Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category 19th Century Notables) for Monday, January 10, 2022 (Season 38, Game 86):
On his deathbed in France in 1890, he told his brother, “The sadness will last forever”
(correct response beneath the contestants)
|David Petersen, a boiler operator from Dunbarton, New Hampshire
|Jenni Govea, an operations generalist from Schaumburg, Illinois
|Amy Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California (28-day total: $1,019,600)
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Correct response: Who is Vincent Van Gogh?
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More information about Final Jeopardy: (The following write-up is original content and is copyright 2022 The Jeopardy! Fan. It may not be copied without linked attribution back to this page.)
(Warning: Potentially disturbing mental health-related content to follow.)
Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most celebrated and brilliant painters of the late 19th century, died in late July 1890 after losing his own battle with mental illness. Van Gogh’s mental health had been deteriorating during the previous two years, and he had been admitted to various French hospitals for assistance. However, it was not to be, and he died with his brother Theo at his bedside.
While understanding the difficulties that Van Gogh was going through at the end of his life is important to understanding some of the themes of his later artistic works, I think that there are plenty of things that Jeopardy! can ask about to celebrate the works and the life of Vincent Van Gogh that don’t involve the circumstances surrounding his death. To me, this clue essentially says that the painfulness of suicide is worthy of a trivia question. I disagree, I’m disappointed, and I think that the show can do better than this going forward.
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Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Tonight’s results are below!
Scores going into Final:
David $4,600 – $4,599 = $1 (Who is Sartre?)
Jenni $7,400 – $7,000 = $400 (Who is Napoleon?)
Amy $25,800 – $10,000 = $15,800 (Who is Dreyfuss?) (29-day total: $1,035,400)
Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Opening break taken after: 15 clues
Daily Double locations:
1) NEXT IN LINE… $800 (clue #15)
David 1000 +1000 (Amy 3200 Jenni 2200)
2) WHALES $1600 (clue #9)
David 5400 -4000 (Amy 9800 Jenni 3000)
3) PARTS OF A POEM $1600 (clue #17, $16000 left on board)
Amy 16200 +4000 (Jenni 4200 David 3400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 51
J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 13 (0.15 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles
Amy $23,400 Coryat, 28 correct, 1 incorrect, 47.37% in first on buzzer (27/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Jenni $7,400 Coryat, 11 correct, 3 incorrect, 24.56% in first on buzzer (14/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
David $8,400 Coryat, 10 correct, 2 incorrect, 15.79% in first on buzzer (9/57), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $39,200
Lach Trash: $9,600 (on 10 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $5,200
Amy Schneider, career statistics:
923 correct, 52 incorrect
44/49 on rebound attempts (on 102 rebound opportunities)
51.43% in first on buzzer (847/1647)
43/50 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $135,600)
23/29 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $25,786
Jenni Govea, career statistics:
11 correct, 4 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
24.56% in first on buzzer (14/57)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $7,400
David Petersen, career statistics:
10 correct, 3 incorrect
1/1 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
15.79% in first on buzzer (9/57)
1/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$3,000)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $8,400
Amy Schneider, to win:
30 games: 85.900%
Avg. streak: 36.950 games.
David thought Alex Trebek looked like Mario back in the ’80s.
Jenni has made plenty of costumes for her children.
Amy hasn’t had time to process becoming a game show millionaire.
- I’ve come under some criticism from some of you for saying what I did earlier in my “More Information about Final Jeopardy” section. I’m glad to hear that for some of you that have had your own mental health struggles and have overcome them to the point that you did not find issue with today’s clue. I’m happy for you. But please do realize that not everyone is at the same point in their journey, and that others may still find today’s Final Jeopardy! clue to be troublesome for them.
- I’m glad that Jeopardy! went back to its usual Chyron to show a contestant’s total winnings.
Contestant photo credit: jeopardy.com
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And how you suffered for your sanity…. Being familiar with Vincent amd Theo, it was the only answer I could think of
Well done. “Perhaps they’ll listen now….”
Missed this one. I chose Victor Hugo who died in 1885. I thought his “Les Miserables” was the clue for “the sadness will last forever.” Oh well. Rooting for Amy to continue her streak.
“Brother” and “1890” along with “sadness” were enough in deciphering this and I wish the writers did not include “France” which I thought was (slightly) misleading.
Although Van gogh was dutch he was treated and died in France so the clue makes sense and knowing that he died in France made me sure of the answer.
Van gogh was the first painter that came to my mind because of the paintings he did like starry night. But still he had a lot of things going on in his brain and its like the devil took over his mind. His paintings will have a lasting legacy on the world.
I’m a bit surprised nobody got it, especially Amy.
I will get philosophical for a moment: each person approaches life in general, and J! questions in particular, from their own life experience. I can see why some would take issue with today’s question along the lines raised by Andy and why others would take no note.
I’m with Andy on this one. It’s not just that the FJ clue is about suicide, but about the highly evocative nature of the clue. For anyone who’s struggling with depression, “the sadness will last forever” can be a powerful, seductive message.
