Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Warning: This page contains spoilers for the January 11, 2023, game of Jeopardy! — please do not scroll down if you wish to avoid being spoiled. Please note that the game airs as early as noon Eastern in some U.S. television markets.

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category Pop Stars) for Wednesday, January 11, 2023 (Season 39, Game 88):

In 2022 she became the first woman to have a Billboard Top 10 album in 5 decades starting with the 1980s

(correct response beneath the contestants)

Today’s Jeopardy! contestants:

Yogesh Raut, a blogger, podcaster & freelance writer originally from Springfield, Illinois
Yogesh Raut on Jeopardy!
Andrew Whatley, an academic administrator from Chicago, Illinois
Andrew Whatley on Jeopardy!
Connor Sears, a copy editor from Queens, New York (2-day total: $43,999)
Connor Sears on Jeopardy!

Andy’s Pregame Thoughts:

Connor Sears has made excellent use of the Daily Doubles in his first two victories today. However, anyone who has followed high-level quizzing over the past decade will tell you that Connor has his work cut out for him today if he wants to become a 3-day champion. Yogesh Raut, one of today’s challengers, is widely considered to be one of the top quizzers in the United States, if not the entire world. Of course, the history of the show is littered with quizzers with incredible pedigrees falling victim to the variance that is Jeopardy!—certainly being a strong quizzer helps, but it is absolutely no guarantee of embarking on a long run of victories, or even one victory on the program.

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Correct response: Who is Madonna?

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This clue is worded unacceptably terribly. Jeopardy’s general disuse of commas makes it ambiguous as to how important the phrase “starting with the 1980s” is. This clue needed to be worded “In 2022 she became the first woman to have a Billboard Top 10 album in each decade from the 1980s through the 2020s” in order to be unequivocally pinned (The show can absolutely fit 115 characters on its screen, for what it’s worth). After all, Barbra Streisand was the first woman to have a Billboard top 10 album in 5 decades—in fact, she has one in six, the 1960s through 2010s. Two thumbs down to the writers and researchers. The show’s writing has noticeably decreased in quality since the departure of Harry Friedman and this is another example in a list that is growing longer by the month.

One other marked recent change in the show that has come since the death of Alex Trebek: the show lost a great deal of its humility with Trebek’s death. Trebek was never afraid to admit fault on part of the show when justified—especially in the earlier years of the program. To give one example, the third occasion ever of a player being returned to the show—Dorian Ellis on May 7, 1985—opened with Alex Trebek actually bringing research notes onto the set to assist with his opening and his explanation as to why Dorian was being brought back. I’d be shocked if I saw that in 2023.

Alex Trebek opened the May 7, 1985 episode of Jeopardy! holding paperwork explaining why Dorian Ellis was brought back. Credit: National Archives of Game Show History

That being said: All 14 of Madonna’s studio albums, and 23 in total, have peaked inside of the Top 10 of the Billboard 200, including her most recent compilation album, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones.

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Game Recap:

Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: That’s So Last Century; The Movie Athlete’s Sport; All About Mexico; What In The Whirled…; Horses On Wheels; Search High & Low)

Our two challengers got off to the best start today, but Yogesh found the Daily Double and used it to propel his score to five figures by the first break! Connor recovered to tie with Andrew after 30 clues.

Statistics at the first break (15 clues):

Yogesh 9 correct 0 incorrect
Andrew 3 correct 0 incorrect
Connor 2 correct 0 incorrect

Statistics after the Jeopardy round:

Yogesh 13 correct 0 incorrect
Andrew 7 correct 0 incorrect
Connor 9 correct 1 incorrect

Double Jeopardy! Round:

(Categories: The Ex-State Capital; Historical TV; Down Your Alley; Science Words; Questionable Book Titles; Score To Settle)

Both challengers got to play Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy, with Andrew picking up $5,800 on his—and Yogesh just $4,000 on his, a curiously conservative choice considering his quizzing pedigree. Nonetheless, Yogesh led going into Final, but Andrew was within two-thirds today—Final will be very interesting indeed! Scores going into Final were Yogesh at $30,800, Andrew at $20,800, and Connor at $1,800.

