A woman from Vanna Whites hometown of North Myrtle Beach will be seen with much more than Xs and Os Monday night on Wheel of Fortune.
The syndicated game show -- which airs at 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WBTW-TV 13, WCBD-TV 2 and WECT-TV 6 -- kicks off its 30th season on television with Candace Dewberry adding her own spins among the three contestants.
The Wells Fargo bank teller said last week that the whole week of episodes was filmed July 12 at the shows home studio in Los Angeles.
Dewberry said she tried out for the show when producers on the traveling Wheelmobile had open auditions in mid-March at Coastal Grand mall in Myrtle Beach.
You just put your name in, and hope you got called up on stage, she said. They chose four groups of 75 people. Yeah, I stood in line for nine hours ... all day Saturday and all day Sunday. And I got picked on the last round.
For winnowing the list of candidates, two days of private auditions ensued at another site locally, Dewberry said, one of 75 individuals in that step.
Heading into the mall auditions, Dewberry, 20, wondered if shed be the youngest one there, for the crowd reflected older demographics.
With her spot on the show later confirmed, Newberry said she and her fiancé, from Conway, flew west and that all contestants were due in the studio in California at 7 a.m. on the day to play, with a tight, efficient schedule kept by producers.
They drew at random who stood where and on what show, Dewberry said. I got on the first show, which was taped in one hour, and we were out by 11 a.m.
Results of Dewberrys appearance were not allowed to be disclosed until the show airs.
Dewberry found another reward in a day of sightseeing the next day, the final of three nights spent in Los Angeles.
We went to the Santa Monica Pier, she said, and that was definitely the best part of it. Of course, we went to the Pacific Ocean. I had always wanted to know what it would be like. It was so pretty, with the mountainside. And we flew over the Grand Canyon, coming home.
Wheel of Fortune prompts memories of quality family time for Dewberry.
I grew up watching it with my grandparents, she said, any time I was over there. ... And every day, I would just turn it on after work.
Dewberry said she attended Aynor High School for two years before returning to her hometown Atlanta, where she earned her diploma, then moved back to coastal South Carolina. She said Kristin Todd, who won $10,000 earlier this year on the season premiere of CMTs The Singing Bee, was a classmate in Aynor whom she has since friended on Facebook.
Although Dewberry said memorizing song lyrics as Todd did to such great depths escapes her, watching Wheel, though, I can just name you every puzzle.
Todd called Dewberry, whom she hasn't seen in a while, "a sweet girl," whom she wil be sure to watch Monday on "Wheel."
"That is so exciting to have more people from our area on national TV," Todd said.
White dazzled Dewberry long before any letters were turned at her show's taping.
She was very nice, Dewberry said. She came in way before the show without her hair and makeup done, and said Hey everybody! in pants and a T-shirt.. She was really sweet.
Everythings larger on camera
Dewberry remains floored by how the show set looks so different on camera.
It looks massive on TV, she said, but its a lot smaller than it looks on TV.
She called the wheel, although not huge, extremely heavy.
Its unbelievable how much it weighs, Dewberry said. You put all your might into it to spin it.
Other impressions still fresh in her mind, more than two months since filming, include how all three contestants stand close together during the game, each on an adjustable floor so everyones height looks even.
They make you all level, Dewberry said.
The seating for the audience also numbers about only 40 people, filled by contestants families, she said.
Shes ready for a little Wheel of Fortune party Monday with friends from work and her fiancé.
Im curious to see what I look like, said Dewberry, a Zumba instructor who shed 10 pounds before her visit because I would look 10 pounds heavier on camera.
She called the whole experience around her episode awesome and totally worth it, enough to spur wishes for another vacation in the Golden State.
It went by so quickly, she said, quoting show host Pat Sajaks presage on the set:
Enjoy this. Itll be the fastest 22 minutes of your life.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.