Thursday, December 31, 2009

NEW YEAR'S EVE 2009 Results

TPIR: Episode 4974K is the first-ever episode where your favorite prizes of the year get offered one more time! Our first four contestants are April Carter, James O'Leary from the Marine Corps, Christina Snelgrove and Daniel McCormick. And guess what- we're starting this episode the same way we did on the Halloween '09 episode; whoever wins the opening IUFB of a big video game package (Lanisha at the turntable) will be the last player this decade to play TRIPLE PLAY!

Christina: $999
James: $2,500
Daniel: $1,399

April: BUCK

ARP: $2,499

Because James overbid by a buck, Daniel, the Contestant Search winner from Minneapolis, has the chance to win these three 2010 automobiles- a Toyota Prius (Manuela at Door #1), a Jeep Wrangler (Lanisha at Door #2) and a Chevrolet Camaro (Gwendolyn at Door #3). For some reason, I DO NOT like his chances.

PRIUS (Std., #2, App)


We didn't have a WIPEOUT on the season's first playing. I hope Daniel keeps it that way today...BUT HE DOESN'T BY CHOOSING $25,606 INSTEAD, SO WE HAVE THE FIRST TP WIPEOUT OF THE SEASON (and the fourth in the past five daytime playings). The ARP was $22,819 (Drew does reveal the ARP for Car #1 this time).

(Note: Beginning with this playing, director Rich DiPirro has introduced some new shots for each of the car introductions.)

There is no commercial break after the first Pricing Game today like most of this season's earlier-taped episodes (and the later-taped ones of last season), so we go straight on to calling Sharon DeHaven on down and the second IUFB is a Tag Hauer men's watch coming down from the ceiling.

Sharon: $2,860
April: $1,200
Christina: $1,400
James: $1,555

ARP: $1,900

James plays Most Expensive for the DirecTV To Go! system (Gwen), some Cape Spade accessories (Lanisha) and a red Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle (Manuela). His pick is the motorcycle. The DirecTV stuff is $1,359, the designer accessories are $2,560...and he's the first winner of the day with the motorcycle at $3,999!

Coming on down sixth is Keith McNease and the third IUFB is that power kayak (Manuela at Door #3).

Keith: $1,374
Sharon: $1,850
April: $2,400
Christina: $1,900

ARP: $2,999

April, celebrating her 11th wedding anniversary with her husband Billy, plays Super Pushover for a luxury Hawaiian vacation (Gwen at the audience screen). Board:


My guess is $11,038 and she agrees with me...


...but it was the first real possibility of $10,385.

Daniel ($2,499): 45 + 55 = WINS $1,000!
April ($2,999): 20 + $1 = OVER
James ($9,818): 55 + 60 = OVER

Daniel's Bonus Spin gets him...40 cents.

Next to play is Zella Carter and the fourth IUFB is a T-Mobile cell phone with that one-year calling plan (Manuela).

Zella: $1,200
Christina: $1,425
Keith: $1,426
Sharon: $1,427

ARP: $2,000

Sharon plays the Bonus Game for a yellow vintage 1969 Corvette Stingray (Gwen at Door #2) worth $25,500!

1. Twinkies baking set
IS NOT: $40

2. Marshmallow Blaster
IS NOT: $25

3. RC Cooler
IS NOT: $55

4. "Star Trek" PEZ Dispensers
IS NOT: $25

Video Bonus: Today's Painful Car Games

Hoping to help us recover from that is Juan Martinez and the next IUFB is a Fuego gas grill (Manuela behind splitting sign).

Juan: $2,399
Zella: $575
Christina: $600
Keith: $601

ARP: $1,699

Keith will be dealing with an array of party items while playing the Grand Game today. They are a box of Keebler Town House Crackers, some Laughing Cow Cheese wedges, a bag of Party City balloons, some Let's Party Confetti Poppers, a bottle of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice and some Alka-Seltzer Wake-Up Call pan reliever. The New Year's Eve target price is $4.75.

1. Party poppers- $2.99 ($10)
2. Balloons- $5.99

Rest of the items:

Crackers: $4.19
Cheese: $3.99
Juice: $3.69
Alka-Seltzer: $6.50

The last one to hear the magic words this year is Evelyn Brodsky and the final IUFB of this decade is the Sony HD camcorder (Manuela). Christina's been here the whole hour, but she will bid last in this final round.

Evelyn: $500
Juan: $1,100
Zella: $1,500
Christina: $501

ARP: $1,100


Juan gets the last $500 wad of the century and plays Switch? for an HP computer system marked at $1,630 (Lanisha) and a glass-topped desk with chair marked at $2,345 (Gwen). He switches...and loses.

In this entire four-epsiode taping week (the 497xKs), NOT ONE SECOND-HALF PRICING GAME WAS WON. OUCH.

Here's how I would've set the lineup:

1. Triple Play
2. Most Expensive
3. Pushover
4. Switch?
5. Grand Game
6. Bonus Game

Juan ($1,600): 60 + Quarter = $.85
Keith ($1,709): 15 + 55 = $.70
Sharon ($2,139): 80 + 60 = OVER

Juan gets the Runner-Up spot in today's Showcase. I think Daniel's going to be happy that no money was won in that SCSD; you'll see why just a bit later.

The first Showcase has that private jet trip to Las Vegas, plus luxury trips to NYC and Bangkok, all modeled by Gwen at Door #2.



Daniel's Showcase is about big ways to celebrate in 2010. First, you could celebrate the big ball drop while watching it on all the TVs from this one-of-a-kind Hybrid Space media center (with those readerboards)(Lanisha at Door #1). Second, after the new year has just arrived, gather around many of your friends for a catered party for 25 people (Lanisha at the center HDTV). But the biggest reason you might be celebrating very early next year- winning this 2010 Jaguar XF Luxury Sedan (Manuela at Door #3)!

DANIEL BIDS $50,118 ON JAGUAR SHOWCASE- GARF OF THE CENTURY #2 (doesn't quite cover the Jaguar)


BID: $50,118
ARP: $74,615

BID: $26,750
ARP: $38,120


Daniel could've very well broken the daytime winnings record today with four automobiles, but he'll have to settle for $3,499 in cash and video gaming stuff. As it is, Juan wins his trip-filled Showcase and a total of $39,720 in cash and prizes.

Video Bonus #2: New Year's Eve Showcase Round

WOF: Let's make this last "Wheel" recap of the year a great one. Our first Toss-Up category is Song Lyrics:

_ E T / _ _ _ _ _ _ M

_ I N _

Part of the song "My Country Tis of Thee", Deidra solves LET FREEDOM RING for $1,000. Our final three contestants of 2009 are:

Deidra McDole (Las Vegas; originally from Wisconsin)- Teaches piano and swimming lessons during the Summer
Courtland Skachenny (Newtown, PA)- Arizona State University junior studying Economics and Finance
Mary Ann Pishky (McHenry, IL)- Senior executive assistant for a global health care company; she auditioned for the show while in Vegas

The $2,000 Toss-Up category revolves around the world of Show Biz:

_ I _ U _ _ I _ N

C O _ E D Y

Mary Ann solves SITUATION COMEDY for $2,000.

Mama Lucia Jackpot Round category is What Are You Doing? and now showing on the wheel is a $5,500 trip to MacArthur Place in Sonoma Valley, CA. Mary Ann starts us off with three N's for $1,200, buys three A's, but then calls D for dud. Deidra's second in line with two G's for $900 and buys an A and three E's, but she then hits Bankrupt to lose the $400 remainder. Courtland then calls an immediate dud in R. Mary Ann's back in control with a $450 M and purchases four O's, but then says a dud in V while on Jackpot. Deidra next lights up five P's for the Raleigh gift tag and we have...

P O P P I N G / O P E N

A / _ O _ _ _ E / O _

_ _ A M P A G N E

...she remembers POPPING OPEN A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE to win that $1,000 prize package. Both ladies are tied for the early lead with two grand apiece.

DUDS: $600 D (Mary Ann), $900 R (Courtland), V (Mary Ann)

The Round 2 category is Before & After. Deidra's up first with a trio of T's for $1,200, the purchasing of a pair of E's and a trio of H's for another $2,700 before buying three I's. Afterwards, she calls twin W's for another $1,600 but then Bankrupts for the second time tonight to lose five big ones. Courtland then duds out with S. Mary Ann next lights up a $300 R, double L's to add a C-note and buys a pair of O's, but all of that's followed by a Lose a Turn hit. Deidra then gets her second straight Bankrupt of this round (and third overall). Back over to Courtland, he makes the first letter of this puzzle (G) appear for the Sonoma Valley vacation, which is followed by a couple N's for the Wild Card, a $350 D, but he then buys the only dud vowel on this board (U). After Mary Ann picks up another grand with two C's, we have the following:

G O N E / W I T H

T H E / W I N D -

C H I L L / _ _ C T O R

She solves GONE WITH THE WIND CHILL FACTOR for another $2,050 and the outright lead for now with $4,050.

DUDS: $800 S (Courtland), U (Courtland)
LAT: Mary Ann
BANKRUPTS: 2 (Deidra)

Pamprin Mystery/Prize Puzzle Round category is Thing and it's a fairly large puzzle. Courtland leads off with a $300 S and three R's for another $10,500, but he decides NOT to use his Wild Card at this point. He next buys five A's and four E's before making four T's pop up for another $14,000! Again, he DOES NOT use the Wild Card. After buying the remainder of the vowels (all singletons- an I, O and a U), he calls double H's for another $800, BUT HE THEN LANDS ON BANKRUPT TO LOSE $24,350 AND THE WILD CARD!!! OUCH. Mary Ann then tries to solve for the mystery trip...

S _ E _ E R _ / T H A T

_ I _ _ / T A _ E

_ O U R / _ R E A T H

A _ A _

...and she wins it with SCENERY THAT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY! It's to the El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa in Puerto Rico worth $5,600, for a new total of $9,650 in cash and trip.

BANKRUPT: Courtland

TONIGHT'S SPIN ID: JK00069 (Josh K. from Iowa)

(Note: There may have been an edit for the early part of this round, as Pat didn't ask Courtland if he wanted to use his WC, which was apparently no longer there even before he Bankrupted.)

