Today’s Final Jeopardy – July 13, 2018

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Modern Language) for Friday, July 13, 2018 (Season 34, Episode 220):

This slang term for an environmentalist is literally true of groups that used passive resistance vs. deforestation, as in India in 1973

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Bryan Rucker, a writer from Los Angeles, California
Bryan Rucker on Jeopardy!
Vincent Valenzuela, an internal customer service manager from Wheaton, Illinois
Vincent Valenzuela on Jeopardy!
Michelle Cabral, an elementary school music teacher from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1-day total: $18,400)
Michelle Cabral on Jeopardy!

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(Content continues below)

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Correct response: What is a tree hugger?

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More information about Final Jeopardy:

The term “tree hugger” originates from the actions of the Chipko movement in 1970s India, who were successful at preventing deforestation in parts of India by literally hugging trees to protect them from being cut, eventually forcing contractors to retreat.

The term has since been used to refer to environmentalists in general.

Unrelated to this game: A number of people have stopped in recently to complain that contestants have failed to phrase responses in the form of a question.

I find this preposterous. Here’s why.

The judges have the ability to isolate each contestant’s audio to determine exactly what and when they speak. (Heck, I tape a podcast out of a home studio and my basic equipment can do the exact same thing.) As is often evidenced, these judges can tell the difference between “Gangsta” and “Gangster” and can spot an accidentally-added D or S. There are dozens of writers, researchers, or producers who, as soon as they spot a possible mistake can call for a tape stoppage and confirm a response.

Thus, I am of the opinion that if a contestant fails to phrase the response in the form of a question, that the judges will tell us so.

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Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Tonight’s results are below!

Scores going into Final:
Vincent $15,200
Michelle $14,200
Bryan $11,800

Tonight’s results:
Bryan $11,800 + $0 = $11,800
Michelle $14,200 + $4,000 = $18,200 (2-day total: $36,600)
Vincent $15,200 – $13,201 = $1,999 (What is tree hugger? Carl Sagan?)

Michelle Cabral, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the July 13, 2018 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Bryan $4,600
Michelle $3,400
Vincent $2,400


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) THE HUMAN BODY $600 (12th pick)
Bryan 1000 +1000 (Vincent 1400 Michelle 1200)
2) MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT I WROTE $1600 (13th pick)
Michelle 8600 +1200 (Bryan 8200 Vincent 2400)
3) IRISH HISTORY $1200 (28th pick) ($3600 remaining on the board)
Vincent 6800 +6800 (Michelle 14200 Bryan 11800)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 214

Unplayed clues:
J! round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total $ Left On Board: $0

Game Stats:
Michelle $14,600 Coryat, 18 correct, 1 incorrect, 29.82% in first on buzzer
Bryan $11,400 Coryat, 16 correct, 2 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer
Vincent $9,600 Coryat, 16 correct, 4 incorrect, 31.58% in first on buzzer
Combined Coryat Score: $35,600
Lach Trash: $11,200(on 10 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $7,200

Michelle Cabral, stats to date:
37 correct, 3 incorrect
30.97% in first on buzzer (35/113)
1/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $1,000)
2/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,000

Michelle Cabral, to win:
3 games: 48.47%
4: 23.50%
5: 11.39%
6: 5.52%
7: 2.68%
Avg. streak: 2.941 games.


  • At current exchange rates, $36,600 USD equals approximately $48,200 Canadian.

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44 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – July 13, 2018"

  1. My husband used to wear a ‘tree hugger’ bracelet.

  2. Should be a clean sweep, three (or how many are left for FJ) correct.

  3. Unless you pulling our leg Andy, you gotta be kidding me. Vincent had the right answer, right bet and how can one person be a “group” ? And the second day in a row that Michelle lucked out with her wager. Had Bryan bet everything, Michelle would be gone. Like yesterday, had Johanna been right, Michelle’s wager would not have been enough. Has anybody any idea what happened here???? I need the weekend to recover from this. Getting it wrong or not knowing it is one thing, but this? Unbelievable.
    They are not allowed to smoke anything while FJ is going on and the players are writing down their answers, are they?????

  4. My only explanation is: the show was taped April 1st, Vincent has so much money that he does not care about a few more thousand bucks, showed that he not only knew the right answer but also how to place the correct bet. Then he just went” April’s fool!”. If somebody has a better explanation, pleas, PLEASE let me know. This will go down in J history as the biggest blunder ever.

    • Mark Barrett | July 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm |

      Vincent said, “I misread the question.” It happens, he messed up and he lost. There have been worse mistakes made in the FJ! round and Vincent will be remembered as well for letting a 4-letter slip and getting beeped for it.

      • Richard Rolwing | July 13, 2018 at 8:39 pm |

        Sagan IS an environmentalist, in the broadest sense of the word, I suppose, and…Who knows where your mind goes in the “throes” of FJ until you are actually there…

    • @John B.: When is your airdate again?

    • Vader47000 | July 14, 2018 at 5:06 am |

      Yeah, I just don’t see how one misreads the question especially after reading it correctly the first time. Typically in trivia the misreading happens on the initial reveal (for example, hearing four words but thinking four letters). Here the key words are slang term, environmentalist and groups. So even if seeing “environmentalist” makes you think Carl Sagan, that answer still requires ignoring the words “slang term,” which Carl Sagan is not. I would love to see the footage from the control booth of the directors watching him write the correct answer at first and then react to seeing him draw a line threw it.

  5. This has to go down as one of the most mysterious responses in FJ! History. I’ve re-read the clue several times now, and for the life of me can’t figure out how any part of it would lead to Carl Sagan. Having the correct response initially adds to the mystery. Would have loved to have had live mics for the end of show chat between Alex and the contestants…he had to have asked about it.

