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  1. #1

    Well it happened again on Jeopardy

    If you are not a fan of the show or if you hate to see fools like me rant about trivial matters, then you might want to skip this post.

    Once again, two contestants were headed to Final Jeopardy and facing a situation in which it was OBVIOUS what they each should wager, but neither one of them made the right decision.

    The returning champ had $21,200 and the second place person had $10,600, or exactly half that total. The amount of the third place person is irrelevant.

    So the champ simply HAD to know that he should wager nothing, and if so, then the worst that could happen to him would be a tie. The second place guy should have had no choice but to wager everything so that he could hopefully get the question right and forge that tie. Both decisions should have been no-brainers, right?

    Not to these two dolts. The second place guy got the question right and it was then revealed that instead of making that smart wager, he wagered just enough to stay ahead of the third place person. So he finished with a total of $13,601.

    Then we moved to the champ. His question was wrong. When they revealed his wager, the idiot had wagered a dollar. So he finished at $21,199.

    Now he still won the game, but I contend that both of them were fools. If the second place guy had bet it all, he would have finished at $21,200 and won the game since he got the question right. The champ deserved to lose for making that $1 wager when he should have bet nothing.

    This happens an average of once a year and it blows my mind that such supposedly smart people cannot see it. OK I will move on to my sports chat rooms and find something to vent about there!

  2. #2
    I noticed that too. I don't see why he didn't risk it. It's not as if he would go home with the money he accrued during the game, second place only gets $2000.

    One of my pet peeves is when a contestant finishes the game in the red or at $0 they cannot compete in Final Jeopardy. I think if someone is smart enough [[or so we are led to believe) to be a contestant then they should be given the opportunity to participate in Final Jeopardy since they get $1000 as the third place finisher anyway. Maybe they would be able to redeem themselves. Of course they would have no money to wager.

    I wonder what would happen if two, or even all three, players finished the game in the red or at $0. Would no one play Final Jeopardy.

    I'm trying to recall if there ever was a time when all three contestants ended up with zero so that there was no winner. I'll have to Google that.

    Well, I Googled it and found out that there was a time when there was only one contestant for Final Jeopardy. And there were a few times when all three contestants ended up with a $0 total after Final Jeopardy. In those cases three new contestants appeared on the next broadcast.

    I still contend that all three players should be able to compete in Final Jeopardy. What harm could it do. It would make it more interesting, especially if the player with no money is the only one to get the Final Jeopardy response correct.
    Last edited by johnjeb; 04-24-2021 at 02:56 PM.

  3. #3
    I agree, John. If a contestant cannot be beaten, why not let the other two play, even if in the red? It is humiliating to be removed from the finals. They are all very respectabe people.

    We are huge Jeopardy fans, also. Been watching it everyday for years. Miss Alex, of course, but some of the guest hosts have been quite able. Good personalities and knowledgeable.

    Here is our biggest pet peeve: Awhile back there was a final Jeopardy "answer" where the most obvious "question" -- a softball -- was Berry Gordy. The only person who answered correctly wrote "Barry Gordy" and was disqualified for incorrect spelling. We were really annoyed. Since then, we have noticed that many players merely put the last name of someone and are deemed correct. What gives?

    I believe that when they want to have a long time winner move on, they manipulate the catagories so that he/she will lose. Keeps the show more interesting. James Holzhauer seemed to know everything and was setting records for the most money won on one day and had a 32-game winning streak. He was fun to watch. Very cool.

    All-of-a-sudden, one day, he was missing everything or not buzzing in. It was so
    obvious to us that his time was up.

    My favorite guest host so-far was Aaron Rogers. Easy on the eyes and great stage presence. They are all doing a fine job, though.

    Stay tuned ...

    Nina [and Ralph]
    Last edited by 9A; 04-24-2021 at 04:18 PM.

  4. #4
    As for your theory about the show being manipulated...there is no way in hell that Ken Jennings didn't know that H & R Block question. That was one of the easiest finals ever and I think he was just ready to go.

  5. #5
    Even though I really like Ken Jennings as a person, he was my least favorite guest host. Something about his voice didn't resonate. Katey Couic is a sweetheart, but too bubbly and cute to watch every night.

    Obvious, it seems to me anyway, they prepare their "ad-libs" to the answers in advance. Maybe they are provided to the guest hosts. Furthermore, why do some of the contestants look like such fools when first introduced? Are they coached to make some silly gesture or facial expression? Don't they realized how contrived it looks?

