Keep in mind, this man is a neurosurgeon, who has saved countless lives. So, tricky is a relative term here. But, in fairness, it is something all of the hosts have had to deal with. The dreaded “I’m sorry, but you didn’t answer in the form of a question” disqualification.
He wrote about it on his CNN Blog along with many other of the highs and lows — but mostly all highs.
“One of the trickiest situations to prepare for was the possibility the contestant wouldn’t respond in the form of a question,” he wrote. “If that happens during the Jeopardy! round, the host still accepts the response with a reminder to ‘watch your phrasing.’ If it happens during ‘Double Jeopardy!,’ I was told to ‘stare down’ the contestant until they either figured out their mistake or time ran out, at which point I would say ‘no’ and wait for another contestant to ring in. Remarkably, it didn’t happen very often. Even under all that pressure, the contestants were consistently composed and able to keep up with not only the clues but the intricacies and rapid pace of the game.”
And for the record, there are actual Jeopardy! judges. Gupta wrote about them in his blog. I always assumed that it was just Alex Trebek building tension.
“If there was ever a questionable response from a contestant, I just needed to look up at the row of Jeopardy! judges, who were sitting just to the side, and they would quickly give me a thumbs up or down,” Gupta wrote.
Doc Won’t Say if He’d Take Full-Time ‘Jeopardy!’ Gig
The reviews so far for Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s performance has been well received. So, the natural next question is would he accept take over Alex Trebek’s lectern if the job was offered? So WBZ-TV news anchor David Wade grilled the good doctor, but the CNN correspondent refused to give a firm answer.
“Aaron Rodgers, NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, comes out and says, ‘You know what, I kind of like hosting Jeopardy! as much as I like playing football.’ He’s not sure which one he wants to do,” Wade says. “So let me ask you, doctor, would you prefer to be the host of Jeopardy! permanently or would you rather be doctor/medical correspondent?”
In fairness, that’s a tough ask. Gupta is very good at his day job. He performed brain surgery on a 12-year-old girl while on assignment in Haiti. He’s also chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. So, he’d be walking away from about a decade of medical school, residency, and internships, as well as a lucrative contract with CNN. But this is Jeopardy!
“Well, you know, I have to tell you, it’s a really interesting question because I would have never thought this,” Gupta admits. “I have been a lifelong fan and you don’t sort of put yourself into those shoes. But having done it — and no one has offered me the job or anything — I could absolutely see the appeal.”
I guess we’ll have to wait for a second opinion.