POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

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For your audition, did you choose the location nearest to you?

Poll ended at Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:56 am

I got an invitation to the nearest location
50
83%
I got an invitation to a distant location
4
7%
I've received multiple audition invitations
25
42%
 
Total votes: 60

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Woof
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POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Woof » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:56 am

During a pub quiz last week, my partner-in-crime, who appeared on J! last year, floated the idea that the one might be more likely to get an audition if the site chosen is one distant from where you live. His reasoning is that it might indicate to TPTB the seriousness of your commitment to appear on J! In support of this idea, he mentioned that his lat two auditions were obtained when he chose Seattle and DC (like me, he lives in Indiana), neither of which was the closest test site. Coincidentally (?) my only audition invitation occurred when I chose Orlando as a test site.

So, I'm asking those of you who've received audition invitations during the online test era: did you choose the closest location the year(s) you got your invitation(s)? I'd also be interested in seeing multi-year statistics (i.e., how many auditions were at the nearest site vs. how many weren't) from those who have them.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Volante » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:00 pm

Two auditions during the online era, both to the location closest to me (LA).

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by cinemaniax7 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:23 pm

I have auditioned five times for the coordinators, though all occurred prior to 2013. I auditioned once near my home in Nashville, but that was following a Brain Bus mini-test. The four times I was invited after online testing, I was required to drive a minimum of three hours to the auditions — Portland, Oregon, a drive of three hours (from where I lived then); Raleigh, NC, nine hours; and Cleveland, OH, eight hours.

Each time, however, I had selected the location nearest my home that year, so I'm not sure the theory holds water. Despite passing the online test at least once each of the past five years, I have failed to be selected for auditions in Charlotte, seven hours; Indianapolis, five hours; and Atlanta, four hours, among others. So I'm not seeing a clear correlation between drive time and likelihood of being selected for an audition.

This year, my chosen city is Memphis, three hours from Nashville. But if it helps get me an audition, TPTB, I can drive there via Birmingham...

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by mikebdoss » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:48 pm

My audition was in LA, because it's 40 miles away. I'm not even sure where the next closest audition city was - bay area (380 miles away)? Arizona (~300 miles)? Either way, I never considered going further. Given everything else the coordinators had going on, I doubt they would have cared or noticed if I was a Orange County guy auditioning in San Francisco, except maybe to say, "Why didn't you just go to Culver City?"

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by squarekara » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:55 pm

I don't have a track record--just one test, one audition at a venue near me. This is an interesting theory, but my feeling is that the audition lottery is random or automated. TPTB work so hard and do so much already, I just can't see them weighing travel times at this point in the selection process. HOWEVER, people who travel a great distance to an audition might stand out a little among a pool of locals. And, if you're in a super competitive market, you might boost your chances for an invite by opting for a distant site.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Golf » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:08 pm

squarekara wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:55 pm
my feeling is that the audition lottery is random or automated. TPTB work so hard and do so much already, I just can't see them weighing travel times at this point in the selection process.
This.

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Woof
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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Woof » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:22 pm

squarekara wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:55 pm
I don't have a track record--just one test, one audition at a venue near me. This is an interesting theory, but my feeling is that the audition lottery is random or automated. TPTB work so hard and do so much already, I just can't see them weighing travel times at this point in the selection process. HOWEVER, people who travel a great distance to an audition might stand out a little among a pool of locals. And, if you're in a super competitive market, you might boost your chances for an invite by opting for a distant site.
FTR, that’s my feeling too, but as stated above my own experience did nothing to contradict it, hence this poll. #dataisgood

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by triviawayne » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:15 pm

Golf wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:08 pm
squarekara wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:55 pm
my feeling is that the audition lottery is random or automated. TPTB work so hard and do so much already, I just can't see them weighing travel times at this point in the selection process.
This.
Have said it many times, anything that requires more work = requires more money = they aren't gonna do it.

Pulling random names from everyone who passed the test and chose the same audition city is simple, gives a demographic equal to those that passed the test, and is the least time consuming way to go about "choosing" who gets and audition and who does not. Once they see the people at the audition, then they care about everything else such as demographics, personality, if you're on Jboard or not, if you like pineapple on pizza, etc.
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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Vintsanity » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:43 pm

triviawayne wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:15 pm
Golf wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:08 pm
squarekara wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:55 pm
my feeling is that the audition lottery is random or automated. TPTB work so hard and do so much already, I just can't see them weighing travel times at this point in the selection process.
This.
Have said it many times, anything that requires more work = requires more money = they aren't gonna do it.
Same goes for the idea some people seem to have that contestants in regular games are somehow "seeded" based on skill level.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Quantum » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:02 pm

I've had two auditions. The first was in Chicago, a 4 to 5 hour drive. I requested Orlando for the second (that would have been fun!). Going to Orlando, I would fly. I could not make it for the date of the Orlando audition, so I was offered an alternative locale, and picked Lexington, KY. It may have been the closest remaining spot. This time around, I have requested Cleveland, because I have friends and relatives in the area, and thought I could work in a visit if invited to audition. So I can't say one way or the other about the hypothesis.

