My ‘Mastermind Australia’ journey – Part 3

From left to right: William Laing, me, (Host) Marc Fennell, Kieran Magee and Yael Blinco.

Hello! If you’ve been following along for the last couple of weeks as I outline my preparations for THIS particular episode of Mastermind Australia –  https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/watch/2314487875992 – you’ll know that we’re now up to the part where my study of the show is really kicking in…

12/01/24

So I’ve now scanned through all the Mastermind Australia episodes that are available to watch on SBS on Demand, and highlighted the ones which include sitcoms or UK TV comedy shows as specialist subjects (where that information is available):

SEASON 1

Episode 6 (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)

SEASON 2

Episode 33 (Gavin & Stacy)

Episode 37 (The Young Ones)!

Episode 39 (Absolutely Fabulous)

Episode 41 (Happy Days)

Episode 42 (Scrubs)

Episode 44 (Sex and the City)

Episode 56 (Will & Grace)

Episode 58 (The Goon Show and Friends)

Episode 62 (M*A*S*H)

Episode 63 (The Office UK)

SEASON 3

Episode 3 (Kath & Kim)

Episode 8 (Rowan Atkinson)

Episode 9 (Fawlty Towers)!

Episode 14 (Frasier)

Episode 19 (Flight of the Conchords)

Episode 24 (Archer)

Episode 26 (Will & Grace)

Episode 29 (The Big Bang Theory)

Episode 43 (The Micallef Programme)

Episode 47 (Schitt’s Creek)

Episode 48 (Scrubs)

Episode 49 (The Goodies and The Simpsons)

Episode 51 (The Thick of it)

Episode 53 (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Episode 57 (The Mighty Boosh)

Episode 67 (How I Met Your Mother)

Episode 73 (Seinfeld)

Episode 74 (Spaced)

Episode 76 (Married With Children)

Episode 78 (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

SEASON 4

Episode 53 (Seinfeld)

SEASON 5

Episode 58 (Ricky Gervais)

I will watch (/listen to) all of these eps, to get a good feel for how the questions writers approach this genre: the question writing conventions they use. What are the typical SHAPES of questions about UK TV comedy shows that they program on Mastermind Australia?

Also, I’ve started watching the Celebrity version of Mastermind Australia. Some things I’ve learnt (re-learnt) from watching these episodes:

  • Do your homework! (Der). Don’t just assume that because you like something, you’re an expert on it. MAKE yourself an expert on it. (Again, Der.)

  • Don’t suck up to the host. It’s cringeworthy.

  • If you don’t know the answer, say “Pass” – or far more preferably, have a guess – quickly and move on to the next. There is NO VALUE – for the contestant OR the audience – in the contestant humming and hah-ing and laughing and being embarrassed and talking us through why they don’t know the answer, and how they almost know the answer and why they almost know the answer but don’t, and so on and so on… Many lesser comedians arrogantly assume that their floundering and ad-libbing is automatically hilarious… but in this particular context, that’s the exact opposite of entertaining.

  • Have some dignity. If I happen to get a few wrong in a row, don’t guffaw and cheer and guffaw again when I eventually get one right. Yes, getting a series of questions wrong is embarrassing, (especially when it was preventable, and you just haven’t bothered to do any homework). But I should have mitigated that risk by doing every scrap of homework I could think of, long before getting to that chair. If I do get a series of questions wrong, it WILL be embarrassing… but just professionally move on, remembering my old mantra: “I know the next one, I know the next one…” Do NOT loudly and over-enthusiastically congratulate myself for getting a score of roughly three.

  • Don’t be too much of a smartarse. It’s good to have a few lines prepared, so that when Marc asks me a predictable question, I’ve got some rehearsed spontaneity up my sleeve… but don’t cross the line where it looks like I’ve prepared a bunch of lines, and I’m desperate to get them all out before I leave.

  • Mastermind is big on amping up the tension and the nerves and the “terror” and “agony” of the big chair. Remember that it’s not really all that scary.

