‘Jeopardy! Masters’ Episode 5: Amy Schneider struggles to advance as semifinals approach

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Dayton native Amy Schneider had opportunities to move up the leaderboard on Monday’s episode of “Jeopardy! Masters” but she ultimately took second place in the first game and still ranks fifth overall.

The Oakland, California writer faced Matt Amodio, a post-doctoral researcher from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Mattea Roach, a writer/podcaster from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Schneider previously competed against this duo in last fall’s Tournament of Champions exhibition game.

Hosted by Ken Jennings and structured in the style of a Champions League, “Jeopardy! Masters” features six super champs: Amodio, Sam Buttrey, Andrew He, James Holzhauer, Roach, and Schneider.

“Jeopardy! Masters” consists of 10 one-hour episodes featuring two games among different combinations of the six contestants. After each game, match points are awarded: 3 for finishing first, 1 for finishing second and 0 for finishing third. Only the top three with the highest match point total will advance to the final, resulting in a champion who will win a grand prize of $500,000.

The Jeopardy! round began at a strong pace with Roach and Schneider steadily building momentum, receiving 6,000 and 5,800 points, respectively at the end. Amodio trailed with 3,800.

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

A glimmer of hope occurred in Double Jeopardy! when Schneider landed on a Daily Double and wagered 5,000 points in the category of Subtitled Literature.

The clue: “This word meaning ‘narrow-minded’ is in the subtitle of ‘Middlemarch.’”

Answer: Provincial.

However, Schneider incorrectly guessed bigoted and finished the round with 9,600. Amodio, benefitting from Schneider’s loss and his successful Daily Double wager, led with 24,800 followed by Roach with 16,400.

The Final Jeopardy! clue in the category U.S. Government:

“Not a department head but of cabinet rank, the person in this post has had an official residence in a 42nd floor Park Avenue penthouse.”

Answer: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Schneider answered correctly, wagered 6,801, and raised her total to 16,401. Roach guessed Chair of the Federal Reserve, wagered 2,801, and finished with 13,599. Amodio, opting for U.S. Surgeon General, wagered 8,001, dropping his first-place score to 16,799.

During the interview segment, Schneider admitted the tournament hasn’t gone according to plan. As an escape, she said she turned to karaoke and a certain, timely Disney musical.

“Things are not going my way entirely so far in this tournament and I felt I needed to change things up,” she said. “So last night, instead of studying, I went out and I did karaoke. I said to myself when I was doing it, ‘This is either the best decision or the worst decision.’ So, we’ll find out.”

“And what’s the karaoke song you recommend for ‘Jeopardy!’ prep?” Jennings asked.

“For me, I always do ‘Part of Your World’ from ‘The Little Mermaid,’” she said. “I don’t know how it is for ‘Jeopardy!’ prep but I like it and it’s in my vocal range.”

The leaderboard at the end of the fifth episode: First: Holzhauer (12); Second: He (9); Third: Roach (7); Fourth: Amodio (6); Fifth: Schneider (4); and Sixth: Buttrey (2). The ranking takes into account the number of correct responses. Also, only four players will advance to the semifinals.

“Jeopardy! Masters” returns Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC. The show will also stream on Hulu.

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