I thought we were told at one of the auditions that Jeopardy! did actually arrange the appearance of various contestants by some type of seeding, based on the scores on the written exam at the audition. My recollection is that they said they invited contestants of increasing strength as time went along, to compete with the current reigning champion. Of course, there are sometimes upsets. But I think this could be done. I would think that one could project the general trend of the level over time, and invited contestants accordingly. I am not sure how the level re-set would be accomplished, though--perhaps when a contestant with a quite high score on the written exam is knocked out by someone with an appreciably lower score.

This would not be so difficult to accomplish as one might initially think. By the time one has taken the online test and the written test at the audition, Robert and other people have a fairly good idea of where one's strengths and weaknesses lie. So, for example, if I did not have a commanding lead going into final Jeopardy, I could be pretty reliably bounced out by "Grammy Winners" or "1990's Television." If the scores at the end of Double Jeopardy permitted it, I could do really well with a question on "Early 20th Century Physics." I don't know how far in advance the Final Jeopardy categories are determined.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by triviawayne » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Vintsanity wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:43 pm
triviawayne wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:15 pm
Golf wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:08 pm
squarekara wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:55 pm
my feeling is that the audition lottery is random or automated. TPTB work so hard and do so much already, I just can't see them weighing travel times at this point in the selection process.
This.
Have said it many times, anything that requires more work = requires more money = they aren't gonna do it.
Same goes for the idea some people seem to have that contestants in regular games are somehow "seeded" based on skill level.
The show can’t do that, it’s a random draw on who plays what game from the pool of players at a given taping. This ensures fair play and not cherry picking players based on a games questions.
Total game show career losings = $171,522

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Quantum » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:16 pm

I was suggesting something slightly different--not picking the players based on a game's questions, but picking the questions based on the players, or a player. I am certain that they know by now how they could get rid of me as a contestant if I was not going over well with the TV audience. (Perhaps this is just slightly paranoid, but this is how I would do things if I were in charge of the TV show, to increase the entertainment value and give the TV audience more people they would like to root for.)

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Vintsanity » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:46 pm

triviawayne wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 pm
Vintsanity wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:43 pm

Same goes for the idea some people seem to have that contestants in regular games are somehow "seeded" based on skill level.
The show can’t do that, it’s a random draw on who plays what game from the pool of players at a given taping. This ensures fair play and not cherry picking players based on a games questions.
I know, I was a contestant and lost to a superchamp. I had many people tell me there must be some sort of seeding to ensure a certain contestant goes on a long run. I try to convince them that this is illegal, and even if it wasn't, it wouldn't be worth the time of TPTB to try to stack the deck anyway. Most of them don't buy it.

It's kind of like conspiracy theorists who think the moon landings were faked. They don't seem to realize it would be harder to fake the moon landings and keep it a secret than to actually go to the moon.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by squarekara » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:55 pm

Quantum wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:16 pm
I was suggesting something slightly different--not picking the players based on a game's questions, but picking the questions based on the players, or a player. I am certain that they know by now how they could get rid of me as a contestant if I was not going over well with the TV audience. (Perhaps this is just slightly paranoid, but this is how I would do things if I were in charge of the TV show, to increase the entertainment value and give the TV audience more people they would like to root for.)
This occurred to me as I was going through the audition/application process. I don't have Charles Van Doren's dreamboat factor, so I too wondered if this kind of thing might be going on behind the scenes. But, no, no, no. An independent party randomly selects the games for each taping day--not the contestant coordinators who might be aware of people's hobbies, professions, etc. That person is briefly introduced to contestants but doesn't spend any time with them. Prior to each game, names are drawn to determine the players. Everything's cool.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Quantum » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:26 pm

Well, that's very encouraging!

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by BobF » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:40 pm

I think a better indicator would be go to an audition and see how many are local and how many are from far away. I seem to recall from my two that when they asked who came from the farthest away, not many people gave an answer.
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Woof
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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Woof » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:09 pm

BobF wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:40 pm
I think a better indicator would be go to an audition and see how many are local and how many are from far away. I seem to recall from my two that when they asked who came from the farthest away, not many people gave an answer.
Harder to set than a poll, though. Your point is well-taken, however. In my audition, I was not the farthest away: that was a woman from Texas. Most of the rest came from relatively close by IIRC.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Bamaman » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:46 pm

They do not want to go to jail and have their cash machine shut down. The games are honest.

I once knew a guy who was certain Wheel was rigged because the wheel would suddenly slow down. I guess the concept of editing out things never occurred to him.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by Quantum » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:00 pm

Not to convince everyone that I am a conspiracy theorist, but . . . I thought that they brought on some fairly tough opponents for Ken Jennings, to prevent complete run-aways in the games. (Not that it did that much good.) Was this your impression, or not? One of the contestants I knew ran a local TV academic quiz show for close to 20 years prior to appearing on Jeopardy to face Ken Jennings. Most of the day-to-day contestants do not seem to have this type of background.

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Re: POLL: A Hypothesis about Auditions

Post by econgator » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:11 pm

All 5 of my regular game auditions have been in Florida. My two College auditions were in Memphis and Raleigh-Durham, but those were pre-internet test days.

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