Jean at The Bean

     This, by the way, is our 900th post!
     I had my Sports Jeopardy audition yesterday. First things first: here’s what I wore:

     Thankfully, I got to Chicago earlier than expected on Saturday. I’d bought a ticket for the last flight of the day, which would’ve arrived less than 12 hours before the audition was to start. I successfully flew standby though, and arrived around noon the day before the audition instead.
     I got to the audition in plenty of time, so I sat in the lobby of the hotel and looked at the confirmation e-mail. I didn’t even have to open it – The very first line said in bold print that it must be printed out and brought to the audition. Strike one.
     The walls of the hall were lined with men, and many a passerby asked what was going on. A man who joined me asked if it was the Jeopardy line, and I just said I assumed so! Soon someone asked him!
     We saw Jimmy of the Clue Crew first, and like I’ve never seen him before. He was wearing a ball cap and hoodie! And to be honest I think he’d just gotten up. Then he got on the elevator and said he promised to be back by 9.
     Producer/contestant coordinator Maggie saw me in line and hugged me. She was wearing a Lakers t-shirt. She said something that puzzled me at the time: She asked why I’d come so far to audition! I told her it was the closest place. I’m guessing now that she thinks I live in Los Angeles, since she’d seen me at all those Battle of the Decades tapings…? One guy asked her if we could just show our confirmation e-mail on our phones, and she said yes but that she wouldn’t be looking at them anyway. Sure enough, no one ever asked our names. Anyone, really, could’ve walked in to audition.
     As we walked into the audition room, Maggie trying to get the crowd excited by dancing down the aisle. She said, “Come on, Jeanie, show ’em how it’s done.” I didn’t! Strike two.
     There were three of us there who’d been on Jeopardy! before, and one was a 2007 Tournament of Champions contestant: Andrew Rostan. He said he’d lost in his first ToC episode. Maggie said to him, aren’t you writing a book about Jeopardy!? He said he is! The other guy who said he’s been on the show is named “Todd,” and he said he was on in 2010. If Maggie knew him, she didn’t say so. Maybe it’s this guy? If so, he played Vijay Balse! There was also a man from Guelph, Ontario there, which is where Andy is from! He said he learned about the audition through jboard!
     Besides Jimmy and Maggie, contestant coordinator Corina was there, and two women, “Jackie” and “Annie,” who represent Crackle. One of them said those old episodes of Battle of the Decades contestants performed well! I was glad to hear that. Those three women were wearing dresses. There were two other women there trying out. Both looked to be in their 40s. One wore a dress and the other wore capris and a tank top, both white and both ill-fitting. A guy who took the test later in the day told me a woman passed in his group, and she was the third overall.
     Maggie described the show to us. She said that the Sports Jeopardy set will have a sports bar feel. She said contestants will be awarded points as opposed to dollar amounts, and that the top three money-winners will advance to a two-day Tournament of Champions for a chance at $50,000. I had envisioned a tournament with a field of the 15 best!
     As I’m sure you understand, I can’t talk about the content of the test. But I found it interesting that as the tests were being graded, one dejected guy said that he does well on the Sports Jeopardy app, and now he feels like he knows nothing about sports. I also found it interesting that the writers of regular Jeopardy also write the clues for Sports Jeopardy.
     Music played again as the names were called of those who passed. Maggie said as she shimmied, “This is the only exercise I get.” My favorite part of the whole process was the reactions of the guys who passed, when getting their name called. They were stoked and not afraid to show it, demonstrating various fist pumps. One fat guy got down on one knee and did a dramatic Juan Martin del Potro-like fist pump.

