I Heart Jeopardy!

     My heart was on a roller coaster today: First it skipped a beat when my DVR indicated it recorded an episode of Jeopardy! on the Game Show Network!  I dropped what I was going to watch and pressed “play,” only to learn it was an episode of The Match Game.  But maybe this is a sign of good things to come.
     My heart stopped completely at 4:30, but this time I was expecting it and could revive myself: Stefan Goodreau, Jason Zollinger, and Vijay Balse were competing for the remaining spots in next week’s semifinals of the Tournament of Champions.  Vijay found the Daily Double toward the end the Jeopardy round, in the category Gods Among Us.  He wagered all of his 2400, which would have brought him close to Stefan’s 5000 lead if he hadn’t gotten it wrong: “These nuclear missiles, first put on U.S. subs in 1970, preceded Trident missiles.”*  At the end of the Jeopardy round, Stefan led with 8000, while Vijay had 400 and Jason had 2800.
     Vijay found the first Daily Double of the Double Jeopardy round, too.  He was working on a nice comeback with 6400, while Stefan had 9600 and Jason had 4800.  This time, he answered this clue correctly in Spy Novels: “John LeCarre introduced British agent Alec Leamas in this 1963 novel.”*  He added 2000 to his score with that one.
     Jason, too, wagered 2000 on the second Daily Double, almost the last clue in the round in Healthy Living with Dr. Oz: “From the Latin for ‘underchamber,’ this gland’s health is vital, as it influences your appetite, your sex drive, and also maintains normal body temperature.”*  He missed it, though.  At the end of Double Jeopardy, everyone was in good shape.  Vijay had 15600, Stefan had 14800, and Jason had 9200. 
     The Final Jeopardy category was The 50 States.  The clue: “It’s the only state from which rainwater flows to the Pacific, the Atlantic, and Hudson Bay.”*  I didn’t have time to think about this one because I was scrambling to write it down, but it’s probably for the best.  Did you guys get it?  Jason was the only one to get it right.  He wagered 2300, while Stefan lost 1225 and Vijay lost 500.  Vijay, then, finished with the highest total, at 15100.
     My heart was put through its paces for the last time today (I hope!) when I saw that, at 13575 and 11500 respectively, Stefan’s and Jason’s scores were easily high enough to qualify them for the wild-card spots.  Stefan was so giddy he stumbled while walking toward Mr. Trebek (but he recovered nicely).  Just like with Jane Curtin last week, it pleases me to see someone so enthusiastic about succeeding on Jeopardy! 
     Yesterday, I predicted that these three guys would all make it into the semifinals, and THEY DID.  (Hey, I did ask you for predictions!)  But I’ll congratulate them and not me (anymore).  On to next week!  Here’s who we will see:
Winners: Liz Murphy, Terry Linwood, Andy Srinivasan, Justin Bernbach, Vijay Balse
Non-winners: Dave Belote, Nick Yozamp, Stefan Goodreau, Jason Zollinger

*Poseidon, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, hypothalamus, Montana