Earlier today, I started to daydream about winning. On Mastermind Australia Champions Week, to achieve that, all I have to do is win two episodes! (Not seven, like I did on Temptation). I allowed myself to fantasise about being able to change the tagline on HowToWinGameShows.com. I’d love to be able to write

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR WINNING GAME SHOWS, FROM SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT… THREE TIMES!

But then I think ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa – settle down, big fella. Easy there tiger, don’t get ahead of yourself. You’ve got a long way to go yet.’

==================================================================

… A long way which will continue right here next Tuesday at HowToWinGameShows.com!  

This awkward blog post sign off was bought to you by Tortured Segues Pty Ltd. (“Proudly overreaching linguists to the gentry since 1987.”)

My ‘Mastermind Australia’ journey – Part 2

Hello again, and welcome to the second part of my account of how I came to be on THIS particular episode of Mastermind Australia:

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/watch/2314487875992

Sitting in the ‘Mastermind Australia’ Big Black Chair. From the look on my face, I’m guessing this was a “BEFORE” shot…

In last week’s instalment, I’d agreed to go on the show, had a couple of initial conversations with one of the producers and suggested some special subjects. Now read on…

==================================================================

Thursday 07/12/23 

Had a phone call with the Question Producer! Good to chat to him. We went through my potential special subjects and landed on Bottom (probably just the TV shows – there are 18 episodes of them, which makes this a broad enough category. We probably don’t have to also include the five stage shows, which were released on home video, or the film version Guest House Paradiso.)

Other than that, the main points of the call:

  1. The format: Four champions WILL face off each night (Monday night -Thursday night), and the four nightly winners WILL compete in the final (Friday night’s show). In the Monday – Thursday shows, each player does one round of general knowledge and one round of their special subject. In the final (that is, Friday’s episode), each player does one round of general knowledge and one “Slow Burn” question (which is essentially a “Who Am I?” question, with more points awarded for the earlier you answer correctly). There’s no special subject round in Friday night’s show. SO I only need to prepare one special subject (Previously, I thought I might have needed to prepare two).
  2. For my special subject round, they’ll write a maximum of 20 questions… most people only get through about 14 before their time runs out.
  3. They’ve recruited 12 of the 16 required champs so far. They include: Troy Egglestone (Mastermind S01), William Laing (Mastermind S03), Miles Glaspole (Mastermind S05), Kate Buckingham, Sandra Oxley, Stirling Coates (Mastermind S04) and Andrew Skarbec (Million Dollar Minute).

So between now and Feb, I need to watch loads of Mastermind Australia episodes on SBS OnDemand. I should concentrate on the Marc Fennell-hosted ones (S03 onwards), so I can study him as well.

After a bit of searching, I’ve discovered that all of the Bottom episodes can be watched online, if you know where to look…

29/12/23

While watching an episode of Mastermind today (actually, listening to an episode today: I just pop it on, on my phone while I’m walking the dog – don’t need to actually see it, for my study purposes), I stumbled across a contestant whose specialist subject was the UK comedy show Inside No. 9. I noted that the format of one of the questions was “What’s the title of the episode in which XXX happens?” That format of question would work also well for my subject (Bottom). Which got me thinking ‘what type of questions do the MM question writers write about UK TV comedy shows, specifically?’

SO… in addition to writing a bunch of my own questions about each episode of Bottom (and each of the five stage shows – it turns out they’ll be included too – bugger! That gives me a LOT more material that I have to study, unfortunately)…

… I decided to go back through the previous seasons of Mastermind, find out which ones had UK TV Comedy shows as specialist subjects, and prioritise watching them, while taking notes about the formats of questions, and any patterns that pop up in the question-writing styles on this particular subject / genre. Lots of Mastermind Australia special subject information from previous seasons is freely available online, and I’ve now noted down enough relevant episodes to keep me going for a while.

30/12/23

I’ve discovered the podcast Talking Bottom, which will prove an invaluable resource! Really keen, informed, well-researched discussion of the show… and a 10 question quiz at the end of each episode! What a godsend. I’m now listening to the 18 episodes that discuss Bottom‘s 18 episodes in detail, and the 5 episodes that discuss Bottom‘s live shows in detail. I’ll add some of their easier quiz questions into my database of home-made questions, I think.

