Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'll Take Anderson for $1000, Alex.

And, the clue is...

This girl watched two rounds of Jeopardy and hung out with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Oz. 
Who is, ME?

That's right, Jeopardy lovers.

Well, that's sort of right. 

Ok, so I didn't actually hang out with Anderson Cooper per se. We were in the same room. Is the stage considered part of the room? I think yes.

Let me start at the beginning...

When Lauren and I were rocking out to Mayer Hawthorne, she mentioned that she was going to a Jeopardy taping on Saturday and that her friend had an extra ticket. Her friend, Katie, had actually been on Jeopardy last October as a contestant. Since she is now forever part of the "Jeopardy Family," she was able to score tickets to all of the tapings in DC.

Did I mention that they were filming "POWER PLAYERS WEEK?" That's like Celebrity Jeopardy but with very smart people. No offense, non-Power-Players-Week celebrities. You guys are smart too. But, Jeopardy doesn't always think you're smart and gives you clues like, "The holiday on February 14th that celebrates love." I know you're smart. It's Alex Trebek who doesn't believe in you. 

Alas, I digress.

Lauren, Katie, and I arrived at DAR Constitution Hall - which is fantastic, by the way - Saturday afternoon to find tents, production trucks, and a line of trivia-thirsty spectators. Turns out Katie scored us "Contestant Guest" tickets so we got to go in a special door. I had decided that, if anyone asked, I was going to tell them that "Contestant Guest" meant I was personally invited by Anderson Cooper. . 

No one asked. 

This is the point at which I should tell you that there are no pictures from the afternoon. I know, I know. I've failed you. But, I am a rule-follower and the rule was no pictures. I wasn't trying to be the girl who gets thrown out of Jeopardy. How lame would that be? Did you know that the Jeopardy stage is copywritten? That's why they said we couldn't take pictures. I'm trying to figure out a way to copyright my own surroundings because that's pretty awesome. Um, I'm sorry. You can't take pictures. I own this background. Gimme $5. 

After we made it into the theater we were shown to our seats about 10 rows back from the stage. We were in some kind of unofficial "Contestants Hall of Fame" as the others around us were former contestants. (And one Tournament of Champions Champion!) They were holding court together, like a bunch all-star football alums returning to homecoming after they graduated. 

As we found our seats, the Jeopardy "Clue Crew" was starting the practice rounds. There are practice games before every taped game in order to warm up the contestants and help them get a feel for how the game works. You know, in case they've been living under a rock and don't know about Daily Doubles. Actually, it's a nice way to ease into it because I'm sure I would freeze up if I was up there.  

Although, that's a moot point because I'd never be on Jeopardy. I know a whole lot about not a lot of topics (mainly just TV, magazines, and chapstick) and then about 10 extra facts, none of which are geography or literature. So, pretty much, I'm surprised I was even let in the door. 

While the website listed who the "Power Players" would be that week, we weren't sure who would be playing during our particular taping. Our first taping was Chris Wallace, Katty Kay, and Dr. Oz. I'm not going to tell you who won because you should watch. But, I will say that it was interesting to see how one person could kill it in the practice game and then completely fall behind in the taping. 

During "commercial breaks" Alex Trebek came out and answered questions from the audience. It was very cool of him to do that. There were some pretty interesting questions such as "What's on the podium?" Apparently, he just has a pen and a print out of the clues. Someone asked,"What's the most interesting question you've ever been asked during tapings?" He said one person asked him, "Boxers or briefs?" And he responded, "Thong."

And then we all threw up in our mouths a little bit. 

I did learn that Jeopardy has filmed over 6,000 episodes and has been on the air close to 30 years. And, that Alex shaved his mustache because he felt like it. So stop asking.

Alex Trebek seemed exactly like I would've imagined him to be. He was a combination of really nice and slightly pompous. He whipped out the pretentious french accent a few times when reading clues. But, again, very nice to answer so many questions from the audience.

In between tapings, I decided take a bathroom break - me and the 800 other women there. And when  returned, on stage...was...Anderson Cooper. (I'm not even hyperlinking Anderson Cooper because you should just know). The Silver Fox himself. He was joined by 2 of my other favorites, New York Times' Thomas Friedman and NBC's Kelly O'Donnell

I thought Thomas Friedman was going to dominate the game but he was so nervous! I read an article later in which he said, "I look at this as the journalistic Hunger Games - I just want to be a survivor at the end. Just avoiding a 'YouTube' moment, that's what its all about." Don't worry, the Pulitzer Prize winner got the hang of it towards the end. But, it was touch-and-go for a while during the practice rounds. 

Also touch-and-go during the practice rounds? AC's knowledge of continents. He answered clues that asked for continents with "India" and "Greenland." Immediately after blurting out those answers he would exclaim, "Oh NO! What is WRONG with me?" I don't know, Anderson. We were all wondering the same thing. Maybe you were still distracted by this...

Expected, I know. But, I'll take any excuse to post that video. 

In the end all of the contestants were great and, most importantly, they were playing on behalf of some incredible charitable organizations. Power Players week starts airing May 14, so be sure to tune in. Also, look for me and my friends in the audience! The camera didn't come our way very often but the one time it did, it awkwardly lingered. So, you might see Lauren and I staring at it while I mouth "Are we supposed to be doing something?"

Thanks to Lauren and Katie for including me in the fun! 

And since I couldn't get any pictures or videos for you, we should all just watch this classic together. 

In the spirit of Jeopardy, let's do one last clue:

This is the reason why I spend 30 minutes on Pottery Barn Kids last night.

What is....I'm going to be an Aunt to a baby boy!

The only news that can trump Anderson Cooper is the news that Melissa and Pete are having a boy! I'm so EXCITED!


  1. Lindsay- congrats on the big news! You're going to be a great aunt! Glad we could experience the jeopardy! taping together. I promise next time we hang out I will be well-caffeinated!

  2. Thanks, Lauren! And, you perked up for round 2 so it's all good. :-)