Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Close But No...

Opening my copy of today's New York Times nearly gave me the surprise of a lifetime. Right there, on the front page of the Arts section was the following lead article which led me to believe *we'd* made it. The reality isn't quite as exciting but sooner or later, we shall prevail.

Mardi Gras Dawns With Some Traditions in Jeopardy

Monday, February 27, 2006

Young Blue Eyes

Maybe the Clue Crew are paying attention to us. Mere hours after Jessica's appraisal - in person, no less - of John's eyes (who knew?), the newest CC member opened the show with a pre-titles tease. Alex picked up the ball instantly with his rather curious comment that, "it's hard to believe that Spring is three weeks away". What is this - weather on the (7.0)1's? Soon after, a lone voice in the audience - and this East Village apartment - laughed at the "Waiter" category. Inspired by Liza's guffaw, I was hoping for an answer along the lines of "there's something in my soup" with Alex offering the punchline of, "shh, don't say that, everyone will want one" but, alas, no. Meanwhile, none of the contestants could pronounce the word 'World' in 'The L World'. How could my blog team members fail to get through the pre-screen last Saturday when their command of the English language is clearly better than these jokers?

The chat revealed that 2 day champ Bonnie had to receive special permission from a judge to appear on the programme. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: the US legal system allows criminals to postpone a trial to get their Jeopardy fix but the truth was far duller as she's an attorney. Contestant Jessica made an ass of herself when falling off an ass in Israel and my fave, Conan O'Brien lookalike Tim, the barman from San Francisco nearly achieved a world record for catching a mahi-mahi fish back in the day. These were anecdotes to nearly match Alex's pick up truck revelation from last week (I've still yet to recover).

The game pressed on. One of the more surreal moments in the history of the show took place when, out of nowhere, Ron Michaelson (who he?) walked on stage, did the clue and promptly walked off. Alex seemed impressed and perhaps Tim was inspired: he made a bold wager of $6000 on a Daily Double (you just know he gambles in Vegas on a monthly basis) and temporarily took the lead. He eventually fell back meaning that too close to call scores of $14,200 (Bonnie), $14,000 (Jessica) and $14,000 (T-Dog) were posted going into FJ. It was the 2000 US Elections all over again - just without the words "Florida" or "Chads". And a new champ was crowned with Jessica being alone in knowing that Helen Keller had identity issues as a kid (the question was typically precocious as FJ ones often are) and so the namesake of this blog's moderator will be hoping she doesn't - look out - Messica things up during her first defence.

I was in Jeopardy

Five clue crew members but only four at Saturday's Brain Bus which most certainly was not a bust. Oh wait. There were moments when it was and moments when it wasn't.

I sat down, started my pre-test of ten questions got stumped on the very first one and BUST. Skipping to the next questions my heart began to beat a bit slower as I filled most of them out and then question 10. BUST. I sat and sat and sat and tried to figure it out but the answer did not come.

Starts with "G"
This nine letter word is another word for thankfulness.

Of course, it is gratitude (or What is Gratitude?) but when the answer doesn't come, it doesn't come. Too bad I couldn't realize that as I scribbled graciousness and grateful about nine times each on my paper. I didn't want to stop. I didn't want to get up. I knew I hadn't passed and then it would just be over. Over. How final. A visit to the brain bus and 30 minutes later - no more chances to be on the show.

Well, I finally relinquished my seat hoping to be joined by at least one who has passed, who would make it to the audition and let's face it, I thought it would be my husband. The man knows lots. Lots and lots of trivial trivia. Faster than you can say, "can you please repeat the question?", he can tell you that the only egg-laying mammal is a platypus. And he doesn't even own a platypus!

But back to the end of the pre-test. I hand in my paper. I am shaking. I know I have not passed and yet, when she, with the shit eating grin (or more so, the "I know the answers and you don't" grin) "Oh I am sorry thanks for trying out but you didn't pass", I am still upset.
She tells me to feel free to take a pen and a key chain and I just stand there unsure of what to do. "I don't want no stinkin' pen." runs through my mind. But then as I start to walk away, I am myself again and I reach back towards the table and I take my Jeopardy pen and my sulk and I meet up with the others. Much to my surprise neither of them (aka Jeremy) have made it to the next step. It takes me a minute or two for my disappointment to sink in and then I snap out of it.

But it's hard.

I think what did it were the cute penguins. The penguin made me do it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Brain Bus? More like Brain Bust!

Nooo, not at all. I'm just kidding with the title. It took a brain bus to get us all to the west side before 10am on a Saturday but we did it! Although, neither of us made it through the pre screening contestant process, it was still QUITE an experience. Have you seen the pictures? Well, they're posted above. Look! We're with clue crew members, we even TALKED to them. Jimmy and Sara were there too helping people play mock Jeopardy games. A little bit of a joke if you ask me...many did not answer in the form of a question. As Sara said, "What is the name of the game?" Somewhat disgusted by this, we left and walked through the NY Times Travel Show at the Javits center.

