Threepeat Week

Two contestants climb to the cusp of greatness

Published May 12, 2024

Welcome back to my weekly rundown from the world of Jeopardy!

New Mexico’s Weckiai Rannila entered the week as a three-day champion. Each heading contains a link to my daily write-up over at The Jeopardy! Fan; also, make sure to check out my recap of this week of Jeopardy Masters in “The Jeopardy! Masters Fan.”

Monday, May 6

If you turned this one off after the Jeopardy round, you’re excused for assuming that Weckiai cruised to win #4; she got 18 correct responses in the round, and stacked up $10,000. But she missed a Daily Double in Double Jeopardy, giving challengers Matthew Smith and Carrie Klaus a way back in. Matthew picked up $4,000 on a very late Daily Double, and everyone was still in it at the end.

Final Jeopardy was in Historic Groups: Like their uniform, the flag of this group created in 1506 has stripes of red, blue & yellow, the colors of the Medici family. Guardians of the Vatican, the Swiss Guard were created by a Medici pope. Matthew was the only player to puzzle that out, becoming the new champion with $26,400.

Tuesday, May 7

The pop culture categories didn’t treat the contestants well here; among the 20 Triple Stumpers overall were three apiece TV Movies and Pop Music. Nonetheless, Allison Gross got a pair of Daily Doubles correct, while fellow challenger Daniel King missed what I will henceforth call my favorite Daily Double ever: a poet suggesting how to pronounce Newfoundland apparently said, “accent on the last syllable, swallow the the first D.” Playing from second, Matthew needed a correct Final Jeopardy response for a chance at a third game.

That category was Famous Characters: She’s introduced in an 1845 novella in which she wears a short skirt with her mantilla thrown back to show her shoulders. Only third-placed Daniel knew the origin of Bizet’s famed Carmen, and Allison’s $9,599 made her the second champion in as many nights.

Wednesday, May 8

The overall struggles continued, as Ben Mills lost $3,000 on a pair of missed Daily Doubles, and Allison missed $4,000 on hers. Meanwhile, Kelcy LópezFreeman, who always gets her Waffle House hash browns “scattered, smothered, covered, diced, and capped,” was beaten to a clue about fellow Atlantan André 3000, but recovered to sit second going into Final Jeopardy.

Final Jeopardy was a classically baffling writers’ concoction, from the category “Rhyme Time: Opera Version”: Telling the story of a duke, a jester & the jester’s daughter, it was written by poet Francesco Maria Piave. For some reason, no one made it all the way to Rigoletto libretto,” and Allison got her second straight low-dollar win; her two-day total was $19,598.

Thursday, May 9

Allison’s third game started out very well for challenger Isabella Dawis, who got 12 of the first 22 clues correct and then found the first Daily Double. She failed in her bid to double up, though, and struggled to regain momentum thereafter, entering Final Jeopardy with just $4,200. Fellow challenger Jennifer Trowa struggled on the buzzer, successfully getting in only 29% of the time, and Allison secured a runaway win.

The victor would not be decided in the Final Jeopardy on 1980s Fads: A Nov. 29 1983 N.Y. Times article about these used “near-riot,” “adoptable,” “waiting for 8 hours” & “my life (is) in danger.” Allison alone came up with Cabbage Patch Kids, more than doubling her combined winnings from games 1 and 2: $25,000 today, and a three-day total of $44,598.

Friday, May 10

For the second time this week, a champion looked to win her fourth game. Allison’s buzzer percentage was at 72% through three games, but she got in just 46% of the time in the opening round. Jonah Lipton seized the opening, racking up $10,400 on 13 correct responses. Allison found both Daily Doubles in the second round; while she was correct on the first one, an incorrect response on the last one—Ohio-based Allison thought of Firestone instead of Michelin—dropped her into third at the end. Meanwhile, Jonah’s fellow challenger Will Stewart picked up 10 correct in Double Jeopardy—and crucially, 0 incorrect over the entire game—to take a lead into Final Jeopardy.

The week’s last clue was in 20th Century Books: A review said this 1966 book about real events “will cause a good deal of myopic squabbling about just what a novel is.” Both challengers got Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and Will entered the weekend as a $25,601 champion.

Other notes from the week:

  • ABC announced on Friday that Celebrity Jeopardy will get a third season, to air in the fall of 2024.
  • Will Stewart will return Monday to defend his title, but first make sure to check out my companion column, “The Jeopardy! Masters Fan”!

Andy Saunders covers Jeopardy! daily as site administrator for The Jeopardy! Fan. He is also a founding archivist of The J! Archive. His weekly recap appears at Questionist every Sunday.

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