It may have been decades in the making, but this aspiring “Jeopardy!” contestant, has finally landed on the coveted stage. On Friday, viewers will see the Fargo, North Dakota native, Kristen Crowe, take hold of the iconic buzzer.
Crowe, a die-hard “Jeopardy!” fan and journalist by trade, recently opened up about her surreal experience on the game show. “I had been waiting for ‘the call’ from the legendary game show for years, she began in an article penned by the lucky contestant herself. “When it finally came in September, I practically cried. In a year full of rotten days, it was one of the few great ones. But the road to the actual stage would take another six months, six COVID tests, hopes raised and dashed, and suitcases endlessly repacked.”
For Crowe, she started planning to make her dream a reality when she was just 16-years-old. According to her, her grandma “planted the seed” in her brain to try out for “Jeopardy!” Yet, even though her grandmother had complete faith in her trivia knowledge at the time, it would take years before Crowe believed it herself.
“As the years passed, I began taking the fast-paced test that ‘Jeopardy!’ posts each year online: 50 questions in 50 categories, 15 seconds each.” As she describes, even though some years she “bombed,” other years she “felt great.”
She also combined her practice rounds with watch endless episodes of the classic show. Additionally, she spent hours browsing J-Archive.com, which archives questions from thousands of “Jeopardy!” episodes.
‘Jeopardy!’ Dreams Come True For North Dakota Native
“I prepped for world capitals, Oscar winners and U.S. presidents on Sporcle.com and played trivia with newsroom colleagues, shouting answers to questions about classic albums, political figures and celebrity divorces.”
Finally, in 2010, Crowe would get the chance to audition. Although she had spent countless hours prepping, her confidence was shaken when she saw who she was auditioning alongside.
“I was so intimidated by the incredibly smart people around me — doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers — but the process was exhilarating.” Yet, Crowe remained resilient, reminding herself that she was just lucky to be there in the first place and that even if she auditions every couple of years, she would be “perfectly happy.”
Following her 2010 audition, she would return three more times. “Sacramento in 2013, San Francisco in 2016, Zoom in 2020,” she said. However, by 2020, her love for the show dwindled as the COVID-19 pandemic loomed on in the background.
Although her mind was somewhere else, she received the “coveted call” on Sept. 15 and with an invitation to tape on Oct. 11. However, there was a stipulation: she couldn’t tell anyone — other than her husband and teenage daughter.
After resolving some scheduling issues and undergoing six COVID tests, Crowe finally landed on the “Jeopardy!” stage. And who was she thinking of as she took her final moments began? None other than her grandma, who first instilled in her the confidence she needed to pursue her quiz show dream.
See how Crowe fared during her “Jeopardy!” episode tonight, beginning at 7 p.m. EST.