Brandon Randall’s Thoughts: Game 2

Brandon Randall, the current champion on Jeopardy!, has been a contributor to The Jeopardy! Fan since the early days of the site. In light of this, I’ve asked him to provide some thoughts and insight about his contestant experience during his run. Below are his 2nd game’s thoughts, for June 27!

Have you had the chance to see his Game 1 thoughts? Check them out here!

This was a very fun game to watch, for sure. It was also nice being in the lead most of the game, though there were definitely some stressful moments throughout, due to Heather and Shannon playing quite well and keeping me on my toes. Some thoughts from my first game as returning champ:

  • It’s a really quick turnaround in between games. After Monday’s game finished, they sent me back to go change and then get my makeup retouched up and my mic refitted. Everyone in the crew I came in contact with (from Maggie to the microphone guy) offered congratulations and called me “champ.” It was surreal, but amazing. After I changed, the other two players were already at their podiums, and they got ready to start the next game. It was a bit of a whirlwind.
  • I saw that the Net Flicks category was about sports movies when watching, and had an instinctive “oh, no” reaction…then was pleasantly surprised to see that I did pretty well in the category. (Yesterday I talked about the things you remember. This is more like the things you forget.) I knew “Wimbledon” as well, but was beat to the buzzer by Heather on that one. “Kicking and Screaming” I’ve heard of, but it wasn’t coming to me either during the game or while watching the broadcast. In a sign of how much weird stuff I know about a bunch of movies I’ve never watched, I have yet to see any of the films in that category.
  • I just returned from a 5-week study abroad to England, and we had the chance to visit both Oxford and Cambridge. Thus it was quite funny to see me miss the clue about Oxford by responding with Cambridge. I guess I didn’t quite pay attention to where each school was geographically, nor did I know very well when each was founded.
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  • Getting the salsa clue was a highlight for me. There’s a song my mom introduced me to called “Pedro Navaja” that’s on the “Siembra” album, so in addition to already being a salsa fan, I knew about that album. The song’s a pretty fun one…it’s 7 minutes long, inspired by “Mack the Knife,” and samples the West Side Story song “America.” Plus it has a crazy storyline, which I joke is about a killer who kills and get killed.
  • If telepathy was real, I’m sure my brother (who was watching in the audience) would have sent me the answer to the Minecraft clue. He’s tried to get me to play it, but I didn’t have the patience nor the interest to stay with it very long.
  • File this under the “weird places you learn things” category: I first learned about the Sorbonne in a Barbie book my next-oldest sister had when we were younger. (They were sort of a cross between picture books and chapter books.) In one of them, about Barbie competing in figure skating if I recall correctly, the Sorbonne was featured prominently, and thus I was somehow able to get a clue entirely in French about it many, many years later.
  • I completely forgot about the Mormon clue (or should I say Moroni?). Someone joked on Twitter that I wouldn’t have been able to return to Provo if I hadn’t gotten that one. They’re probably not too off on that.
  • I’ve been an avid follower of British politics for a while. I actually stay up late to watch UK election returns. The most recent election was held the last night we were in England, so I got to see said returns, and the headlines that accompanied them, in real time. Thus, Nicola Sturgeon was quite a familiar face and name to me — so much that was I confident in ringing in even though I would have dropped below Heather’s score had I missed. To be honest, I don’t think I noticed that possibility, so it’s a good thing it turned out OK. I’m glad I omitted the first name on that response, because Alex’s pronunciation of “Nicola” was way different than how mine would have sounded.
  • I probably could have wagered a bit more on that DD for sure. That said, I doubt it would have made much of a difference in my final score, so it all worked out, I suppose.
  • Re: my interview story: Just for the record, I will not necessarily be willing to eat any meat put in front of me. (Cat and dog are pretty firmly off the table, for starters.) But yes, eating fried guinea pig didn’t really faze me too much. (I also ate alpaca while in Peru.) I would never, ever be able to kill a guinea pig myself, though, or even come close to harming it. So America’s small animals are safe. (I may need to make an official statement to PETA soon, the way these interview stories are going. :))
  • I’ve never read “Fahrenheit 451” (even being an English major), much like I haven’t seen any of Sofia Coppola’s films, but I’m quite familiar with the plot, and the answer to Final Jeopardy! came fairly quickly (I don’t remember it being as quick as it looked on screen). That book won’t stay unread for long, seeing as it helped me quite a lot today.

Well, that’s probably good for now. On to the third game!

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