I love pretty much everything about Jeopardy! From the occasional opportunity to feel very smart to actually learning something by watching television to Alex Trebek’s condescension at a wrong answer, the show is wonderful — aside from that excruciatingly awkward “get to know the contestants” segment.
However, I have no desire to be a Jeopardy! contestant. There are lots of game shows that I’d love to be on. Wheel of Fortune, The Price Is Right, The Wall (aka giant Plinko), and Family Feud all immediately come to mind (in the past, Supermarket Sweep would be at the top of my list), but Jeopardy! is not one of them. Why? For one, I’m not smart enough to even get on the show. I know history, sports, and pop culture things, but that’s about it. Also, the pressure of Jeopardy! compared to other game shows seems so vastly different. Part of that is Trebek, always judging, and part of that is the combination of having to be quick on the buzzer while also battling the time limit to provide the question to the answer.
Sometimes, I feel like contestants are just blindly smashing the buzzer, hoping that if they get in first they’ll be able to figure out the correct response in five seconds. However, sometimes this backfires. It’s one thing for it to happen on a $1,000 or $2,000 answer, but on a $200 answer this becomes very embarrassing.