A sophomore from Lewis & Clark College...

Lyndsey Romick

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I'll hopefully be done with school. Um, I haven't decided how much school I want to do yet, so... kinda still working about that. But... I could be in a foreign country, I could be working... I don't know, it just depends at this point.

Who was the first person you told after you were chosen?
Well I called my mom. And, uh... she screamed in the phone. Thought I was going to go deaf. Um, but then I had to call my dad immediately, because, y'know, you can't play one parent off the other, y'know, so, um... They were both really excited, and... my roommate was really excited, too, so...

How did you prepare for the show?
I looked over a few things. Nothing really major. But, I decided that it--it was, uh... would be counterproductive to stress myself out. So, just kind of relaxing a little bit.

Show your school spirit and tune in!

2010-A College Championship quarterfinalist: $5,000.

Hometown: Grants Pass, Oregon.

Lyndsey Romick Blog Entry 2
February 2, 2010

When Jeopardy! tells you they’ll fly you out in the morning, it actually means that you’ll fly out in the morning. So after arriving at the airport at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning (ouch), I hopped a plane to the City of Angels. I took a five hour nap when I checked into the hotel that afternoon.
Fast forward to 7:30 two mornings later. I meet my first co-competitor, named Lindsay, coincidentally, in the elevator on the way to the lobby. I think that this is a good sign. In fact, meeting everyone turned out to be much more fun than I had allowed myself to hope for. Nobody was an insufferable know-it-all, nobody was snooty, and nobody seemed like they’d be out to sabotage my chances. Excellent.

We’re escorted into the studio one bus ride later. The first thing I see is a picture of Ken Jennings. Great, I think, no pressure. We walk out onto the set. It’s smaller than I expected it to be, but fully functional. I guess I’d always assumed there was a ton of magic Hollywood retouching that occurred between the taping and the airing, but there actually isn’t that much. Not a fan of the copious amounts of makeup you have to wear “for the high-def cameras,” however.

Holding the buzzer in my hand for the first time is kind of like holding your first child (I would assume)—I feel complete and really, really nervous. Here it is, this mythical device only truly mastered by a handful of people, and my unworthy hands are all over it. The effect of the rest of the rehearsal game is dwarfed by that buzzer. I might be exaggerating a bit, but then again, maybe I’m not.

Any feelings of grandeur disappear when I do the College Championship promos. All I can say is “wow.” Who knew “I’ll take tuition for $2000” could make you feel so awkward? You have to be over-the-top, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking about what you must sound like. The only consolation is in knowing that everyone else feels just as silly as you do.

As for my interaction with the man, the myth, the legend that is Alex Trebek, there are no words to describe it. I will treasure my picture with that quiz show fiend forever. Provided I wasn’t blinking.

If my experience on Jeopardy! has taught me anything, it’s that I should never consciously wish not to go first. Of course, I’m the first one called to compete in the first game. But by this time, I’m too excited to really mind. No waiting all day for me! It means I get to stand in the Returning Champion spot—where Ken Jennings lived for however many shows he dominated.

Standing on that stage, behind that podium, with MY name written on the little blue screen, listening to Johnny Gilbert actually announce ME, I distinctly recall not actually believing I was there. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen, right? Oh, but it does, it does. Strangely enough, my nerves disappear the moment Trebek makes his entrance. It might help that I get to pick the first clue. I pick “Streaking” for $200. Basically I just want to say that on national television. And I’m a little curious about what answers will crop up. Turns out it’s about teams going on winning streaks. Well done Jeopardy! writing staff, well done.

The whole game is a blur—the fastest half hour of my life, hands down. Sure, I wasn’t the quickest with the buzzer, but I hope I look like I was having fun. Because I definitely was. It seemed like it was over immediately. I know I didn’t get any of the Daily Doubles, but I can only remember a few of the categories and answers. I didn’t wager much on Final Jeopardy! because the category was “Medicine.” I figured (and correctly, I might add) that I probably wouldn’t come up with the right response and I wanted to have some money left so I could contend for a wild card spot.

Lyndsey Romick Blog Entry 1
February 2, 2010

I’m a sophomore, International Affairs major/English minor at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. I’ve lived in Oregon all my life. I graduated from Grants Pass High School where I was first introduced to signaling buzzers. Brain Bowl and a similar competition called Academic Challenge taught me that donuts and orange juice are the best brain food (right, Clouse?) and that it’s okay to get excited over things like flashcards and good mnemonic devices. At Lewis & Clark, I’m involved with our student government, ASLC, and I’m a part of the steering committee from the entirely student-run International Affairs Symposium (which will be worth a visit if you happen to be in Portland April 5-7). When I grow up, I’d like to work either for the state department or for some kind of think tank. Or perhaps teach at a college. I’m not ruling anything out at this point.

On the weekends, I keep concert halls and bookstores in business. That one-dollar-a-book rack is a real killer. I also take great pleasure in making and eating good food. My friends know this. We have good times. They’re all hoping I win so that dinner’s on me.

Now to the show: I’ve watched Jeopardy! for years, and every time there was an ad for trying out, my mom would tell me I needed to do it. I always said that I would and never actually did until this summer, when I finally got tired of it. So I guess this is the ultimate I-told-you-so Mom moment. When I called my parents to say I’d been invited to go to Los Angeles for the audition, I thought I might go deaf.

So I packed my carry-on bag (who wants to pay for checked baggage?) and hopped on a plane to LA. It was raining in Portland when I left and sunny when I got off the plane. A good sign, I thought. I made sure I had my special brain-food breakfast, oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, before the actual audition. I wasn’t nervous until after breakfast. I got rather hilarious good-luck text messages from my family and friends. Once I was reminded to breathe and stretch, I was fine. I was surprised at how much fun the audition actually was. I only had to make up a few of the answers on the second test, and I played a pretty good fake round of Jeopardy!. I remember thinking “I just hope I’m not in the first group” right before they called my name. First. Go figure, right? I told the interviewers that if I won, I’d follow one of my favorite musicians, Iron & Wine, around while he’s on tour. And I’m still dead serious about that. When all was said and done, I was satisfied with my audition but wasn’t expecting anything more. I had been given a Jeopardy! water bottle that said “Are you thirsty for knowledge?” on it, and that was cool enough for me. I wanted to be selected, of course, but I wasn’t going to cry if I wasn’t.

“The call” to be on the show was completely unexpected. Maggie, who works on finding contestants, called me and went over my application my phone—name, address, all that good stuff. I thought it was just a routine follow-up call before they started making any decisions. Imagine my surprise after Maggie confirmed that I’d never been convicted of a felony when she asked me to be on the show! I think the first thing I said was “Are you serious?” followed immediately by “Really?!” I hung up the phone and called my mom—more screaming. Then Dad—yep, he screamed too. There were lots of words like “awesome” and “incredible” thrown around. I guess they were pretty excited or something. I have no idea why. Reports of me doing a victory dance in my room are unconfirmed. But I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.

Once the initial euphoria wore off, I realized I probably should look over a few things. Shakespeare, the periodic table, biology terms, composers…but let’s just say I didn’t spend my whole winter vacation poring over information. I figure at this point, either I’ll be able to remember an answer or I won’t. I’m a firm believer in not stressing over things that aren’t really in my control, like categories on Jeopardy! And I know that I probably won’t regret anything afterwards. If nothing else, I still have my water bottle.

Lyndsey appeared in the following archived game:
#5846, aired 2010-02-01 Lyndsey Romick vs. Ryan Stoffers vs. Danny Vopava 2010-A College Championship quarterfinal game 1.

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