I hope Courtland can start his recovery from that painful Mystery Round of his with this $3,000 Toss-Up in the subject of Place:

T H E A _ E R

_ _ L C _ N _

Deidra solves THEATER BALCONY for a new total of five large.

Speed-Up Round category is Phrase and consonants are worth...$6,000 each! We could make up for some lost time here depending on how things go. After Mary Ann calls a pair of L's...

_ L L / _ N / _

_ _ _ ' S / _ _ R _

...after solving this for another 18 biggies, she's probably earned more than ALL IN A DAY'S WORK back at her neck of the woods- $27,650 in cash and vacation! Deidra leaves with $5K in cash and stuff and Courtland gets the $1K consolation thanks largely in part to bad luck.

So far, $33,650 in cash and prizes have been given away on the last night of 2009.

DUDS: P (Deidra), T (Courtland)

NEW SEASON-WORST BANKRUPT TRASH TOTAL (excluding the Wild Card): $29,750

Big Money Round: Our New Year's Eve endgame winning streak came to a screeching halt last season at four years; let's see if Mary Ann can start a new good streak tonight. She spins the G and the category is Thing. Starting with:

T _ _ _

_ _ R E

She calls H, P, M and O...but nothing else appears, so her game is over. She doesn't win another $30,000 in TAXI FARE, so she leaves with $27,650 in cash and trip; she needed at least the A's.

To end their 2009, Pat & Vanna are both eating a banana.

Video Bonus: Some footage of tonight's "Wheel" New Year's Eve episode

Jeopardy!: Can Jessica Stapp continue the streak of very good champions? Let's see if she can on her second appearance against:

Patty Jasper (L.A.)- Attorney
Hayes Davenport (originally from Dover, MA)- TV writer

Tonight's first six categories:

LITERARY NUMBERS (on each clue, an incomplete book title is shown; the missing number must be filled in)
THAT AIN'T IN YOUR TYPICAL COUNTRY SONG (country music is played in the background during each of these clues!)

Early on, Stapp finds the Daily Double under the $1,000 "AST" clue with $2,600, two grand ahead of Jasper. She makes it a True Daily Double. For $5,200 or zero, here's the clue:

Building material for a column, or a term describing smooth white skin.

"What is alabaster?"...correct to DOUBLE to $5,200! She adds another C-note to that by the time we reach the first commercial break; Jasper's up to a couple grand and Davenport has $600. At the end of the round...

Jessica: $7,800
Hayes: $3,000
Patty: $800

...she's still in Lock Game Territory. A bunch of clues got unrevealed this round:

Literary Numbers: $200 & $400
That Ain't In Your Typical Country Song: $200, $600 & $800
Marshall Arts: $200 & $800


The final DJ! slate of categories for this year reads as follows:

SPORTS STARS' FIRST NAME IN COMMON (two last names are listed on each clue)


Early on this round, Davenport goes Daily Double Hunting...but it's the champion who finds the first of the round's two attached to the $1,600 Scientists clue. She's at $10,600, once again two grand more than somebody else's second-place score, which is Davenport's this time; Jasper's down to $800. Her wager this time is $1,500 on this clue:

Around 1800, this scientist from Como, Italy developed a forerunner of the electric battery.

She blanks out on Alessandro Volta, reducing her lead to $500 with an adjusted total of $9,100.
By the time she completes the DD Sweep with the $2,000 All Things Japanese clue, she has doubled up and then some with $18,300! We've got a really good New Year's Eve shootout tonight, as Davenport's hot on her trail with $16,200 (he was leading around the midway mark of this round); Jasper's a distant third with $3,200. Her final DD wager of the evening is the face value of this clue:

In the 18th Century, The Daimyo were Vassal lords who spent half their time attending the leader with this title.

"What is the Shogun?"...$20,300!

DJ! LACH TRASH (all unattempted): $2,000


Jessica: $20,300
Hayes: $16,600
Patty: $3,200


Jessica: $20,200
Hayes: $16,600
Patty: $3,200

We could have a win of over $30K if things pan out well in tonight's final, which features a weak version of Shore's Conjecture. Patty Jasper's virtually out of this game.

LAST FJ! CATEGORY THIS YEAR: Academy Award Nominations.

Second only to Walt Disney's 59, this composer's 45 nominations include "The Towering Inferno" & "Saving Private Ryan".

Response: "Who is John Williams" (which was my guess too!)

Final score: $3,200

Hayes Davenport is also right...and wagered five C-notes, for a final total of $21,600 (the betting calculator suggested that he instead betted within the range of $7,401-$9,200). Now, to champ Jessica Stapp...who remains champ by also being right with a $13K gain! Her two-day total: $49,700.

Episode ratings:

8: "Jeopardy!"
6: "The Price is Right" & "Wheel of Fortune"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FOX-TWC dispute update

Today, News Corporation Deputy Chairman-President-COO Chase Carey rejected Senator John Kerry's proposals of arbitration and an interim carriage agreement, even though Time Warner Cable chairman Glenn Britt favored the idea.

Remember, if an agreement is not reached by the time 2010 arrives, all of FOX's programming will be unavailable for TWC's subscribers.

In the meantime, TWC has extended its retransmission consent agreement with Raycom Media for several Midwest and South stations until January 15th.

Various sources contributed to this report.

Future of "Head Games" in limbo

After last Saturday night's episode, The Science Channel has put "Head Games" on hiatus.

Source: The Futon Critic

Some doubt surrounding "So You Think You Can Dance"

There is NOT expected to be a tour for the Season 6 Top 10 of "So You Think You Can Dance". Additionally, it is unknown if the seventh season will begin in either Summer or Fall 2010.

Source: Reality TV World

12/30/2009 Results

LMAD: Episode 1077 is the final first-run episode of 2009; let's make it a good one. While Jonathan's allegedly got Wayne's long johns (as well as some red thing near his announcing podium), Kimberly (wearing a big piece of peppermint on her head) has a base prize of a $5,800 trip to Sedona, AZ (Curtain #1) from The Journeymasters. If she wants to, she can give up her trip for one of the other two curtains with clues attached:

Curtain #2: Horsepower
Curtain #3: Tires

She's going with the curtain in the middle. Behind the rightmost curtain was...a bunch of used tires! Finally, she can have some money or stick with Curtain #2 for good. Wayne starts off with $500, followed by $700, $900, $1,100, $1,300 and $1,500. Kimberly's final decision is to go all the way with the horsepower curtain...with 142 HP as part of a 2.0L I4 engine, it's a red KIA Soul worth $15,890! PERFECT DEAL!

The second deal of the day is a new one called "Now Serving". Remember that red thing next to Jonathan's home base that I referred to at the top of the show? It's a ticket dispenser for this deal! Everybody else in today's audience has a number, and whoever has the number that's on the ticket Jonathan pulls out will get to be the morning's second trader. With all that being said, #95 belongs to...Jeanette! After being given $600, she's offered the blue small box for her money (Alison). She hangs on to her six Benjamins...but she could've taken away an Edel woman's luxury watch worth $4,840. This deal will continue.

In Deal #3, somebody's headed for an amusement park of sorts. Going to it is Christopher (dressed as a pilot). His first stop is some cotton candy placed on the blue small box's tray with some money stuffed inside. He can either keep that or go for the bigger box, with the clue there being Roller Coaster. Christopher chooses the big box, and his wife Molly (dressed as a prom queen) then comes down to reveal that the cotton candy was worth...just $300. The next clue goes with Curtain #1, and it's Water Ride. After originally wanting to keep the big box, Chris takes that curtain after listening to Molly...they could've been going on a trip to Tokyo Disneyland worth $9,934. Finally, the clue for Curtain #2 this time is Bumper Cars. They're going for a possible boat opportunity with the curtain furthest to the left...the middle curtain had a jumpy bumper car! Have they just won a boat as a result...NO, but they do win the Kawasaki jet ski worth $8,399!

Now, for the second installment of Now Serving (or as Wayne now calls it, "Check Your Numbers"). #36 goes to...Heidi (dressed as a flapper). In her case, her base pay is $800. She then gives that back for what's behind Curtain #3...which is a fabulous Belize vacation worth $8,625!

The next deal has nothing but women involved- Kendra & Jacqueline (wearing a blue shirt with a rubber chicken attached and a blue wig). They both get to pick from three designer purses that are brought down by Alison:

Kendra: Brown
Jacqueline: Black

The orange, red and pink one now belongs to Wayne, with Jonathan hosting this deal!!! Wayne gives up his purse for what's inside the big box...while the purse had a C-note, he ends up with an iMac computer system worth $1,800! Jacqueline can either keep her purse, take away the computer Wayne just won, or try her luck with Curtain #1. She sticks with the black purse...behind the leftmost curtain was a pair of squirrels! Inside her purse is...a $100 bill. Kendra also decides to hold on to her brown purse instead of wanting either the iMac or Curtain #2...which had nothing but broken golf clubs! I can now tell you that the cash amount inside her purse is the same as...Wayne's, so she's a grand richer!

Percy & Marilyn from the front row are the next couple to play Keep on Rollin' for:

Curtain #1: Trip to San Diego ($3,339)
Curtain #2: Wine cellar, cookware, a butcher block worktable and a private chef for one night ($5,760)

Curtain #3: 2010 Nissan Sentra (Std., Guards)($16,280)

Remember, every 700 points they accumulate moves them up the prize ladder.

1. 100
2. 600- WINS TRIP (700); GOES ON
3. 300 (1,000)
4. 200- CAR OUT OF PLAY (1,200)
5. 200- WINS KITCHEN (1,400)

Before we can get to the year's last Big Deal of the Day, let's do one more edition of Now Serving. The Blackjack number of #21 is held by Jacob (dressed as a gym guy). After being paid a grand, he buys the following inside the blue small box (Alison)...a pair of rats.

THE BIG DEAL: Heidi, who won a Belize getaway playing Now Serving, is now attempting to win the Volkswagen Routan ($26,400). Her final choice is Door #2...her final trip is to the Canadian Rockies, which is worth $4,900.

