Tuesday, May 22, 2012

T-Minus 3 Days

Oh hey, look what turned up in my email box yesterday!

And I'm wearing heels. Small ones, but still.

Anyway, after waiting what feels like an eternity, the first show of my week aired tonight. I'm going to go ahead and talk a little bit about what happened before that show was taped, and then I'll throw in some thoughts on the episode itself. After our makeup was done, and everyone had filled out their paperwork, we walked into the studio for the first time. It's smaller than you might expect, and very bright. (I'll talk about the set itself tomorrow.) I was pleased to see two things about the live audience (well, three things actually): 1, they weren't in the studio yet; 2, the audience area was actually pretty small; and 3, the set is so bright that it's nearly impossible to make out the audience.

Everyone went up on the stage to stand behind the podiums for the first time. They show you how everything works - the lights that will come on around the game board to let you know when you can ring in, how to write your name on the screen, where the signaling device is kept and how to use it. I was told to get in the front and do the writing, so I got to touch everything first, and at this point I still wasn't feeling great from the food poisoning the night before, so I was hoping this wasn't a sign that I was going to be playing in the first game. The last part of the orientation was going up and playing part of a mock game. They picked three people to stand up there and start the game, then as each of them seemed to get the hang of ringing in, they would rotate in someone new.

When it was my turn, I was surprisingly nervous. It was a practice game, in front of only the staff and my fellow contestants, but it was still nerve-wracking. I was terrified I wouldn't get the rhythm of ringing in and I would stay up there forever trying to get called on. The coordinators tell you that everyone has to find their own sweet spot for pressing the button. If you're young and play a lot of video games, you can probably use the lights coming on as your cue. If you're not exactly Quick Draw McGraw (and also probably if you're old enough to know who Quick Draw McGraw is), you may need to anticipate the lights a little to help your reaction time. I was up there for a little bit, but not an excessively long time.

Then it was time to find out who was going to play Jacob in the first show of the week/day. (They use the highly-scientific method of writing everyone's name on index cards and drawing two.) The lucky winners were Joel and Cindy!

Quick (relatively, I'm not good at "quick") comments about today's show (don't read it if you haven't seen the show! There are spoilers and some of it probably won't make sense.): 

Alex talks to the audience on the commercial break and he explained that although he had said it was good to be back home in the intro, they hadn't actually gone to Washington, DC yet.

Joel was trying to decide which interview snippet to use and I said he should go with the car story. It was definitely the funniest choice, in my opinion.

In our group of contestants-to-be, we were pretty gender-divided on getting the Laura Ingalls Wilder answer.

I forgot to listen to see if the laughter that broke out in the studio after Alex read Joel's response of "What Doubt" came through on the broadcast. In the pre-show briefing, they tell you that if you don't write in a verb, it's technically acceptable, but that you don't want to give the judges anything to pick on with your answer. I think it must have been like telling a kid, "don't run," and all that gets stuck in their head is "run," because somehow Joel ended up completely forgetting the verb. Alex looked briefly at the judges before saying for sure that the answer was correct, but it wasn't a big deal.

Afterward, Joel said that he didn't know the answer at first, but focused in on the "fall 1964" part of the clue. He'd seen the movie version and said something along the lines of "they kept showing that damn leaf." (I haven't seen the movie, so I can't say if it would have been enough to trigger my memory. I didn't get the final.)

We were all happy that someone from our group had dethroned the reigning champion. Score one for us!

I was pretty relieved that that hadn't been my game; I didn't know the Final and I felt like there were a fair number of pretty hard questions. I have no idea if that's true or if I felt that way because I was imagining myself trying to answer those questions!

Well, those are my thoughts on it. If you're looking for a real recap of the show, you should definitely visit Jeanie's blog The Jeopardy Fan!


  1. Thanks, Ursula! I've put a link to this entry in today's recap. It's scheduled to publish at 9:25 p.m. Central.

  2. Awesome! I wasn't sure when your recap would be up, but I also wasn't sure when people would be reading this, so I figured it would even out. :)

  3. I guess some of the details will all line up come air time. This is building up nicely.
    And great photo!

    1. Armand: Hopefully they will - if you let me know what some of the details you're wondering about are, I can be sure they will line up. Thanks on the photo as well!

  4. Alright, I have to try to remember to set the DVR as soon as I get home tonight... I want to see what you're blogging about!

    1. Bronwyn, yes, set that DVR! :)

      I don't have a recording device, so I can't really provide more detail on the clues and such without either paraphrasing them into unintelligibility or waiting for the j-archive or Jeanie to get the actual wording up.