‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Say Making Small Talk Is Much Harder Than It Looks

by Jeremy Spirogis
Alex Trebek stands behind a podium on the set of

Jeopardy! is a recreation present all about trivia but it surely’s the small speak phase that usually provides contestants pause. A trademark of each Jeopardy! recreation, host Alex Trebek chats with every participant following the primary business break. 

Alex Trebek stands behind a podium on the set of 'Jeopardy!'
Alex Trebek on the set of ‘Jeopardy!’ | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Contestants must reply questions on themselves earlier than happening ‘Jeopardy!’

Studying up on trivia isn’t the one factor contestants must do earlier than showing on the sport present. Before they even step foot on the Jeopardy! stage, contestants dedicate a while to answering open-ended questions on themselves. 

According to Mental Floss, coordinators for the present begin pumping contestants for entertaining anecdotes a month earlier than exhibiting as much as tape an episode. 

“We send them a huge package of documentation via email. Included is an info sheet that asks them to list five interesting facts about themselves,” Corina Nusu, a senior contestant coordinator with the present, mentioned. 

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Contestants additionally obtain an inventory of as much as 32 inquiries to reply about themselves. Although Nusu notes contestants aren’t required to reply each single one. 

On tape day, Nusu speaks with contestants once more and presses them for extra attention-grabbing details or tales. 

Alex Trebek steers the dialog throughout the small speak phase

Just as a result of contestants reply questions on themselves forward of time, doesn’t imply it will likely be introduced up. 

Ultimately, it’s as much as Trebek because the Jeopardy! host to steer the dialog. Which means he can ask no matter questions he needs. Because of that, contestants must be prepared for something. And that may be particularly laborious standing below the glare of the sport present’s lights. 

‘Jeopardy!’ champion Arthur Chu says ‘having to think of something on the fly’ is actually laborious 

Players may make answering trivia questions and chatting it up with Trebek look simple after they take into account it very difficult. 

Arthur Chu, who received 11 video games of Jeopardy! in 2014, says small speak isn’t simple. After his successful streak ended, Chu talked about how he confronted a problem upon discovering out Jeopardy! doesn’t permit anecdotes about cats. 

“That threw out a lot of my stories,” he mentioned. 

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So he needed to provide you with new issues to speak talk about. And as he mentioned, it’s laborious to do after being mentally drained by the sport. 

“Having to consider one thing on the fly, one thing attention-grabbing to say when you simply received a recreation of Jeopardy! and also you’re soaked in sweat and also you’re able to go on the market and attempt to win one other recreation—that is likely one of the most tough issues you are able to do on the present,” Chu mentioned. 

‘Jeopardy!’ champion Julia Collins calls small speak phase ‘the hardest thing about being on the show’

Winning 20 video games of Jeopardy! in 2014, Julia Collins dominated the quiz board. But what she considers to be essentially the most tough a part of the competitors is the small speak. 

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RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Buzzy Cohen Says the Key to Winning Is Paying Attention to How Alex Trebek Speaks

Winning a excessive variety of video games, Collins needed to provide you with a variety of attention-grabbing details about herself. In a Reddit Q&A after her successful streak ended, Collins opened up concerning the challenges of the present.

“Coming up with ideas for that portion of the show is probably the hardest thing about being on the show,” she mentioned. 

Like Chu, Collins needed to adhere to sure restrictions so viewers at residence wouldn’t see contestants talk about the identical subjects. Collins couldn’t discuss a chunk of bijou as a result of a earlier contestant had executed so not too long ago.

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: Julia Collins Says Alex Trebek Tried to ‘Smooth Things Over’ After a Contestant Made a Mean Comment to Her

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