Door #1: VAN
Door #3: $1,049 inside the Bank Vault

WOF: Just two days left in 2009, folks. The first Toss-Up category is Show Biz:

_ _ _ I _ _

A T _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ S

We usually see these before any movie in a theatre or on a DVD gets played, and Justin knows for sure that's the COMING ATTRACTIONS for $1,000. Here are tonight's contestants:

Justin Gagnon (Salisbury, MA)- UMass-Amhurst student studying Journalism; also an assistant editor for the school's newspaper
Janelle Brennan (Miami, FL)- A business development accountant, roller blade student and Habitat for Humanity volunteer
Susan Donnelly (NYC)- A 4th Grade teacher who's also a pizza shop worker for 10 years and a graduate student

Event is the $2,000 Toss-Up category:

C O _ N T Y

_ _ _ R

Janelle solves COUNTY FAIR for the money and the right to start the first main round.

Mama Lucia Jackpot/Prize Puzzle Round category is What Are You Doing? and out on the wheel right now is a trip to the Casa Marina Resort in Key West, FL worth $5,500. To start, Janelle calls a $900 T, three R's for the Wild Card, but she then buys a dud vowel in A. Second, Susan calls four S's for $2,800 and two N's for another grand while on Jackpot; it's way too soon for her to solve for a $7,100 Jackpot. After buying an E next, she calls a pair of G's for another $1,800 and buys a couple I's, then she lights up four O's while on Free Play and buys the last remaining vowels, a pair of U's. Following that buying spree, she puts up the B for the Key West trip and we have...

B R O _ S I N G

T _ R O U G _

S O U _ E N I R

S _ O _ S

...she solves this puzzle for that vacation and $4,850! In addition, she will be BROWSING THROUGH SOUVENIR SHOPS during a British Columbia skiing trip at Nancy Green's Cahilty Lodge worth $5,100, a total of $15,450 in cash and trips!

DUD: A (Janelle)

TONIGHT'S SPIN ID: TM10902 (Terry M. from Texas)

She'll also start the next puzzle, with the category being Song Title. First, she calls two N's for a C-note, but she hits the right Bankrupt of the Million Dollar Wedge to lose the grand back. Second, Justin gets the normal Bankrupt. Third, Janelle calls three T's for $1,500 and a $700 H before buying an O and lighting up a pair of S's for another $1,100. After a $300 L and an E buy, she calls D for dud. Back to Susan, who puts up a V for $3,500 and purchases two A's, but after making a W pop up for an additional $550, she Bankrupts for the second time this round (and of this night) to lose $3,800. Justin then proceeds to call the G and the R for $900 apiece before we see this:

G _ R L S / _ _ S T

W A N T / T O

H A V E / _ _ N

He solves the Cyndi Lauper classic GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN for another $1,800 and $2,800 total.

DUD: $600 D (Janelle)
BANKRUPTS: 3 (2 by Susan, Justin)

The category of the Pamprin Mystery Round is Same Name. The winner of the previous round, Justin, opens this one with an instant Mystery Wedge hit (the one in between FP and Lose a Turn). He calls a T and flips it over...$10,000! But then comes his second Bankrupt of the night to lose it just as quickly. Janelle then proceeds to call a $300 R and buys triple E's, followed by a $550 H and an A buy. But she then spins LAT. Susan next lights up an $800 N, a $500 C, buys an I, tosses up a $500 M and purchases double O's to clean out the vowels. Afterwards, she calls a quartet of S's for $3,200 more and here's the board now:

E S _ R E S S O

& / S _ O T


She solves ESPRESSO & SLOT MACHINE for an additional $4,500, leaving her just $50 shy of 20 grand in cash and trips!

LAT: Janelle

For the final Toss-Up of the evening, we're looking for a Person:

C I R _ U _

S T R _ N G M A N

Susan is incorrect by a letter with CIRCUS STRINGMAN. Janelle then gets CIRCUS STRONGMAN to make her final Toss-Up stash $5,000.

After Janelle calls a couple R's for $1,800 (and Pat was about to ask her on whether or not she wanted her to use her Wild Card), the Speed-Up Round category is On the Map...

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ R _ _

_ _ R _ _ _ _ _

...and the rest of the consonants are all worth $1,300 apiece. After Susan calls the G late in this round...

A L E X A N D R _ A

_ _ R G _ N _ A was a long struggle, but she solves ALEXANDRIA VIRGINIA to ice her cake with another $2,600, making her winning haul in cash and vacations $22,550! Janelle still has $5,000 worth of Toss-Up money and Justin leaves with $2,800.

So far, $30,350 in cash and voyages have been handed out this evening.

DUDS (all during Speed-Up): B (Janelle), C (Justin), H (Justin), M (Susan), P (Susan), S (Susan), T (Janelle)


Big Money Round: Susan Donnelly spins the G and the topic is Thing. Starting with:

_ R _ _ E R _

_ _ _

CDMA gives her...

_ R _ C E R _

_ A _

...she will NOT be stuffing $50,000 (second week in a row now we've lost that amount) in her big GROCERY BAG (she only gets the first word), so she leaves with $22,550 in cash and trips.

Jeopardy!: Stephen Weingarten tries to run up his winning streak to five games tonight against:

Jessica Stapp (Tucson, AZ)- Administrative assistant
Sergio Sanielevici (Pittsburgh)- Scientist

Opening categories:

SOAP BOX DERBY (this is all about bar/liquid soaps)


At the first timeout, Stapp's the early leader with $1,800; Sanielevici has 1/3 her score ($600) and Weingarten's still at zero. Late in this round, Stapp uncovers the Daily Double with the $1,000 Broadway Musicals clue; she now has $5,800, while Weingarten's currently in second place with $3,200. Her wager is a couple grand.

Yep, this haunting love story is still on Broadway, as it has been since its January 26, 1988 opening night (during my second birthday).

"What is Phanton of the Opera?" correct for a new total of $7,800! Time expires before we can get to the final three clues on the Pulitzer Prize category, but her total's at $8,400; Sanielevici's down to two Benjamins.


DJ! Categories:


This is a hotel-themed slate of subjects. Sanielevici immediately goes Daily Double Hunting...but DD #1 is instead found by Weingarten with the $1,600 W clue. He really needs this one, as he's at six grand, whereas Stapp's deep in Lock Game Territory with $16,800. He decides to make it a True Daily Double! For $12,000 or nothing, here's the clue:

This graceful dog seen here has the Aristocractic features associated with its breed.

"What is a Whippett?"...NO. That was actually a Weimaraner. Shortly after that unfortunate event, Stapp goes DDH for the last one of this episode (as does the champion)...but we run out of time before it's found somewhere within one of the last three clues in Club Med and Sanielevici has WIPED OUT with -$200, so he leaves with a grand.



Stephen: $2,000
Jessica: $23,200 (lock game)


Stephen: $8,000
Sergio: -$200
Jessica: $22,200

FJ! CATEGORY: The Constitution.

Just 37 words, it's the article on the Executive Branch and is the only part of The Constitution that is in quote mark.

Response: "What is the Preamble?"
Wager: $1,031

Final score: $969 (he leaves with $98,690, and we might very well be seeing him again)

Response: NOTHING
Wager: $6,800

Wins championship with: $16,400

Correct: What is the Presidential Oath of Office?

Episode ratings:

7: "Let's Make a Deal"
6: "Jeopardy!" & "Wheel of Fortune"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

FOX and Time Warner Cable in a carriage dispute

It has been announced that if FOX and Time Warner Cable do not reach a new deal by Thursday in terms of money, Time Warner will pull all of FOX's primetime programming from its subscribers.

Various sources contributed to this report.

"Wheel of Fortune"/"Jeopardy!" 12/29

WOF: The opening Toss-Up has a category of Proper Name:


E _ P _ _ _ S

Michael remembers the PONY EXPRESS for $1,000. Let's now meet him and the rest of tonight's panel:

Michael Newman (Durwood, MD)- Public affairs officer; also a Q & A local newspaper columinist for 16 years
Jenna Iburger (Downer's Grove, IL)- Stay-at-home mom and an auditor at a public accounting firm
Lolita McCauley (Sacramento)- 5th Grade teacher

The $2,000 Toss-Up deals with a Place:

_W _ _ M I _ G

H O L _

Jenna solves SWIMMING HOLE for $2,000.

Mama Lucia Jackpot Round category is Before & After and out on the wheel now is a $5,000 Great American West Tour from Jenna begins the real action with a $550 R, two T's for another $1,800 and then buys two E's and an A. Next, she calls two S's for the trip and buys the rest of the vowels (one I, two O's and one U) before lighting up a pair of P's for the Million Dollar Wedge. But she then loses that and $6,100 in cash and vacation to a Bankrupt.
Lolita also Bankrupts. Michael then proceeds to call a couple H's for $600, two C's to add $1,800 and we have...

T E C H _ I C A _



...he solves TECHNICAL SUPPORT HOSE to add the $2,400 to his winnings, which increases to $3,400.

BANKRUPTS: 2 (Jenna, Lolita)

The topic of tonight's Prize Puzzle Round is Phrase. Lolita immediately Bankrupts again. Michael secondly gets his first taste of that dreaded black wedge. Third, Jenna calls three T's for $2,400 and purchases an E, followed by a couple L's for another $1,200 and the purchase of a trio of O's. Afterwards, she also Bankrupts for the second time tonight to lose $3,100. Lolita's streak of bad luck continues with a Lose a Turn hit; Michael has the exact same fate. Back to Jenna, she makes an S appear for $3,500 and buys double I's before trying to solve with this showing...

_ O _ ' L L / _ E T

_ / _ I _ _ / O _ T

O _ / T _ I S

...YOU'LL GET A KICK OUT OF THIS, my dear- in addition to another $3,250, you're headed on a trip to the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino in The Caribbean worth $5,623, for a new total of $10,873 in cash and trip.

LATs: 2 (Lolita, Michael)
BANKRUPTS: 3 (Everybody)

TONIGHT'S SPIN ID: DB7054180 (Daniel B. from Tennessee)

Pamprin Mystery Round category is What Are You Doing? Up first is Michael with a $600 N, two T's for another grand, an $800 H, a $900 C and a $900 L before landing on the Mystery Wedge in between Free Play and LAT. But he then duds out with G; that's the first dud all night long. Second, Jenna puts up three R's for $1,800, buys four E's, calls three S's for a $1,000 Raleigh bicycle package and purchases triple O's. After that, she lands on the same MW Michael hit earler and calls a D. With $3,300 in cash and prizes at risk in this round, she decides not to flip it over and buzzes in with this board...

