‘Jeopardy!’: 21-Year-Old College Student Details the ‘Long’ Audition Process Before Making Appearance on Show

by Madison Miller
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“Jeopardy!” has been on since 1964. At the time, it was a different host, different time, and stood out from the show we know today.

However, over time thousands and thousands of contestants have stood on a stage opposite of a host. A clue was read and they attempted to answer to earn money. That hasn’t changed much.

The audition process has been subject to a lot of change. Despite giving thousands and thousands of people money over the years, it can be quite difficult to land a spot on the show.

The Beginning of the Audition Process

A recent contestant, Grace Jeffrey, appeared on the show to fulfill her ultimate dream as a lifelong trivia lover. “Jeopardy!” is the best place to do that.

According to the Duke Chronicle, it took some time for that dream to fall into place.

“I auditioned this year, and by this year I mean this academic year so 2020-21. I took the online test in October, and to provide some extra context, the audition process differed from past years this year because of COVID-19. It was entirely virtual versus usually where there is an in-person component of the audition process. And so online I took the general test. Anybody can take this test from their home, from their computer, and that’s how the first round always is,” Jeffrey said.

For many reasons, this may have been the best year for a lot of people to audition for the show. Possible contestants auditioning wouldn’t have to appear in person. Instead, similar to many things this year, the audition process was adapted to fit into people’s stay-at-home lives.

Grace Jeffrey appeared on the “Jeopardy!” episode from June 3. She did not walk away the winner. Instead, John Alba Cutler, an English professor from Illinois, had a total of $19,700 at the end of the episode.

Since she was a college student at the time of her auditioning, she took the college test. Other test-takers use the standard “Jeopardy!” test. After a few weeks, she got an email saying she passed the test. They don’t tell you the results.

More ‘Jeopardy!’ Auditions and Waiting Game

From there, it was a “waiting game.” She said in the interview that after learning she passed the test in October, she eventually got an email in late November informing her that she had made it to the second round of the competition. She had a Zoom test.

Originally, she was auditioning for the college tournament. However, she was informed after her Zoom call that she had passed the adult test too.

Lastly, she appeared in another Zoom call. Instead of another test, she had a mock audition where possible contestants play a fake version of the game. It also gets personal. “They also kind of interview you to get a sense of your personality because at that point it’s not really about what you know anymore,” she said.

She got a call in February to be on the show, so she booked a plane ticket for her filming day in March. Grace Jeffrey revealed that game show contestants count as “essential” in California, meaning she didn’t have to do the 10-day quarantine recommended for those coming from out of state.

Outsider.com