A ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament Of Champions Player Shared Some Impressive Behind-The-Scenes Photos

Competing on Jeopardy! is a stressful experience to say the least. Even if you’re a returning champion, the pace of the game’s filming session puts the pressure on to perform against a never-ending gauntlet of smart people who want to take your place. But being a challenger has its own bundle of nerves as well.

That doesn’t change much for returning players in competitions like the Tournament of Champions, of course. The competition is even more intense, but the familiarity with how the show operates and what’s asked of competitors has made for some interesting behind-the-scenes content this year. One returning contestant, seven-time regular season champion Zach Newkirk, shared a number of backstage photos on Twitter and explained a few things that viewers at home have never seen on set. For starters, he showed the impressive lighting setup the show has. It’s no Wheel of Fortune laser-powered big board, but it’s pretty cool to see.


One of the most coveted images Newkirk shared is a close-up of the show’s signaling device. It’s key to the competition: quickly figuring out the right pressure and timing on that device is the key to beating competitors who likely know just as many of the answers as you do. Some have even gone to great lengths to recreate their own version at home to practice, so a close-up of what it actually looks like will help some of the more obsessive players perfect their model.


Another fascinatingly retro backstage image is the screen setup players use to write answers in Final Jeopardy, as well as their names. Newkirk said the show makes everyone around the same height with special risers, which probably ups the anxiety a bit if you’re standing on a box unable to nervously shuffle your feet.


The images definitely give you a better feel for what contestants are looking at while trying their best to compete. Jeopardy! is posting highlights of the tournament on its YouTube page if you’ve missed it so far. Newkirk promised on Twitter that the “incredible” tournament has “amazing moments of smarts, strategy, and fun,” so we’re likely in for a treat these next few days.