Latest Northwestern Student to Appear on 'Jeopardy!'November 8, 2010 | by Jasmine Rangel
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Katie Singh, a sophomore in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, found that she got many answers right while regularly watching “Jeopardy!” with her mom.
Spurred on by those experiences, Singh, who is studying political science with a minor in global health, successfully auditioned for the television show that is well known for its quirky reversal of questions and answers.
A participant of “Jeopardy! College Championship” that begins Nov. 8, Singh will appear on the show Nov. 12. The show can be seen in the Chicago area on WLS-TV at 3:30 p.m. The last Northwestern student to appear on “Jeopardy!” was Dean Malec in 2007.
So, how did she do? Singh can’t say whether or not she won before the show airs, but she did mention one category that left her stumped. But you’ll have to watch the show to find out which one.
Bringing home the challenges of the show, she and other brainy contestants got to have a little fun at “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s expense. They gave him the following clue: This is the only element to be named after a person while the person was still alive. Trebek’s guess (given in the form of a question, of course) was einsteinium.
“Oh, sorry, that’s going to cost you,” the contestants said in concert, using a line Trebek frequently delivers to “Jeopardy!” contestants who fail to write correct answers during the Final Jeopardy round.
Trebek took the correction in stride upon learning that the answer/question should have been, “What is seaborgium?”
The whole experience came as a surprise to Singh. After passing an online test to get on the show, Singh went to an audition in downtown Chicago in May and got the good news in September from “Jeopardy!” producers. She flew to California to tape her episode in October, amid taking classes at Northwestern and studying for midterms.
Because of schoolwork, she couldn’t squeeze in marathon study sessions before the show but watched episodes when she could.
The other contestants came from a mix of public and private universities around the country, including Yale University, Stanford University, Ohio State University and the University of Nebraska.
Singh said she is still in touch with the other contestants.“It was great to get to know all these really smart kids from all over the country,” she said. “We had so much fun on the set.”