Penguins, pens, sweepstakes, coffee, it was all there. And Jess and Jeremy had origami silhouettes created for them by a nice man at the Taiwan booth. Random morning? Yea, you could say that! It was great-- we'll be back and Glen will come this time. Where was he? Why, he was home, on call with the blog, of course! We didn't know what would happen.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I thought I was looking into a mirror!

We were nearly in the realms of classic Jeopardy last night. And it began - as so many of the truly great episodes do - with the chat. Alex revealed that champion Samantha has an identical twin who also tried out for the show - but missed out by one point. As if that wasn't making the sibling mad enough, Alex went on to tell the nation that Samantha was put a grade AHEAD of her sis during school! "She won't have been happy with that", he exclaimed. "No shit, Sherlock", replied the twin, just before throwing something at her television you imagine.

The fun continued. Double Jeopardy saw the welcome return of 'Rhyme Time' where all the categories sounded alike (props go out to 'Food, Dude', 'Seas Tease' and Jeopardy's favourite President being a response in the form of Taft's Drafts). Alex then got all N.W.A on our ass and tried to imitate Ice Cube during a question on the rapper. I'm not entirely sure what that's done for his credibility (Alex or Ice's). The game was shaping up rather nicely too as new player Bonnie made a strong challenge but appeared to make two crucial blunders towards the end: she didn't phrase an answer correctly (Samantha stole in on that one) and miscalculated how much to wager on a Daily Double which would have rendered Final Jeopardy irrevelant. Her breathing was also out of control which made us worry whether she might faint before the end of the game. Somehow, she regained her composure and got the last question correct and will defend her crown later. You wouldn't want to miss it. But, then again, if you're reading this, you won't be.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Just Some Things Of No Importance Whatsoever aka things better left in my head

*Dom - the challenger not in the middle (that would make him on the viewers' right hand side, contestants left) got his Double Jeopardy question (during the Double Jeopardy round) correct and he did a nice little dance. Don't you sometimes love to share in the joy that is the joy of being a Jeopardy contestant. "I am on teevee. I got it right! This is the best day of my life. . . "

*The champ, who doesn't drive as he told us two nights ago (during a conversation about pick-up trucks) with the wife that Alex asked about two nights in a row (do you ever listen, Alex?) looks like someone I know. When I figure out who that person is, the first thing I will do is post it!

*Just a shout out to the spirit (since they do not read this blog - - yet) that is my book club. I just need to note: everybody's favorite Siamese Twins - Chang & Eng made it to Jeopardy last night in the form of a question in the PT Barnum category.
(as did everyone's favorite announcer - the man, the legend, Johnny Gilbert) Think he will make it to the Brain Bus on Saturday?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Alex The Duck

I'm not certain that the teens have left the building. The latest Jeopardy episode found Alex enthralled by the male contestant's (name please Jessica TiVo Shevitz Rauch?) "talent" that he could sneeze like Donald Duck. Naturally, this was revealed during the de rigueur chat segment which is neatly nestled between the first two rounds. This tickled Alex no end, to the extent that when the player answered 'Chewbacca' during the Get Your Sith Together category (evidence of Jeopardy dumbing down?) he was asked if he could sneeze like a wookie...well, what do you think happened next?

As it was, our Han Solo couldn't muster a challenge to the Princess Leia's and the game was over before we even entered Final Jeopardy (I hate it when that happens). Tomorrow, look out for an Alex monologue where he rips off the scene in 'Clerks' about feeling sorry for the builders of the Death Star. I always had him down for a Star Trek fan myself.

(By the way, ever since my Johnny Gilbert posting, Alex has only referred to him by his christian name. And "they" said that Blogging would never take off.)

Strange Viewing Habits

We just finished watching Monday night's Jeopardy. Now I get the Yeopardy comment. And I love it! From now on, in the real world (not the blog world, er, blogosphere) it is Yeopardy to me. That's it. Done.

I also am pretty crazy about Alex mentioning his pick-up truck. When I lived in Indianapolis I totally wanted a pick-up truck. Not because there was farmland all around (it was a full fledged city, even for you non-believers out there, with farmland on the outskirts) but because they were just cool to me back then and now. . . don't ever mention the word pick-up truck to me again. Please.

Lastly, Jeremy and I got Final Yeopardy and none of the contestants did. Things are looking good for Saturday's Brain Bus. Oh yes they are.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A runner up to the QRIO category

Less than a year ago--a little robot appeared to give us clues. Clues about dances, baseball signs, and all sorts of wonderful things. Let me just say, it was an episode to remember-- greatest category ever, some would say. I was seriously considering buying myself one of those cute little robots, aka QRIO but not being an actual Jeopardy contestant/winner, the $1500 price tag was a bit steep.
The "Ready for my Closeup Mr. Demille" category came and went w/ a great clue framing Jimmy smiling a few weeks ago but I think that was a great clue but the whole entire category- not in the QRIO league. But today-- there was an International Spy category (no Tivo, didn't realize that the category would be so awesome), where the Clue Crew were following or trying to track a 'package' around the world. I like when they get to act! My question is-- who wrote the little vignettes? Jimmy? Cheryl? We can ask them on Saturday! Whee! I wonder if QRIO will be there!