==================================================================

So, now with those 18 episodes and 5 stage shows locked in, my special subject study can start in earnest. Must admit, I hadn’t bargained on the live shows being included – that’s a SIGNIFICANT increase in my workload – but at least they’re not including the film version (1999’s Guest House Paradiso)…

See you next Tuesday! 

My ‘Mastermind Australia’ journey – Part 1

Hello! As you may know by now, last week I competed in SBS’s Mastermind Australia, as part of their Champions Week competition. Here’s the link to my episode on SBS OnDemand: https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/watch/2314487875992

Back when I agreed to appear on the show, I thought an account of the whole process might be interesting to visitors to HowToWinGameShows.com. With that in mind, I kept a diary of the entire experience, and I’m very pleased to present Part One of it to you this week! Now read on… 

==================================================================

On  Thursday 30th November last year, I received this message on LinkedIn, from one of the show’s producers:

Hi Stephen, I hope you’re well. I’m a Producer for the SBS quiz show ‘Mastermind Australia’. We’re thinking of doing a one-off Champions Week in our next series and I would love to connect with you here to get you on board. I look forward to hearing from you.

I told her I was intrigued, and we arranged a Zoom meeting….

          *                    *                    *                    *                    *                            *             After the Zoom meeting the following Monday…

So I’ve now learned that this week of Mastermind Australia will indeed be game show champions versus game show champions. Looking them up, the five  Mastermind Australia champions so far are Troy Egglestone, Jacqui Markham (now deceased), William Laing, Sterling Coates and Miles Glaspole.

They’ll be shooting this week’s worth of shows on Thursday February 1st next year in Sydney, at the SBS studios in Artarmon. It’s their first filming day for the year, and they record the first four episodes (Monday – Thursday shows) and the fifth, (the Friday show, which is that week’s Grand Final) in one day.

I’m gonna do it!

I like the show, I think it’d be a good thing to ‘come out of retirement for’, and the idea of having a special subject appeals to me; I like the idea of choosing one that’d be fun to study. I told her I’d like my special subject to be Filthy Rich and Catflap. Some other options, in case this is too narrow (as it’s only 6 episodes) might be… Spandau Ballet? Bottom? The Young Ones? Stath Lets Flats? Withnail & I? Father Ted? Big Train?

Once my special subject is locked in, I’ll write a big batch of questions on it. This is a numbers game – if I write enough interesting questions, that’ll guarantee I will write at least some of the ones that their question writers will eventually write for me.

So, if it’s truly going to be “a week of champions”, that’ll require 16 champions to play; four in each episode from Monday to Thursday, then on Friday, the four winners of those episodes will face off in the final.

          *                    *                    *                    *                    *                            *

After our next Zoom Meeting, three days later…

It was a 15-minute chat with the producer again, where she asked me more about potential special subjects (of which I’ll only have to prepare one rather than two, due to the unique nature of this ‘Champions Week’ tournament). I told her about my other choices, and she jotted them down. She then hit ‘record’ and we did a little interview along with a general knowledge quiz.

PRO TIP: In their format, don’t say “pass” – just guess if you don’t know the answer, because according to the rules, if the top scores at the end of the game are tied, the person with the most “passes” loses.

She asked again if there’s anyone in particular who I’d like to go up against, and why? I get the feeling they’re really trying to stoke some antipathies – to set up some “grudge matches”… I mentioned that I went up against William Laing on Australia’s Brainiest Quizmaster, back in 2006. That could very well be something they frame that way. The general knowledge quiz consisted of 10 surprisingly easy questions, all of which I got right. 

She said thanks, she’d ping my subjects through to a producer, and one of them would be in touch. So… good! Apparently, we’ll lock down my special subject by the end of the week, and then I’ll have between then and February 1st to study for it. I found those test questions very easy… were they TOO easy? I’m telling myself not to get complacent about that. Is this sense of security I have a false one?

