‘It’s been a lifelong dream’: Pocatello woman to appear on Jeopardy!Published at | Updated at
POCATELLO — A local woman achieved a longtime dream when she competed on the game show Jeopardy! in December. Her episode will air Monday.
Kendra Westerhaus, an Idaho State University alumna and clinical psychologist at Health West in Pocatello, told EastIdahoNews.com she has long been a fan of the trivia game show.
“It’s been a lifelong dream to get on Jeopardy!,” she said. “Being there was so cool.”
This was the second time Westerhaus auditioned for a spot on the show — and the first in nearly 20 years.
As she explained, the audition process begins with the online “Anytime Test” — which can be found here. Those who do well on the anytime test are invited to take part in round two — a similar test that is taken while on streaming video, showing show representatives that no cheating is occurring.
“The way I was thinking of it, it was like a proctored exam,” Westerhaus said. “Beyond that, I was invited to a mock game and interview with an even smaller group of people.”
Anyone invited to the third audition — the mock game — has their name entered in a pool that is then drawn from for the show, though not all names make the show’s roster.
Westerhaus received her call in November, with an invite to the Dec. 15 and 16 tapings.
“I did a little bit of studying beforehand,” she said, “I was trying to identify areas of weakness and cram for some of those things.”
She went so far as to make flashcards for self-quizzing on things like past U.S. vice presidents. However, she joked, the random facts she has collected over her 40 years served her more than any of the last-minute studying.
“I can’t talk specifically about questions, but I will say that my more general trivia knowledge was more helpful than any of the cramming,” she said.
Westerhaus will be watching with her friends and family when her episode airs Monday at 6 p.m. on NBC.
Asked what part of the experience so long in the making was most meaningful, she said a single thing was difficult to pinpoint. She said the show’s production team and fellow competitors were gracious throughout the experience, helping her alleviate her nerves and be in the best position to compete.
“The whole experience was awesome,” she said. “It was a great experience overall … I felt good about the whole process.”