Sunday, January 19, 2020

Why I won't try out for JEOPARDY

As you know, I'm a huge JEOPARDY fan.  At the end of this month the show is holding tryouts, offering an online test.  People ask me, "Why don't you try out for JEOPARDY?"   I think the contestant on the right explains it.


VP81955 said...

With talk of a writers' strike a possibility, the Los Angeles Times examines the 2020 landscape and how things may be different from what happened the last time writers struck in 2007-2008,

The key to me: Netflix may come out of any potential strike largely unscathed; other content providers, especially those linked to corporations not used to dealing with unions, not so much.

Roy DeRousse said...

For context, I think this was the score after Double Jeopardy. Yikes! -6800 is record for lowest score. Someone challenged that score with -6400 this week.

Michael said...

I will never forget a 60 Minutes profile from years ago where Ed Bradley tried to play the game just with Alex Trebek and didn't have the eye-hand coordination--and Bradley was no dummy, of course. It's a reminder of how much goes into being a successful contestant on there--Trebek even said a couple of years back that he knows maybe 3/4 of the answers but wouldn't have the reflexes at his age to get the buzzer right.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Another Sunday fake out.

This reminds me of "The Simpsons" episode, "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace." After Bart defrauds the town Marge goes on "Jeopardy" in an attempt to pay back the money and winds up with a final score of -$5,200. As she's about to leave, Alex Trebek comes up to her and says, "Aren't you forgetting something, Marge?" Then he and his goons try to collect.
Of course, back then you could still threaten a woman with physical violence for comedic effect.

Speaking of "The Simpsons," do you have any thoughts on the report that Hank Azaria is going to stop voicing "Apu?"

slgc said...

Like Roy said, there was a woman on the Jeopardy episode that aired last Thursday who had a horrible negative score. She was so visibly nervous during the show that it was just heartbreaking.

jenmoon said...

I assume I can't post a link here, but Slate magazine had an interview with that girl that was really good. Sounds like she had a clusterfuck game, really.

Bill K. said...

An interesting interview with that contestant for anyone interested in learning more -

Anonymous said...

I need to know if there is a place where we can pitch tv game shows like Jeopardy?

Barry Traylor said...

"Like Roy said, there was a woman on the Jeopardy episode that aired last Thursday who had a horrible negative score. She was so visibly nervous during the show that it was just heartbreaking."

I felt so bad for that woman.

Andy Rose said...

I did feel sorry for the woman who was so nervous on Jeopardy!, but I also was kind of fascinated. I haven't been a contestant on the show, but I have auditioned. I thought the audition process itself was pretty nerve-wracking, despite their best efforts to put everyone at ease. You have to do very well in your tryout to become a contestant (about 8 out of every 9 people who audition never hear back from the show), so I'm really surprised someone could ace that and then be overwhelmed in the studio.

Tommy Raiko said...

As a nice (ish) coda to the story of Priscilla Drobes, the heartbreakingly anxious contestant last week who ended the game very (but not record-breakingly) in negative territory: social media saw an outpouring of Twitter support from fans.

Sometimes Twitter is a nice place. :)

Jon said...

I took the Jeopardy! contestant test in person in Dallas, TX in May 2001, and I've taken it several times online since then. I'm also signed up to try it again next week. I guess I've either never scored high enough to make a tryout (and I wasn't asked to stay in Dallas after the written test either), but it's fun taking the test anyway, and I have a better chance making it on the show (1 in a million) than if I don't (0 in a million).

Jeff Weimer said...

I've watched Jeopardy! at least since Trebek took over, and have a pretty good record of getting the right questions - even to calling out a final Jeopardy! answer when the hint is shown - on multiple occasions, not cheating. But I could not press the button unless I knew the answer, and that is key. I would probably end up third and/or in negative dollars.

Brian said...

Ken, I think you would do OK. At least as well as Wolf Blitzer

If I ever got on, I would have two goals 1) don't make a fool of myself and 2) just make it to final Jeopardy.

Tom Galloway said...

Her severe nervousness was odd, since that's something the contestant coordinators are specifically looking out for during in-person tryouts.

But that wasn't the worst such incident I've seen. Way back when, I was on the Fox one-season game show Greed, and was waiting in a green room for my turn to go on. They had a monitor showing us the game being played in real time. And one contestant either fainted or collapsed and was close to it.

We later heard she had lost sight of her mother (I think) in the audience or some such and suddenly had an attack of nerves. This was interesting with respect to the game, as Greed was a weird combination of group and individual play, so if she couldn't go on, it was unclear what they'd do with the rest of the players who were midway through the game.

She eventually got back at her podium, but you could tell she was going to be completely useless as a player. As it happened, one aspect of the game was that after each question, one player was randomly picked as "The Eliminator". This meant they had the option of challenging any other player to a one question showdown. Whoever won the showdown got the other players share of the pot (which was at the six figure share level).

One guy, Curtis, got the Eliminator and promptly challenged the nerve-wracked contestant, who you could hear going "Why are you doing this to me?" as they went up for the question. Needless to say, he eliminated her.

Opinions varied on whether this was good game play (as mentioned, she would be useless but would still have to contribute to team answers) or him being a money-grubbing asshole. For more info, Curtis and Dan, the team captain, were clearly carrying the team all the way.

Curtis ended up winning close to $2 million from this and a later ratings stunt appearance on Greed. He was definitely smart, but because of the above and about five other "Man, I can't believe he got that break" bits I won't go into, he was probably the luckiest contestant in game show history. To the point that one of those bits should have had him go home with zero in an embarrassing manner.

Brian Phillips said...

Yes, I felt badly for Ms. Drobes, not only for the low score, but also because she lives one town over from my village of Spring Valley, NY. It's not every day that you hear Nanuet mentioned on national television.

As stated by the tweets, you've got to have something on the ball to even get to the auditions, let alone get on the show. I've taken the test several times and all I got was another chance to take the test. Oh, and this dumb T-shirt.

Actually, I have a lot of dumb T-shirts, so HA!