T H E / N E _

_ O R _ / T _ _ E S

C R O S S _ O R D

_ _ _ _ L E

...she solves THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE (this puzzle could've also fit under Fun & Games) for a new total of $14,173 in cash and stuff. But if she had flipped that MW over...she would've had $9,000 more, because the 10 grand was on the back side.

DUD: G (Michael)

Let's see if Lolita can snap her unlucky streak with this $3,000 Toss-Up; the topic is Thing:

S _ L F -

P O _ T _ _ _ T

Lolita blows her chance to get off the zero mark for now with SELF-POTATO, which is a ZONK ANSWER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE. Mike then steals SELF-PORTRAIT to make his new score $6,400.


Speed-Up Round category is TV Title and consonants are worth...$1,600 a pop. After Lolita makes three H's show up...

T H _ / _ _ _ _ H

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ / S H _ _

...she nails the soon-to-be-retired THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW to finally win something, which is $4,800! Mike takes home $6,400 and Jenna is the victor with $14,173 in cash and merchandise!

So far, $25,373 in cash and stuff has been given away tonight.

TONIGHT'S BANKRUPT TRASH (excluding the MDW): $9,200 in cash and trip

Big Money Round: Jenna spins the I in AMERICA'S and the category is Person. Starting with:

_ N E / _ _

T _ E / _ _ _ S

Thinking she may be on to something, she calls F, G, H and U and gets..

_ N E / _ F

T H E / G U _ S

...I thought for sure it was going to be ONE OF THE BOYS (which is also the name of Katy Perry's major debut album), but her excellent choices help her nail ONE OF THE GUYS for $25,000! Her final total in cash and prizes is $39,173!

To wrap up this episode, we see Vanna's blooper reel from the May 2004 road trip in San Francisco!

Episode rating: 7

Jeopardy!: All Stephen Weingarten must do is win tonight's game against these two challengers and he'll take the #6 Tournament of Champions ranking from last week's big-winning champion, Ryan Chaffee:

Breanne Reinhard Smith (Arcona, IL)- Writer
Chris Gleason (originally from San Diego)- Purchasing agent (and a former "Wheel of Fortune" contestant!)

Here are Tuesday's first six subjects:

BIBLE BOOKS BY QUOTATION (the quote is given on each clue; the book's title must be identified)
NAME THAT SPORT (on each clue, the initials of a major sports company are stated, and the sport must be given)

Early on, Gleason SWEEPS Name That Sport for the initial lead with $3,800! Weingarten's got $1,200 at this point. When we reach the first break, Gleason's leading total is now $5,400; he's four grand ahead of Smith and five large over the current champion. Later on, Smith finds the night's first Daily Double under the $600 clue on The Smiths with $1,600; she's just two Benjamins ahead of Weingarten for second place, while Gleason's still sitting pretty with $5,800. Her wager is $1,200.

Founded a church in 1830, murdered 14 years later.

"Who is Joseph Smith?" was him to move up to $2,800! By the end of the round, she's added two grand to that; Weingarten's still in last place with $3,600 and Gleason's still ahead for now with $7,400.

LACH TRASH (only the $800 and $1,000 clues under The Smiths were Triple Stumpers in this round): $1,800

DJ! Categories:

ACTORS & THEIR ROLES (two movie roles are listed in each clue)

Following a TS on the $1,600 Brand "X" clue, Gleason closes out that category with the first DD of this round of play. He's currently at $10,600, just a thou ahead of Smith; Weingarten's not too far behind with $6,400. He wagers $3,600. To add on to his lead or lose it altogether, here's the clue:

Lesney Products, a London die-casting business, introduced this toy brand in 1953.

"What is K-Nex?"...that's a bit too recent, sir. Correct: What is Matchbox? That means he drops to seven grand and second place. Not too long after that, he gets a chance to redeem himself with the final one attached to the $1,200 Little-Used Words clue. He's in the exact same betting position as Smith was during the first round- at $7,400, he's just $200 ahead for second place, which in this case is over our champ; Smith remains at $9,600. He again bets $3,600, this time on:

An horologe is any device that gives you this information.

"What is time?"...he got it this time to regain the lead with 11 big ones! Alas, it proves to be short-lived, as he then goofs on the same topic's $1,600 clue to fall back to $9,400, whereas Smith gets it right to re-take the lead with $11,200.



Stephen: $9,200
Chris: $14,200
Breanne: $12,800


Stephen: $9,200
Chris: $15,400
Breanne: $12,200

For the second night in a row, we're entering the 4/5 FJ! betting scenario.

FJ! CATEGORY: American Music.

The brilliance of Anne Brown, a Soprano, changed the title of a 1935 opera that was to be called simply this one name.

Champ Stephen Weingarten's question was "What is Porgy?"...right! His wager...everything but eight bucks, so his total nearly doubles to $18,392! Breanne Reinhard Smith...blanked out, so she loses $7,800 and any hopes of becoming the new champ with a final score of $5K. That means it's Chris Gleason's game to lose...and he lost it with Unsinkable. With a final bet of $13K, he leaves with the $1,000 third-place check, and Mr. Weingarten is the second straight four-time champion! His new total: $96,690!

Episode rating: 8

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tough love for Tyra

"America's Next Top Model" host Tyra Banks' talk show will be cancelled at the end of the season because mostly of production costs. In the meantime, she has formed a new movie studio called Bankable Studios.

Various sources contributed to this report.

"Wheel of Fortune"/"Jeopardy!" 12/28

WOF: This is Wheel Across America Week; next week will be the second America's Game Week of the season. Our first Toss-Up category of the new week is Place:

_ O _ N E R

B _ R _ E _ S H O P

Cheryl solves CORNER BARBERSHOP for $1,000. Tonight's contestants:

Cheryl Lutton (Phoenix; originally from Denver)- Marketing director
Ron Watkins (Kimberly City, MO)- Contractor/mail carrier
Brandi Patangoe (St. Cloud, FL)- Stay-at-home mom

The $2,000 Toss-Up board asks for an Occupation:

_ _ A P H _ C

A R T _ _ T

Cheryl triples her money with GRAPHIC ARTIST.

Mama Lucia Jackpot Round category is TV Title and out on the wheel now is a $5,000 gift certificate, sponsored by the new movie "Up In the Air". Cheryl immediately gets a Bankrupt. Second, Ron calls two T's for a $1,000 gift tag, two R's for a grand and buys six E's, then he calls three M's for another $900, a $400 V and purchases an A and three O's. After he lights up the H for another $300, we have...

E _ T R E M E

M A _ E O V E R :

H O M E / E _ _ T _ O _

...he solves EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION for $2,850 in cash and gift tag.


Prize Puzzle Round category is Song Lyrics. The winner of the last round, Ron, starts this one with half a dozen T's for $2,700 and the purchase of three O's, but he then lands on Lose a Turn.
Brandi next calls a $3,500 R, buys a couple E's, but she then hits the right Bankrupt of the Million Dollar Wedge to lose $3,250. Over to Cheryl, who lights up three N's for $900, purchases five A's, calls a $600 C and buys a pair of I's. At this point, the board reads...

_ _ _ T / C A N ' T

_ A I T / T O / _ E T

O N / T _ E / R O A _

A _ A I N

...she nails JUST CAN'T WAIT TO GET ON THE ROAD AGAIN for another C-note and a trip to the Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa worth $5,300, a new total of $9,300 in cash and trip.

LAT: Ron

WINNING ID FOR TRIP: MR0688232 (Michelle R. from Nebraska)

Pamprin Mystery Round category is Before & After. Brandi leads off with a $550 R, a $300 T, but then buys a dud vowel in A. Cheryl also duds out with N while on the Wild Card. After Ron calls another dud in S while on Free Play, he lights up an F for $600 and buys the only vowels of this puzzle- four O's. After that, he gets his second LAT of the night. Back to Brandi, she puts up a $600 P, a $300 L, a G for the gift certificate and now we have:

_ R O _ _ -


O F / G O L _

She manages to solve CROCK-POT OF GOLD at this point for $6,500 in cash and gift certificate.

DUDS: A (Brandi), N (Cheryl), S (Ron)
LAT: Ron

For the last Toss-Up of the evening, we deal with a Rhyme Time puzzle:

O _ T / A N D

_ B _ U T

Cheryl completes the Toss-Up Sweep with OUT AND ABOUT, increasing her lead with a new total of $12,300.

Next category is Events. She calls a dud right out of the gate with T. Ron secondly duds out again with R. Third, Brandi makes two O's appear while she's on FP, but she Bankrupts immediately after that for the second time tonight. Cheryl then strikes out with the N. Back to Ron once more, he finally lights up the S at the end for $800 and buys triple E's, then he calls a pair of G's to add $1,600, a $400 C, trip L's for $1,650 more, an $800 B and...


B O _ L / G _ _ E S

...he knows there's a lot of these going on every Winter, COLLEGE BOWL GAMES, for an additional five grand and $7,850 total.

DUDS: $500 N (Cheryl), $400 R (Ron), $900 T (Cheryl)

Speed-Up Round category is Phrase and consonants are worth $1,500 apiece; anybody can win.
After Brandi makes the M appear...

_ _ R _ I _ _ / W I T H

_ / _ M I L E

...she provides the SERVICE WITH A SMILE for another...$4,500, which is not quite enough, so she'll have to settle for second place with 11 grand in cash and gift certificate. Ron leaves with $7,850 in cash and luggage and Cheryl hangs on for the victory with $12,300 in cash and Costa Rica!

So far, $31,150 in cash and prizes have been given away tonight.

DUDS: B (Ron), D (Brandi), G (Ron), N (Cheryl)


Big Money Round: This week, somebody could win a Winnebago Access Motorhome (even though it's not in the studio) here! Cheryl Lutton spins the ampersand (the $100,000 and the $1,000,000's been there quite a few times) and the category is Place. Starting with:

L _ _

_ _ _ _ N

This is also the name of a kind of syrup. She calls C, M, H and A and gets...

L _ _

C A _ _ N

...she doesn't solve LOG CABIN for $35,000, so she leaves with $12,300 in cash and trip.

