A Wheel of Fortune contestant made a surprising blunder on Thursday night's episode, giving the Thanksgiving viewers something to talk about. Contestant Jacquelyn decided to solve a nearly-complete puzzle, which already had the song title "Under Pressure" filled out, and just needed to finish spelling the band name "Queen" and the artist "David Bowie." Instead, Jacquelyn said, "David Louie."
As viewers wondered how she could not know the name "David Bowie" for this famous song, the moment went viral. The category was The '80s in general, and many viewers were shocked that Jacquelyn didn't know this famous figure of that era. The next contestant must not have known either, as she opted to spin the wheel. Jacquelyn went on to win bonus round, taking home $40,000.
"Under Pressure" was released in 1981, and the next year was included on Queen's album Hot Space. It was a collaboration between the band and Bowie, created when the artists were all together at Mountain Studios in Switzerland to work on other projects. Dissatisfied with the songs they had come prepared with, five musicians decided to write something new and came up with "Under Pressure," according to the biography Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Memoir by the Man who Knew Him Best.
All five musicians got equal credit for the song, which became one of the most recognizable and iconic songs of its era. Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion about who contributed the most to the lyrics, the arrangements and the vocal melody. The scat-singing throughout is taken as a sign of the song's improvisational origin.
In 1984, Queen bassist John Deacon told a French magazine that Mercury was the primary songwriter behind "Under Pressure," though, in 2008, guitarist Brian May remembered it differently.
"It was hard, because you had four very precocious boys and David, who was precocious enough for all of us," He told Mojo Magazine. "David took over the song lyrically. Looking back, it's a great song but it should have been mixed differently. Freddie and David had a fierce battle over that. It's a significant song because of David and its lyrical content."
This kind of background knowledge notwithstanding, "Under Pressure" is the kind of omnipresent song that most people recognize on instinct these days. The fact that a Wheel of Fortune contestant missed the clue all these years later astounded many families this Thanksgiving.