Jeopardy! recap for Mon., Sept. 13 (season premiere)

Here are today’s contestants as we kick off the new season:

  • Gabbie, a mother of two and doula, plays “Legend of Zelda”;
  • Amdé, a legal recruiter, makes classic rock music with his kids; and
  • Matt, a Ph.D. student, crossed throwing out a first pitch off his bucket list. Matt is an 18-day champ with winnings of $574,801.

Matt picked up right where he left off, sweeping the DDs as he built a huge runaway at $42,800 vs. $7,200 for Gabbie and $5,400 for Amdé.

DD1 – $600 – IS AN ISLAND – One third of Earth’s lava flow since 1500 is said to have come from volcanoes in this Atlantic island nation (Matt improved to $10,800 on a true DD.)

DD2 – $2,000 – AUTHORS NOT AUTHORING – She studied medicine at Johns Hopkins before moving to Paris in 1903 & drove an ambulance for the French in World War I (Matt won $6,000 from his score of $22,000 vs. $4,400 for Gabbie.)

DD3 – $1,200 – FACTS ABOUT ANIMALS – When faced with danger, certain ducks, snakes & mammals do this, called thanatosis (On the very next clue from the previous DD, Matt won $4,000 from his total of $28,000.)

FJ – THE 13 COLONIES – Founded by an advocate of religious freedom, it was the site of America’s first Baptist church & oldest synagogue

Matt and Gabbie were correct on FJ. Matt added $25,000 to win with $67,800 for a 19-day total of $642,601.

This day in Mattsylvania: The champ showed that fingers are useful tools, as he used them in no fewer than five clues to help ensure the accuracy of his responses.

That’s before our time: No one knew the Sunset Strip club from which Otis Redding recorded a live album is the Whisky a Go Go.

Production notes: The most significant change is they are now displaying the FJ category along with the clue during the 30-second think period. Long, long overdue. There were also updates to the music and set.

At the opening, they showed a picture of the dedication of the Alex Trebek Studio, after which Richards was introduced as the “host of Jeopardy!” No disclaimer was made to address the whole controversy over the summer or that Richards is only there for the week.

Correct Qs: DD1 – What is Iceland? DD2 – Who was Stein? DD3 – What is play dead? FJ – What is Rhode Island? (Amdé was ruled incorrect for writing Providence, Rhode Island. Richards suggested that if the places referenced in the clue had in fact been in Providence, they would have ruled in his favor.)