Episode rating: 6

Jeopardy!: Let's see if Stephen Weingarten can continue his run at the expense of:

Kathy Shinkle (Hermosa Beach, CA)-Public relations director
Vince Camillo (NYC)- Food stylist

The first six categories of the week are:

DAYS OF THE WEEK (a foreign way of saying one of the seven days of the week is given, along with the language)


Weingarten closes out the first half of this round with the Daily Double under the final clue in Ben & Jerry's Flavors with $3,200, double Camillo's current score; Shinkle has eight Benjamins. He risks $1,500 of his $1,600 lead on this clue:

There are almond cookies in the flavor called "Mission To" this confection.

"What is Marzipan?" correct for a new total of $4,700! At round's end (with time running out before we could get to the last 2001 clue), he's deep in Lock Game Territory with $8,700; Camillo's down to $2,600 and Shinkle's just $200 off second place.


DJ! Categories:

3 "T"s

DD #1 is found by Camillo with the $1,600 3 "T"s clue. He's at $7,800, $3,300 behind the champion for the lead; Shinkle's still in third with $5,200. He wagers three grand on the following:

From the white lining seen when it opens its jaws, the water moccasin is also called this.

"What is the cottonmouth?"...also the name of female professional wrestler Roxie Cotton's deadly submission hold, that's right to break five figures with $10,800! The other DD is hidden somewhere in the subject of Viva Vivaldi, and Weingarten employs both the Daily Double Hunting and the High School Strategies in his search for it...and he ends up finding it at the $1,600 spot to end this round! Right now, he's got $15,100, $2,900 shy of the lead; Shinkle's still in last place, but she does have a respectable $9,200. His bet this time is...a $100 bill. Anyway, here's the final clue of this round:

In 1725, Vivaldi published this (Opus 8, Nos. 1-4), a cycle of violin concerti.

He may have made a possibly fatal wager there, because he nails "What are The Four Seasons?" to finish up with $15,200.



Stephen: $15,200
Vince: $18,000
Kathy: $9,200


Stephen: $16,200
Vince: $16,600

Kathy: $9,200

Tonight's FJ! betting situation is of the 4/5 variety.

FJ! CATEGORY: American History.

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln authorized this government agency; its main job then was to protect against counterfeiting.

Kathy Shinkle's response was "What was the Secret Service?"...correct. Her wager was $6,500 (she exceeded her betting limit of $3,600), taking her to $15,700. Stephen also right to add everything but two bucks (the betting calculator suggested that he wagered anywhere from $3,201-$5,999 instead), shooting him up to $30,398! Now, for the moment of truth. Has that lowball DD wager at the end of DJ! just cost him the championship and possibly a berth in the next Tournament of Champions?...

...NO, as Vince Camillo goofed with the FBI, losing $12,401 and sending him home with a C-note! Weingarten's three-night total: $78,298, meaning he upends Kevin Wilson by $300 for 10th place on the ToC Leaderboard! It also means Gary Bechtold has been knocked out of contention.

Episode rating: 8

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Next Week in Game Shows: December 28-January 3

Here's what's on tap for the final few days of 2009 and the opening of 2010:

-Can Stephen Weingarten follow up Ryan Chaffee's successful "Jeopardy!" run with one that's about as good or even better?

-"The Price is Right" does a very special New Year's Eve show that will include the most popular prizes of 2009, including that vintage Corvette Stingray Convertible from the first-ever couple's episode on Valentines Day!

-The 2009 Salute of Champions will begin this Friday during New Year's Weekend! For each of the first three days, five of my Top 25 contestants of 2009 will be announced. Then, from January 4-8, three more players from my Top 15 will be unveiled, with the 2009 Grand Champion being announced on the night of January 8, 2010!

Also, "Face the Ace" mercifully ends its run, we have some more first-run episodes of "Wheel of Fortune", and another first-run edition of "Let's Make a Deal".

The Week in Review: December 21-27

Player of the Week:
WINNER: Mike Kosowski ($1.1 Million)(" Million Dollar Challenge")
RUNNERS-UP: Nota ("The Sing-Off" WINNERS)
3RD PLACE: Ryan Chaffee ($92,900 as four-day champ)("Jeopardy!")

Other Big Winners and Notables:
Mitch Harper- $70,500 ("Wheel of Fortune")
Dee Dee Saucita- $56,050 ("WOF")
Nye Arzo- $51,581 ("The Price is Right")
Stephen Weingarten- $47,900 as current two-day champ ("Jeopardy!")
Jon Hilgenstein- Top winner to date with $3,500 ("Head Games")

ZONK ANSWER OF THE WEEK: Ryan Chaffee said he did do this intentionally on "Jeopardy!" last Tuesday because he remembered an episode of "Wheel of Fortune" with this food being a puzzle solution- hot pastrami sandwiches. He responded with that when told to come up with the four-word motto that appears on the 18th Century U.S. flag while on the U.S. Navy's ships (Correct: "What is "Don't Tread on Me"?)! Although he didn't lose anything while pocketing another $17,100 that night, little did he know that it would spell the beginning of the end of his dominance on the show.

" Million Dollar Challenge"- MILLION DOLLAR FINALE

Here are the four lucky contestants competing in "The Challenge of Champions":

Father Andrew Trapp ($100,000 Winner #1)
Sergeant Denny Luna ($25,000 Winner)
Brian Barboza ($100,000 Winner #2)
Mike Kosowski (one of the losers from the last episode who won a special consolation tournament just to make it here)

In this four-player game, everybody starts out with 20,000 in chips just like normal; Daniel Negreanu will be the dealer! The big winner wins (another) $100,000 and a chance to play Daniel in the Million Dollar Game.

$1,000,000 Qualifying Game:


Andrew: (AH)(4C)
Mike: (KH)(JH)

THE FLOP: (JS)(9D)(9H)

Kosowski leads with two pair. After he bets 2,000, Trapp raises to 5,000…and Kosowki calls.


Double check.


Kosowski then makes Trapp fold after a 5,000 bet, for a total pot of 17,600!


Denny: (KD)(5H)
Andrew: (8H)(7S)

POT: 800
THE FLOP: (KC)(7C)(7H)

Trapp makes trip sevens, while Luna has top pair. Both bet 800 apiece.


Despite what both players have, they again throw in a couple of 800 bets.


Both wager 1,200 a pop this time, meaning Trapp wins this pot for 6,400. After the first commercial break, here’s the chip count:

Mike: 37,600
Andrew: 22,600
Brian: 15,000
Denny: 4,800

On the third hand that we see, Luna’s ALL IN. Here’s the setup:


Denny: (AD)(6S)

POT: 10,600
TURN: 5 OF SPADES- DENNY ELIMINATED (Kosowski automatically wins with triple fives)

The river card for that hand will remain hidden from view; Sergeant Luna leaves with $30,000 in cash and Bahamas trip. Onto the fourth hand:


Brian: (AC)(8C)
Mike: (8S)(8H)

Barboza might very well be regretting going ALL IN on this hand, as Kosowski already has half of the four eights.

POT: 30,000
THE FLOP: (5C)(AD)(3D)

Barboza seriously needed that second Ace! The only way that he can bust out now is if the final eight shows up on one of the last two cards…


BUT IT DOES AT THE LAST SECOND!!! OUCH. Well, at least he still has a very nice $105,000 in cash and trip to take home.


Mike: 63,400
Andrew: 16,600


Andrew: (7C)(6C)
Mike: (9C)(5H)

POT: 4,000
THE FLOP: (9S)(8H)(4H)

Kosowski makes top pair, but Father Trapp has an open-ended straight draw. Kosowski tries to push him ALL IN…and he does!


At this point, if the river card is a five, a seven or a 10, Father Trapp will double up to 33,200. If not, Kosowski has gone from nothing to $100,000…


MIKE KOSOWSKI HAS REDEEMED HIMSELF TO THE TUNE OF 100 GRAND!!! Father Andrew Trapp still gets to keep his $105K in cash and trip.

MILLION DOLLAR GAME: If Daniel should successfully deny Mr. Kosowski the million, he’ll win 100 large for the Lili Claire Foundation. Additionally, both will start with 40,000 in chips instead of the usual 20K. The opening blind values will be 1,000/2,000.


Mike: (AH)(2S)

After a 7,500 raise by Negreanu, Kosowski folds, giving Negreanu a 10K blitz win.


Mike: (7S)(5S)
Daniel: (QS)(6H)

POT: 4,000
THE FLOP: (QD)(7D)(8D)

Negreanu has the early lead with middle pair, while Kosowski has middle pair. Both bet two grand apiece.


Kosowski now has the lead. Both bet five large this time.


The two again wager five grand apiece at the end, meaning Kosowski wins a 28,000 pot! He’s leading this big game with 51,500.


Mike: (6S)(5H)
Daniel: (KS)(2H)

POT: 4,000
THE FLOP: (6C)(8H)(8S)

Kosowski has an instant two pair. He and Negreanu each throw a couple grand into the pot.


More good news for Kosowski! He then goes ALL IN…but Negreanu chickens out, so Kosowski’s leading total is now 58 grand! The blinds are now doubled.


Mike: (10S)(6S)
Daniel: (JD)(2C)

POT: 8,000
THE FLOP: (2D)(3H)(10C)

Kosowski hits top pair once more, whereas Negreanu makes the worst possible pair. Both make the minimum 4,000 bet.


After yet another 4,000 bet by Kosowski, Negreanu folds once again! We again raise the blinds, this time to 3,000/6,000.


Mike: (5C)(7S)
Daniel: (KD)(4S)

Negreanu is ALL IN this time, folks!

POT: 28,000
THE FLOP: (6H)(9H)(KC)

Although Negreanu has just paired up his King, Kosowski has a gutshot straight draw to work with. If either the turn or the river card is an eight, he will have made a MILLION DOLLAR NINE-HIGH STRAIGHT…


…HE JUST WON $1,000,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks in part to NFL football preceding it on most FOX stations, I can tell you right now that this show is the HIGHEST-RATED POKER SHOW EVER!!!! Let’s hope there will be a second season.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I didn't see on Christmas Day

Here's what happened on the two game shows that I was unable to see due to NBA Basketball pre-empting both in my area:

-One day after denying Ryan Chaffee his fifth win on "Jeopardy!", new champion Stephen Weingarten successfully defended the championship with $24,700, giving him a two-day total of $47,900.