     I wrote down the first names of the 20 men to pass, one of whom was that Andrew Rostan. None of us women had our names called. Strike three. I heard someone say 70 people had been in the room, but I don’t know how he knows that.
     Maggie told us we could try again in a year, which surprises me since they don’t really know how well the show’ll do yet. I know I won’t be trying again – the fact that everyone plays one episode, win or lose, turned me off even before the audition. That only three advance to a tournament makes it a no-brainer.
     So I’ve tossed all the notecards I’ve made. I’m starting to unfollow all the sports things on Twitter I couldn’t care less about. I only wish I’d brought one of my fun things to read for the way home, instead of the sports trivia books I brought and felt sure I’d need to keep using. If the clues on the show are as hard as those on the test, I don’t even see myself watching.
     Maggie hugged me as I left. She said she hopes to see me in the studio again soon.
     Here’s some of the fun I had that day after the audition. At “The Bean” (Cloud Gate):

My nail color is “Plums…I Win.”

That’s me at the center.

     On to today’s episode. I was so shocked it wasn’t the Teen Tournament, for a while I was sure there was a mistake here in Chicago. I even told Colby Burnett it started today, when I saw him this morning. Oops. Here are the week’s contestants:

Jerome Azbell – Smyrna, TN (WUXP)
Molly Dobbins – Double Oak, TX(KTXA)
Jeff Filippini – Pasadena, CA (KABC) 
Megan Gardner – Columbia, MD (WBFF)
Anna Lawrence – Duluth, GA (WXIA)
Winston Nguyen – New York, NY (WABC) 
Ed Patterson – Washington, D.C. (WJLA)
Katie Wroblewski – Ypsilanti, MI (WDIV)

     And today:

Jen Fiero
Ben-Hur Flores

Virginia Hatfield

     Jen found the first Daily Double in The Bible Tells Me So.
Jen 1800 (4 right)
Virginia -600 (One wrong)
Ben-Hur 1600 (3 right)
     Jen wagered 1000 on this clue: “Joshua 6:1: ‘Now’ this city ‘was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel.'” Jen got it right! At the first break:
Jen 5200 (3 right)
Virginia -400 (One right)
Ben-Hur 2600 (2 right)
     I got this triple-stumper in Monuments Women: “O, a beautiful Falmouth, Mass. statue of Katharine Lee Bates shows her imagining the lines of this song.” Jen said “Oklahoma!”!
     At the end of the round:
Jen 7400 (4 right and one wrong)
Virginia 600 (One right)
Ben-Hur 7400 (8 right)
     I got this one at the last second in Exposes: “Born Elizabeth Cochran, this journalist wrote an 1887 expose on conditions in mental asylums.”
     Virginia found the first Daily Double of the round in Shakespeare’s Endings.
Jen 8600 (2 right)
Virginia 4200 (4 right)
Ben-Hur 7000 (One right and one wrong)
     Virginia wagered 1000 on this clue: “‘With the help of your good hands, gentle breath of yours my sails must fill, or else my project fails.'” She was wrong.
     Ben was doing quite well in Time for a Revolution! when he found a Daily Double there. 
Jen 11000 (3 right)
Virginia 3200
Ben-Hur 15400 (7 right)
     Ben wagered 2000 on this clue: “The Redcoats and Minutemen first got it on in the American Revolution on the 19th of this month in 1775.” This was a no-brainer for me. Ben missed it!
     Virginia had a couple of silly negs and Jen did well in Add a Letter before the end of the round.
Jen 13400 (3 right and one wrong)
Virginia 4400 (2 right and 2 wrong)
Ben-Hur 16200 (2 right)
     The Final Jeopardy category was Literary Title Words. This was the clue: “It was Giovanni Boccaccio who added this adjective to another Italian author’s work.” I got this right. Virginia was wrong, and she wagered it all. Jen was wrong too, and lost 4600. Ben? He got it right! He added 3800. I’m glad to see him win!  
     I did not track my Coryat today, mostly because I wanted to use this TV that’s not mine while I had a chance. Now that I haven’t passed the Sports Jeopardy test, I wonder: Do you guys want me to still keep track of my Coryat?

One year ago: It All Comes Back to 9
Two years ago: A load of bullhorn
Three years ago: [untitled]
Four years ago: Baum-ing out in 1920s Lit