Fans may be surprised to find a temporary replacement for Wheel of Fortune game-show hostess, Vanna White.
This surprising absence comes right after the heart-wrenching news of Pat Sajack’s imminent departure from the show. But before you fall into a crippling spiral of despair, we can guarantee that White will quickly return before’s she’s missed!
Back in August, White called out of the show a total of five times to recover from COVID-19. Sajak was actually very open about what he knew concerning the game-show host:
“You’ll notice Vanna is not here, and I have to say that Ms. White has tested positive for COVID. That’s the bad news. The good news is I talked to her just a little while ago and she feels fine. She has a little sniffle. But she tested positive and that’s the way it goes, so she will not be with us here this week.”
The 2023 California Teacher of the Year recipient Bridgette Donald-Blue will be White’s letter-turning replacement on the episodes airing from Oct. 2 to Oct 6. The timing is spot-on, just in time for Teacher’s Week.
According to Entertainment Weekly, because teachers had already arrived to film the episodes aired in Los Angeles over the summer, the Teacher’s Week episodes couldn’t be rescheduled. However, the later episodes, not part of Teacher’s Week, which were originally scheduled to film the next day, were postponed to give White the necessary time to recover.
To backtrack a moment, it’s been four months since Sajak anounced that he would soon be retiring from the show.
“It’s been a wonderful ride,” Sajak beamed.
It has since been announced that Ryan Seacrest will be the new host of Wheel of Fortune. Just late month, news of White extending her contract to stay on the show through the 2025-2026 season. This comes right after the prolonged negotiations involving White securing her first raise in 18 years.
White allegedly earned $3 million annually, a figure notably lower than Sajack’s reported salary, says Deadline. It is believed that White is expecting a “significant salary increase” with the contract renewal.
Seacrest told PEOPLE, “With this game show, it’s such a success and has been for generations. You don’t mess with it, just don’t mess with it. Just get out of the way, say ‘Good evening,’ and let’s play.”
Get well soon, Vanna White!
Good luck, Ryan Seacrest!
And to Pat Sajack, thank you for years of entertainment and inspiration.