WHEEL of Fortune has brought back a contestant they found had offended and in an extremely rare gesture deserved a second chance.
Pat Sajak openly apologized to Darcy for being “treated unfairly” when she first appeared in 2021 and lost to a wrong call, hence her invite to Friday’s episode.
The contestant, who the producers failed to do justice to the first time, originally appeared on the October 4, 2021 episode.
On April 28, 2023, Wheel of Fortune asked her back because she felt she was a bad call — something game shows virtually never do.
Darcy DuGal, from San Diego, California, smiled while being interviewed by Pat, 76, at the top.
Pat immediately explained the familiar face to viewers: “Darcy DuGal is here. And if she looks familiar, Darcy has been here before.”
“NOT EXCEPTIONALLY FAIR TREATMENT”
“We thought maybe you weren’t treated particularly fairly, something that happened,” Pat said.
“So we invited you to come back – nice to see you again.”
Darcy reminded fans that she has a son and enjoys sailing, but recently finished second in a sailing race she called “loser of first place”.
“I have to be first to something,” she said jokingly.
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Pat then took it easy, too: “Well, you won’t come in below third place here tonight!” She laughed. He sincerely added: “Nice to have you here.”
While Darcy again didn’t take first place, fans immediately wondered what caused the very rare move from a game show.
WHY THE PARTICIPANT WAS CONSULTED
One Twitter user wrote: “Why is Darcy back as a contestant?”
“I wonder what happened to Darcy before that she might have been treated ‘unfairly,'” wondered another.
“Anyone know the story behind tonight’s contestant reappearing tonight?” asked a third.
Someone on Twitter knew – user @wheelrob explained: “Darcy DuGal first appeared on #WheelofFortune on October 4th, 2021.
“She was probably brought back because of a salacious verdict that cost her the game and $30,000.
“She didn’t get a solution here because of the little pause. Normally replies STARTED before the buzzer goes off count.”
In the resurfaced clip [seen above]Darcy could be heard guessing several times for a tossup puzzle searching for “walk in the woods”.
She guessed: “Take a walk in the wilderness”, “Take a walk in the wind”, “Take a walk in the wind” – the buzzer sounded, but she said: “Forest.”
Wheel of Fortune usually allows players to complete their guess even if the buzzer sounded halfway, but she was rejected and lost despite having $30,000 at the time.
Other fans applauded the show for facing up to their wrong decision.
To understand the magnitude of the gesture, similar to sister show Jeopardy!, once a contestant emerges, they are ineligible to compete again.
Danger! has never reclaimed a competitor to regular season play, but currently hosts an annual second chance tournament for those they believe deserve it – whether for their near wins or otherwise.
Wheel of Fortune has also announced for the first time a week of fan favorites to air on May 8th, but there are no wrong choices.