McCormick senior to appear on “Jeopardy!” Wednesday afternoon


Courtesy photo from Sabrina Fritz

McCormick senior Sabrina Fritz with “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek on set. Fritz will appear on an episode of the quiz game show Wednesday afternoon.

Fathma Rahman, Assistant Campus Editor

When McCormick senior Sabrina Fritz got the call, she went straight to her friend Kyle Condron’s apartment.

“I heard the doorbell, and she was just standing there,” said Condron, a McCormick senior. “I asked her what’s going on and she had the stupidest grin on her face. She looked at me and said ‘I made it.’ And then we hugged.”

Fritz will appear on “Jeopardy!” Wednesday afternoon, months after finishing auditions, preparation and filming. She and her friends will attend a viewing party at Norris University Center to watch the show, though Condron said they plan to watch it again later with her friends on the Club Frisbee team in a “less formal setting.”

Fritz said she started watching “Jeopardy!” at a young age and as a kid, she was interested in fun facts and frequently annoyed her parents with trivia.

In high school, she joined the quiz bowl team and participated all four years. Fritz’s childhood best friend, Molly Carroll, said her involvement in quiz bowl was an important part of her childhood.

“Sabrina was very shy as a child, believe it or not,” said Carroll, who graduated from Saint Louis University in 2015. “But quiz bowl brought out her real personality and fire for what she loves.”

The first step to qualify for “Jeopardy!” is to earn 80 percent or higher on their online quiz made available to everyone. Condron said when Fritz took the quiz last summer, she had a feeling that she had gotten it this time. Sure enough, Fritz was invited a few days later to audition in Kansas City.

Six months later, Fritz was invited to a filming in March. She had more free time Winter Quarter, so she spent much of it studying.

Carroll took an Amtrak from San Diego to Los Angeles to watch Fritz on the show. She said she met Fritz’s parents there and got to be on the “Jeopardy!” set to watch the show live.

“I always knew she would do great things, but now it’s actually happening,” Carroll said.

Carroll also said that while photos are not allowed inside the studio, there is a museum before you enter where visitors can take pictures.

“Alex Trebek allowed people to ask questions during commercial breaks,” Carroll said. “Somebody asked what is the meaning of life, and he said that the meaning of life is people like you not asking what the meaning of life is. He was pretty funny.”

Although Fritz said she had done extensive research on the show beforehand, there were some things that still caught her by surprise, such as the amount of makeup both contestants were made to wear.

“Alex Trebek ends up being so tan on air that if they don’t put makeup on us, we just look like ghosts,” Fritz said.

Fritz also said many people don’t know that although contestants can only ring in when Trebek is done reading a question, there’s a light that activates on either side of the game board, too. An employee backstage waits for Trebek to finish reading the question and then turns the buzzer system on, which in turn queues the lights.

Finally having the chance to stand behind the podium and shake hands with Trebek after watching the show for years was “unreal,” Fritz said.

“This was always what I thought would be an unachievable dream and having achieved that now—it feels awesome,” Fritz said. “My mom told me I have to find a new life dream now, but I don’t know how I feel about that.”

Twitter: @fathma_rahman