So yesterday was my big Jeopardy! audition in Lexington. I have qualified via online test THREE times, but have never been able to go until yesterday. Paul, of course, had a bit of success on the show this year, and being the uber-competitive person that I am, I of course have to give it a shot myself.
So Paul, Simon and I headed out to the Bluegrass State while Declan enjoyed a day with his BeBe (Simon goes where I go since I make the food). I had my “interesting” tidbits about myself, my TV-ready outfit and my brain on overdrive. In other words, I was ready.
We made it to the hotel with about 20 minutes to spare, and by then, I was getting nervous. What if I got NO questions right? What if I totally froze? Or even worse, what if I acted like a fool, which happens to me from time to time? Oh lord…
Luckily, Paul prepped me and boosted my confidence by telling me to be myself and to remember that since I’ve already passed the online test, they know I’m smart enough, so this is really about how I would appear on TV. So they were looking for charming, and I’ve got charm in spades.
We made it to the location of the testing, and immediately the casting people recognized Paul from his audition and his appearance. Score! One of the casting crew, Robert, a hilarious hipster full of energy, grabbed Paul and Simon and pulled them into the room with all of us auditioning and had Paul talk a little about his experience on Jeopardy. I loved this, of course, because A) I love when my man is the center of attention, B) I knew this made ME more memorable and C) I kinda hoped it intimidated the other people. Who knows if it did, but they at least took notice of us.
The first thing they had us do was get a polaroid taken and fill out an application form. So far, so good. My photo turned out decently, so hopefully that’s a +1. Then, we got an answer sheet with 50 blank spaces on it. I’m not allowed to discuss the questions since they use the same test around the nation, but let’s just say there are a couple that I am KICKING myself over. There were two questions specifically that I KNEW I knew, but my brain froze. I kept coming back to them but they answers remained a mist in my head until literally the second the casting girl, Carrina, took my answer sheet. The answers came flooding into my head and I almost cussed. I know there were several I got wrong and I also know that somehow I missed a question because I only had answers to No. 49 on the sheet. Nice. I’m hoping I at least scored in the passing range.
The next part was my time to shine. They called us up in groups of 3 to do a practice game. We practiced with the buzzer (the timing is crucial and not as easy as you would think) and they went over how to keep the game moving. If you are a fan of Jeopardy!, then you know how annoying it is when somebody gets the rhythm off, like when they get a question right and then wait to pick the next clue, or they leave ONE DAMN CLUE LEFT IN A COLUMN AND GO TO ANOTHER ONE. I HATE THAT. They told us to speak loudly, speak clearly and keep it moving. Got it.
Some of the categories had me sweating, and I kept my fingers crossed that my name wasn’t called when they were featured. Like when Economics was up there, or 5-Star Generals. I of course missed out on Oscar Winners and Potent Potables, categories that I would have dominated. But when it was finally my turn, my choices were decent: Banned Books (+1), World Capitals (+1), and NYT Book Review (+1). Yay. Then they did the mock interview. I was standing with 2 other girls about my age. The first one, I gotta be honest, was a total dud. She had the enthusiasm of a wet rag, but the fact that she is 6 months pregnant with a 1 year old out in the lobby might have been the reason. The second girl was a doctor in Nashville. Very cute, very bubbly. I wanted to Tanya Harding her.
Then it was my turn. Again, my connection to Paul was a major +1 because Robert (casting guy) asked me more specific questions than the typical “what do you do for fun” and “where are you from” that the other contestants got. I luckily did not make a fool out of myself and got chuckles out of everyone with some of my answers.
Soon after, we wrapped up, and I headed out to meet up with Paul and Simon. Robert walked out with me and immediately went up to them. He instantly grabbed Simon from me and was all over him, and then told me flat out that he thought I was beautiful. SCORE. I know Jeopardy! isn’t a beauty pageant (far from it, most days) but again, memorable and personable is what I was hoping for, and I would think not being repulsive would be a major bonus!!! If I have learned anything from watching The Golden Girls (and I’ve learned so much from them), it’s that on the episode where Dorothy tried out for Jeopardy! and didn’t make it, it was because the casting director told her “we don’t think America would root for you.” Well, America will root for me, I’m sure of it!!
So now, we wait. My application is on file for 18 months, and if they deem me acceptable, they will call sometime during that time period for me to fly out there. For Paul, he was called up 17 months after he auditioned, long after we had given up hope that he would be on the show. I am not going to hold onto hope because while I’m sure I was in the top charmers of the group, based on the amount of lawyers, doctors, chemists, professors, teachers and other brainiacs in the room, I wasn’t the smartest. It was a total worthwhile experience though, even if it ends here. I had a blast. Paul was my biggest cheerleader and Simon was as well-behaved as always, despite crappy naps, over 6 hours in the car and limited Mommy time for the day.
I loved all my FB messages of good luck and well-wishes, it made me feel so confident and supported. Keep it coming if they call me back!!!!