Niagara Gazette

April 25, 2013

So ... this is 'Jeopardy!'

By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Trying out for a game show like “Jeopardy!” is easy. As long as you're personable, intelligent, boisterous, relatable and have a great story to tell, that is.

Sadly, I'll never make the cut. I don't have a story to tell about myself and I am timid in pressure situations. Like having a video camera recording answers I give in an interview. But it didn't stop me from "trying" to join the ranks of one of the most popular and longest-running game shows in television when auditions rolled through the Falls Thursday.

Surrounded by about 25 real candidates, I got to test myself with some Jeopardy questions and even click the buzzer a few times for fun. It was quite the experience.

It was unreal, actually. I walked through the doors unsure of what to expect. They sat me down with the group and offered me a chance to play along. They started playing Jeopardy right in front of me, just waiting for me to answer with the crowd.

I wasn't there to get in anybody's way, though, so I sat back and enjoyed the atmosphere. Then they called my name. And I started shaking. I wasn't even officially trying out. I guess I could say I was trying to avoid embarrassing myself in front of a room filled with people intelligent enough to pass the show's initial exam, which i've never taken.

The first question popped up on the board and I didn't know the answer. Same with the second. I avoided pushing the show's trademark clicker, rattling around in my jittery hands. The third question I answered incorrectly and wanted to bury my head inside my sweater.

But something strange happened after that particular incorrect answer. My failure led to an increase in confidence. The next question popped up. I knew the answer. I buzzed and got it right.

In all, I was able to answer three correctly, stumbled with Jeopardy's unique rule of answering with a question, and had an absolute blast learning about other people I didn't know and will never see again.

The Jeopardy folks won't let me know how I did on the written quiz we took before the Jeopardy game. And I know I'm not getting on the show. But it certainly has me wondering.

What if?

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.