dinner? A mess? A hit track about a land of some kind? Other Twitter users, however, wondered if Wheel of Fortune needed to implement a more selective audition process.
Watching Wheel of Fortune and for this puzzle:This _and _as made for you and meThe dude solves with "this band has made for you and me."I... We may need to implement some sort of test for contestants hereafter.January 7, 2022
The tough moment for Shafi was just that – one moment – as the contestant went all the way to the end and successfully solved a pretty tough Bonus Round puzzle. He walked away with over $71,000 in total prizes, and probably a lesson in American folk music that he hadn’t counted on.
Wheel of Fortune has seen its share of bewildering guesses over the years, and sometimes the hilarity doesn’t stop with just one wrong answer. Of course, the contestants aren’t the only ones who get called out for their mistakes. Pat Sajak’s seemingly inconsistent enforcement of the rules has drawn the ire of fans, including one recent incident in which Audi stepped in to reward a player with the car she’d been denied on the show.
47 years down, and who knows how much longer the show will go on? Wheel of Fortune is likely to continue for a long time to come, so rest assured, Shafi, that a new “dumbest” response is likely to happen any day now. Check your local listings to find out when to catch Wheel of Fortune in your market.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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