by Kent Sterling
The worst contestant in the long history of “Wheel of Fortune” did a great job of guessing letters, but was atrocious at solving puzzles, including one in which every letter was revealed. Sadly, he was wearing an Indiana University sweatshirt as he did it.
College week competitions are usually nice forums for spreading brand awareness for schools lucky enough to have a contestant selected to compete. This is not the case for Indiana University as not only did this student bring embarrassment to the viewers who saw the show live, but to millions of others now laughing as the video has gone viral.
I’ve had the link to the video sent by email from friends six times this morning, and seen dozens of Facebook posts mocking the school and contestant today.
The saddest part is that the kid booted away a car and a chance to win a million dollars in the show’s bonus round.
For high school juniors pondering Indiana as a potential college choice, this humiliating performance might sway them toward one of their other options. In the wake of this disaster, no kid is going to want to tell adults or peers he or she has chosen the school also attended by a student who cannot correctly read the name “Achilles.”
This video might rival the “Boom goes the Dynamite” sports highlight package produced by Ball State’s telecom department for humiliation.
There might be a positive bounce back in that prospective students may see the video as an indication of the low level of academic competition at IU. Applications from C-level high school students may surge, just as I’m sure they did for media hopefuls at Ball State after the “Boom” video became a sensation.
One sad outgrowth is that IU grads will be forced to honor a self-imposed moratorium on making fun of the University of Kentucky.