    Sorry to be so critical. We watch recordings each night and bypass all the infernal commercials. Usually we skip the intros, also.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    As for your theory about the show being manipulated...there is no way in hell that Ken Jennings didn't know that H & R Block question. That was one of the easiest finals ever and I think he was just ready to go.
    Ralph does not agree. [Just for the record.] Some prefer not to believe it could be rigged.

  7. #7
    This is from direct personal experience. I tried out for Jeopardy years ago [I went to LA].
    Had to take a test, along with a group of others. A hard test, but passed it. They got all of my information & said we will call you [in order of when I passed the test for that season only]. They never did call because I assumed they had enough contestants for that year. I wonder judging by answers from some of these champions was shades of the 64,000 question being revisited.

  8. #8
    Could be. You sure are smart enough. My son has a friend from High School who was on while he was in college, I believe. It is astounding to us how the younger contestants know so little about pop culture, or even news, from the early to mid-Twentiety Century.

  9. #9
    Well, let's look at it from another perspective. You have a show called The Masked Singer. Most of the hidden singers are not older. Yes, they had Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & a few others. But, would most baby boomers know Bow Wow, Tyrese, JoJo just to name a few? So, it can work both ways. A baby boomer on Jeopardy may not know who some of them are.

  10. #10
    Moe, you are clearly much younger than I. Who are Bow Wow, Tyrese and JoJo? We are reluctant to watch the Oscars because we don't recognize the newer stars. [I watch for the gowns.] Will they even have a "red carpet?" Ralph hates most award shows but that is the only way I learn the new stuff or new performers.

  11. #11
    I'm not exactly young, but you just proved my point. You have no idea who these people are because it's not the music you grew up with, nor follow now. The same for the current youngsters [proven by you when watching Jeopardy.......they don't know your music] they follow the Bow Wows, Tyrese & JoJo's of their generation.

  12. #12
    Nevertheless, Moe, I followed the music of my parents and my grandparents -- when "music was music" as Ralph would say. I appreciate jazz and ragtime and old standards, as do many of the followers of Soulful Detroit. Also, my parents liked my music somewhat -- even doo wop, I think. Can't ask them, but we watched Ed Sullivan together. Not sure what they thought of the Beatles or the Temptations. My dad liked Michael Jackson, as did my kids. Go figure. Somethings are just classic, I guess.

    I like my kids' music, but they are in their forties.

  13. #13
    Ken Jennings blew his final question on purpose. He was bored and had already won over a million dollars.

    Ken Jennings is a complete tool and using him as the first guest host cost the show many viewers. A lot of people are excited that the producers finally decided to let LeVar Burton be a guest host. He very well might be worthy of being the new host.

    Wagering logic is one of my pet peeves [[I remember the previous thread). I don't know if people panic or just decide to go with their gut. Reminds me of Cliff Clavin when he blew his perfect opportunity on "Cheers".

    The show now doesn't count mispellings against contestants in Final Jeopardy, which is fair. "Barry Gordy" wouldn't be a disqualifier now. But "Barrie Gordys" would result in DQ though, not because of "Barrie" but because of the "s" at the end of the last name.

    I have no problem with having the third place person sit out if they're in the hole. Why let them compete in Final Jeopardy if they don't have anything to bet?

    Am I the only one who's surprised that nobody has adopted James Holzhauer's strategy? He played the board to get the Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy questions and was smart enough to jump into huge leads and never looked back. I thought he was going to change strategy for all followers but he was still the greatest game show contestant in history.

  14. #14
    I agree with your last paragraph. I wondered the same thing. Also, why, on earth, do contestants continue down a catagory that they know nothing about? Is it inertia? Holzhauer's strategy was to get the big ticket answers early and leave the others in the dust. A little too fast to play along, but fascinating.

    Also, the big winners seldom take guesses at answers. They don't buzz in pre-maturely just cause they can.

    I would love to see LaVar Burton guest host. Bet he will be great.
    Last edited by 9A; 04-25-2021 at 07:42 PM.

  15. #15
    I think some open up unfamiliar categories to get them out of the way. If I had "18th Century Opera" {for example}, I want to empty it ASAP because I want to uncover a Daily Double with more money and less uncertainty in the category. If it pops up in "Opera" and I only have $800, I'm cool. If it pops up later in something that I prefer, I'm more confident to bet more. Get those unfamiliar ones out of the way first.

    If any of that makes sense.

  16. #16
    I don't buy that motive. In the past, they seldom cleared the board in the first round. Why not go to topics you do know, instead of giving your opponents a lead? Their recent behavior supports your theory. Maybe they want to build momentum buzzing in successfully. Doesn't make for an interesting show when no one knows anything about a topic.