Statistics after Double Jeopardy:

Yogesh 28 correct 1 incorrect
Andrew 18 correct 1 incorrect
Connor 11 correct 4 incorrect
Total number of unplayed clues this season: 12 (0 today).

Thankfully for the show, this controversial Final today was a triple get; Yogesh is your new champion and goes for win #2 tomorrow!

Tonight’s Game Stats:

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Here’s the Wednesday, January 11, 2023 Jeopardy! by the numbers:

Scores going into Final:

Yogesh $30,800
Andrew $20,800
Connor $1,800

Tonight’s results:

Connor $1,800 + $223 = $2,023 (Who is Madonna?)
Andrew $20,800 + $0 = $20,800 (Who is Madonna?)
Yogesh $30,800 + $10,801 = $41,601 (Who is Madonna) (1-day total: $41,601)

Yogesh Raut, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 11, 2022 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:

Yogesh $12,400
Andrew $3,800
Connor $3,800


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:

1) THAT’S SO LAST CENTURY $800 (clue #13)
Yogesh 6000 +4000 (Connor 800 Andrew 2600)
Andrew 10200 +5800 (Connor 2200 Yogesh 20000)
3) DOWN YOUR ALLEY $1200 (clue #18, $8400 left on board)
Yogesh 22400 +4000 (Connor 1400 Andrew 17200)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: 141

Clue Selection by Row, Before Daily Doubles Found:

J! Round:
Connor 5 3
Andrew 4 4 3
Yogesh 5 5 4 5 4 5 5 4*

DJ! Round:
Connor 5 3 5 4
Andrew 4 3 4 2* 3 2
Yogesh 5 5 5 4 3 5 4 3*

Average Row of Clue Selection, Before Daily Doubles Found:

Yogesh 4.44
Andrew 3.22
Connor 4.17

Unplayed clues:

J! Round: None!
DJ! Round: None!
Total Left On Board: $0
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 12 (0.14 per episode average), 0 Daily Doubles

Game Stats:

Yogesh $24,800 Coryat, 28 correct, 1 incorrect, 43.86% in first on buzzer (25/57), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Andrew $15,800 Coryat, 18 correct, 1 incorrect, 28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Connor $1,800 Coryat, 11 correct, 4 incorrect, 26.32% in first on buzzer (15/57), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 0 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $42,400
Lach Trash: $4,200 (on 3 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $7,400

Connor Sears, career statistics:

57 correct, 11 incorrect
2/2 on rebound attempts (on 8 rebound opportunities)
34.50% in first on buzzer (59/171)
3/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $17,800)
2/3 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $11,933

Andrew Whatley, career statistics:

19 correct, 1 incorrect
1/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
28.07% in first on buzzer (16/57)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $5,800)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,800

Yogesh Raut, career statistics:

29 correct, 1 incorrect
1/2 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
43.86% in first on buzzer (25/57)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $8,000)
1/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $24,800

Yogesh Raut, to win:

2 games: 83.936%
3: 70.453%
4: 59.135%
5: 49.636%
6: 41.662%
Avg. streak: 6.225 games.

Today’s interviews:

Yogesh was a high school quiz rival with James Holzhauer.
Andrew worked on a reservation during college.
Connor was working in Qatar when the 2022 World Cup was announced.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • I hope Yogesh starts playing more aggressively; he needs to take better advantage of Daily Doubles in the future, in order to build a long run.
  • Today’s box score: January 11, 2023 Box Score.

Final Jeopardy! wagering suggestions:

(Scores: Yogesh $30,800 Andrew $20,800 Connor $1,800)

Connor: Bet whatever you like. (Actual bet: $223)

Andrew: If Yogesh makes a cover bet and is incorrect, he falls to $19,999. Thus, you should limit your bet to $799. (Actual bet: $0)

Yogesh: Standard cover bet over Andrew is $10,801. (Actual bet: $10,801)

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41 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, January 11, 2023"

  1. Michael Johnston | January 11, 2023 at 9:27 am |

    Mebs… I don’t really keep up with entertainment news sources like Billboard, but I still should have been able to guess this. -1 ;p

    Current FJ streak: 1L

  2. Streisand was my immediate thought, but of course right away knew couldn’t be her since she was topping Billboard charts long before the 80’s. Didn’t realize Madonna had put out something new last year so went with Mariah.