==================================================================

Why am I asking myself these questions? Are they, in fact, rhetorical? For the answers (or maybe not) check back in here next Tuesday for Part Two of my Mastermind Australia journey… Until then, then! 

I’m on ‘Mastermind Australia’ tonight!

Hello!

Tonight, something’s happening that I’ve been dying to tell you about since November last year. I’m a contestant on tonight’s episode of Mastermind Australia, which screens on SBS at 6:00 PM. And, a couple of hours after that, it’ll be up on SBS on Demand.

I was invited onto the show back in November, and after a bit of deliberation, I thought it would be a fun thing to ‘come out of retirement’ for. I also thought the experience could provide a really great case study for HowToWinGameShows.com; I could keep a chronicle of the whole journey –  all the way through, from go to whoa – and share it with HTWGS.com visitors afterwards. After all, isn’t that exactly what this blog is meant to be all about?

Yes. Yes it is. (Actually, that was a rhetorical question, didn’t need to write that last bit.)

Anyway, that’s what I’ve done. It’s a warts-and-all, behind-the-scenes diary of the whole experience… from the first time I was contacted to the day of the record (and its aftermath). It’s ended up being a 9-part series, and the first instalment will be up next Tuesday, after you’ve had a chance to watch Mastermind Australia… either at 6 PM tonight on SBS, or after that on SBS on Demand!

Oh, and in other news…

YES! Quiz champion (and the subject of our extensive interview back in September) Yogesh Raut has WON the 2024 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions!

With his Tournament of Champions victory, Yogesh took home the $250,000 GRAND PRIZE and booked his place in the upcoming Jeopardy! Masters competition, where he’ll be facing off against some of the top-performing players in Jeopardy! history.

CONGRATULATIONS, YOGESH!!

‘Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions’ news…

Hello! I was very pleased to read the news the other day that Yogesh Raut has made his way through to the FINALS in Jeopardy!‘s 2024 Tournament of Champions!

Yogesh (who I interviewed for this blog last year) had a resounding victory over formidable opponents Emily Sands and David Sibley. The pivotal moment arrived during Final Jeopardy, where the clue asked about the only nation from its hemisphere to produce a U.N. secretary-general. All three contestants correctly responded with “Peru”, but Yogesh’s cash total of $21,400 was just too far out in front, and he’s now all set to battle for Jeopardy! glory against Ben Chan and Troy Meyer in the best-of-seven finals.

Good luck, Yogesh!

‘How To Win Game Shows: The eBook’ is HALF PRICE ($3.06 AU)! But for one week only…

Hello, just a quick one today to let you know that my eBook, titled (strangely enough)  How To Win Game Shows  is currently HALF PRICE at Smashwords.com!
that is, $1.99 USD, as opposed to $3.99 USD. BUT that’s only from March 3 until March 9, and only if you buy it from Smashwords, as part of their Read an eBook Week sale.
So if you’re an eBook reader and you’d like to take advantage of this and pick up the eBook for just $1.99 USD (which is, I’m told, roughly $3.06 AUD)… then you can! But only if you buy it from this link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/1296154, 
or by clicking on any of the links or images above.
Or this one. ————————————————————->
And should you decide to do that, I hope you enjoy it!
And in other news, quiz champion and Jeopardy! winner Yogesh Raut returned to the show last week, to compete in the Jeopardy! 2024 Tournament of Champions…
… appearing in last Wednesday (28/02)’s episode.
If you recall, I interviewed Yogesh for the site late last year, in a very wide-ranging discussion. At one stage we did chat about whether he’d return to Jeopardy!, should he be invited to play in a Tournament of Champions… so I’m very pleased to see that he has!
Far be it from me to give you any spoilers here, but if you’d like to know how he fared, you can visit the show’s official website HERE.
Aaaand that’s it for today. I’ll be back soon – very soon, actually – with the story of my latest game show adventure (just as soon as I’m legally allowed to tell you about it)….

HNY from HTWGS!

Hello and Happy New Year for 2024!

