What ’90s Game Show Did Linda Jensen Try Out For?

| Jul 24, 2017

Jeopardy! En Femme

My favorite game show is Jeopardy!, the game of answers and questions. At home, I love to play along with the contestants and I always seem to do okay. A friend of mine was on the program several years ago and he won over $25,000 so I decided that if I was ever in Los Angeles when they were searching for contestants I would try out and then go on to make some easy money.

My first tryout was several years ago and I was so nervous I couldn’t sleep the night before and did the qualifying test in a daze, even missing easy questions about pagodas and the like. The second time I made it past the first round of tests but never got called to be on the show. The problem, I figured was they had too many male contestants; next time it would be Linda that auditioned. My chance came last August when a visit to Los Angeles coincided with tryouts at the start of a new Jeopardy! season. I arranged to do the test on a Wednesday morning which would be preceded by a good night’s rest (as neither Club 7969 (Peanuts) nor the Queen Mary would be open.) What to wear? I had lots of skirts and dresses but they were more suited to evening-wear than an intellectual game show tryout. So, it was off to Fashion Square to find the right outfit. On the way I stopped in at Ross Dress For Less and there it was — the perfect dress. It was black with a white flower print and a wrap skirt, silk by Argenti and on the sale rack for only $19.99. I tried it on and it was a perfect fit. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was so happy I bought two other dresses, a skirt and a blouse.

Jeopardy! test participants are told to be at the gate of the Sony studios in Culver City at 10:30 a.m. sharp. I was up well before that to do my necessaries, which included the difficult job of trying to look passable with only a very little makeup. I skipped breakfast electing only to have a little juice in my room. I arrived at the studios about 10:15 and found a parking spot in the garage. On the elevator ride down my fellow passengers paid no attention to me, as they were engrossed in some child actress who was going to do a part in the Tony Danza Show. Soon there I was, standing with some 150 other hopefuls waiting for the world famous Jeopardy! limousine (actually a golf cart) to come and lead us to the studio for the test. There were a few people talking to each other, I talked briefly with one other lady but mostly our group kept to ourselves. One man was cramming by reading the 1997 World Almanac; another was doing a crossword puzzle. Precisely at 10:35 the contestant search coordinator arrived, made a few small jokes and led us to the studio where the test would be administered.

I half expected some arm to reach out to me and a voice to say, “You needn’t do the test. We’re never going to select a crossdresser to be on the show.” But it didn’t happen and soon we were all seated, waiting further instructions. The test was to be 50 questions delivered by way of video monitor and would be from 50 different categories — geography, literature, politics, etc. Contestants who scored above a certain score would be asked to stay to play a sample game and if they demonstrated “the right stuff” they would go in to a pool of names to be called to be actual contestants. I’d heard all this before so I sat there thinking how nice it felt to be sitting there with the skirt of my dress folded around my knees and I how I wished I could put a little more perfume on right now. Nobody seemed to be reading me or paying any attention to me at all.

Perhaps to build the tension, or perhaps sensing the tension, our contestant search coordinator asked if anyone would like to use the toilet. About 20 hands went up and although I really wanted to go I stayed put. No sense pushing my luck. As soon as all the contestants were back, the test commenced and the questions flashed quickly on the screens — they said at a rate of one every eight seconds but it seemed much faster. I know I answered most of the questions, but would I get the magic mark? I would soon find out.

When test coordinator and his lovely assistant took the papers to be marked they gave us a sheet to fill out with some details of our life — name, address, phone and interesting accomplishments and things that had happened in our lives. This was “so Alex Trebeck could ask us things at certain points in the program.” That latter detail really brought home the fact that “Hey, I just might pass the test and then I would have to face some very close scrutiny.” I decided on a what the heck attitude and wrote down some strange incidents drawn from the life of Linda. I once was shopping in Harrods and found myself next to Jackie Onassis and I once was elected “Princess of the Poconos” were the two facts I mentioned. Realizing the show’s time slot I could have mentioned, but didn’t, that I had slept with professional athletes from three different sports and to me, a sports fan, that is a real accomplishment. (But that’s another story)

Well my concern about the biographical information was unnecessary. I and all but seven others failed to make the minimum score so we were ushered off the lot with the encouraging words that we would be eligible to try out again in six months. Would I do it again? You bet and en femme too. I would really like to know if it was a fluke that those egghead type contestant wannabes seemed to not read me or to show any interest in this tall blonde whatsoever. Soon I was off the lot and what did this girl do to get over her upset? I went shopping.

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Category: Fun & Entertainment

About Linda Jensen: Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the "Transvestian" newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

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