Logansport native Sarah Cahalan looked like a champ on Tuesday afternoon, a day after her appearance on “Jeopardy.”
Cahalan finished well behind eventual winner Camron Connors on the April 4 episode of the popular game show, but she was nothing but gloating about the experience.
“I feel good,” she said. “It’s been so cool. I’ve been totally blown away by all the responses from people at home, everywhere.
Cahalan watched the episode with friends in Chicago. She said that by the end of the episode, she had received 50 text messages, 40 social media notifications and Slack DMs from co-workers congratulating her.
Her sister Laura shared photos on Twitter that showed her holding a tablet with Jeopardy! streaming on it. There were also photos of their grandmother, Betty Cahalan, who was treated to a watch party at Woodbridge Health Campus. The Tweet had nearly 800 likes as of Tuesday afternoon.
“It was hard not to tell people how I did, but now that everyone knows I was thrilled with that performance,” Cahalan said. “So it was fun for everyone to finally see it.”
Monday night’s episode didn’t start well for Cahalan. Connors and defending champion Nell Klugman jumped quickly, earning over $1,000 before Cahalan even had a chance to answer her first question.
What was going through the mind during those first few minutes?
“Terror,” she said.
After answering her first question, Cahalan calmed down and swept the “Hits of the Decade” category. She led the first commercial break, but Connors bounced back and took a decisive lead in Final Jeopardy.
“It’s such a funny feeling because at the same time I was very nervous – it’s crazy to be up there under the lights even though you rehearsed in the morning and practiced,” said Cahalan. “But it’s also so cool that your adrenaline goes crazy.”
She said rehearsals were on the morning of the taping, which was January for Cahalan. Rehearsals are done with random contestants and include easier questions so contestants can become familiar with using the buzzer, practice betting and writing with the stylus. The show producers act as the host.
A pop culture devotee, she felt relieved when Final Jeopardy! the category appeared as “current television”.
“I was pretty happy when I saw the category,” she said. “I didn’t want to end the game betting all my money and it ended up being a sight I had never heard of.
The answer to the final peril! question was the television show “Succession”. Cahalan had never watched the show but was able to rely on her ability to speak French and what she had gleaned about the show from Twitter to answer the question.
“I’m kinda satisfied that Camron has no idea,” she said of the eventual winner who didn’t know the answer. “So I have that to hold him back even though he beat me overall.”
Cahalan said filming the show and waiting to see it air were two equally exciting but totally different experiences. She said meeting the other contestants was the coolest part for her.
But seeing all the support from family, friends and Logansport and the excitement made the wait worth it.
“I was blown away by people’s enthusiasm,” she said.