Former E’town resident to appear on game show Thursday

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Eggen Logsdon earned spot on Wheel of Fortune

By Gina Clear

For former Elizabethtown resident Melissa Eggen Logsdon, the adage “Third time’s the charm” never has proven truer.

After attempting to audition for Wheel of Fortune on two other occasions in Chicago, in June her third attempt at the Wheelmobile in St. Louis, where she now lives, landed her on the show.

“I had been at the Wheelmobile all day,” Logsdon said. “I was so tired. I almost left, but persistence pays off.”

Her episode airs at 7 p.m. Thursday. Locally, it can be seen on WLKY.

In order to audition for the show, her name was pulled in a lottery of more than 1,200 potential contestants. In Logsdon’s first audition, her name was never drawn.

At the event, she waited through the first two hours before her name was called in the third and final hour of the audition. Her name was called once before at her second attempt in Chicago.

“It was amazing to me that I got called up on stage again,” she said.

During the audition, potential contestants play a speed-up round and those who display the most promise are called back for a final audition.

About 40 of those auditioned are called back, Logsdon said.

“They’re looking for people with personality, who are smart and have strong loud voices,” she said.

At the final audition in August, Logsdon and other potential contestants played a game and were interviewed on stage by the stand-in host, much like what Pat Sajak would do on the show. About half of the contestants are cut following this round, Logsdon said.

The remaining contestants take a written test where Logsdon had five minutes to complete as many puzzles as she could.

“Some aren’t that different, but you complete as many as you can,” she said.

Then it came down to waiting for a letter in the mail. At her second audition, her letter never came, but this time it did in September.

The letter told Logsdon she could be called to Los Angeles, where the show is filmed, at anytime and she must make arrangements to be there.

In January, she received an email saying she was going to be on the show.

“I had 10 days to organize travel to L.A.,” she said.

The show taped Jan. 31 along with six other episodes. Logsdon’s was the last to film.

Before the show taped, contestants had a coach to prepare them for the episode. Logsdon and the others were sent through legal paperwork, taken to hair and makeup and even given the chance to spin the 2,000-pound wheel prior to the show.

She enjoyed interacting with the hosts of the show. A pre-makeup and wardrobe Vanna White spoke to the contestants before the taping and Logsdon said Sajak was funny.

Once the show began taping, it went by in a blur, Logsdon said.

“You’re taken offstage between each puzzle,” she said. “It’s really hectic and goes by really quickly.”

Logsdon drew the first position and said the experience is not one she will soon forget.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s something I won’t forget. It went by so quickly. I still can’t believe it happened.”

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.