Whatever kind of year you’ve had in 2023, I sincerely hope that 2024 will be a case of ‘onward and upward’, and that the next twelve months have loads of great stuff in store for you!

Looking back on the last twelve months, I must confess it’s been a slightly patchy year over here at HTWGS HQ. I’m afraid my game show-related posts here turned out to be few and far between, as various other projects vied for my attention…

Still, if you happened to get anything out of my tribute to Sale of the Century legend Cary Young, or my interview with BoredPanda.com, or my comprehensive and far-ranging with Quiz Champion and Jeopardy! contestant Yogesh Raut… then I’ll take that as a win!

Looking ahead to next year here at the blog, I’m excited to share with you an upcoming game show adventure that I’ve already embarked upon. I can’t say too much at this stage, but I’m currently busily studying and doing my homework… so I’ll be revealing more on that front, just as soon as it’s appropriate to do so. It promises to be great fun, and worth ‘coming out of retirement’ for!

Also at HowToWinGameShows.com in 2024, I’m keen to get some more guest posts happening. Would you like to write one? Do you have a game show-related story to tell? Something you’d like to share with visitors to this site? If so, why not email me (at Stephen@HowToWinGameShows.com), and let’s have a conversation!

Other than that, I’m hoping to book some more exclusive interviews with various game show identities and to write up a few more of my PatentedHowToWinGameShowsBehindTheScenesReminiscences…

… Time permitting.

You see, there will be a few other demands on my time next year, including:

  • Moving my play – the comedy whodunnit A Madness Most Discreet – beyond the third draft, and hopefully slightly closer to a stage somewhere…

So, all in all, it’s shaping up to be a pretty interesting and fun year!

I’ll sign off now – for the last time in 2023 – by reminding you that, should you be so inclined, you can follow HowToWinGameShows.com on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Howtowingameshows)…

You can follow me on X/Twitter (@The_StephenHall)…

 

I’m now also on the new(ish) social media site Bluesky (https://bsky.app/profile/thestephenhall.bsky.social)…

And if you’d like to connect in a more professional, serious, grown-up manner, I’m also on LinkedIn…

And there’s also my hub website www.TheStephenHall.com.

Phew! …. Aaaand that’s it.

Thank you so much for reading this far, and for your interest, encouragement and support right throughout 2023. It really does mean a lot to me.

Have a safe, happy, and restful new year, and I hope that 2024 brings you nothing but prosperity, happiness, laughter, and love.

Cheers,

Stephen

Wishes of Peace, Comfort and Joy, from HowToWinGameShows.com.

SEASONS GREETINGS, EVERYBODY!

Hello, it’s Stephen here, with the traditional Christmas post from HTWGS HQ.

Now, of course, I realise that not everyone reading this will necessarily be celebrating Christmas. We all live in a multicultural, multi-faith world, and the significance of this Christian holiday varies greatly from person to person. Personally, I don’t identify as religious, and yet I’ve celebrated Christmas every year of my life. It’s such a huge cultural phenomenon in our society that it’s simply unavoidable at this time of year. We’re repeatedly told that Christmas is a time for families to come together, a time for all of us to celebrate, and a time for ‘The Christmas Spirit’; a time for Peace on Earth and Goodwill To All.

And however much you subscribe – or don’t subscribe – to any of this, that ‘Christmas Spirit’ idea has always greatly appealed to me.

“Peace on earth and goodwill to all” and “tidings of comfort and joy” are I think concepts that, surely, we can all offer each other.

Concepts that, surely, we all NEED.

Now more than ever (looking back at the year we’ve just had).

So that’s what I deeply and sincerely wish for you today, in a heartfelt spirit of goodwill and compassion. Non-religious, non-denominational wishes of Peace, Comfort and Joy for you… and for those you hold dear.

We rarely get to wish total strangers well, in a broadly socially sanctioned way… But Christmas – no matter what you think of it – is one time when it’s perfectly fine to do just that.

So I’m taking advantage of that today, and again genuinely wishing you (and everyone else, for that matter) Peace, Comfort and Joy.

Season’s Greetings, everybody!

With love,

Stephen.

