Jeopardy! films several episodes a day. So, there is a lot of downtime in between tapings. Contestants can’t do much during the long downtime but wait. Well, apparently they can watch movies. But only very specific ones.
Arthur Chu, who finished second in the 2014 Tournament of Champions, explained life behind the scenes of Jeopardy! for contestants in a 2014 Medium post.
During the Tournament of Champions, contestants are sequestered in the green room until it’s their turn to go out and face the game board. While they’re there, however, they are allowed to choose a movie to watch. But precautions must be taken.
“The movies are all vetted by the Jeopardy! writing staff to ensure they contain no spoilers for the tournament itself,” he wrote. “This means that it’s to your advantage to pick a movie that contains a lot of pop culture references that you can tick off in your mind as things that won’t come up.”
More than that, though, is that the movie isn’t just for their entertainment. In fact, it’s mostly there just to drown out the sound of the taping happening only a few feet away. The contestants each vote on which movie they want to watch from the limited selection. Chu chose Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the Edgar Wright cult classic.
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has an engaging rock soundtrack consisting of both alt-rock classics and new music written for the movie by artists like Beck and Metric. By contrast, while it features several classic songs including the old standard “Red River Valley,” Planes, Trains and Automobiles has many “quiet” scenes with little music or background noise. This means that Corina, the person Jeopardy! assigned to watch us in the green room, would have to keep cranking up the volume to drown out the noise from the studio, making extra work for her.”
Expect Jeopardy! Staff To Talk About Your Weight
Arthur Chu admits in his Medium post that he had a portly figure during his original 11-win appearance on the show. But in between his shows and the tournament, he lost a lot of weight. He joked he was more “John-Goodman-in-The Big Lebowski, less John-Goodman-in-Roseanne.”
But if you return thinner, the anecdotes you submitted to the show won’t get read. People will just ask about how you lost the weight or “what was your secret.”
“I learned that it doesn’t matter how well you do in the tournament because whether you flame out in the first round or take home the grand prize, it will be less important than the fact that you’re skinnier now,” he wrote.