Sing, Muse, Of The 'Jeopardy!' Three-Way Tie Every month, John Wood and a bunch of his musician friends get together to make a new album from scratch. This month, the theme is the first event of its kind in the history of a television game show — adapted as a Greek myth.
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Sing, Muse, Of The 'Jeopardy!' Three-Way Tie

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Sing, Muse, Of The 'Jeopardy!' Three-Way Tie

Sing, Muse, Of The 'Jeopardy!' Three-Way Tie

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  • Transcript

GUY RAZ, host:

A band that sounds, well, considerably different than Rage Against the Machine decided to take a legendary game show and give it a legendary backdrop - that's ancient Greece - and turn it into an album.

One of our producers, Travis Larchuk, has the epic tale of how it all happened.

TRAVIS LARCHUK: Every month, John Wood and a bunch of his musician friends get together to make a new album from scratch. The inspiration for this month's album came two years ago - on March 16th, 2007, to be exact.

Mr. JOHN WOOD (Learning Music Monthly): I was in the living room, sitting on the couch, watching "Jeopardy!"

(Soundbite of TV program, "Jeopardy!")

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Announcer: This is "Jeopardy!"

LARCHUK: So yes, John Wood decided to make an entire album, 12 songs, all about a single game of "Jeopardy!" and that's all because of what happened in the last round - Final Jeopardy! - when the contestants have to wager part of their winnings on one question.

(Soundbite of TV program, "Jeopardy!")

Mr. ALEX TREBEK (Host, "Jeopardy!"): One of the men who shot her realized when he saw her body that she'd often waited on him at a cafe in Dallas.

LARCHUK: It's Bonnie Parker from Bonnie and Clyde, by the way, but that's not the point. The point is the first two contestants get it right, and they're tied at $16,000 each. So that leaves Scott Weiss. He's a computer science professor, and all he has to do is follow classic "Jeopardy!" protocol. Only the winner gets to keep the money. So Scott has to bet enough to beat the other two contestants by at least a dollar. But does Scott Weiss do that? No.

(Soundbite of TV program, "Jeopardy!")

Mr. TREBEK: Scott, did you get Bonnie Parker? You did. What did you risk? $16,000. The first time ever, a three-way tie. Enjoy the weekend...

LARCHUK: And watching this on TV back in his living room, the musician John Wood was stunned.

Mr. WOOD: My wife was in the kitchen making dinner, and I definitely yelled out: There's a three-way tie on "Jeopardy!" And I think my wife was not as impressed as I was.

LARCHUK: Still, for the first time in more than 40 years of "Jeopardy!" all three contestants were declared champions, and all three got to keep the money, thanks to one guy. And John Wood thought that was pretty great.

Mr. WOOD: The event stuck with me, and I thought about it a lot in the last two years.

LARCHUK: Which brings us to his album. It's called "The Greatest Event in Sports History," and it's "Jeopardy!" set in one of the categories from that episode, Ancient Greece.

Mr. WOOD: So in our version, the Greek gods are sort of bored. So they send Athena down to convince these mortals to battle each other. So she disguises herself as this beautiful woman, who goes by the name Jeopardy, and she convinces these three men to fight for her hand and for riches and fame, and Alex Trebek is the curator of these games.

LARCHUK: On the album, there's a song about each of the three contestants, including the hero of the story, "Jeopardy!" rebel and intrepid puzzle-solver Scott Weiss.

(Soundbite of song, "Scott Weiss")

Unidentified People (Singers): (Singing) A puzzle is the greatest thing like light and magic (unintelligible) and clues. An answer posed for questioning...

LARCHUK: Now, Scott Weiss, the real Scott Weiss, had no idea someone had written an entire album about him until a few weeks ago, when a friend emailed him a link to it.

Mr. SCOTT WEISS: And it was like, what?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. WEISS: Excuse me? I think some of the people I've talked to about it called it stalkery. The guy writes on his Web site: I'm a hero of his musical. I have - my character has a solo in it. I mean, it's just - it's perplexing to me. I mean, it's wonderful, but it's perplexing.

LARCHUK: But Scott kind of has to admit the album figured him out pretty well. When he made that three-way tie happen, he wasn't using some crazy, new strategy, and it wasn't a mistake. He did it because he thought it would be fun.

Mr. WEISS: There was this cool thing that could be done at this point, that had never happened before, and that was worth doing. The whole ancient Greece thing seems a little bit - it's a little weird for me but, you know, it's just a great - I mean, I enjoyed it. I really loved it.

LARCHUK: So not only did Scott Weiss beat the system and make history, he also got immortalized in song - and he got $16,000, which isn't bad, either.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified People: (Singing) Everyone be a winner in this game...

RAZ: That's producer Travis Larchuk, and we have some lovely parting gifts for him backstage.

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