Hello, World!

So, this blog has been one person’s journey to the show. It’s been Jeanie’s wish to be able to blog about each new episode. Obviously her schedule can’t always allow for that. Additionally, it gives the site the opportunity to follow another journey. That’s where I come in.

I’m Andy Saunders. I’ve blogged here before, but I’m hoping for a tone closer to Jeanie’s than my original post here about wagering strategy. My recaps will be, like Jeanie’s, mostly play-by-play. No five-paragraph opinions here! You’ll see some more posts about wagering strategy as we move on down the line, but they’ll be self-contained and outside of the context of a recap blog.

In terms of my own story: I’ve loved trivia for as far back as I can remember. I played on my high school and college teams, and have made a few television appearances along the way. I’ve been trying out for the show since 2005 as, like Jeanie, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to appear on the show. I’m a Founding Archivist of the J! Archive, and more recently, I’m the writer and host of multiple pub quizzes a week in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario (an hour’s drive west of Toronto). That makes me a diehard Blue Jays fan (to Jeanie – the only Jay to ever throw a no-hitter in a Jays’ uniform would be Dave Stieb. Though your boy Halladay came pretty close – darn Bobby Higginson!).

And now on to tonight’s show:

Alex opened tonight’s show by lamenting the lack of a $30,000 payday, interestingly enough… And now on to the contestants: Maurice Ayache, Amy Ketterling, and returning champion Doug Lloyd, hoping to get his 2nd win!

I quite enjoyed the J! round categories: PUT ME IN, COACH, I’M READY TO PLAY, LOOK AT ME, I CAN “BE”, CENTER FIELD (fun fact: John Fogerty wrote the song “Center Field” after watching the 1984 MLB All-Star Game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco)

I wasn’t a fan of Alex’s choices of interview material as I felt that he might have done a better job of making the contestants seem more interesting. However, Amy’s knowledge of social media (as demonstrated by her interview, by being Facebook friends with the cement otter) came into play later on, as we’ll see!

Amy got to the first Daily Double in the category I’M READY TO PLAY. With $5,000 (Maurice $2200 Doug $600), she went for the kill and made it a True Daily Double. An excellent move, especially considering the time remaining in the game, and she was rewarded with the following clue: Artist Rick Irons designed the classic red and orange flame logo of this toy brand introduced in 1968. The correct response put her well on her way!

The Triple Stumper that disappointed me in this opening round, being a sports fan: (COACH $600) He won the Super Bowl in his first year with Tampa Bay and is now part of the Monday Night Football team.

At the end of the opening round: Amy $11,200 Maurice $5,000 Doug $2,000

Moving onto Double Jeopardy!, Amy found the round’s opening Daily Double in SHAPELY WORDS AND PHRASES, betting $6,000 of her $16,000 (to Doug’s $5,600 and Maurice’s $3,800): You get to be “mayor” if you “check in” at a certain location more than any one else using this mobile platform. Anyone that follows me on Twitter knows I’d get this instantly, and Amy got it too! (And if my brother’s reading this, see, there is a point to this stuff!)

Doug was on a bit of a roll when he found the final Daily Double under $800 in 1850s AMERICA. Holding $10000 to Amy’s $21600 and Maurice’s $7800, he ventured $6000: In 1855 it was reported that this crop amounted to half of all US exports. Sadly for Doug, tobacco was not king, and it was pretty much all over but the crying at that point.

On the following clue, it seemed as if Doug was about to get a cruel ruling from the judges: When this was completed between Newfoundland and Ireland in 1858, Queen Victoria and President Buchanan traded messages. His response was originally not accepted, but was credited prior to Final Jeopardy!

Going into Final, Amy did have her runaway, $26,400 to Maurice’s $6,600 and Doug’s (eventual) $6,000.

Tonight’s category: AWARDS AND PRIZES

Clue: Designed by Norwegian Gustav Viegland, it depicts three naked men with their hands on each other’s shoulders. Maurice’s answer was wrong, but Doug and Amy did get a correct answer!

Doug 6000 +1000 = 7000
Maurice 6600 -5400 = 1200
Amy 26400 +3600 = 30000

What do you know, a $30,000 payday! Amy seemed quite excited and I’m quite excited to see her title defense tomorrow!

Personally, I was quite pleased with how the board played for me; I believe I set a personal record high Coryat score of $35,600. I really don’t usually score this well, I swear!