In November, Siddharth Chandrasekhar (M&T ‘11) made anappearance on College Jeopardy!, putting together a run to thesemifinals on national TV. Sid wrote the following articleabout his experience on “America’s Favorite Quiz Show.”
I have been a big fan of Jeopardy! for as long as I canremember. Every night around dinner time, my entirefamily including my mom, dad, and two brothers gettogether to watch the day's episode. Before this year, Ihad only taken the online test once, and I didn't evenknow the date of this year's test. In fact, I only found outabout it a couple of hours before the test when my friendtold me that he was planning on taking it. I then quicklyfound a computer in the building we were in and signedup to be able to take the test. After taking it, I felt prettygood but I had blanked on at least a couple of thequestions. I wasn't sure when I would hear back so I hadforgotten all about it when a couple of weeks later, I gotan email saying that Ihad gotten the callback.There were five audition cities around the US and one ofthem was Philadelphia, so I selected that since I wasgoing to be working in the area over the summer. I wasthen told that my scheduled try-out time was on June21st at 9:00 AM at the Sheraton Society Hill down onDock Street. So on that day, I went down there for thetryout and was in a group with around 25 otherstudents. Then, we had to take a 50 question written testwith around eight seconds to answer each question.After that, the Jeopardy Contestant Department selectedthree of us at a time so that we could play a mock gameto get a feel for how gameplay would work. Finally, theyinterviewed everyone to see how clearly everyone wasspeaking and how personable they were. At the end ofthe audition, they let us know that only 15 people totalwould make it from around the country.I had pretty much written off my chances of gettingselected to be on the show and was focusing instead onthe beginning of senior year and the job hunt. Then, aftera few weeks of class, I was in my room in the afternoonwhen I got a call from an unknown 310 area codenumber. When I found out that it was Jeopardy! callingand that I had made it onto the show, I was shocked anddidn't know how to respond. After the end of the call, Iwas still in disbelief and then walked to the commonroom where the rest of my house mates were sittingwatching TV to tell them the good news. After theycongratulated me, I called my parents, and theyimmediately started making plans to come down for thetaping with my brother.In the month that I have had to prepare for being on theshow, I had pretty much just been watching the dailyepisodes, keeping my mind alert, going to bar quizzoand practicing my reflexes for the buzzer.On the day of the taping, we had to meet up in the lobbyat 7:30 in the morning, and I was really excited to finallymeet all of the other contestants. When I got down, mostof the other contestants were there with their parents,and we all introduced ourselves and found out wherewe all went to school. The entire one hour ride to thestudio went by very quickly as Maggie was explainingall of the rules and what to expect when we reached thestudio.After getting some makeup and tapinginterviews/promos, we were finally able to stand behindthe actual Jeopardy! podiums on the actual Jeopardy!stage to play a mock game. Getting a feel for the buzzerand how to time it was very tricky for everyone but wewere able to play a couple rounds while having fun andcheering each other on. During any free time, all of uswere getting to know each other and what I found outwas that this was an awesome group of people whowere very easy to talk to and had very interestingstories. There was absolutely no tension between anyoneand we all started talking about our favorite movies andTV shows.The entire experience was unbelievably fun, and I got tomeet some amazing people. It is definitely somethingthat I will never forget and always be able to tell storiesabout for years to come.
Newsletter of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology
Edited by Eve Lee (M&T ’12) and Matt Vogel (M&T ’12)
M&T: A True Daily Double