Here’s the Daily Double: Who Is the Kent State Alumna Featured on America’s Favorite Quiz Show?
Who is Carrie Blazina? That’s the correct response to the clue, “This Kent State alumna will appear on the game show ‘Jeopardy!’ on Dec. 20.”
Ms. Blazina, who graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in news, had her knowledge of geography, religion, literature and other topics tested on the popular game show earlier this year. The show will air Dec. 20. Ms. Blazina is currently a multiplatform and web production editor for The Boston Globe.
The idea of auditioning for “Jeopardy!” was a joint decision between Ms. Blazina and her boyfriend, Andrew. They had been trying to audition for the show, and since both are avid fans, she also decided to try out.
“I was a member of my high school’s quiz bowl team, but I never thought I should be on national television,” she said. “It was never really something that I wanted to do. Looking back now, I’m so glad I did decide to give this a chance.”
The Journey to “Jeopardy!”
Ms. Blazina received a call about being a contestant on the show in October 2018, but the process actually began a year earlier.
“The audition process starts online; there are 50 questions and about 80,000 people take this test,” Ms. Blazina said. “After that, they select people to do in-person auditions. After my second time taking the test, I got an email, and they wanted me to come audition in person in November 2017.”
Ms. Blazina said that after taking the second test, she was placed into a contestant pool from which contestants are selected for the next 18 months. After six months of waiting, the idea of being on the show had slipped her mind.
“I didn’t forget that I auditioned or not that I didn’t want to be on the show anymore; I just tried not to get my hopes up,” Ms. Blazina said. “I was thinking that if they didn’t call after six months, they weren’t all that interested in wanting me. Then I got the call almost a year later, this past October, and I got in!”
Preparation and Strategy
In anticipation of taping the show, Ms. Blazina prepared and developed a strategy leading up to the big day.
“When it came time for the in-person audition, I did little bit of prep work,” Ms. Blazina said. “It's about four weeks between the time they call you and ask you to be on the show, and the time you do the taping. So there’s only so much you can study. And if you watch the show as much as I do, or at least the way that most people do, you start to get a sense of what you know and what you don’t know.”
As a regular watcher of the show, Ms. Blazina said she understood its dynamics, and she studied how contestants had different ways of answering questions on the board.
“I knew going in that I had a strategy, and I was going to start from top to bottom and really work my way through in a linear way,” Ms. Blazina said. “I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any big money questions left on the board at the end mainly because sometimes you run out of time.”
Ms. Blazina studied up on geography, Shakespeare, religion, literature and opera in the short time she had leading up to her appearance.
“Other than reading up on different topics, something else I did to prepare, especially leading up to the actual show, is that the best way to prepare for ‘Jeopardy!’ is to watch more ‘Jeopardy!’” Ms. Blazina said. “I watched very closely, and I would make sure to always have a pen in hand to practice the signaling.”
A National Audience
With the taping of the show behind her, Ms. Blazina looks forward to the broadcast, saying she was glad to be able represent Kent State on national television.
“It is definitely a big deal, and you only get one shot at it, so I thought that I better make it worth my while,” she said.
Ms. Blazina said the prerecording of the show was different than what she expected, especially show host Alex Trebek’s sense of humor.
“Something that I wasn’t expecting was that everyone was very helpful,” Ms. Blazina said. “I feel like ‘Jeopardy!’ has this reputation of being stiff and professional, but I didn’t experience that at all. The funniest aspect was that Alex Trebek was talking to us almost the whole time and was cracking jokes. He even came up to me at the end and asked me how old I was, and when I told him I was 26, he said that he had shoes older than me!”
To watch Ms. Blazina compete, tune into “Jeopardy!” on Dec. 20. In Northeast Ohio, “Jeopardy!” airs at 7:30 p.m. ET on WOIO.
To find out where the show airs on your local station, visit www.jeopardy.com/watch.