Jia-Rui Chong Cook, a former LA Times reporter now in media relations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was on Friday's airing of "Jeopardy" — she was one and out on the show. But she got a nice little story out of it for the Zocalo Public Square website. She had the clicker dexterity problem that so many "Jeopardy" guests have complained about, and also reveals a few things such as the risers that contestants stand on to appear about the same height. I also like this: the show's coordinator is not surprised when contestants from the Los angels area are late to the studio. From her observations:
My quest to get on Jeopardy! started as a joke, but here I was at a theater in the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City watching people trot gleefully on stage, two by two, to take on the returning champion. Keeping my mouth shut in the studio audience was killing me. But the contestant coordinators give priority to out-of-towners, and all I had done was drive to Culver City via four freeways. For the last taping of the day on February 15, 2012, it was either going to be me or a guy from Santa Monica in a tailored suit.
Then they pulled my name out of the hat, and I pumped two fists in the air. I hurriedly told the other guy, “Sorry,” and bounded out of my red velvet chair. It felt so unreal to hold the game clicker in my hand that I couldn’t help but press the blue button over and over as they adjusted the lift under my feet to make my head level with the other, taller contestants.
When I got a look at the game board, I thought, Uh-oh. The type on the clues was so small, and my eyes, fitted with -6.50 contact lenses, had to squint.
Also at Zocalo's website: LA Times columnist Meghan Daum answers questions in the green room. Sample: "Q. Where would we find you at 10:00 on a typical Saturday morning? A. Possibly walking my dog in Elysian Park. Or swimming at the Rose Bowl."