  3. One of the things I remember from James Holzhauer’s foreword in Secrets of the Buzzer is that the six people who regularly beat him in high level trivia combined for a total of three Jeopardy victories, because James was the only one of those seven people to have Fritz Holznagel’s knowledge. If I had to guess, the most likely way for Yogesh to fall before he makes the Tournament of Champions is that he doesn’t have the buzzer timing to take advantage of all of his knowledge. Or, an extremely clunky-worded clue such as this one could knock him out in his very first game. If one of the contestants falls to the Barbra Streisand trap, would you consider that reason enough for them being invited back?

  4. This might be, legit, the worst Final Jeopardy! clue I’ve ever seen. It’s both grammatically awkward and factually inaccurate. Wow.

    • I don’t like the wording, but how is it factually incorrect. She IS the first woman to have been in top of Billboard in 5 decades starting in the 80’s.

      • Again, though, with how ambiguous Jeopardy! is with commas, it is impossible to tell how binding that phrase is. Barbra Streisand is the first woman to have top 10 albums in five consecutive decades.

  5. This final Jeopardy clue is worded so poorly that I embarrassingly guessed Taylor Swift. I was imagining the record she broke with having 10 of her songs fill all top 10 spots on the Billboard chart. I’m blaming the final clue for my bad answer, not my lack of Madonna knowledge lol.

    • Although, that’s probably gonna be an answer in the future!

    • Taylor Swift was my first thought (for the same reason as yours), but I immediately knew that even if the first had been 1989, she is not old enough [she was born in December of that year].

      BTW, back when Taylor Swift was doing her initial promotional appearances, I accidentally caught the last 3 minutes of her singing in a Wal-Mart in Nashville, TN just because I was going shopping (which was particularly coincidental because I rarely shop at Wal-Mart). I am thinking this was VERY early in her career both because it was in a Wal-Mart and because I had NOT had ANY trouble finding a parking spot.

      • My senior year at the University of Kansas (late 00s), word spread around campus one day that “Taylor Swift was on campus”. I didn’t know who she was but I understood it to be a big deal. Turns out she was visiting a friend.

  6. The recent cranberry juice inspired revival of all things Fleetwood Mac led me to think Gen Z might have propelled Stevie Nicks to the top 10, and the timeline fit. Her solo career took off in the 1980s after the band breakup.

  7. Ummm, I got this one, with the 1980s angle guiding me to Madonna
    Great. My correct FJs this week we’re this one and Jack Daniels. 😇

  8. Michael Johnston | January 11, 2023 at 1:19 pm |

    @Andy – Do you have or know of a wagering calculator for Daily Doubles like the one for FJ! in the Archive? I can imagine it would be a big chore to code one.

    • At the very least, I can say what I would’ve wagered!

      DD1: $6,000 (all in) – Even if you miss, as Matt Amodio proved all that time ago, you can go from being in a negative situation after the first round to a dominating runaway after the second.
      DD2: $10,200 (all in) – If you give Yogesh any openings, he will take full advantage, so going all in ensures he can’t pull out too much of an advantage. (Additionally, the extra $4,400 brings the game to a four-fifths game.)
      DD3: $16,001 – While it’s mathematically impossible to guarantee a runaway with this clue, $16,001 will at least guarantee a crush game as long as you don’t get any clues after that incorrect.

    • I think the best way of going about a Daily Double wagering calculator would be to code Watson’s strategies.

    • Michael Johnston | January 11, 2023 at 2:14 pm |

      Thank you both!
      Andy- Yeah, although there’d be some black box guessing involved, and I’m not a coder of any sort😅

      MasterDoge- I like the thinking behind the two all-in bets. For DD3 you don’t think $16001 is too aggressive? After all. an incorrect guess drops you into second place with no chance to catch up.

      • Good point, I didn’t consider that. If you’re not comfortable with $16,001 to guarantee a crush game, I think a bet of up to $5,333 – to guarantee that your opponent CANNOT get a crush game – is a reasonable choice, too.

  9. This was an easy get for me as who else could the artist be other than Madonna. However I did think of Janet Jackson, but that was wrong, and so was Barbara Streisand who had her first Billboard Top 10 album in the 1960’s. So I would not even think of her.