My EXCLUSIVE interview with quiz champion Yogesh Raut – Part 9 – The Conclusion.

Yogesh Raut

Hello!

When we left off at the end of Part 8 of our interview, Yogesh and I were discussing some of the feedback he’d received after his Jeopardy! run…

==========================

YR: Yeah, but in this context, I started to see these comments pop up, sometimes from strangers, but often from people who didn’t know me personally, but people who are within the quizzing community. People who “diagnose” me with bitterness and talk about how the problem is my being embittered and resentful, which is an interesting thing to say. 

As someone who has gone through experiences that would make a very rational person extremely angry, and who has also then watched the people who engaged in that unethical abuse of power face zero consequences and continue to be patronised by a quizzing community that repeatedly pats itself on the back for supposedly being anti-racist and “full of integrity” and so on, there are all kinds of reasons – very legitimate reasons – to be angry, right? And it’s not just me saying so. I’ve seen multiple therapists who 100% agree with me that I am justified in being angry and that, if anything, the root of my problems is that I’m in a context where I’m punished for expressing anger and shamed for expressing anger… whereas I should be validated for it because it’s a very valid anger to have. 

Back in Las Cruces, when I first made complaints about the discrimination I was facing, one of the top officials at a major national pub quiz company said, “Well, we’re not going to do anything because there’s too much rancour on both sides.” 

Now, I think many people would say that the rancour felt by people who harm someone because of their skin colour and the rancour felt by a person who is harmed because of his skin colour are two different forms. And that it is very much a false equivalence to insist that they’re equal and therefore both sides are at fault and so there’s no need to intervene.

SH: It’s as ridiculous as that time when Trump said “There were some very fine people on both sides”. The people being discriminated against AND the neo-Nazis? “Very fine people on both sides?” Um, no – wrong. 

YR: Right. And something else I studied as a social psychologist was accountability. People are not going to be unbiased unless they’re made accountable in some way, right? And the people who run these companies, they’re not accountable; they don’t have to justify their treatment of me as being fair, they just have to say stuff and then cut things off and go back to their position of power. No one’s going to hold them accountable for being fundamentally discriminatory. But the dance you do as a person of colour is that there is no “proper” amount of anger. If you display no anger, then there’s no problem, and you only have yourself to blame for not advocating for yourself. But if you display anger, then your anger is the problem and you need to learn to “let it go.” And people have told me that my therapist will agree with them that I need to let it go.. and then my therapist will say, “No, that is absolutely not what I believe!” 

SH: So where does that leave you, then? 

YR: Well, that’s the thing, right? It leaves me in a place where I have to shrug off the narrative of “Yogesh Raut, master of useless information”, and say, “No. I’m Yogesh Raut, master of understanding what racism looks like”. Right? You think that if you don’t vote for Trump, if you don’t support Trump, if you denounce Trump loudly everywhere you go, you’re somehow magically not a racist. But these things that look like they’re not racist – these things of saying, “I feel so sorry for him, he just needs to learn to let go of bitterness and resentment” – yes, they are racist, because they involve making authoritative statements about a situation where you’ve made no effort to learn the reality of the situation. 

Thinking you can go in and arbitrate who is deserving of accountability and who isn’t, and that somehow you’re better qualified than a professional therapist to tell a victim of racism how they should just accept that they’re not going to get accountability – It’s racist, and it’s hypocritical as well, because these same people will repeatedly say, in broad strokes, “we definitely need accountability. Racism and sexism are systemic and we need accountability for it.” But when you actually try and advocate for it in their own community, against institutions that they like or are invested in, suddenly your anger is the problem and you just need to learn to “let it go.” But I think what offends me the most about it is that it is passing itself off as compassion. It’s this person publicly saying, “Look, I really feel for this person and I want what’s best for them. Which is why I think they need to learn to let it go and let people who’ve committed misconduct just continue to flourish with no accountability… for their own good.”

SH: It’s patronising and it’s dismissive, and as you say, it’s mock compassion. They don’t have to do anything; “By saying this, I’ve done all I need to do. See ya!” 

