Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, October 7, 2021

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Winter Olympic Sports) for Thursday, October 7, 2021 (Season 38, Game 19):

The official Olympic website says this event “has its roots in survival skills” practiced in the snowy forests of Scandinavia

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s contestants:

Maddie Williams, a Ph.D candidate originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Maddie Williams on Jeopardy!
Tyler Seiple, a voice and speech teacher originally from Columbus, Ohio
Tyler Seiple on Jeopardy!
Matt Amodio, a Ph.D student from New Haven, Connecticut (36-day total: $1,417,401)
Matt Amodio on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts: The prediction model has reached a point where, based on Matt’s previous performance, that he is somewhere between 93 and 96% to win, depending on the day of the week. We’re at the point where it would definitely take at least one, if not more, unlucky breaks for Matt to lose. But, that variability is baked into the Jeopardy! format (that’s one of the reasons why the format has survived with only minor tweaks since the 1960s.) One thing I think is for certain, though: when the loss does happen, it will be very difficult to avoid spoilers.

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Correct response: What is biathlon?

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More information about Final Jeopardy: (The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2021 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)

Biathlon is a winter sport that is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting; it originated in Norway, where hunters often shot rifles while on skis. A competition known as Forvarsrennet was organized by the Norwegian military in 1912 and is seen today as the first modern biathlon competition. An event known as “military patrol”, a form that also included ski mountaineering, appeared at the 1924 Winter Olympics; the modern cross country skiing-rifle shooting biathlon first appeared at the 1960 Winter Olympics. Missing shots in the shooting part of the race incurs a penalty—depending on the event, either via a time add-on penalty or having to ski laps of a “penalty loop”.

Interestingly, biathlon and the Summer Olympics’ modern pentathlon had the same governing body—the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon (UIPMB) until the 1990s, when the International Biathlon Union (IBU) was created

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

Scores going into Final:
Matt $41,400
Tyler $6,600
Maddie -$1,000

Tonight’s results:
Maddie -$1,000 (By rule, did not participate in Final Jeopardy)
Tyler $6,600 – $6,600 = $0 (What is biathalon?)
Matt $41,400 + $9,000 = $50,400 (What is biathlon?) (37-day total: $1,467,801)

Matt Amodio, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the October 7, 2021 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Matt $10,200
Tyler $3,800
Maddie -$600


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) COMPOUND WORDS $1000 (clue #4)
Matt 1000 +1000 (Tyler 0 Maddie -1000)
2) SAY IT IN LATIN $800 (clue #18)
Matt 29000 +5000 (Tyler 6200 Maddie -1800)
3) WE DID START THE FIRE $800 (clue #21, $6000 left on board)
Matt 35200 +3000 (Tyler 6200 Maddie -1000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 126

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 0 (0.00 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:
Matt $35,000 Coryat, 37 correct, 4 incorrect, 66.67% in first on buzzer (38/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
Maddie -$1,000 Coryat, 6 correct, 4 incorrect, 10.53% in first on buzzer (6/57), 2/4 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Tyler $6,600 Coryat, 10 correct, 0 incorrect, 17.54% in first on buzzer (10/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $40,600
Lach Trash: $6,800 (on 7 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $6,600

Matt Amodio, career statistics:
1241 correct, 116 incorrect
54/62 on rebound attempts (on 122 rebound opportunities)
56.04% in first on buzzer (1174/2095)
73/83 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $294,200)
28/37 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $28,108

Tyler Seiple, career statistics:
10 correct, 1 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
17.54% in first on buzzer (10/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $6,600

Maddie Williams, career statistics:
6 correct, 4 incorrect
2/4 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
10.53% in first on buzzer (6/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/0 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: -$1,000

Matt Amodio, to win:
38 games: 93.597%
39: 87.897%
40: 82.871%
41: 79.177%
42: 74.823%
Avg. streak: 53.393 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • I disagree with the judges’ decision to neg “biathalon”; in many vocalizations, going from an “th” to an “l” gives a vocalized “schwa” sound; Tyler was simply transcribing that. It comes as no surprise to me that Mike Richards, who likely would have had a chance to correct this in his second-to-last game as executive producer, fails to realize that. He never quite grasped other pronunciations (like Barrygate) as Executive Producer and I’m glad tomorrow is his final show.
  • $50,400 is tied for the 52nd-best one-day total of all time on the show.
  • $35,000 is tied for the 23rd-best Coryat score of all time on the show.
  • Today was the first game since Matt’s 27th game on September 23 where he did not run a category.

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31 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Thursday, October 7, 2021"

  1. Not a good clue as more wording was needed to separate “biathlon” and “cross-country skiing”; the later is exclusively a survival skill (one can conceivably survive without shooting but definitely needs to move). A 50-50 call on picking one.

    • My first thought was cross country skiing for the exact reason, it alone is a survival skill.

    • Going to have to disagree with you on this one – I think the key is “skills” is plural. Cross country skiing is a ‘skill’, singular. Perfectly good clue.

  2. Mary Jane Stockton | October 7, 2021 at 11:17 am |

    I thought it was on the easy side, in fact adding the snowy forest bit not even necessary. Especially compared to yesterday’s final, none of which I had heard of and didn’t even know it was a thing. Not surprised no one got it.