    While we're having this discussion -- I hate the "answers" that require two run-on, un-related "questions." Give me a break. I can't think that fast.

    Another thing -- it is paramount to know the topic, but, as they skip around or follow a path, often no one repeats the full subject heading. They can see it, but we can't. [For example, "has ten letters" or "starts with an 'N'." They might say "'N' for $200."] As we speed through the commercials [don't tell], it is necessary for me to see the titles.
    Last edited by 9A; 04-26-2021 at 01:30 PM.

  17. #17
    I chuckled when someone above called Ken a tool. For me, if you were to take intelligence and game strategy out of the equation and focus instead just on personality, I always found Ken to be OK but I would consider James to be much less personable. There was something about him that gave the impression that he knew how smart he was and that he liked to show off his intelligence and was daring that show to challenge him. Brad to me was the most likeable of those three.

  18. #18
    Oddly, I liked James for the very reasons that you did not. He was irreverent.
    Last edited by 9A; 04-26-2021 at 01:27 PM.

  19. #19
    I called Ken a tool because of his post-Jeopardy public life. He's said and tweeted things that were rude and disrespectful. He seems to have a higher opinion of himself than a lot of people do. I liked him on the show, BTW.

    Anyway, tonight's game had another head scratching finale. Contestant 1 had $10,400 and contestant 2 and 3 were tied at $13,800. It was an easy question that the first person got and she bet $4,000 {I think}. Contestant 2 bet $13,800 and got it wrong. Contestant 3 bet $3,795 and won the game. If contestant 2 had answered it correctly, he would have won outright.

    What logic did she use to bet anything less than everything? She was lucky to win.

  20. #20
    Oh I saw that and raised my eyebrows all over again. When two contestants are tied for the lead going into Final Jeopardy, the ONE AND ONLY WAGER that makes any sense is for them to wager the full amount and more importantly forget all about the person in third place.

  21. #21
    Thursday night's game was also a tad weird but not as much as some other nights. In this one, all three contestants had impressive totals going into Final Jeopardy. One was about $2,000 ahead of the other two, who happened to be tied for second place. Again, it only made sense to me for those two to wager everything they had, in hopes of staying tied with one another, while also hoping that the one with the most money would miss the question and falter.

    Instead the two who were tied each made moderate wagers that would not have done them any real good against the opposition, and the one with the most money wagered almost everything she had. All three got the question right. I guess nobody on that show thinks the way I do!

  22. #22
    I agree with your assessment. Their betting strategy is inexplicable. Maybe it had to do with their level of confidence. The final winner seemed very self-assured yet humble. I was happy for her.

  23. #23
    Was that the one where the final answer was This Homophone Of A LetterThat Sounds The Same If You Drop The Last Four Vowels [[queue)? I was wondering about it, too. I thought that most Jeopardy fans and contestants applied the same logic for coming out ahead but I guess they're betting that they all get it wrong. Doesn't seem like a good strategy.

  24. #24
    Jennings and Holzhauer may have lost their games from fatigue. They tape several games in one day so their opponents are probably more alert physically and mentally, although the winner has the advantage of having just played the game. These contestants are so intelligent that maybe they have too much information in their brains and give a wrong answer despite actually knowing the correct answer. Many times contestants realized they blurted out the incorrect response as soon as it passes their lips.

    I guess missing family, friends and routines could be a reason why someone would intentionally lose a game, but I find that unlikely. However it could be that personal and professional obligations require their presence, and it is time to pack-up and go home. [[I thought that about Austin Rogers, the NY bartender, when he lost.) James Holzhauer is a professional sports gambler so I doubt he wanted to lose.

    For the past few years I have been sensing that Jeopardy has been promoting the long-running contestants and the large sums of winnings earned. Alex certainly seemed to enjoy it. It keeps the viewership up and the sponsors and networks happy. I didn't watch regularly during the early years but I think there was a limit to either the amount of money or number of games a contestant could win. I'm assuming the producers thought unlimited money and appearances attracts more viewers so it was changed to what we see now. I don't sense that there is any manipulation of the game in any way. I think the contestants' abilities to wager effectively are key.

    During regular play contestants can only buzz-in once the host has finished reading the question. I'm sure many of these contestants are speed readers and have to be careful about hitting that buzzer too soon. It's possible some winners don't return because another contestant was quicker on the buzzer and not necessarily more intelligent. My partner reads fast and spits out an answer while the host and I are still reading the question, much to my chagrin.