But it is true that for people in that mind state, the feeling is that the pain is permanent. You can take it as a metaphor, because Vincent’s death ended his decades of sadness/madness; but for Theo the sadness went on. ;-(
I think about death a lot, and today’s FJ is getting me to strongly believe that things won’t get better. It’s a very evocative, tasteless clue.
I did get the answer, though. Because I couldn’t think of anyone else who died around that time and had a brother with whom they were so tight.
Very surprised that none of the contestants got this one. I personally found it very easy and their guesses were not good guesses, all not near the time line.
Hi Jim! So as I was writing in my response of Sartre, I knew it was wrong. As you stated, the timeline made my attempt wrong. I knew that Sartre was a 20th century figure, and that would eliminate him from a 19th century notables category. The French part of the clue is what threw me off, as I was trying to come up with a Frenchman that died near the end of the 19th century. I briefly considered Flaubert of Madame Bovary fame, but knew that he had died earlier. That 30 seconds goes by quick, so in the end I just wrote down the French name I was thinking about in the moment, even though I knew it was an incorrect response. I had a great time playing, though!
You object to this clue but don’t suggest that a clue about World War I or World War II “trivializes” war? It’s a clue about an artist, and it’s a clue about his final words. It doesn’t say anything about his mental illness — for me it is a reminder of the love and support he got from his steadfast brother Theo and of the eloquence Vincent displayed throughout his life. Yes, he was sad, and we can’t deride or indict him for that. He was sad and gifted, and many gifted people have personal/emotional challenges. I don’t see the clue as misplaced in any way. A person who suffered from a critical PHYSICAL (rather than mental) illness was no more to blame and is no sadder. Vincent’s psychological struggles did define him.
While I haven’t made up my mind how I feel about the clue, I do think there is merit to the viewpoint expressed above. Van Gogh deserves to be known for more than his late mental health struggles.
If you want to read something profoundly beautiful, read “Dear Theo”, a book of letters written by Vincent to his brother. He found beauty in everything, even in the most mundane. I didn’t know it was possible to interpret the world that way at the time. I have to thank a college instructor for assigning the book as part of an Introduction to Art class I took in my early twenties. He didn’t know it would influence my life, and I would remember it all these years later . . .
The last part of my comment sounds like a “Twilight Zone” episode (original series, of course) I watched during a SyFy marathon New Year’s Eve. I wish I could tell him myself, but I’m old and gray and have lost my way. He’s undoubtedly long since passed . . .
I read this as a testament to the love between Vincent and Theo, but can definitely see how it could be triggering for someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.
I have more of a problem when Jeopardy normalizes and trivializes Hitler as a just another answer. Happens all the time. It should repulse anyone to use his name in a game like this. Ask my dead ancestors. Dead in concentration camps.
The Van Gogh question was far more illuminating. He deserves to be remembered.
I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder off and on for over 20 years. My chief “shrink” says I have it, but some other psychiatrists say I don’t, “just” general anxiety disorder. (By the way, most “experts” believe Van Gogh had bipolar disorder, and not schizophrenia.)
I can’t fathom what the problem is with admitting you have a mental illness, and I can’t understand why anyone would feel badly about it. As some friends of mine who are graduates of the U. of Chicago have said to me, “Greg, the worst thing you can be called at the University of Chicago is ‘normal.’”
I have had anxiety disorder ever since I was 10 years old. That became especially true after I got into my teens and became very academically oriented, and kept thinking I had flunked tests when, in fact, I would break the curve, often as in 97 out of 100 multiple choice questions correct, while the next highest, also an A, would be, say, 85 questions correct. Often in these classes, other students would say, “You have to be kidding that somebody got a score that high.”
That’s the way it was all the way through high school, grad school, and law school. Furthermore, not to keep a running litany, but, even when I was a practicing lawyer, I thought I was not doing well until my “bosses” would rave about how good my writing and questioning skills were, etc.
I’ve never had the slightest desire to commit suicide or hurt anybody else, but extreme bipolar can lead to those conditions.
In any event, facts are facts, and I don’t see any other way the clue could’ve been stated than the way it was. I firmly believe there are more individuals with different kinds of mental issues than there are who don’t have them, especially among “smart” people.
By the way, I would’ve answered the same way Amy did today. Both she and I were off on the years when the Dreyfus Affair was going on: They were years after Van Gogh died.
Incidentally, good for Amy for being champion for so many games, but she still has a total winning amount in regular Jeopardy of well less than half of James Holzhauer’s. She is starting to miss Final Jeopardy quite often all the sudden, and he almost never did.
So, I think someone’s going to take her out before she gets anywhere near his total winnings. But, she will have a chance to make it up and then some in a tournament of champions.
I apologize for this comment being so long, but the issue of mental illness obviously drew me far into the conversation.
Thank you for sharing the story of your journey.
I just remembered reading those words somewhere, although the best reference in my possession (The Complete Paintings) has something different shrug