Pat Sajak Has Strong Words For Hostile Wheel Of Fortune Fans

Over four decades as host of "Wheel of Fortune," Pat Sajak has never been afraid to say exactly how he feels. Whether he's telling jokes on Twitter or sharing tales of enjoying more than a few cocktails during the early tapings of "Wheel of Fortune," Sajak does not hold back. The host has taken his biting honesty to Twitter this week to defend three contestants who found themselves trending on social media after taking a whopping eight turns to solve a puzzle many thought was rather obvious.

Social media users piled on after a clip of the contestants went viral, with the three struggling to see a puzzle reading "ANOTHER FEATHER _N YO_R _A_" as the idiom "another feather in your cap." Many mocked the contestants on Twitter, with some labeling it the "worst" two minute stretch in "Wheel of Fortune" history. Someone originally guessed "hat" and then began throwing out suggestions like "lap" to nothing but disappointment. Some viewers were "screaming at the TV" in frustration over Tuesday's episode (per New York Post).

Sajak has defended the contestants and detailed the drama behind the viral clip, and why people should have more empathy.

It's completely different in the studio, Sajak says

"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," Pat Sajak wrote on Twitter about the viral puzzle. He went on to explain that he could see what was happening in "real time," and noted the disconnect between the "Wheel of Fortune" audience and contestants as they struggled with what many saw as a relatively easy puzzle. 

The first guess of "feather in your hat" being turned down threw the contestants off, Sajak wrote, and led to some wacky answers under pressure. 

"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?" he wrote. The mistake the contestants made, he added, was looking for "alternatives" to "hat" rather than simply trying "synonyms" which potentially would have led someone to "cap."

Sajak's message for online critics boiled down to having sympathy for contestants playing the game not from the comfort of their own homes, but on a stage in front of cameras. "Good-natured laughter is one thing," Sajak wrote. "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."