Alex Trebek threw some shade with his own answer to one Jeopardy contestant’s description of her favorite music.
Is there something in the water in Laurel? Some kind of magic fluoride that makes people a little more competitive, a bit braver in front of an audience, and that much more camera-friendly? It would seem possibly so based on the sudden double television-game-show showing made by Laurelites in April.
The annual Jeopardy! College Championship comes to a close tonight, February 14. Let’s hope it’s a sweet one for Goucher student Sarah Bart, who showed those other competitors who’s boss during last week’s semi-final round, and clinched a spot in tonight’s final.
After a slow-ish start — Bart trailed George Washington sophomore Jaime Alayon by $4,000 at the first commercial break — Bart quickly made up the difference. By the end of the Double Jeopardy round, Bart had $25,800; Greer Mackabee, a senior at Duke, had $14,400, and poor Alayon had a mere $3,200. Both of Bart’s competitors botched the final answer (Category: Characters in Poetry. Answer: “The name of this title heroine of a 1847 poem is from the Greek for ‘good news.'” Bart ended up with a whopping $29,300; she’d gotten 28 answers correct (including two Daily Doubles), and three questions wrong.
If you’re so inclined, you can test yourself against all the questions from Bart’s game here. The correct response for the Final Jeopardy! Round? Evangeline. I was an English major, and I had no idea. Which is why I’m not on Jeopardy.
The (surprisingly numerous!) Jeopardy discussion boards and recap sites had plenty to say about Bart’s victory. “We thought this was one where you didn’t necessarily need to know Longfellow and his epic poem ‘Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie’ to get it. Knowing the etymology of the word evangelist would have done it, but then Evangline isn’t the only feminine form of that word as a name, so maybe you would have to know Longfellow after all,” one sniffed. More power to Bart that she did. If you don’t have a hot date (or even if you do), we suggest tuning in tonight to watch Bart try for the $100,000 grand prize.
Last week, Goucher College senior Sarah Bart lived one of my life-long dreams: appearing on Jeopardy!. The Philadelphia native was the first student from the school to make it to the show, after her third time auditioning.
To get on the show, Bart had to complete a 50-question online quiz, with only eight seconds to type each answer… that is, question. Thanks to a high score, she was invited to an in-studio test in New York this past summer, where she had to chat with producers, take another written test, and compete in a practice round using actual buzzers. Scariest of all, perhaps, Bart had to do that short “chat with the host” spot, which involved coming up with a brief but charming anecdote so viewers could get to know her better. No surprise, then, that Bart thinks that contestants are chosen for their personality just as much as their knowledge of trivia.
And while it takes up a full half-hour of TV time, the show’s taping happens over a speedy 13 minutes — yes, that’s including both regular and final Jeopardy.
Alas, the hours that Bart spent watching the show at her family’s dinner table wasn’t enough to get her to the quarterfinals. Despite getting the final jeopardy question correct (What are the Everglades?) and coming away with $18,600… she lost to Tyler Benedict of Columbia University. But Bart can take solace in the fact that she was one of only 15 candidates chosen from 12,000 competitors. Hats off to you, Sarah!