the second stage of the audition process at an Omaha hotel.
"I'm nervous. I couldn't sleep last night. I've been doing crossword puzzles. I've been practicing," frets one hopeful candidate. In fact, the WoF staffers make it sound like "smiling, clapping and a good presence and energy" are just as important, if not more so, than plain old verbal ability. Though it no doubt helps to have all the attributes.
Maybe contestant pickers are haunted by the memory of that fellow named Larson, who just turned up one day unannounced at Press Your Luck. But it's not like anybody could crack Wheel of Fortune and run the board for unlimited loot. I assume they do a pretty good job of keeping the puzzles under wraps.
Even for the unsuccessful candidates there's still the thrill of semi-victory. "If I don't get picked, I'll still be excited. Even auditioning is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." That's the spirit.