It’s Day Two of the College Tournament finals. To remind you of the contestants:
From left to right; Erin McLean, Hans von Walter, Sam Spaulding
I believe that is Erin’s hair by her neck. It took me a minute when I was watching the show! Also, remember how I suggested
that Sam and Hans look alike? Today in his interview with Mr. Trebek (which really was combined with Hans’ interview), Sam said he and Hans were at the same audition and even played the mock Jeopardy!
, I couldn’t figure out Hans’ gesture when he was introduced. (As promised, I asked on the J! message boards, and he hasn’t answered that.) Today, there was no mistaking the “0” he made with his fingers. He finished Double Jeopardy with -6000 yesterday and didn’t play Final Jeopardy, but he was allowed to start from 0 today (as opposed to making up the 6000 in this final where the results of the two days are added together). How do you guys feel about it? Fair? Unfair? Mr. Trebek made no mention of Hans’ negative result today. Yesterday, Erin finished with 15999, Sam finished with 4400, and I finished with 17400.
Today was much more competitive. At the first break, Erin had 2400, Hans had 2200, Sam had 2600, and I had 2800. Hans found the Daily Double in the round by switching rather suddenly to A Nation Divided. He had 3800, Erin had 4000, Sam had 4400, and I had 6000. When he announced he wanted to make it a true Daily Double, Erin howled happily! She was also heard cheering when Hans found the Daily Double, and when he answered it correctly. You would have thought she doubled her score! This was the clue: “In 1971, it broke away from what’s now Pakistan, which was 1100 miles away, anyhow.”*
At the end of Double Jeopardy, Erin had 4000, Hans had 7000, Sam had 7600, and I had 6600.
The first clue of the Double Jeopardy round was a triple-stumper that I slam-dunked. The category was Pop and Rock, and this was the clue: “Deepak Chopra performed the 2010 wedding ceremony of Swizz Beatz and this R & B songstress.”* I also got this triple-stumper soon after, in French Novelists: “This sci-fi writer’s ‘An Antarctic Mystery’ attempts to finish Poe’s ‘Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.'”*
Hans had 11000 when found the first Daily Double of the Double Jeopardy round, in Word Origins. Erin and Sam both had 11600! I had 13000. Hans wagered 4000. It would have been really gutsy, but I kind of wish Hans had been aggressive and risked everything, since he started with 0 yesterday! I think that’s how a champion would’ve acted. At any rate, he did get this clue right: “Murray Gell-mann adopted this word for various hypothetical particles from ‘Finnegan’s Wake.'”* After he got it right, Mr. Trebek said, to laughter from the audience, “It’s a lot more fun today, isn’t it?!”
Two clues or so later, Erin found the next Daily Double, in Gardens. She had 12800, Hans had 15400, and Sam still had 11600. I had 12200. Erin wagered 2800 on this clue: “In 1913 his wife Ellen planted the first actual Rose Garden in the White House’s West Garden.”* When she got it right, her squeal and gesture reminded me of when my Mii gets a clue right on my Wii game.
So by the end of the Double Jeopardy round, Erin had 16000, Hans had 13800, Sam had 14800, and I had 18200. I decided to wager nothing on Final Jeopardy. I aimed, as I do every day, to beat the second-place person (Sam, in the case of this two-day final). I have to assume that the first-place person is wagering to beat the second-place person by the slimmest margin possible, so as to win if he/she answers the final correctly and still have as much money as possible in case he/she gets the final wrong. So, if Sam doubled today, he would end up with 34000 for the two days. If you add 17400 to 18200, I had enough to beat win the Tournament (assuming I had gotten to the final!). By the way, if Sam or any other contestants care to give insight to their wagers, I would love to see it!
The Final Jeopardy category was Our Living Planet. This was the clue: “Several species appear in the logo of the U.N’s International Year of this 12-letter word, vital to the health of ‘life’ on Earth.”* The logo was provided, and it appears below.
Erin and Hans got it wrong, and Sam got it right. I have to admit that, like yesterday, I was more focused on writing the clue down than answering it, since I wagered nothing! And I am still
not proud of it. Erin lost 2002 dollars, Hans lost 2999, and Sam gained 8401. If he had doubled his score today, he would’ve won the Tournament! But with a two-day total of 29997, Erin is the new College Champion. Mr. Trebek hugged her! According to someone on the Jeopardy!
message boards, she is the first female to win the College Tournament in 9 years. Congrats and well-played, Erin. On Monday, we are back to Vito Cortese
and regular shows. Hooray!
*Bangladesh, Alicia Keys, Jules Verne, quarks, Wilson,