Pat Sajak Defends 'Wheel of Fortune' Contestants Over Puzzle Struggle

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is defending the show's contestants, after they were mocked on social media for struggling to a solve a seemingly simple puzzle.

During Tuesday night's episode of the long-running game show, players were left baffled when they were tasked with guessing a popular phrase from the clue: "ANOTHER FEATHER _N YO_R _A_."

After an initial guess of "another feather in your hat" turned out to be wrong, attempts including "another feather in your lap" and "another feather in your map" were put forth before the correct answer of "another feather in your cap" was given.

As a clip of the moment went viral on social media, clocking up over 10 million collective views, Sajak took to Twitter on Wednesday to urge those criticizing the contestants to "cut them some slack."

He wrote: "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.

"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. So all three players thought it was a good solve, and were stunned when I said it was wrong."

Beloved TV personality Sajak then went on to explain how the contestants may have felt while attempting to solve the puzzle in a moment that they knew would later be televised across the U.S.

"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?" Sajak continued. "You start flailing away looking for alternatives rather than synonyms for 'hat.'

"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? 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."

Urging those commenting on the viral moment to "have a little heart," Sajak said that finding humor in the moment is different to relentlessly mocking the players.

"Good-natured laughter is one thing," he wrote in his lengthy Twitter thread. "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.

"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."

Sajak used his Twitter account last month to deny speculation that Wheel of Fortune is fixed, in the same week that history was made on the show when three consecutive contestants were seen winning the $100,000 grand prize in the Bonus Round.

"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak
"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak has defended the show's contestants, after they were mocked for struggling to solve a seemingly simple puzzle. Twitter;/Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage