Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Is "I Tried out for Jeopardy"?

(Like my Swayze birthday, it's another post with minimal pregnancy info.)

The last game show I tried out for was the messy kid's game show, Double Dare. I was in the 7th grade and it had only been on the air for a month. The host, Marc Summers (who ironically turned out to be super-obsessive-compulsive about messiness), actually came to the audition unlike a certain French Canadian game show host I can think of. Curse you, Trebek!

Nothing says serious game show like the words "Super Sloppiest Moments."

Anyway I took the online test in January and the Jeop' powers that be invited me to an audition in San Diego a few months ago. First round: 50 question fill-in test. (You don't find out how you do but I suspicion they administer it partly to confirm that you were the one that took the online test.) Second round: You're called up in groups of three, given buzzers, and let loose to play several minutes of Jeopardy, projected on a screen. When I first took my place at the front of the room to play, my belly blocked the game being projected. I was nervous going up, but once there felt totally relaxed and found it was actually a lot of fun to play. I thought I did pretty well in my group, but I played a little dirty by continually returning to geography questions. How could I resist?

Here's me and my baby bump next to the Jeopardy audition sign.

Some questions I got right.:

1) What state capital on the Gastineau Channel is surrounded by mountains?
2) What European country is home to the port cities of Dubrovnik and Split?

One that still kills me that I got wrong.:
3) Pittsburgh is located where the Ohio River forms at the confluence of the Allegheny and what other river?

(Answers at bottom of post)

We were all given Jeopardy souvenir pens. Unfortunately, during the practice Jeopardy rounds they were used for evil, not good. Many of the people who weren't playing would use the clicking mechanism on the pen to practice clicking in on a buzzer. This was super annoying because it reeked of, "Look at me! Look at me! I know the answer!" and these idiots were always in my line of sight when watching the practice rounds.

My most prized possession.

After our practice round, while still standing in front of the Jeopardy board, the three of us were then interviewed for several minutes each. I mentioned how I'd visited nearly 70 Chevys restaurants, and the auditioners said, "I don't think there are any Chevys in LA." Then I proceeded to name off LA area cities with Chevys. "There's West Covina, Encino, Glendale..." At least I wasn't of the people who talked about their hobbies of (yawn) gardening and (kiss of death) reading.

Overall I think it went well. They hold onto your contact info for 2 years if they want to use you. I told them I wouldn't be available until June of next year (busy raising twins) so we'll see... I think if I actually made it on the show I'd die from nervousness, but it was a fun experience to try out.

Jeopardy fun facts:
-They discourage you from saying "Alex" as in "I'll take Potpourri for $200, Alex" because that one extra word slows down the game.
-Two or more people cannot share the same first name in the same show. This means if you had the name Ken during Ken Jennings' 75 show run you were out of luck (or, if you think about it, really lucky).

Ken Jennings in the most awesome shirt ever.

Some of the ways Ken signed in while on Jeopardy.

Demographic snapshot of our room of 21 people.:
-Only 4 of us appeared to be under 40.
-About 75% of the room was male.
-I think there were probably 18 non-Hispanic white contestants.
-95% weren't from San Diego and many had traveled from across the country.

Answers to Jeopardy questions:
1) Juneau (Thanks for that Alaskan cruise last year, Mr. & Mrs. Mark!)
2) Croatia
3) Monongahela (I said Susquehanna)

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