    • “Having the correct response…”–Of course he DID NOT KNOW that he had the ultimate “correct” response (well, he probably thought he did for the way he initially read the question, but then when he wrongly re-read it, that was going to change everything…)

  6. Me too. I came online just to try to find out how in the heck he misread it to come up with Carl Sagan. Got the daily double just in time to get the lead and then chokes it away in final.

    • Back in Austin Rogers’s debut, Alex made a remark to the effect that the sound editors would have their work cut out for them. But whatever words the 12-time champ used were silenced. So far as I recall, the outright bleep in tonight’s episode was the first one deployed since May 15, 2015, when Penn Jillette called a category titled “BULL” ____ by giving the actual title of his and Teller’s long-running Showtime series.

      • Also, if the #JeopardyLivePanel interviews of the College contestants every year are any indication, I believe those players tend to swear a bit on stage as well.

  7. What was the answer related to, paraphrasing roughly, “when things are right they are right in a few ways, when they are wrong, they are each wrong in many different ways”?
    Who said this? was it in 1897?

    • Do you mean “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”, the opening line from the 1877 novel Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy)?

      • Of course, Tolstoy. My years are catching up with me. Thanks Andy Saunders!

        • Richard Rolwing | July 13, 2018 at 8:35 pm |

          Personally, I was impressed/surprised by his correct response (having not a clue myself:)…I suppose that IS the most-read Tolstoy work (I’ll have to get to it myself one of these decades) but the opening is not in the same class, as far as notoriety (in the neutral sense), as the opening to the Dickens work mentioned, which I have also not read:( but with which I am very familiar–I was thinking the Anna Karenina opening would make a pretty tough, but fair, FJ…

  8. Regarding this > “Unrelated to this game: A number of people have stopped in recently to complain that contestants have failed to phrase responses in the form of a question.”

    It’s my understanding that phrasing the answer in the form of a question is not required in the Jeopardy round (although encouraged), but IS required in the Double Jeopardy round. So it’s probably in the Jeopardy round where contestants were not “called on it” and penalized, and some viewers are not aware of the actual rules. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong about this. Maybe you should also clarify that rule for your readers. Thank you.

    • Yes, in the Jeopardy round NOT phrasing in the FOAQ is excused (I’m not sure if doing it for a SECOND time–or more!–in the Jeopardy round–IS penalized, though)…I think Alex always points it out when someone fails to do it, in any case–In DJ Alex reacts the same as if the person had given a wrong response–he doesn’t point out that the person failed to phrase it ITFOAQ…

  9. Long time fan of the show, this is the first time I have researched an answer on the net. CARL SAGAN? Somebody please help me see how you get to CArl Sagan !?

    • To me, it appears as though with about 5-10 seconds left he re-read the clue and thought that the clue wanted a specific person, and I guess Sagan was the first quasi-environmentalist who came to mind at that point.

  10. Ugh…two terrible bets by Michelle. That’s not something you can end the Jeopardy! week on. It’s as if she’s not even TRYING to cover the player behind her. Robert’s comment on Monday, boy was he RIGHT. It seems like contestants try to see how much they can win rather than putting themselves in the best position to win. And it happens right when we come near the end of the season!!! It’s such a peeve to watch these kind of games.

    • Hopefully Michelle had friends or family in the audience with her who were able to catch the potential problem of leaving herself vulnerable with her FJ wagers had she missed. She should have had at least a day or two before the next tape date to work on it.

    • Vader47000 | July 14, 2018 at 5:00 am |

      Yeah, it’s like she’s not concerning herself with the other players and is just making bets on instinct and her like of the category. Like it’s a Daily Double in the first round. Luck plays sometimes, though.

    • Her two Daily Double wagers have been smaller than what I would expect from a typical contestant given the scores when she hit them. She may simply be “risk averse” in the sense that she’s uncomfortable risking a lot of money on an unknown clue, however her wagers don’t appear to be optimal for maximizing her probability of finishing first.

      • Vader47000 | July 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm |

        Definitely risk averse. What I meant by the Daily Double line is that in the first round it’s usually early enough that a player would be more likely to bet based on their comfort with the category rather than the strategy of the game, which has to be more of a consideration in Double Jeopardy.

  11. Vincent’s final is one the weirdest I’ve seen in many years of watching the program.That he read it right, got the correct answer and crossed it out, blowing nearly $30,000 is??? How could he come up with Carl Sagan (astronomy)? How lucky is Michelle.

  12. Hey Maurine, I think the comments section is working! 🙂

    • Mystery solved! It all makes sense now. They all wrote tree hugger right away, but Vincent clearly re-read the clue on the monitor…the t in this was apparently missing, and it said “his slang term”. Alex had read it correctly as this. Good for Vincent!

      • Are they each shown the FJ clue on their respective monitors (do they each HAVE monitors??) at their stations?

        • The clue is shown on one of the clue monitors on the clue board. If you look closely during Final Jeopardy during the first few seconds, you see a category and clue on the left of the shot as the camera zooms in.

  13. One question:
    Does the show give him the $28,401? He had the correct response based on Alex’s correct reading of the clue, and only changed his answer when led astray by the incorrect transcription. He could end up with just $2000 from them if he finishes third again.

  14. Even adjusting for the missing “T” at the beginning of FJ clue, was Carl Sagan actual the one who is credited with coining the term “tree huger” in India back in 1973?

    • Carl Sagan need not be the correct answer to warrant a return. All that matters is that Vincent was disadvantaged by the error (which, frankly, is clear to see. He crossed out the correct response.)

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