-"Wheel of Fortune" Christmas Day recap

Video Bonus: Christmas Day "Wheel" Big Money Round

"Head Games" 12/26

The show's last contestants for 2009 are:

Mary Pinell
Jon Hilgenstein- Music producer
Ron Hunn- Sound engineer/music producer

Round 1:

1. T or F: Most species of geckos clean their eyeballs by rubbing them on tree leaves or blades of grass.

Jon & Mary both say that's False, while Ron disagrees with them by locking in's False to get the other two players on the board.

2. What does amido black do?

A: Dye blood
B: Find hairs
C: Detect body heat

Mary: Dye blood
Jon: Find hairs
Ron: Dye blood

ANSWER: Dye blood (Ron earns his first $200, while Mary doubles up)

3. T or F: If you put a gusano worm in a glass of regular tap water overnight, it will actually produce a small amount of alcohol.

Everyone believes that's a False statement...and it is, making Mary's new score $600! Both men now have $400 apiece.

Flashback #1:

1. Is the gecko a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore?
Ron: Herbivore- INCORRECT (A: Carnivore)

2. Does the gecko have a voice?
Jon: No- WRONG

3. Did the amido black reveal a handprint or a shoeprint?
Mary: Shoeprint- CORRECT ($700)

4. The gusano worm came from what country?
Ron: Mexico- CORRECT ($500)

5. What was the Mezcal- 80% or 100% proof?
Jon: 80% proof- RIGHT ($500)

Round 2:

1. When completed, roughly how large will the International Space Station be?

A: The size of a school bus
B: The size of a tennis court
C: The size of a football field

Everybody's right with the football field (because the ISS will be about 120 yards long)! That means Mary's up to $900 and both of the guys have their scores increased to $700 apiece.

2. After a bar of soap is placed in a microwave for two minutes, what will happen to the soap when it's fully heated?

A: Shrink
B: Expand
C: Catch fire

Mary: Expand
Jon: Shrink
Ron: Expand

ANSWER: Expand (Mary breaks four figures with $1,100, while Ron takes sole possession of second place with $900)

(WOF Time's Up Signal)

Flashback #2:

1. How high above the Earth is the ISS- 50, 150 or 250 miles?
Ron: 250- RIGHT ($1,000)

2. Besides the U.S., name a country represented by the ISS' crew.
Ron: Russia- RIGHT TO TIE FOR THE LEAD ($1,100)

3. What does NASA stand for?
Jon: National Aeronautical Space Administration- NO (A: National Aeronautics & Space Administration; he was originally ruled correct, but the reverse ruling was announced after the second commercial break)

4. What color was the soap in the microwave?
Jon: White- YOU BET ($800)

5. Was the soap less or more dense than water?
Ron: Less- RIGHT FOR THE LEAD! ($1,200)

$500 ROUND:

1. T or F: A decorator crab will pick up a pile of fabric strips after it's been presented and stick them all over its body.

Mary & Jon lock in True, while Ron goes with's True, so Mary has re-taken the lead with $1,600! Jon's back in second place with $1,300.

2. It's now possible for doctors to restore some of the blind patients' sight by implanting what into their faces?

A: Radio-decoded microchips
B: Transplanted human brain cells
C: Bio-engineered retinal tissue

Everyone's guess is the microchips...yes indeed, so Mary's at $2,100, Jon's at $1,800 and Ron's third-place score is $1,700!

3. T or F: The Stegosaurus only uses its triangular bony plates for self-defense against carniverous predators.

We have nothing but Trues across the board...but everybody's wrong this time.


1. Does the decorator crab live in fresh water or salt water?
Jon: Salt water- CORRECT ($1,900)

2. Is the crab a crustacean or a cetation?
Ron: Crustacean- RIGHT ($1,800)

3. Are the retinal implants made of silicon or titanium?
Jon: Silicon- RIGHT ($2,000)

4. Does the Stegosaurus have a beak, teeth or both?
Jon: Beak- NO (A: Both)

Time then runs out for this round, meaning Ron's ELIMINATED.


1. Heart, lungs or pancreas

A: Weighs between 8-12 ounces
B: Once thought to control emotion

Jon: Heart- CORRECT ($2,300)

2. Dolphin, penguin or seal

A: Can close its nostrils when swimming
B: They're in the same suborder as dogs

Jon: Seal- RIGHT ($2,600)

3. Booker T. Washington, Eli Whitney or George Washington Carver

A: Introduced crop rotation to American agriculture
B: Invented a way of producing paint from sweet potatoes

Mary: George Washington Carver- YES INDEED ($2,400)

4. James Maxwell, John Harvey Kellogg (a G was left out his name at first) or Johannes Kepler

A: Spokesman for vegetarianism
B: His company was based in Battle Creek, MI

Jon: Kellogg- OF COURSE ($2,900)

5. Hyena, lion or wolf

A: Can cover 30 miles a day when hunting for food
B: Their voices can be heard up to 10 miles away

Jon: Wolf- RIGHT AGAIN ($3,200)

6. Hyena, jackal or wolverine

A: Largest member of the weasel family
B: Resides in Arctic climates

Jon: Wolverine- RIGHT AGAIN ($3,500)

7. Teeth, tongue or uvula

A: Made mainly of skeletal muscle
B: Covered with bumps called papalees

Mary: Tongue- CORRECT ($2,700)

Time then expires before we can get to a question about Bell, Edison or Morse, so Jon I believe has set A NEW RECORD WIN of $3,500!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009 Results

LMAD: During the intro of the first holiday special, it's snowing outside the Tropicana (with a searchlight moving around it all and a sleigh bell sounding). Anyway, on to the dealing. First, Wayne Brady & Jonathan Mangum ask the bottom two rows of today's audience to search for a $10 bill; the first person to find one gets $600. And that lucky trader is...Jeannette (wearing a pink hat), who can either keep that amount of money or buy what's inside the blue Christmas present (Jonathan). She takes the's a $4,800 diamond pendant! Second, another row up further is asked to look for a comb so that they can receive their $600. This time, with Alison Fiori's help...Barbara (dressed as a Card Shark) is our second trader of the day. She then gives back the cash for whatever kind of present that is behind Curtain #3...MERRY CHRISTMAS- it's a Nissan Versa Sedan worth $11,710! Finally, one more row needs to find at least one piece of gum, and it's Ashley Holcomb (dressed as a graduate) who takes the final $600 with a pack of Eclipse gum. She's next going with Curtain #2...and she just hit a huge stocking filled with coal, so it will NOT be a Very Merry Chrimstas for her.

Just before the first commercial break, a few people are given some Christmas presents. First up in this second deal is Nedra (who's fittingly wearing a red/white dress), who can either have her very small Winter Wonderland box or what's behind Curtain #1. She keeps her box...the leftmost curtain had an iMac computer system and a digital camera worth $2,898. Inside her present is...just a snow globe, but there's also a trip to the Swiss Alps on the bottom of it worth $200 shy of 10 grand! After Mr. Brady finds a copycat of himself named Cameron, he moves on to Karen (dressed as a black present with a pink version of the show's logo on it) with the Silent Night box; she can instead have Curtain #3 if she likes. She also keeps her present...this time, the curtain furthest to the right had a living room that included a 42" Panasonic LCD HDTV, a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a Merry Maids gift card, all worth $6,445. As for her...all she gets are some old ear muffs. This deal will continue.

Since we've still got lots of show to go, why not make a little deal with Cameron next? He's given the chance to welcome us back to the show, and he's given two $100 bills for his efforts! Back to the regular deals now, the couple of Brandon & Sara (both wearing some Winter clothing) are first shown that the Bank Vault's behind Curtain #1. Like the last time we did this kind of a deal, it has anywhere from a buck to 10 large inside. Here are the clues for the other two curtains:

Curtain #2: Foreign
Curtain #3: Domestic

They're going for the middle curtain. Did Curtain #3 have its second car of the day...NO, it had a ZONK truck! Inside the vault was...$1,224. And their curtain has...a trip to Paris worth $9,651! PERFECT DEAL!

Next up is Danielle, who's shooting for a Chevrolet Cobalt LS Sedan (Std., Mats)(Curtain #2) worth $16,510. On the red small box's tray are three candy items. If she picks the only one that has a buck underneath it, the car will be hers. She picks the Santa Claus. Underneath the snowman was $100. At this stage of the game, she can either take several kitchen appliances at the big box worth $3,869 or go for the automobile. Danielle then says the magic words "Go big or go home", so she's going for the car...but she does NOT win it with Santa, so it's worth a Benjamin to her. The candy box had the $1 bill underneath.

Let's conclude the small presents deal with Aubrey (dressed as a strawberry daiquri) and Trenton. The clue for Trenton's present is Christmas in July, and Jonathan brings down the blue small box. He takes that box...but he just ZONKED OUT with a lot of broken Christmas ornaments. That will cost him a Kawsaki jet ski (Curtain #1) worth $6,699. Then, we learn that Aubrey's present has a clue of "Mele Kalikimaka", which is a Hawaiian song. With Alison now guarding the blue small box, Aubrey keeps her present, hoping for a holiday in Hawaii...but it's a broken ukulele instead, so we have a HORRIBLE conclusion to this deal. She misses out on three grand.

To close out the Christmas regulation deals, Ryan (dressed as a caveman) gets his choice of any of the prizes previously offered on this episode to play for. He decides to play for the Versa (which is behind Curtain #3 again). On the red small box tray that Jonathan comes out with, there are three lettered stockings attached. Ryan can have $1,000 from one of Mr. Brady's pockets if he doesn't want to ZONK OUT as well, but he's going for it anyway. His selection of Stocking C has a golden envelope that gets handed over to Jonathan...and it has a ZONK card inside. The right stocking was A.

THE BIG DEAL: Cameron tells us that the Christmas Big Deal is worth $31,830, and I can tell you right now it's a pair of KIA Souls. Jeanette decides to give up her piece of jewelry for my choice of Door #2...

...she does end up as the day's top winner, BUT IT WILL NOT BE AS A TWO-CAR WINNER, SO WE HAVE OUR FIFTH BIG DEAL SHUTOUT OF THE SEASON. She wins the medium deal, which is a trip to Bali with a pair of Maverix surfboards worth $12,738. Let's see what else could've been under her family's tree:

Door #1: CARS
Door #3: Samsung 46" LCD HDTV and a Blu-Ray Disc home theater system ($2,799)

A total of $44,199 in cash and prizes has been given away on this Christmas Eve. At the end of the show, we are told that everybody in the audience will receive a copy of both "It's a Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas". The final first-run episode of this year will air on December 30th.

