Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Happy Tuesday! Today is Day 2 of the Tournament of Champions, hosted by Buzzy Cohen! Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless will be the recipient of $250,000, matching the Tournament of Champions grand prize. Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Animals) for Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (Season 37, Game 167):

German settlers in Texas called this animal “panzerschwein”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Steve Moulds, a playwright from Louisville, Kentucky
Steve Moulds on Jeopardy!
Nibir Sarma, a junior at the University of Minnesota from Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Nibir Sarma on Jeopardy!
Karen Farrell, a political consultant from Chesapeake, Virginia
Karen Farrell on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: Jason, Ryan, and Sarah all came to play yesterday, and it showed, with a very well-played game. I hope that Steve, Nibir, and Karen can match that. The prediction model has made Nibir a slight favorite to win this game after Nibir showed that he can take over a match (like he did his College tournament final). Steve is in the tournament replacing Brayden Smith, who unfortunately passed away in February; I think that Steve will show that he is more than deserving of the spot. I do think that Final Jeopardy! will decide who qualifies for the semifinals out of this game, though.

Meanwhile, it’s not often that I am angry enough to want to be profane on this site, and I will remain calm enough to type this: the actions of Jeopardy! “fans” yesterday when it came to reactions to Ryan on the Internet were reprehensible, and a number of you need to chill out quite a bit. The Tournament of Champions is a higher-stakes, more intense version of the regular games and the visceral reactions seen by some of these so-called Jeopardy! fans at contestants for matching that intensity is completely inappropriate and uncalled for. If I may make a suggestion that may serve a number of people well: you do not need to post every single last thought that comes into your head on the Internet for all to see. There are some things much better left said where only one or two people at maximum can hear them, and some of your thoughts on Jeopardy! contestants would definitely fall into that category.

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Correct response: What is the (nine-banded) armadillo?

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“Panzerschwein” literally transates to “armored pig”, referring to the famed nine-banded armadillo currently found mainly in the Southeastern United States and in Central and South America. The mammals, which were named the state mammal of Texas in the mid-1990s, first entered Texas from Mexico in the 19th century.

One thing I found interesting, from Claire McNear’s tournament preview: Cohen also learned perhaps a bit more about his own speech patterns than he would have liked. “There was one thing where I say ‘animals,’” Cohen, who grew up in the Northeast and now lives in Los Angeles, says of a clue. “Sarah was like, ‘You say animals with an accent.’ I asked her how she says it. ‘Animals.’ So then I go into the writers’ room and I’m like, ‘Apparently I say “animals” weird.’ And Michele [Loud, the show’s co–head writer] just looks at me dead in the eye and says, ‘You say the word “and” weird as well.’” I’m guessing that this Final Jeopardy! was the cause for that exchange.

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

Scores going into Final:
Karen $14,200
Nibir $13,200
Steve $2,400

Tonight’s results:
Steve $2,400 + $2,400 = $4,800 (What is an armadillo?)
Nibir $13,200 – $1,001 = $12,199 (What is a coyote?)
Karen $14,200 + $2,000 = $16,200 (What is an armadillo?) (Semi-Finalist)

Karen Farrell, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the May 18, 2021 game.)

Wild card standings:
Monday: Ryan Bilger, $32,405
Tuesday: Karen Farrell, $16,200
1. Jason Zuffranieri, $18,800 (99.950% to advance)
2. Nibir Sarma, $12,199 (75.809% to advance)
3. Steve Moulds, $4,800 (1.812% to advance)
4. Sarah Jett Rayburn, $0 (0.020% to advance)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Nibir $5,400
Karen $5,400
Steve $1,200


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
Steve 400 -1000 (Karen 3400 Nibir 4200)
2) “A” MATERIAL $1600 (clue #7)
Nibir 7400 +2000 (Karen 9400 Steve 1200)
3) THE DAILY QUINTUPLE $1600 (clue #13, $15200 left on board)
Nibir 8600 +1000 (Karen 10600 Steve -800)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -61

Game Stats:
Karen $14,200 Coryat, 16 correct, 1 incorrect, 28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 5 rebound opportunities)
Nibir $13,400 Coryat, 18 correct, 2 incorrect, 31.58% in first on buzzer (18/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Steve $3,400 Coryat, 11 correct, 5 incorrect, 24.56% in first on buzzer (14/57), 0/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $31,000
Lach Trash: $14,600 (on 14 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $8,400

Karen Farrell, career statistics:
227 correct, 25 incorrect
15/19 on rebound attempts (on 49 rebound opportunities)
39.11% in first on buzzer (210/537)
8/13 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $6,900)
8/10 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,000

Nibir Sarma, career statistics:
113 correct, 20 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 14 rebound opportunities)
40.93% in first on buzzer (115/281)
7/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $24,895)
2/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,760

Steve Moulds, career statistics:
99 correct, 14 incorrect
6/7 on rebound attempts (on 20 rebound opportunities)
32.98% in first on buzzer (94/285)
4/7 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $9,600)
4/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $13,400

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • Evidence of how strong yesterday’s game was: there were only 5 Triple Stumpers in the entire game yesterday; there were 5 in just the Jeopardy! round today.

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27 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, May 18, 2021"

  1. It seems like there are too many boy-girl-boy combinations in these tournaments for the casting to have been done totally at random. Perhaps the contestants are seeded according to prior winnings?

    Today’s FJ clue is not too difficult if you know that “panzer” referred to the German tank division in World War II.

    • The producers do make the pairings based on what they think will make for the best tournament overall for the viewing audience.