    We did discuss the Final Jeopardy "Barry" Gordy conundrum in the Motown Forum when it aired. From my years of watching Jeopardy I think being penalized for "Barry" was appropriate, although unfortunate. I've noticed most skilled players rarely use a first name when answering, unless asked to be more specific. Had the contestant just answered "Gordy" she would have been correct. Had the contestant answered by misspelling "Berry" as "Berrie" then that probably would have also been accepted. However "Barry" was incorrect because it is an actual name, rather than a misspelling. I think the same would happen if someone said "Diane" Warwick instead of "Dionne".

    If a question was about our 41st President I wonder if "George Bush" would be accepted or if "George H. W. Bush" would have been required? Of course the written response in Final Jeopardy is a bit trickier than the verbal response during regular play when you might be able to correct yourself in the allotted time or if you are asked to be more specific.
    Last edited by johnjeb; 05-02-2021 at 02:32 PM.

  25. #25
    Jennings lost on such a softball question that I'm sure he was ready to go. He was probably set to make a lot from the investments of his winnings and he no doubt was bored. I'll never believe he didn't know that answer to Most Of This Company's White Collar Employees Work Only Four Months A Year. Even a mentally fatigued person would have guessed H&R Block over his reply, What is Fedex?

    My wife insists that the show helps some players by using categories that play into the strength of their knowledge bases. She said that Ken Jennings, for example, had almost no Opera categories during his run. Technically, that wouldn't run in violation of the laws passed to keep game shows honest but I don't think they tried to help him.

    And I didn't see the show where Holzhauer lost. He must have the top 30 or 40 best daily totals. He'd have $30,000 by the end of the first round and $70,000 was a middling amount for him to win. Incredible.

    For the first 30 years or so, contestants could only win five games. Usually, the players who won the most games appeared in the annual Tournament of Champions. I can't imagine than in the age of Jennings and Holzhauer, there are many 5-game winners in the ToC though. I haven't seen one in two or three years.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post

    My wife insists that the show helps some players by using categories that play into the strength of their knowledge bases. She said that Ken Jennings, for example, had almost no Opera categories during his run. Technically, that wouldn't run in violation of the laws passed to keep game shows honest but I don't think they tried to help him.
    I tend to agree with your wife, Jerry. Sometimes it is so obvious. Are game shows that "honest?" Hmmm. . . .

  27. #27
    Oh, well. It happened again. The leader at the end had $16,100, second place had $15,700 and third place had $11,000 [[I think). Third place lost most of what she had and second place bet everything and doubled his loot. First place got the answer wrong, which was okay because she only bet $5,000. Even if she'd answered correctly, the second place player would have beaten her.

    For the record, the second place player swung for the fences. He probably should only have bet enough to beat player #3 but I'm not going in on that. What was the first place player {the reigning champ} thinking here?

  28. #28
    As the one who started this thread [[and I appreciate the follow-up interest by the way) I have given up trying to figure out those people and the things they do. Pretty soon the big drama will be to see who the new permanent host will be.

  29. #29
    "Jeopardy" never caught on with the British audience. The last attempt to launch it over here was as long ago as 1996.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    "Jeopardy" never caught on with the British audience. The last attempt to launch it over here was as long ago as 1996.
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    The British TV audience is already stuck hard on Mastermind, and has been for a long time. EVERYBODY I know there [[hundreds of people) watches it, and most of those hardly watch any TV at all! Mastermind is a national institution. There probably is not enough room for two highly-successful expert-type quiz shows in a national TV audience.

    In The Netherlands and Belgium, "Wie Is De Mol" is most popular. And in Denmark, The Danish version of Jeopardy is very big now; but The Danish version of "Wheel Of Fortune" [[Lykkehjulet) was by far, the biggest quiz/game show in The 1990s.

    Are there currently two mega-popular, major quiz shows in USA?
    Last edited by robb_k; 05-16-2021 at 01:36 PM.

  31. #31
    I would say that Wheel of Fortune, which comes on most syndicated channels either immediately before or immediately after Jeopardy, would come the closest. But for daytime audiences, Let's Make a Deal and The Price is Right have been going strong every weekday for years.

    During the summer, there are half a dozen or more game shows that come on as summer replacement shows but I am not sure that any of them are really big hits.

    Of course "game" shows and "quiz" shows may not be the same category to some people, since Jeopardy involves using your intelligence and strategy whereas most game shows sometimes involve purely luck instead of any given skill set.


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Ralph Terrana

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