  10. Ok obviously this was an easy get as I got Madonna but the clue was poorly worded here. Janet Jackson and be Streisand obviously didn’t list in my head as I found out Madonna has a lot of great songs in her career.

  11. Would the clue have been at least a little better if it had merely been changed to “In 2022 she became the first woman to have a Billboard Top 10 album in all 5 decades starting with the 1980s”?

  12. Bill Vollmer | January 11, 2023 at 5:22 pm |

    If Yogesh is considered to be one of the US’s formost “quizzers,” hasn’t he competed on any US quiz show before? Is his score a record for one day?
    If this game’s Final Jeopardy clue hadn’t specified begining in the 1980’s i would have said Streisand,but since it did,I had no clue.

  13. Yogesh lived up to his reputation. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep winning. Although Connor had played quite respectably in his first two appearances, he was outgunned today by both Yogesh and Andrew, especially in DJ.

  14. This guy may be here for awhile.

  15. Robert Fawkes | January 11, 2023 at 6:36 pm |

    Somehow, I don’t take as much issue with the FJ clue wording as other people do. When I read “Top 10 Album in 5 decades,” my immediate thoughts were Streisand and Cher. When I read “starting with the 1980s,” Streisand and Cher were immediately dropped off and replaced by Madonna. I didn’t realize the wording was all that tricky until I read Andy’s and other people’s comments.

    I’m expecting a long run by Yogesh as he becomes more comfortable with the buzzer and gets more aggressive with his Daily Doubles as Andy noted. In any case, it will be interesting to see how he does in comparison to James H.

  16. This was an easy get. Yes, the wording was bad (I was particularly confused by the “in 5 decades” part making it seem like no woman had made the top 10 in that time). But there couldn’t have been anyone else that fit the description because of the 80s part. The only other possibility was Whitney Houston, and I don’t think there’s any reason to release a new compilation for her. (Taylor Swift wasn’t even alive until the last few weeks of the 80s, and Mariah released her debut just after the 80s ended). Had it asked for the first woman, I’d have likely said Cher.

    If Yogesh goes on an epic run as predicted, I expect to see Andrew for Second Chance and Connor in the TOC for a rematch. If luck comes for him early (such as someone who clobbers him with the Dex checks on the buzzer), that’s a different story, especially for Connor.

    • Robert Fawkes | January 11, 2023 at 10:35 pm |

      Andy P., While I agree with you that Andrew has a good chance for a spot in a Second Chance Tournament, there is no way Conner can have a rematch in the Tournament of Champions. Why would a 2-day winner ever be considered for the ToC? What are you thinking?

      • I’m thinking rematch the same way James Holzhauer got one. This is only if Yogesh goes on a 20-game run. Luck of the draw came for Connor early, so given how few qualifiers we have so far, there might be spots to fill.

        Lots of variables, but I only see it as possible if Yogesh is still champ at the end of the month.

  17. I agree that the wording on the clue is poor. In its partial defense, note that “in 2022 she became” does imply the artist in question had a top ten album in 2022, thereby eliminating Streisand and pinning it to Madonna.

  18. So I just saw a post about the jeopardy masters tournament. It’s weird how James is put in with 5 other decent champs from this year. I hope the premise is to see if they can beat a master like James (similar to the chase) or else I really don’t agree with the 6 people I see listed on the jeopardy Instagram page.

  19. 100% agree that this was a horribly worded FJ. Babs was the first, point blank, and she did it in six straight decades with the possibility of a seventh. Madonna fit the random time frame that the writers chose, but it doesn’t make her a “first” anything. That’s like saying “Catherine Howard” was the first of Henry’s wives to be executed in 1542″. She’s not the “first”. The clue was at best ambiguous and at worst incorrect.

  20. So, 56 buzzer attempts for Yogesh. I believe that is the highest number among games for which there are boxscores. I recall seeing a graphic showing that Amy had the record with 57 attempts last season, but it must have been from a pre-boxscore game. Yogesh had 29 attempts in Double Jeopardy, so it must be counting multiple attempts on at least one question. I do wish they’d also list the number of distinct questions on which a contestant attempts to buzz in.

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