My Jeopardy! audition!

Last January, I took the online Jeopardy! test. (Yes, the exclamation point is part of the name of the show.)  It’s a 50 question test, and they don’t tell you how you did when you take the test.  I knew I missed a few, but not really sure how many (or how many I needed to get right).  I didn’t hear anything from them for nearly 18 months.  Then I got an email that said I was invited for an in-person follow-up audition (and that I had 48 hours to respond or they’d give away my spot.)

Friday at 11:30am was my audition at a hotel in San Francisco.  Well, mine and 20 or so others who passed the online test.  I got there about an hour early (with 5 anecdotes in hand) and was the first one in the waiting room, but people started coming in shortly thereafter.  I’d say most people got there in the last ten minutes before our start time. While we were in the waiting room, filling out paperwork, we’d occasionally hear bursts of laughter or applause from the audition room.  There had been a group that had started their audition at 8:00.  When it let out, one of the contestant coordinators came out and took a Polaroid of each of us. (They’re desperate for more Polaroid film.)  Then he led us into the audition room.

We then all took another 50 question test and once again, they don’t give you any feedback.  But this time, we had a break afterword where we could talk to the other potential contestants (I got a couple right that I wasn’t sure about) before we had our practice games.  They told us about how we’re not supposed to ring in until Alex finishes reading the clue (which I knew), that there are lights that are all around the board that go off when he’s done (which I’d heard) and we’re supposed to keep pushing the button rapidly until someone is called on (which was news to me).

I was in the first group of three to play a quick practice game (less that 15 questions) and I think I did fine.  I phrased all of my responses in the form of questions, and I always selected a new clue quickly after giving a correct response (both things they emphasized).  Then they got to the interview portion of the program.  Each interview was longer than what they do at the show.  (I’d heard that the interview part is heavily edited.) They ask you to tell a little bit about yourself, then they ask a couple question based on the anecdotes we’d turned in.  They finish with asking what we’d do with the money. (“Travel”, is a surprisingly popular answer.)  In a real sense, this is the part that I had been dreading the most.  I don’t generally feel comfortable with small talk, or talking about myself, but I had to do both.  I think I did fine.  I sat down feeling pretty comfortable with my interview.  I wasn’t too quiet and I was myself, only moreso.

When we were done, they told us that if we were selected, we could be called to come down to LA and play Jeopardy! for real anytime in the next 18 months. At this point, I think I did well enough to get on the show. That is, I don’t think I eliminated myself, either with the test or the practice game. Whether or not I’ll actually be chosen, I have no idea.  The audition was fun (I even like taking the tests) and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other people that I auditioned with on TV (or better yet, I’ll see them in the studio.)

0 thoughts on “My Jeopardy! audition!”

  1. JEOPARDY! , as you may know, is one of the most popular game shows on television and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season. During my time here at SONY, I have had the good fortune to work on several games based on JEOPARDY! , including multiple versions for PCs and mobile phones, as well as skill-based and ITV versions.

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