  3. Will Spence | October 7, 2021 at 11:33 am |

    Not sure, but knowing how to shoot a rifle for food sure sounds like a survival skill to me.

  4. Connie Mack, who owned and managed the Philadelphia Athletics for 50-some years, called his own team the “Ath-uh-letics.”

  5. While 50k is a great daily total by typical standards, Matt could have had a 100k+ day.

  6. Glad Matt won after yesterday’s FJ clue didn’t leave him his normal smiling self. It seemed to no have no effect on his play, except the FJ wager was more conservative. More typical with such a large lead has been a wager $10,000 to $15,000 more.

    • It’s interesting that Matt sometimes bets pretty close to the amount he can safely risk in FJ, and other times, like tonight, goes well under it. It must just be how he feels about the category.

  7. Definitely disagree with the neg. Get someone with a Linguistics degree at the judges table, please. This is not that hard.

    Don’t get me started on that ridiculous “(The) Invisible Man” rule…

  8. One of my pet peeves is when someone pronounces or spells it ‘tri-ath-a-lon’. And yes, I will correct the person – politely. I’d never had to correct someone saying ‘bi-ath-a-lon’, but maybe because I’m not a biathlete. I am a triathlete. I’m not surprised it was ruled incorrect today. It adds a fourth syllable to a three syllable word. I don’t see this the same as the ‘barry, berry’, issue (which was ridiculous).

  9. This makes me crazy that Jeopardy! would allow such a question. Here I am thinking that yesterday’s final was one of the most difficult of all time and I at first thought that today’s was incredibly easy….. And I would have been wrong! I would guess that half of North America pronounces it Bi-ath-a-lon. Why would they risk opening such a can of worms. So in fact wouldn’t “biathalon” just be classified as an allowable spelling error??? Don’t they discuss these things in the board room in advance???? Help me out here folks.

  10. Margie L Scott | October 7, 2021 at 5:40 pm |

    I always thought the way the game was played was to begin your answer with “who, what, where or when”. Matt has not changed the way he answers any question. With every answer he begins it with “What Is”. I think this should constitute a wrong answer. When the answer is a person’s name the answer should start with “who is”.
    This is just 1 example By allowing Matt to always start his answers 1 way is not fair. Why has it been allowed for him to not use the correct verbiage? Today’s final question and answer finely make me post a comment. The way the challenger spelled the answer incorrectly and thus adding an extra syllable- it should not have been ruled as incorrect. I have seen shows where the monirator has said “you misspelled the answer but we will accept it.” So why was today’s answer different and don’t answer with “the misspelling caused a 3rd syllable”. The moderator knew exactly what he meant because she said so.

    • Contestants have always been allowed to do this. I wrote about this on here years ago.

    • The answer to all that is “those are the rules.”

    • Is an animal a who or a what? Is a date a what or a when? Is a historical or fictional place a what or a where? If you think the biathalon response created debate, requiring this specific of a phrasing on a show would be a recipe for continual nitpicking and controversy, in my opinion.

    • Oh, come now. Even Merv knew that having the contestants supply the questions was a gimmick. Their “questions” are really answers. Matt is smart to use “what” to begin each question.

  11. Chris Smith | October 7, 2021 at 6:06 pm |

    I totally agree with you, Robert. The people writing the clues need to be a LOT more aware of regional pronunciations of words which are going to affect spellings. And I would go even further and say that closer to 75-80% of Americans pronounce “biathlon” with 4 syllables.

    • Ronnie Gambardella | October 8, 2021 at 1:00 am |

      I wonder if Missoura Compromise, Bahstin Marathon, or Hawaiya would be acceptable

  12. Brad (not Rutter) | October 7, 2021 at 7:03 pm |

    Just be glad it didn’t effect the outcome.

  13. My Arthur Ritis is hurting a lot today.

  14. Biathlon or biathalon?? WTF, no matter how Tyler Seiple spelled it , it still was the same thing. That just AINT right!!!

  15. Cheryl Siegel | October 7, 2021 at 8:37 pm |

    They should bring Tyler back. This is ridiculous ! #unfair

    • Cheryl: As much as I disagree with the ruling, bringing back a contestant is inappropriate in this situation. Contestants are only returned if a mistake actually costs a player a victory. That undeniably did not happen tonight.

  16. Either way, he finishes second and gets 2,000. And the judges specifically said he “added a syllable” to his written answer, which will typically get a contestant dinged during the regular rounds when they say the response out loud. So if it had been in a regular round, he probably would have been dinged for it too.

  17. I daresay we all now know how to spell “biathlon”! I worked at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and even got it wrong!! But that’s what’s great about Jeopardy- we learn something new and it gives us something exciting to look forward to and share.

  18. Eric Johnson | October 9, 2021 at 8:37 am |

    Do you think Mayim’s explanation of the biathlon misspelling DQ rule came immediately from her or after the judges ruled?

    • From the judges. She’s just a guest host. Even Alex had the judges say he got it wrong.

  19. I thought we’d see someone say that they were the ones who left wardrobe behind them. I know they have a rack of shirts and ties.

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