    • That is why you would not see Emma Boettcher against James Holzhauer in the first round in the Tournament of Champions. In the Battle of the Decades for the semi-finals in one game they had the two lowest scoring wild cards against the number 3 seed rather than against the first or second seeds.

  2. To me this seems like a much easier clue than yesterday. My guess is they will all get it. I know an effort is made to level the playing field across the five wild card games, but there always seems to be some disparity in the difficulty of the FJs.

  3. Chris Stratton | May 18, 2021 at 11:41 am |

    Well crap. I came on to check out what you had to say about yesterday‘s game, Andy, and stumbled into your pregame for today as well as FJ. I’ve been exerting a discipline of watching and playing the whole show together, so that’s spoiled for today. The good news is I got it correct. That’s a great question. And I think you’re spot on that this clue had to be the one which spurred the anecdote Buzzy shared with Claire.

  4. Stuart L Rubin | May 18, 2021 at 2:24 pm |

    Based upon Monday’s show I greatly prefer Buzzy’s hosting ability over that of Bill Whittaker. Buzzy is more animated and seems to enjoy the experience more.

  5. Debbie Stover | May 18, 2021 at 2:26 pm |

    I don’t know, Andy; this is the first time I can recall disagreeing with you, but “I’m gonna go for the kill” seemed a bit over the top to me. Jeopardy is not a blood sport, and to me it was very poor sportsmanship. I didn’t post any comments anywhere, but it did bother me. My reaction was, I hope he loses.

    • “I didn’t post any comments anywhere”. That’s the difference between you and a lot of others — as I also said in the piece, one doesn’t have to post everything that crosses their mind on the Internet. It’s possible to keep things to oneself.

    • Ryan has apologized elsewhere for that particular comment. You’re welcome to root against him in the semis, but I think Andy’s comments were in regards to online pundits who make insinuations about a player’s character based on their TV persona, and/or the host.

  6. This was pretty easy since Panzer refers to the german tanks of WWII. If you think of Company of Heroes games, there are lots of panzer related units in that game. Strong game today and I am definitely thinking Nibir has another shot at claiming the final spot if he builds up during the semi finals.

  7. Todd mcdonald | May 18, 2021 at 3:24 pm |

    How come they’re not showing if any clues are not played in the rounds

    • Because of the nature of the quarterfinals and wild cards, all clues are guaranteed to be played this week out of fairness.

      • Which is the reason I find it curious that players start at the bottom this week rather than easing into a category by starting with the second clue (which is the first one likely to have a DD). Maybe it’s just force of habit from the contestants, but this week all the clues will be seen.

  8. Buzzy for Alex successor! He was terrific in the first TOC game. I hope he keeps it up, and wants the job! The FJ clue tonight was pretty easy IMHO, especially if you’ve ever been to Texas.

  9. Brad (not Rutter) | May 18, 2021 at 5:05 pm |

    Yes! Karen has been my favorite contestant since James. Awesome to see her advance. I forgot how she puts her whole body into when she buzzes in..sort of the anti-James in that regard. I like Nibir too so hopefully he gets through.

  10. Buzzy should clearly be in the running to host again. I am not really a person who likes to vote with the masses, but Anderson is in first, Buzzy second, Ken J is in third… far. Btw, “going for the kill” did not really happen yesterday. Sure it was a bit over the top, but I kind of liked his ‘go get’em mentality. He really did not have enough $ at the time to actually eliminate the others. When Holzhauer would have 15 grand and the others would have 5 grand, then him betting all his 15 grand was going for the kill. (And he did. 🙂

  11. Andy, what happens if there is a tie for the last wild-card spot? Do the producers decide based on how much money both people had before Final?
    (i.e. person A got $20,600, person B got $19,500, person C wound up with $18,100, and persons D and E both have $16,500, but person D went into final with $11,100 to person E’s $8,900, so person D gets the last wild card spot)

    • Yes, ties in the wild card order are broken by “money before Final Jeopardy”.

      • IIRC, that tiebreaker came into play a couple years ago, I think in a college tournament. The contestants were also tied going into FJ, so they then had to go to scores going into DJ.

  12. I hope Buzzy, if he wants it, is in contention as full time host. Full of energy but not obnoxious about it, good speaking voice and he seems like he is really enjoying it.

  13. Buzzy seems like a natural for the job. But I’m assuming he has a regular job already?

    • He does—but it’s the sort of job that one would give up or take a back seat for if Sony called and asked him to be the host of Jeopardy!

  14. Ronnie Gambardella | May 18, 2021 at 9:03 pm |

    A question I have always asked myself: How does Jeopardy “seed” the contestants in tournament play? Is by past winnings, by random, or by producers whim?

    • Producer’s whim. There is some commentary about that in the first comment thread.

    • Jennifer Quail | May 20, 2021 at 9:54 pm |

      Who is in which match is by producer discretion. Who’s at what podium is by original-run winnings in the QF. What they ended up calling lined up with a lot of the Monday and Tuesday-morning speculating among us (first and foremost that they’d split the five women across the five days.)

  15. Debbie Stover | May 24, 2021 at 4:29 pm |

    Andy, I did not write the second post above that appears (at 3.11 pm) with my name attached. Since it was clearly an effort to sound like a follow-on to my original post, I’m wondering if you — since you have the stated email address of the person who posted it — could ask that poster to stop impersonating me. (This assumes, of course, that the person entered his/her email address correctly. I don’t know if you can track IP addresses.)

    I don’t know if this has been a problem in the past, and it’s certainly odd, but I don’t want anyone one else putting words in my mouth. I’d rather not post than have that happen.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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