I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot of the actual show!
I do remember loving the fact that I was playing against John and Larry, because they were the two guys I liked best out of the contestants and they were funny and excited too. I started getting a little antsy, but then I remembered my mantra – just do your best and have fun – and I calmed right down.
I remember meeting Alex – he asked me about why I had spoken Chinese first, and we actually had a fairly long conversation. He asked if Cantonese was easier than Mandarin and I explained that Mandarin had four tones and Cantonese had nine, so I couldn’t say! And then he asked why I had spoken Chinese before I spoke English and I said that I was born in HK because my parents were medical missionaries there. And, of course, he asked if I still spoke Chinese and I said, “Siu siu!” (“A little bit,” in Cantonese), and raised my fingers together to indicate a little bit. We all laughed and then he went on the next person.
During the second commercial break, Alex came back to take the pictures with us. Earlier in the taping, one of the categories had been “The Sexiest Pot Pourri Ever” – in which Alex read all the questions in a Barry White voice. It was hilarious, and I think Alex realized that he had heard my laugh during that taping, because for my picture, he came up looked directly at me and said, “Heeeyyyy, Deborah” a la Barry White. I cracked up and responded, “Heeeyyyy Alex” in the same tone, and they took our picture. I think it’s hilarious that people have said Alex looks a little creepy in the picture… because he kind of was! But in a good way…
|Me and Alex gettin' a little crazy...|
I also remember that the categories seemed really hard. There was one category – basically, “people who have died by their own inventions” – where I seriously thought to myself, “should I just drop the clicker? No, they might choose a different category” and then I got the $200 answer because I knew a “famous landmark in Paris” (Eiffel Tower, duh)! I knew a lot of the answers, but John, The Bionic Thumb. and Larry, the Mailman, were just too fast for me. But, I got some answers that I was very proud of, specifically Joe Lewis and The Magnificent Ambersons. (John asked me later where that one had come from, and I just shrugged…) But, I kept going under. I honestly had no idea what my score was until the end of the first round when the handler came out and said, “Hey Deborah, we’d like to see some POSITIVE numbers, OK?” heehee They even checked my clicker to make sure it was working correctly.
And then Double Jeopardy … we got down to the last few questions and I suddenly realize that I was nearly $2000 in debt! OH NO! But, the last question on the board was worth $2000 and it would put me back in the game if I rang in first and got it right. It was a music question. And the answer came up and I knew it! It was Bill…. Bill…. Bill….. URGH!!!!! WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME????
So, yeah, I lost on Jeopardy! I ended up with a negative balance, and I wasn’t able to stay on for Final Jeopardy. They put me in a chair on the side of the set for the rest of the show, so I got to see what the Final Jeopardy question was. And I wouldn’t have gotten it anyway! But, I was still grinning like an idiot because WOW, what an amazing time I had had!
They broke for lunch at this point, so everyone was leaving the studio. They took us back to the green room while the general audience filed out, and then I was able to meet up with Cathy in the studio lobby. We got some great pictures on the fake podia they had set up, and I think Cathy got a picture with the Alex stand-up thingie.
Then we followed the crowds out for lunch at Subway. I was still revved up, so it was kind of nice to have everyone else out of the studio as well as us. We just didn’t go back!
We went to get wine instead! Heeheehee! I think that was when we went to Trader Joe’s, but it could have been when we got the boxes of wine from Target – it all runs together somehow! We talked about going to a movie or something, but I think we just ended up going back to the hotel. I really don’t remember everythign exactly because my brain was exhausted!
I know that we went back and got in our jammies and drank wine and read or napped. At one point, I went outside for a cigarette and that was really the first time that it hit me that I had lost, and I got a little sad. I went back up to the room and admitted it to Cathy, and she reminded me that I didn’t lose, I just didn’t win the whole dang thing. Just getting on the show was a big win! I’m glad Cathy was there to talk to, because it really was a let-down… but I really did have a great time!
The next day
Cathy had told me earlier that one of the other contestants, who came in second, came off the stage crying his eyes out. Apparently, winning Jeopardy! had been his life-long dream, so second place just wasn’t good enough. We met his wife at breakfast the next day and I just felt so sorry for her. She kept trying to help him, but nothing would work. For her sake, I’m glad that she came down for breakfast, if only to get out of the room! And I’m glad she sat with us – I hope we helped!
After breakfast, Cathy noticed that John’s family were hanging out in the lobby, just like we had all done the day before. (Cathy knew all of the contestant guests because she is just as shy and retiring as I am – i.e., NOT!) Apparently, John was still playing! We didn’t have any major plans for the day, so they invited us to join them. I called the studio contact and asked if we could get seats as guests to watch the filming. They said yes, so Cathy and I headed over to the studio to watch the taping of the second week of shows! It was a MUCH less stressful event for both of us!
We left at lunchtime again, and futzed around until we went back to the hotel to crash out again. It was really a whirlwind trip, with a lot of stress and nervous activity followed by exaustion… and wine. We flew back the following morning and I think I drove back to my apartment in DC instead of spending the night with Cathy and David.
And then came the hard part…
My episode was scheduled to air May 1, 2013. I got back home on January 10, 2013. How the HECK was I supposed to keep the results quiet for that long???
I had already decided that I wouldn’t be telling anyone the results of the show. And yes, I was allowed to tell people, so long as it wasn’t published anywhere… like on Facebook! I wasn't sure that some of my friends would be able to keep it quiet, so I decided to just not tell anyone.
Stay tuned for one more installment: The Viewing Party