Monday, February 20, 2006

To the River I Go.

Let's say the Brain Bus were coming to your city. Would you go?
Would you take the pre-test and hope to be on Jeopardy (and therefore, one day you would be on last night's Jeopardy and well, then, of course, you would be gossip-ed about on this blog).

The answer from this poster is Yes! Yes ! You would get thee, there early. You would hope to be one of the first 1000 visitors to said bus and you would hope to answer questions correctly and get thee a spot at an upcoming Jeopardy try-out.

To back track a bit. Last week we decided to journal our fanaticism, er, hobby and then this week we luckily clicked here

So, there you are. Uncanny really. What are the chances in the same week we start our shrine to Jeopardy, that we find a way to get closer to our Clue Crew friends.

'Twas meant to be. 'Twas.

(Any similarities to non-fictional Clue Crew stalkers (if such stalkers exist) is completely and utterly by accident)

Someone get on to Wikipedia...

Alex has just confessed during the chat that he drives a pick-up truck. My world, as I know it, has been turned on its head...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Grab Bag

I'd like to use the vessel that is the Jeopardy blog for musings on the weird and wonderful world of said game show. And the more random the better (hence the title which is a direct lift from a regular category).

Part 1 of an occasional series focuses on neither the host (I'm sure our hostess Jess has that base covered) nor the contestants (er, ditto) but rather...the announcer.

For months I had become curious as to the back story of this Johnny Gilbert character who Alex immediately thanks at the start of each show. In my mind, I liked to build him up as some down and out who Alex took pity on in an LA studio back lot. For any Alan Partridge fans out there, it would have been akin to Alan hearing Glen Ponder playing in that Norwich wine bar. Alan offered Glen the position of house band leader (here's the gag - their name changed each episode) before the classic scene in series two where Alan sacks Glen after he fails to invite him to a party. Glen claims that Alan wouldn't have passed the stringent dress code ("no sports casual") before we're witness to Alan's rage ("you're sacked! You are the subject of a sacking!"). But I digress. And this is what I've learned (with thanks to IMDb)...

"One of television's legendary and beloved game show announcers, Johnny Gilbert got his start in show business in high school as a singer, comedian and master of ceremonies. He soon toured the nightclub circuit as a featured attraction; he even parlayed his success into an recorded an album of pop standards. Soon, he delved into the world of television, where he worked at stations in Nashville and New Orleans. In 1958, he hosted his first TV game show, "Music Bingo" (1958). However, he is best known for his announcing duties on game shows. His first successful game show came during the ABC run of "The Price is Right" (1956). After a few hosting duties for unsuccessful game shows, and several locally-produced programs in Los Angeles, Gilbert settled into his role as game show announcer.

His best-known announcing duties include "The Joker's Wild" (1972), "The $10,000 Pyramid" (1973), "Supermarket Sweep" (1990) and "Jeopardy!" (1984). He also served as announcer for many TV awards shows, Dick Clark specials and Circus of the Stars specials."

As you can tell, they rather skirt over his recurring role on Jeopardy. Hopefully this posting readdresses the balance somewhat and if I get to see what he looks like one day, I will have been subject to not so much a sacking as a sighting. And this is why: at the age of 82, Johnny Gilbert is believed to be the oldest active game show announcer in the business. Here's (to you) Johnny...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Who's your Papa?

Wow. The one I knew the least took home the most last night. With approximately $21, 000 going into Final Jeopardy, Papa, the middleman, beat out the other men(?)/teenage boys. Nice guys don't always finish last. Guys with bad haircuts sometimes do.

Last night's show would have made for a very good story HAD Alex interrupted Andrew and Papa who seemed to be having a lively conversation when Papa selected his first (of two) Double Jeopardy clues. He didn't seemed enthused about it. And that caused me to think, this guy doesn't have what it takes, it is still anyone's game. (even though he was pulling ahead at this point). Well, it takes a big man to admit his faults and it takes an even bigger one (and a woman, in this case) to admit she had a contestant all wrong. Needless to say, Papa took it away and won the championship. Matt growled in the corner, wishing Mischa would take him away (a reference to the night before last night's Jeopardy) and Andrew and his suitcases were off. (to band camp, NOT boot camp, at least not yet).

Friday, February 17, 2006

Matt, Andrew or Papi (also known as Papa)

Who will it be? The 2006 Teen Tournament comes to its defining moment tonight. Andrew, off to military academy sometime soon, Matt, off to the hair salon as soon as he sees himself on teevee and Papa, who I know nothing about. He just seems like a nice guy.

So, who will be the winner? Soon we will know. And soon, I hope, we will have better issues to occupy our brains.