YR: Right, exactly. It’s insisting it’s an individual problem rather than a systemic one, because if it were systemic, A) they would be complicit in it, and B) they would bear some responsibility for dismantling it, if they actually are the non-racist or anti-racist they claim to be. 

SH: Rather than just paying it lip service, which is what this is. 

YR: Yeah. In one of my posts, I paraphrased the movie Brassed Off, and I said, “The truth is I thought it mattered. I thought Quizzing mattered. Does it bollocks! Not compared to how people matter.” 

SH: Yeah. 

YR: People have spent my whole life telling me that what I do is “trivia”. And on some level, I just want to say, “Okay, you know what? If it really is trivia, then that makes it all the less acceptable to treat people like second-class citizens based on their skin colour or for any other reason in the name of it.” It isn’t my job to promote the trivia ecosystem and overall structure the way it exists now. It’s my job as a human being to try and make it better for other human beings: the people who are involved in it now, and the next generation of people who will be involved in it. And if that makes people want to hunt down my home address and send me hate mail… Well, that’s unfortunate, but that isn’t my choice. 

SH: Of course not, of course not. That’s terrible. That’s really terrible. This post-Jeopardy stuff, has that died down and gone away now? Or do you still get some of that material coming at you? 

Continue reading

My EXCLUSIVE interview with quiz champion Yogesh Raut – Part 8

Yogesh Raut

Hello and welcome back.

We finished last week’s instalment of my interview with Yogesh discussing the possibility of him returning to Jeopardy! for any potential future Tournaments of Champions…

==========================

YR: Honestly, if it were just like a regular season where my numbers didn’t qualify me for the Tournament of Champions, so I never come back, so be it. I never believed that this was going to be something where I was going to be entitled to some kind of outcome. I knew it could very easily happen that I lose my first game – and I almost did – and I was entirely prepared for that. Everything after that, I was like, “Well, this is just gravy. This is just good luck until it’s no longer good luck”. But it is interesting to say that I’m controversial for supposedly “blasting the show”. Because I repeatedly said that I was treated perfectly fine on Jeopardy. There was definitely another major American game show where I passed the audition, I was flown to Los Angeles during the pandemic, quarantined for two full days, and then … treated in a manner that indicated that the people running the show did not understand how to handle people… and then not even allowed to play on it! 

And compared to that experience, Jeopardy was pretty nice. Jeopardy has been going on for a long time. The modern version of it premiered the year I was born. It literally has been going on for as long as I’ve been alive. And so they have it down to an assembly line. 

SH: Of course. 

YR: Yeah. Right. You say “Of course”, but as I discovered, other shows are not nearly as professional. 

SH: Oh, really? Okay. 

YR: Other shows are run by people who really don’t know what they’re doing. But by comparison, Jeopardy was just fine. It wasn’t a party or anything like that. It was a day you came in, they put you through your paces and then you left. And I have no complaints about that. I never complained about the show. I never complained about the content of the show, about the way the show is made, even stuff that maybe I have a legitimate complaint about, like their complete failure to police their Facebook page and to allow all sorts of hateful and bigoted comments. I didn’t even really talk about that. I’ve just said that it’s a TV show and it should just be treated like a regular TV show. 

But I think if TV Insider says this contestant was controversial because he said that a TV show was just a TV show and that racism is bad, it would raise questions.

SH: Outrageous! How dare you call a TV show a TV show?!?

YR: Right. And it would raise questions about why TV Insider and their audience consider those statements controversial. Questions whose answers are obvious (i.e., racism), but which no one really wants to say. So instead they put words in my mouth; they claim I “trash-talked” Jeopardy after I was on and I was like, “What? No, I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.” That’s so obviously not what happened. But it’s a story that “makes sense” because they want to portray the people who are angry at me as though they have some genuine reason for doing so. 

SH: No, it’s just stoking division and stoking an argument which so much of modern media is all about; “Quick, let’s get people to hate each other!” We’ve spoken about the podcast and we’ve spoken about the blog that you do… What else is in the future for you? What’s next? 

Continue reading