TPIR: Let's see how we do at The Bob Barker Studio on this Christmas Eve! After Megan Jarvis, Troy Zada, Heriverto Bermudez and Steven Maldoon all "Come on Down", Drew Carey comes out of Door #2 riding the train! The first IUFB is a pair of Blackberry Pearls with the one-year nationwide calling plan and some cell phone skins (Lanisha & Manuela).

Steven: $2,100
Heriverto: $450
Troy: $820
Meghan: $821

ARP: $1,617

We get an early Christmas present this morning- the season's second playing of 3 Strikes for a 2010 Audi A5 2.0T Quatro Premium Plus Coupe (Fairly loaded)(Rachel at Door #3)! This is definitely NOT going to be an easy playing today, because the numbers in the price are 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Meghan, a real estate saleswoman, first draws the 5 and guesses the second digit...incorrect. She secondly draws her first strike. Third, she draws the 4 and goes with the obvious guess of the first spot...yes indeed.

$ 4 _ , _ _ _

She next draws the 6 and tries the second spot Then comes the 8 and she chooses the second window again...this time, she's correct!

$ 4 8 , _ _ _

She then draws strike two...and STRIKE THREE. ARP: $48,576. It just wasn't meant to be for her.

Video Bonus: First Christmas "TPIR" segment

Our fifth contestant is Rebecca Mullens and the second IUFB is a model train set (Manuela next to Door #3).

Rebecca: $400
Steven: $300 (STAGE GARF)
Herverto: $1,200
Troy: $420

ARP: $1,232

Herverto plays 1 Right Price for a mobile kitchen (Lanisha) and a Honda Rebel motorcycle (Manuela). The ORP that Rachel's holding is $4,915, and Herverto says that's the cost of the mobile kitchen...I think so! The motorcycle was $3,999.

Coming on down sixth is Tanya Wilson and IUFB #3 is four pieces of luggage (Lanisha & Rachel).

Tanya: $875
Troy: $1,100
Rebecca: $543
Steven: $1,200

ARP: $931

Tanya plays Cliff Hangers for a trip to Washington, D.C. (Manuela at the audience screen) worth $5,031. The holiday-themed SPs modeled by Rachel are a box of 40 Christmas cards/envelopes, a Santa platter and a seven-liter drink dispenser. Her guess for the card/envelope box is $12...$16. She secondly says $24 for the platter...$25! That means she has a $40 spread to work with on the drink dispenser. Her final bid is $'s $40 and she wins!

Meghan ($1,617): WINS $1,000!
Tanya ($6,043; first spin was a PENALTY): 60 + 50 = OVER
Herverto ($10,146): Nickel + 60 = $.65

Let's see if Meghan can also win some big money with her Bonus Spin...NO, she gets 75 cents.

Our next player is Diamond Sherman and the fourth IUFB is a Dell computer system (Manuela at the turntable).

Diamond: $1,500
Troy: $1,200
Rebecca: $1,795
Steven: $900

ARP: $3,022

Rebecca plays Freeze Frame for a polished ebony upright piano and 10 private one-hour piano lessons (Lanisha). The best possible prices on today's board are $5,495, $6,239, $8,740 and $9,512. She freezes the board at $8,740, which is a good guess...and good enough for another win! I would've locked in $9,512 instead.

Plugging in the green spot now is Paula Higgins from the front row and the next IUFB is two pairs of Saggatamo shoes (Manuela & Rachel).

Paula: $600
Steven: $1,000
Diamond: $650
Troy: $1,001

ARP: $820

Diamond from Highland, CA plays Pass the Buck for a 2010 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab I4 4X2 (Std., AT, EVP, Lights, Mats, DSill)(Lanisha) worth $17,880.

Big bag of Nestle Flipz: $1.49
Clorox bleach: $2.19
PICK: Flipz- $2.49

Smooth Away: $8.99
Woodlands candle: $4.99


1. #3- DUD
2. #4- WINS $1,000

Rest of the board:

#1- $3,000
#2- $5,000 (he almost chose this on his other pick)

Our final player is Erin White and the final IUFB is a 48-piece collection of Christmas crystal stemware (Lanisha at the clam). Steven & Troy have both been here the whole show; even worse for Troy, he's bidding second in this final round.

Erin: $1,000
Troy: $1,300
Paula: $1,001
Steven: BUCK

ARP: $600


Steven tries to Pick a Number (Lanisha) for the second digit in the price of a Panasonic 54" HDTV and a Blu-Ray Disc theater (Manuela & Rachel). Board:

$ 4 _ 9 9


He goes with the 6 for a guess of $4,699...only 3 Strikes got completely lost today.

I thought today's lineup was just fine.

Diamond ($1,820): 35 + 85 = OVER
Steven ($5,299): 35 + 75 = OVER
Rebecca ($11,766): WINS BY DEFAULT WITH A DIME

The first Christmas Showcase has a Broyhill living room (Rachel at Door #3), this year's offered Christmas tree (which should've been the first IUFB as usual on the last Christmas Week episode)(Rachel), a Dimplex fireplace (Rachel), a diamond tennis bracelet (Rachel) and a Ski-Doo snowmobile (Manuela at Door #1).



Rebecca's Showcase is about finishing her Christmas shopping. To start, we have $4,000 worth of gift cards from Bloomingdale's, Target, The Home Depot & Toys R' Us (Lanisha). Second, give all your children this collection of toys (Lanisha at Door #2). Finally, you definitely can't buy this unless you have a fat wallet- a Trip Around the World (includes the right to sail on a 45" sailboat in The Virgin Islands, a four-course dinner on a glass dome boat in Amsterdam, and a six-night stay in Malaysia)(All at Door #2)!


MY BID FOR CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE #2: $75,000 (don't ask me why)

BID: $36,500
ARP: $24,414

BID: $23,600
ARP: $19,982
DOUBLE OVERBID #3 (that's the third week in a row and the third straight Christmas Week to have at least one of these)

Thank goodness we've also got a New Year's Eve episode this season (which will take place exactly a week from now), because this definitely WOULD NOT have been the best way to wrap up 2009 for Drew & Co. That sends Rebecca home with $11,766 in stuff, while Meghan will have to settle for $2,617 in cash and phones.

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?: This celebrity repeat from Thanksgiving Day is actually my final first-run “5th Grader” recap of the season. We have Jillian Barberie-Reynolds playing for Five Acres. Her first partner is Khamani and here are the 10 subjects:

1st Grade Spelling
1st Grade Animal Science

2nd Grade Vocabulary
2nd Grade Social Studies

3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Grammar

4th Grade Music
4th Grade Nature

5th Grade World Geography
5th Grade U.S. History

Jillian begins her game with the 4th Grade Music question. For $3,500, here it is:

Known for its double reed, what instrument do all the other instruments in the orchestra typically tune to?

She locks in her Peek with little hesitation. Khamani wrote down the oboe. Because Jillian saw him lock in an answer fairly quickly, she makes that her final answer…correct! To double her charity money, here’s her other 4th Grade question in Nature:

The ozone layer is located in which part of the Earth’s atmosphere?

A: Mesosphere
B: Stratosphere
C: Thermosphere

Given her long experience of doing the weather, especially on “FOX NFL Sunday”, Jillian’s not too sure about locking in the thermosphere…well, I can understand that, because she’s wrong. She would’ve also missed with the mesosphere…but Khamani Saves her with the stratosphere for the doubler! Her third category is 2nd Grade Social Studies. For another grand, here’s the question:

What Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Freedom of Speech and the Press?

Jillian says the 5th, while Khamani wrote down the 1st…she has goofed once again, as she should’ve used her final cheat on this question, the Copy. After the first break, she makes Taylar her second classmate choice. She’ll try to do better with this 2nd Grade question in Vocabulary:

From the French for “to descend”, what’s the word for a giant mass of moving snow?

Her guess is an avalanche…correct. At the halfway point, her next question comes from 5th Grade World Geography.

If Kevin’s standing by the base of Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, he’s standing in what continent?

Jillian’s got a one in seven chance of being right if she decides to guess on her own. But she decides to Copy this time. Taylar locked in the continent of South America, which Kevin also said…both of them are right to multiply Jillian’s current bank by six! Now that she’s completely on her own, her next topic pick is 1st Grade Animal Science. For another $500:

T or F: Some fish can swim upstream.

Jillian thinks that’s True…it is! Her next stop is right in the middle of the board with 3rd Grade Grammar. This question is worth an additional $2,500:

Which of these is an example of an hyperbole?

A: “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.”
B: “Taylar is so hungry, she could eat a horse.”
C: “The cars vroomed past us.”

She chooses Sentence B…right for a new total of $9,000! For $500 more, here’s her 1st Grade Spelling query:

What vowel appears most frequently in the following word- “recycle”?

She successfully locks in E! Now, for a new total of $14,500, the 5th Grade U.S. History question goes like this:

Who was U.S. President when the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886?

Jillian doesn’t have much of an idea, but she does make Abraham Lincoln her guess for this question…Stinkin’ Lincoln is NOT right. Kevin had the right President named Grover Cleveland.

Final Extra Credit Question of the Season:

Which of the following types of music has the greatest number of U.S. radio stations devoted to it?

A: Country
B: Oldies
C: R & B

Answer: Country; R & B was eliminated first.

For $2,500 and a free shot at 25 grand, here’s her 3rd Grade Math problem:

How much is 10 billion divided by 10 million?

Jillian goes with 1,000…yes! Now, here’s her Bonus Question in U.S. Geography:

What U.S. state is home to Hot Springs National Park?

Her final answer is Colorado…but some members of the audience and I are right instead with Arkansas. Outtakes are shown to end this episode.

Well folks, that concludes the first syndicated season of "5th Grader". It's been a very fun season. Over the course of 160 episodes this season, we gave away over $1 Million in cash and prizes, including two $250,000 jackpots- one to Elizabeth Miller and the other to Geoff Wolinetz (who can ever forget his PERFECT run on this show). Until next time, the classroom is now closed.

