Pat Sajak is defending the contestants involved in what's been descried as the "dumbest two minutes in Wheel of Fortune history."
On March 1, a clip of that evening's show went viral after it took contestants eight turns and 10 attempts to solve a puzzle a very easy puzzle with only four unturned letters left.
The correct answer was "Another Feather In Your Cap." However, guesses included "Another Feather In Your Hat," "Another Feather In Your Lap" and "Another Feather In Your Map." Twitter was dumbfounded at the missed answers.
But, the "Wheel of Fortune" host sees it differently and urged viewers to "have a little heart."
"It always pains me when nice people come on our show to play a game and win some money and maybe fulfill a lifelong dream, and are then subject to online ridicule when they make a mistake or something goes awry," he began a lengthy Twitter string. "Last night's 'Feather in your cap' puzzle was a case in point. Sitting at home, it seems incredible that they couldn't solve it, but I knew in real time what was happening."
"The first attempted solve was 'Feather in your hat' which, by the way, is how a lot of people say it," he continued. "So all three players thought it was a good solve, and were stunned when I said it was wrong."
Pat urged his followers — and "Wheel" fans — to get into the mindset of contestant.
"Now imagine you're on national TV, and you're suddenly thrown a curve and you begin getting worried about looking stupid, and if the feather isn't in your hat, where the heck can it be? You start flailing away looking for alternatives rather than synonyms for 'hat,'" he wrote. "And, of course, when it's solved, you want to crawl in a hole. I've been praised online for 'keeping it together' and not making fun of the players. Truth is, all I want to do is help to get them through it and convince them that those things happen even to very bright people. But mocking them online and calling them names?"
After the show, many could't believe what they witnessed. Actor Josh Gad tweeted a clip of the segment, adding, "God help us all." Business sports writer Darren Rovell tweeted, "The dumbest two minutes in Wheel of Fortune history."
Pat didn't take too kindly to those opinions.
"These are good people in a bad situation under a kind of stress that you can't begin to appreciate from the comfort of your couch. Good-natured laughter is one thing. Heck, they laughed at themselves. But, hey, cut them some slack. Unless you're there, you have no idea how different it is in the studio," he said. I have fun with players and I tease them occasionally, but when things go wrong, I feel for them, and I try to salve the wounds on camera and off. So, yeah, it was an oddly entertaining puzzle and it's okay to laugh at the situation. But have a little heart. After all, you may be there one day. And no one wants to be trending on Twitter."