Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

February 4, 2013

Moweaqua Teen Tests Trivia Knowledge on Jeopardy!

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — A Moweaqua teen got the chance to play one of his favorite games on national television.

Jordan Villanueva, 17, was chosen as a contestant on the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, which is airing on WAND-TV 17 January 30 – February 12.

Villanueva, a senior at Central A&M High School, enjoys trivia. He is currently captain of his Scholastic Bowl team, recently helping bring his team to win the conference.

This was the second time he tried out to be a contestant on Jeopardy!.

“The first time I tested, I had the face-to-face interview, but nothing came of it,” he said.

Villanueva took the online challenge earlier this year and was called for the first interview.

“Then I got a second interview in Chicago in September. They told us we’d hear back about the third week of October. I didn’t hear anything,” he said.

Little did he know word got to WAND in October that Villanueva had been selected and WAND personnel orchestrated an ambush on him at school to announce his selection in the Teen Tournament. In November Villanueva, his father Roel, mother Cinda, and sister Kaitlin were in California for the taping of the tournament.

“I’m a long-time fan of Jeopardy!. It’s basically my favorite show. I’ve been dreaming about being on it for a long time. I was in disbelief for a little bit. It was an amazing experience,” he said.

All ten shows were taped within a two-day period. The days were long. The first day Villanueva  left the hotel at 8 a.m and did not return until 6:30 p.m. During the first day, the contestants filmed promotions for the show and for the upcoming online challenge for the next Teen Tournament, before filming the first quarterfinal.

The contestants had a rehearsal game before playing in the tournament to get them familiar with the real game. This year’s contestants were from Georgia, Minnesota, Connecticut, Texas, California, Kentucky, and Iowa.

“Rehearsal was a blast,” Villanueva said. “It played like a show but Glen, who was running it, made sarcastic comments and joked around. He was helping us relax and preparing us for the show, but it was just fun.”

While other filming was ongoing, the waiting contestants were kept from watching.

“We weren’t allowed to watch the others because you could calculate what it would take to be a wild card contestant. They kept us buried behind stage in the green room. We were kept very much secluded,” Villanueva said.

The show’s host, Alex Trebek, also made an impression on Villanueva.

“Alex is the coolest guy ever. He’s what you’d expect but he was very surprising. He’s a calm, cool person. He’s very middleclass. He lives in a small house, loves his power tools, drive a 1998 pickup,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva said he would be interested in playing the game again if the opportunity presented itself.

“Once you’ve been a contestant, you can’t be on the show again with the same host. Should Alex Trebek retire, I would definitely be interested in trying again,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva encourages other teens and adults to take the online test and possibly get on the show.

“The test is difficult, but it’s very doable. It takes about 10 minutes and it’s definitely worth it. You have nothing to lose. I’m encouraging all my friends who are interested in trivia to try it,” he said.

Editor’s note: Villanueva’s contest on Jeopardy! aired Monday, February 4. At the time of this interview, he could not reveal the outcome of the game.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Publisher to honor historic farms SIKESTON, Mo. -- The publisher of an upcoming book honoring historic family-owned farms in Illinois says initial response to their publicity campaign has been overwhelming, despite the fact that a large number of farm owners still haven't heard about

    April 22, 2014

  • 042214 4-H cards for soldiers pic 4-H Federation makes cards for soldiers Shelby County 4-H Federation members met on April 14 with Pat Titus and made cards for the Troops. Pat Titus is from Arcola and goes and meets with groups to make cards. She brings all the materials to make cards and asks for a small donation to hel

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board chooses energy contractor for High School The Shelbyville school board took the first step to replace the heating system in the High School building during the regular school board meeting Thursday evening. After hearing recommendations from the facilities committee, the board approved GRP,

    April 22, 2014

  • 041814 Rams on the Run pic Students complete Read, Right, & Run Marathon A group of Shelbyville students, ages Kindergarten through 6th grade, participated in the GO! St. Louis Read, Right, & Run Marathon on April 5. The event was held at Forest Park, St. Louis. Coordinators were Lisa Mayhall and Stacy Lindemann. The GO!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit report: County's finances 'level' The county's finances are "level", according to Robin Yockey of Mose, Yockey, Brown and Kull LLC. Yockey presented the audited financial report to the County Board during last week's regular meeting. "The county's finances remained relatively level b

    April 18, 2014

  • 041814 Moulton concert pic Moulton Jr. High presents spring concert Moulton Middle School 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choruses presented its Spring Concert Tuesday evening in the High School auditorium. The 6th and 7th grade choirs combined to present "Bye Bye, Love", "Read All About It", "Just a Bit of Sunshine", "Play

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2246.JPG SHS Prom Royalty Candidates named

    Shelbyville High School has announced its 2014 Prom court.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sgt. Timothy Owens laid to rest Saturday Jackson Adams Effingham Daily News Sgt. Timothy Owens laid to rest Saturday

    April 15, 2014

  • 041514 veterans honored pic Father, son veterans honored with headstones Military headstones were placed near the graves of a Blackhawk War veteran and his Civil War veteran son Friday thanks to the efforts of a Shelbyville man. The stones were placed near the Graham family plot at the corner of Veterans and Highland Aven

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelby County Art Show Results 2014 Welcoming weather helped this year's Shelby County Art Show to be quite busy with many visitors to the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center. This SCAS had a large number of entries in both junior and adult divisions, as well as many demonstrators showing

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Poll

Do you think the United States should become more involved in the advancements of Russia into the Ukraine?

Yes, militarily
Yes, as peacemakers
No
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium