Jason Idalski, Eastern Michigan University alumnus and former Eastern Echo worker will be featured on Jeopardy at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 on WDIV Local 4 Detroit.
“I’ve always been a game show and trivia fan,” Idalski said. “So this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.”
Idalski graduated in April 2006 and said he passed an online test after six or seven attempts. He said most people who pass will receive an email for an audition, usually in eight different cities.
“As luck would have it, this year there was one in Detroit,” he said. “On July 14, I took another written test, [to ensure you weren’t cheating on the online one] and then played a mock game and talked about myself a little. The audition is kind of your personality test to see if you’re ready for TV.”
Idalski said he received a call in the beginning of August and then headed to L.A. for taping at the end of the month. The show tapes a week’s worth of episodes in one day.
He said when he got to the show, he wasn’t nervous because some friends of his were on the show before. Because of this, he knew what to expect.
“During the taping, I tried to remind myself that it was just like playing at home,” he said. “I tried to avoid looking at the cameras or the audience.”
In preparing for the show, he said he didn’t study information.
“It’s really hard to prepare for the test since it’s general knowledge,” Idalski said. “I guess I would suggest being up on the news, including popular books at the time.”
Idalski used to work as an editor-in-chief at ISPY after Bilal Saeed, a friend and former Eastern Echo staffer, recruited him.
“After I was laid off from the Lansing State Journal, he asked me to come work for him…which I did for one year,” he said.
He currently works as a web producer for MLive.com.
Idalski mentioned that one of his attempts to pass the online test was at the Rec/IM during a
Tuesday night poker game. He was able to step out to take it because the test is timed, giving him roughly 10 to 15 minutes.
“You get 15 seconds to answer each question and there are 50 questions,” he said. “You have to be able to think fast.”
One aspect that made him slightly nervous was that this season’s TV set is a little different, making it feel like a different place than he was used to seeing.
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