October 07, 2012


On October 6 Alex Trebek and the "Clue Crew" from the Jeopardy! game show held a day of tryouts here at the Naples Support Site.  When I first read about the event, I immediately thought of how great of a contestant Ted would be, since he is a self-proclaimed "fountain of useless trivia," LOL.  He just has a passion for all things historical and remembers everything he reads (which is what makes him so great at his job!).  So we planned to attend the 9-11 a.m. event.

Ted was through with the pre-test before we even got started with the fun "Brain Bust" competition, which was a mock set-up of the game show complete with microphones, buzzers, and a computerized screen shot with various categories.  It was all for fun, so parents were allowed to help their children.  Kenna, Tobin, and Arden competed in the first round.  After playing for awhile, they had the "contestants" pick prizes from a table (caps, t-shirts, pens, etc.).  Since we had skipped the photo-op line to get a head start on the other activities, we went back to wait to get our picture taken with Alex Trebek.  The line was still fairly long, so Ted encouraged me to go back and take the preliminary test as well.  He had received the "pink slip" which meant he had passed the first round.

So I went ahead and took the 10-question test and passed as well.  They don't tell you anything--not how many you got correct, nor what their threshold is.  But I know I got at least 2 wrong!  I'm pretty confident about the others, so who knows.  Anyway, we got our picture taken with Alex (yes, there's an extra kid in the photo--we were babysitting Lucan's friend Josiah since his parents were with the filming crew for House Hunters International!).  Then the kids wanted to do the Brain Bust again, so we went back for some more rounds.  It was way fun!

Friends of ours were willing and able to watch the kiddos for us so we could return at 4 p.m. to take the longer written test.  We had some fun with various categories before beginning the exam, which is 50 questions.  The questions are set up on the computer, read aloud, with 8 seconds pause in between each one.  We wrote the answers down on our answer page.  Well, I was breezing along, only missing 2 of the first 30 questions, when something happened at question #30 and the whole thing shut down.  They had to collect our answer sheets and have us start over with a second test--boo!

As you might guess, the second test was way harder than the first, and I wasn't the only one to think so, LOL!  But it was God-ordained, because Ted struggled with a few of the questions on the first test and did great on the second one!  He was one of only 5 who passed that portion.  (There were 40 of us who made it to the written test round.)  While we were waiting for the tests to be graded, Alex Trebek appeared and chatted with us awhile, answering questions and looking generally tired and jet-lagged, but still with a dry sense of humor!

We flunkies had to leave after they announced the names, so I squeezed Ted and wished him the best and headed out to find the kids and share the good news.  Ted and the others stayed behind to do some mock rounds and be interviewed--of course they look for people who aren't going to freeze on camera, etc.

So here's the scoop:  The crew is going to 4 European bases searching for military members for a special week in March.  Spouses were allowed to take the test as well--if by chance I had passed, I would have been put into their regular pool of contenders.  The crew will choose 12 military members to compete during the military week competition; those who aren't chosen for that week will still be eligible for regular shows.  They keep the names in the file for 18 months--so literally anytime in the next year and a half any of these guys could be called up!  (And I do say "guys" because all 5 who made it here were male!  There were only a handful of women at the written testing.)

If Ted is one of the 12 chosen for Military Week, he will be flown to the States for the filming in March.  Likely his mom and possibly brother or other family members from the States would travel out to encourage and support him, but it wouldn't be easy or practical for me to go...depending on how long of a winning streak someone gets on, you just don't know how long you'd be committed!

So, the bottom line is, Ted has done all he can do, and it's out of our hands now and in God's...which is the perfect place to leave things. :-)  Whatever happens, it was a very fun experience, and we were grateful for the opportunity to have some fun together as a family and forget for awhile the stress of living in TLA and waiting for our house to be ready!

Sorry for the blur. :-(  Trying to get one last photo in and the camera wasn't cooperating!

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