Andy here for much of this week.
I came to the realization yesterday that it was the 7-year anniversary of my first-ever Jeopardy! audition. It really doesn't feel like 7 years have gone by, but the calendar tells me that they have. They held the tryouts at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, and it was the last year that they hadn't done online testing to weed out potential applicants in advance. I had just finished my sophomore year at Brock University (as in, my final exam that year was 48 hours before the Jeopardy! test). My friend Andrew Segal had passed in the previous audition group; he received The Call and aired that fall. He'd come up to me as I was waiting in the hotel lobby and said that I should have no trouble passing.
I did have trouble passing. The speed of the questions were such that I'd forgotten what previous questions were and wasn't able to go back and think about them. I didn't do very well at all. I did win a prize for having the most hilariously wrong answer (I'd put Ken Jennings down as the answer to a question about "Wilkommen" (looking back now I assume it was a question about a song from "Cabaret"). Oh well. It was a small first step on what has so far been a pretty long journey.
Also coming across the wire this morning: news that CBC up in Canada will not be airing Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune next season. I'm a little bit worried about what stations up here will be airing those shows in 2012-13...
This week on the show is the quarterfinals of the Teen Tournament; a time that when I was younger was my favourite time of the Jeopardy! calendar...now, not quite so much. I don't track my Coryats during the Teen Tournament as I don't see too much of a point of doing so (comparing them to adult Coryats obviously doesn't serve a purpose).
While the questions are traditionally easier, I would venture that especially with the way that the top high school quiz bowl players are very, very strong now, that Jeopardy! could stand to make the questions comparable to College Tournament difficulty and still have a very entertaining tournament. I bet each one of these contestants would have no difficulty at all passing the Adult-level test.
What that does usually mean, though, is that wild card scores are traditionally pretty high (as scoring is usually high, owing to the easier difficulty of the questions).
Our contestants for this first quarterfinal: two juniors and a sophomore -- Eliza Scruton, Rose Schaefer, and Jeff Haylon (the sophomore).
Alex has pointed out, once again, that the Teens are his favourite, but he's also mentioned that while the quarterfinals are in Southern California, the semifinals and finals will be taped in Washington at Constitution Hall!
J! round categories: SWEET STUFF, NAME THE SPORT, TRANSPORTATION, WHAT A CENTURY, WORLD CAPITALS, PUT A "DENT" IN IT
The first Daily Double was found early by Jeff in WHAT A CENTURY $400; he had $600 to Rose's $2200 and Eliza's $1200. He bet $1000 and saw "Russia loses its last czar" - and went up to $1600.
At the first break, no Triple Stumpers and scores at: Jeff 1400 Rose 2800 Eliza 2200.
The first difficult question (IMO) came in at SWEET STUFF $800: The French name of this airy dessert means "foam" or "froth"; it also refers to the foam on the surface of champagne
After 30 clues, your scores: Eliza 5800 Jeff 3200 Rose 3200
DJ! round categories: PHYSICAL SCIENCE, DOUBLE "F", SONGS OLD & NEW, KINGS & QUEENS, ABBREV., SCARY LITERATURE
I was quite pleased with the speed that these contestants rolled through the boards!
Rose hit the first DD in Double Jeopardy! under KINGS & QUEENS $1600; she had $4800 to Jeff's $4000 and Eliza's $11000. She only bet $2000 and saw the following: "In 1863, George I became king of this country & known as King of the Hellenes" Up to $6800 she went after her correct response.
Triple Stumper alert: DOUBLE "F" $1600: In the dictionary this word comes before calculus, equation & psychology
Rose went on a massive roll after her Daily Double, coming all the way back to take the lead! However, Eliza retook her lead shortly before finding the final Daily Double (PHYSICAL SCIENCE $1600) on the antepenultimate clue of the round. She had $16600 to Rose's $16400 and Jeff's $7200. Her bet was only $1500 and she saw the following: "In an atom, these particles move in arrangements called orbitals". Her correct answer left Rose with an opportunity, and correct response on the game's final $2000 clue left the scores as follows going into the Final:
FJ! category: US GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Clue: Its seal shows a 16-pointed star, symbolizing the search for information, on a shield symbolizing defense
Eliza had the sole get, while Rose and Jeff had the same incorrect response
Jeff 7200 - 7000 = 200
Eliza 18100 + 1901 = 20001
Rose 18400 - 3000 = 15400
Eliza Scruton is the first semifinalist.
Wild Card standings:
Rose Schaefer $15,400
Jeff Haylon $200
See you tomorrow! (Also, for Thursday's blog, I'll be posting another piece on wagering strategy!)