WOF: Last night, Mitch Harper denied Harry Friedman & Co. the chance to make it three straight Happy Holidays Week SCROOGINGS with a $30,000 bonus round win and $70,500 overall! Let's see what happens on the night before Christmas. The first Toss-Up category is Food & Drink:

_ _ _ _ M _ _ E

_ G _ _ _ G

Becky solves HOMEMADE EGGNOG for $1,000. Let's meet our Christmas Eve panel:

Becky Keith (Glendora, CA)- Freelance writer/editor
Chris Kelly (Brooklyn, NY)- Carpenter
Melody Vincent (North Las Vegas)- Does telecommunications at a resort hotel

$2,000 Toss-Up category is Landmark:

R O C _ _ _ _ L _ E R

C E N T _ _

New York City WILL NOT be disappointed for Chris, because he solves the home of the annual Christmas tree lighting, ROCKEFELLER CENTER, for $2,000!

Wellgate Jackpot Round category is Before & After and out on the wheel now is $5,200 worth of Yowza!! mobile coupons. Chris gets this round underway with two R's while on Free Play for a grand, an E buy, but then a dud of S. Second, Melody calls both a T and a Y for $300 apiece, but she then purchases a dud vowel in I. Becky also duds out with N. Chris then calls his second dud of L. Afterwards, Melody calls four P's for another $1,200 and buys all of the remaining vowels in this puzzle- four A's and two O's. We now have:

P A _ A _ A



She solves PAJAMA PARTY POOPER for $1,050.

DUDS: I (Melody), $500 L (Chris), $900 N (Becky), $500 S (Chris)
LEFT BEHIND IN JACKPOT: $8,300 (same as last night)

(The first greeting message of the night comes from the contestant call coordinators.)

Next up is a big Event puzzle. Melody starts us off with five T's for $1,500 and the purchase of three E's, but after calling two H's for a $1,000 See's Candies package, she loses that and the remaining $1,250 to a Bankrupt. Becky next picks up the Wild Card by lighting up two C's, then she calls three R's for $1,650, buys a pair of I's, makes a trio of S's appear for another $1,800, puts up a $700 M and purchases four A's. Following all of that, she calls a $550 L, buys three O's to clean out the vowels and now the board...

_ L A C I _ _ / A

S T A R / O _ / T O _ / O _

T H E / C H R I S T M A S


...she knows enough about PLACING A STAR ON TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE for another $3,950 and $4,950 total.


(The other greeting message of the night is courtesy of the prize/production people.)

Gold Bond Ultimate Mystery/Prize Puzzle Round category is Phrase. The winner of the previous round, Becky, begins this one with a $900 S but then spins Lose a Turn immediately after that.
Chris also hits LAT. Hoping to do much better is Melody, who next calls two N's for $1,200, buys a couple A's, lights up four T's for another $3,600 but then gets the air horn for repeating the A before buying the I. Afterwards, Becky calls a C for the Yowza!! prize, a $300 W and buys triple I's and double E's, then she lights up an R for an additional $300 and twin L's for $1,600 more. We have at this moment...

I / C A N ' T / W A I T

T O / T E L L

_ _ / _ R I E N _ S

...she will now say I CAN'T WAIT TO TELL MY FRIENDS that she just won another $2,600, the Yowza!! package and a trip to The Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii worth $9,958, a new total of $22,708 in cash and prizes!

LATs: 2 (Becky, Chris)
DQ: Melody (A repeat)

TONIGHT'S SPIN ID: TP8315941 (Tara Gail P. from Alabama)

The final Toss-Up subject of the evening is Living Things, and it's a one-wordy:

_ U R T _ _ _ O V _ S

Melody solves TURTLEDOVES to nearly quadruple her winnings to $4,050.

Next category is Title. First, she calls three T's for $900 and a $600 H, followed by three E's; I knew this puzzle after the H showed up. Then, she lights up a pair of L's for another $1,400 and buys an I up top, an O at the bottom and the last valid vowel of U. Next comes double R's to add $600, but then a late dud in C. After that, Becky makes the two M's in the next-to-last word appear for $1,400...

T H E / L I T T L E

_ R U M M E R / _ O _

...and she solves THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY (this should've fallen under TV Title instead, IMO) to increase her total to $24,108 in cash and merchandise!

DUD: $900 C (Melody)

Speed-Up Round category is Thing and consonants are worth...$1,450 apiece. After Becky calls a V...

_ _ G _ _ _ N _

C _ V _ R / S T _ R Y

...she might be on her way to being the subject of a MAGAZINE COVER STORY, because she just added another $4,350 to her winning total, which is $28,458 in cash and stuff! Melody takes home $4,050 and Chris leaves with a couple grand in Toss-Up money.

So far, $34,508 in cash and prizes has been given away a few hours before we open our own Christmas presents.

DUD: L (Chris)
DQ: Becky (L bobble)

TONIGHT'S BANKRUPT TRASH: $2,250 in cash and gift tag

Big Money Round: The Wild Card will be in play her tonight. Becky spins the M in GAME and the category is Thing. Starting with:

_ _ _ _ _ N T _ E N T

_ _ _ _

It took me a while, but I got this with just the RSTLNE. Let's see how she does. Her first four letter picks are C, M, G and O. Her Wild Card choice is P. We get...

_ P P O _ N T M E N T

_ O O _

...she BLOWS IT with APPOINTMENT GOOD. It was APPOINTMENT BOOK and we have our biggest bonus round loss of the season thus far...

...well, she didn't lose the $100,000, but she does lose $50,000. That sends her away with $28,458 in cash and prizes.

Jeopardy!: Ryan Chaffee will become probably the last five-time champion of 2009 if he's successful in defending his title against:

Sarah Boyette (originally from Philadephia)- Law student
Stephen Weingarten (Portland, OR)- Para-educator

BIBLICAL NAME'S THE SAME (three names are given on each clue)

LETTER-WORD (each correct response starts with a single letter and ends with a regular word)

At the opening break, Chaffee leads with $2,200, a grand ahead of Weingarten and $1,600 over Boyette's score. Immediately after the first set of commercials have aired, the champion finds the Daily Double under the $400 Nobel Laureates in Literature clue. For the second time in a row, he makes an ALL IN wager! For $4,400 or nothing, here's his True Daily Double clue:

1958: "For his most important the field of the great Russian epic tradition."

"Who is (Boris Leonidovich) Pasternak?"...DOUBLE! When we reach the end of this first round, he's got $6,600, but is NOT quite in Lock Game Territory at this point, because Boyette's second-place score now reads $3,800 and Weingarten's at $2,600.


The topics for Double Jeopardy! are:



After the first half of the board has been completed, here are the scores now:

Ryan: $7,800
Stephen: $7,400
Sarah: $4,600


Dark military offensive.

Stephen: "What is black attack?"- TIE GAME ($7,800); $800 COLORFUL RHYME TIME CLUE

Earthy dress for a ball.

Sarah: "What is a brown gown?"- CORRECT ($5,400); MIDDLE COLORFUL RHYME TIME CLUE

Commie-grooved part of a tire.

Stephen: "What is red tread?"- RIGHT FOR THE LEAD ($9,000); $1,600 CLUE, SAME CATEGORY

Salmon-colored psychiatrist.

Stephen: "What is pink shrink?"- RIGHT AGAIN ($10,600); FINAL CLUE IN COLORFUL RHYME TIME

Blood-hued Courtesan.

TRIPLE STUMPER: Scarlett Harlet


After Dolley Payne's first husband died of yellow fever in 1793, she married this man.

Sarah: "Who is Madison?"- CORRECT ($5,800); $800 YELLOW FEVER CLUE

Yellow fever is caused by one of these microorganisms that get transmitted by mosquito bites.

Stephen: "What is bacteria?"- INCORRECT ($9,800)
Ryan: "What is a virus?"- CORRECT ($8,600); $400 THE GREEN MOUNTAIN STATE CLUE

In 1791, Vermont joined the union as this number state; not quite original.

Ryan: "What is two?"- NO ($8,200)
Sarah: "What is 14?"- RIGHT ($6,200); $1,200 YELLOW FEVER CLUE

From the Old French for "yellowness", this skin condition puts the yellow in yellow fever.

Stephen: "What is jock itch?"- YES INDEED ($11,000); $1,600 CLUE, SAME SUBJECT


Control of yellow fever greatly aided the completion of this large-scale Central American project in 1914.

"What is the Panama Canal?"...that's it for a new total of $13K! Closing out that topic:

A Washington, D.C. hospital bears the name of this man who fought yellow fever in Cuba and discovered its cause.

Ryan: "Who is Walter Reid?"- RIGHT ($10,200); $800 THE GREEN MOUNTAIN STATE CLUE

Bordering Vermont to the North is Canada, specifically this province.

Stephen: "What is Ontario?"- NO ($12,200)
Sarah: "What is Quebec?"- CORRECT ($7,000)


This man from Middlesex is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.




Between New Hampshire & Vermont runs this river named for a third state.

"What is the Connecticut?"...believe it or not, she's right to move up to $9,600!


This most populous city in the state is home to the main campus of the University of Vermont.

Sarah: "What is Burlington?"- RIGHT AGAIN ($11,600)



Ryan: $10,200
Stephen: $12,200
Sarah: $11,600


Ryan: $8,400
Stephen: $11,800
Sarah: $10,600

Whether I will have to worry about whether or not Mr. Chaffee goes for his sixth win on Christmas Day when this show and "Wheel" are both pre-empted in my area depends on what happens in FJ! Tonight, we're in a 4/5 betting situation.

FJ! CATEGORY: Sportswomen.

Referring to a 1999 incident, her autobiography is titled "It's Not About the Bra".

I knew this one right away, but does Ryan Chaffee...YES with "Who is Brandy Chastain?", although slightly misspelled! The betting calculator told him to wager anywhere from $1,401-$7,400...but he BET THE FARM YET AGAIN! That takes him to $20,400! But is it enough to make him a five-time champ???...

...NO, he finishes in last place anyway, as everybody's right on this clue. That means he's leaving for the time being with $92,900, and he should make the next Tournament of Champions. Let's see who the new champion is...

Sarah: $10K- $21,600
Stephen: $11K- $23,200

...Stephen Weingarten!

Episode ratings:

7: "Jeopardy!" & "Let's Make a Deal"
6: "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" & "Wheel of Fortune"
5: "The Price is Right"