Jeopardy Masters Quarterfinals Recap, Part 3

David B Morris
6 min readMay 13, 2024

Amy Schneider Proves She Belongs and An Exciting Clash Of This Year’s Titans

Regardless how she got here, on Friday night she earned it.

It was pretty clear given the lineup for May 10th that the matches in the fourth set of quarterfinals might be the most critical in the round. Amy, Matt and Mattea were tied at one match point apiece which meant whoever won their game would have an advantage that the other two players would have difficulty overcoming in the remaining games for that critical final spot in the semi-finals. And the faceoff between James, Yogesh and Victoria would be just as critical as the winner could very well guarantee themselves a spot in the semi-finals.

What no one could have expected was that they would produce the two most exciting games thus far in the tournament with the latter being among one of the greatest games in Jeopardy tournament history, arguably the most thrilling I had seen since the Jeopardy All-Star Games in 2019. So let’s review.

In the Jeopardy round of Game 1, Matt and Amy had gotten off to a fast start before Amy found the Daily Double in COMING TO AMERICA. With 3000 points she bet it all:

“From 1960 to 1962 a covert program called operation Pedro Pan brought thousands of children to the U.S. from this country.”

Amy hesitated before saying: “What is Cuba?” It did sound like a guess but she was right and she took the lead. Amy finished the round with 7400 points to Matt’s 4800 and Mattea’s 1600. Mattea had the most incorrect responses which is why they struggled.

Early in Double Jeopardy Amy found the first Daily Double early in 12 OR MORE LETTERS. Already considerably in the lead with 10,600 points, she gambled and bet everything to the inhaling and applause of the studio audience:

“Regarding his firing of Douglas MacArthur, who defied orders, President Truman later wrote: “I could no longer tolerate” this.”

Amy had to count on her fingers before answering: “What is insubordination?” It was correct and she jumped to an enormous lead. It looked like another runaway.

But one clue later Mattea found the other Daily Double in OH, THOSE DUTCH! While they didn’t like the category Mattea knew their only choice was to bet the 5200 in front of them:

“In 1950, he said there’s a cloud beyond Pluto where long-period comets come from.” Mattea knew it was Oort and doubled their score. Neither Mattea nor Matt was able to close the distance but they all fought hard. Amy finished Double Jeopardy with 26,400 points, Mattea was next with 18,000 and Matt had 8000.

The Final Jeopardy category was THE 20TH CENTURY: “Hearing about the speech that launched this eponymous process, the head of the CIA wondered if Khrushchev had been drunk.” All three players knew the correct response: “What is destalinization?” Matt bet everything to double his score to 16,000. Mattea bet nothing to keep them at 18,000. And Amy bet 9601 to go to 36,001 points and giving her a critical win and three match points.

For Amy this victory came as a personal triumph — it was her first ever win in Jeopardy Masters — and validation that she belonged being invited back.

All three had played well: Mattea had given 21 correct answers (and had not made a mistake in Double Jeopardy) and Amy had given 17 correct answers (and also made no mistakes in Double Jeopardy) Matt had the poorest performance with 15 correct responses and 3 incorrect ones, two of his in Double Jeopardy.

The match between Yogesh, Victoria and James was even more thrilling from start to finish. James and Yogesh dominated in the Jeopardy round with Victoria struggling the most. But Yogesh had managed to take a big lead veery late in Double Jeopardy when he found the Daily Double in the category MADE YOU SAY IT. With a narrow lead with 5200 points to James 4600 and 3200 for Victoria, Yogesh bet everything he had:

“Irony was not likely lost on Ike in 1961 when he warned of ‘grave implications’ due to the rise of this combination.” Yogesh knew it was the military industrial complex and doubled his score. He finished with 11200 to James 4600 and Victoria’s 3200.

But in Double Jeopardy both Victoria and James came after Yogesh hard. Victoria struck first when she found the first Daily Double on the very first clue in SYNDROMES. Naturally she bet everything:

“Some speculate that Abraham Lincoln’s height & lankiness were due to this connective tissue disorder named for a Frenchman.” Victoria knew it was Marfan’s Syndrome and jumped to second place.

All three players divided the next eight clues pretty evenly but James got to the other Daily Double. At that point, he had 7800 exactly half of Yogesh’s total. He bet everything:

St Bobo’s Cathedral in Belgium is home to Hubert and Jan Van Eyck’s “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” better known by this two word name. It took a long moment before James spoke: “What is the Ghent Altarpiece?” The game was died and with Victoria at 10000 points and the round barely a third over, we knew things would get tight. Indeed at one point very late in the round we had a 3-way tie with all three players at 17,200 points.

All three players played almost exactly even: Victoria gave 17 correct responses and only made two mistakes. James gave 17 correct responses and only made one mistake. Yogesh gave 19 correct responses and made just one mistake. And as a result the scores at the end of Final Jeopardy were the tightest so far in any Jeopardy Masters Game: Victoria led with 20,800 points; Yogesh was next with 18,400 points and James had 18,000 even.

The Final Jeopardy category was THE AMERICAN THEATER: “Director and author, their 1960 rift over a new play set in the South ended ‘the most important…collaboration’ of 20th century U.S theater.” Yogesh and Victoria knew the correct response: “Who were Elia Kazan and Tennessee Williams? (The two collaborate on some of the greatest plays William wrote including Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on A Hot Tin Roof. ) James got Williams right, but thought the director in question was Stanley Kubrick.

James would lose 3268 points to drop him to 14,732. Yogesh bet 17,601 to go to 36,001 (he was clearly betting to beat James by one point.) And Victoria bet 3200 points to put her at 24,000. Yogesh got the win and 3 match points; Victoria got another match point and James got zero. It was the first game in this tournament Victoria lost and the first match James has played in this tournament where he didn’t score a match point at all.

LEADERBOARD AFTER MAY 10TH

Victoria Groce: 10

Yogesh Raut: 10

James Holzhauer:5

Amy Schneider: 4

Mattea Roach: 2

Matt Amodio:1

At this point both Yogesh and Victoria have clinched spots in the semifinals. However the last two spots are still open to all four players. James and Amy clearly have the advantage but a win by either Matt or Mattea in the next game will put them back in contention for that fourth spot.

However, it’s worth noting the odds are slightly better that Mattea can make it in right now that Matt: things have to fall just right for him and the odds are not great. Still there are two days to go and anything can happen in them.

I will be back on Thursday to cover the final two games in the quarterfinals with every bit of play and the final leaderboard rankings. To say that anything can happen is an understatement, so far this year, it already has. Keep reading.

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David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.