It also sounds like the student and/or parent didn't read the information provided -- in this case, the rules of the game -- and so was taken by surprise when those rules were followed as planned. That sounds strangely familiar. I'm sympathetic to the kid, because a game show is a pretty big, public, venue in which to have a meltdown, not to mention that said meltdown is then immortalized for posterity. However, the parent's job is to help the kid cope with having made a mistake (and to help put it in perspective; unless the kid does something equally unsportsmanlike in a much more consequential venue decades hence, the tape is unlikely to resurface), not to lobby for making it look as if the mistake never happened.
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Mrs. Miserable Adjunct and I have a standing date in front of the DVR every evening to watch Jeopardy! and The Daily Show. We often make fun of Alex for his awkward interviews, for his over-emphasis of French words/phrases, for his obvious frustration with 'Mericans who know nothing about clues that deal with Canada, and with his delight about pointing out the foibles of the returning champion when they have not played well the night before.As a kid I watched the original Jeopardy in black and white with Art Fleming as the host, and it's taken me for as long as he's had the gig to fully warm to Alex. I have once driven three hours to attend in in-person contestant search (before the WWW; damn you Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman for being a series that appeared on TV while I had the nerve to be on overseas assignment in the navy!). Since the online contestant search started, I have taken it eight times..and two years ago went into the "contestant pool" after being called back for an in-person audition. Never have I received the notification that my lifelong dream of being a Jeopardy contestant was about to come true....We used to love Alex in our house and poke fun at his flaws. Now we love him unconditionally. The kid and the mom knew the rules. If you're in red going to final Jeopardy: game over. Plenty of good smart adult player have walked of the set to leave the other two to go it alone at the end. God Bless Alex!
And, frankly, if you can't figure out that if you are in the red when Final Jeopardy starts and that you have nothing to bet, then you probably are not a good Final Jeopardy contestant.
Can't you bet negative dollars, and when you don't get the right answer (er...question) then you lose a negative, which makes it a positive? SHOW ME WHERE IT SAYS YOU CAN'T DO THAT!
I had a colleague who got a chance on Jeopardy. He provided a question that was actually better than the one they were looking for (not a Cliff Claven one, but a real one). Alex did the "no, I'm sorry, the correct question is ..." and my colleague held a perfect poker face. but he was clearly unnerved, as he repeated the question later in the show, when it was actually wrong, in response to a simpler clue. He wrote a professional and persuasive email after the taping, they checked their facts, and then offered him the chance to appear again. As it involved another plane trip at his expense, he declined.The point here is, they give you the rules, you know them, and you don't argue them on air or afterwards. You argue the evidence if you have it, or you go away. Quietly.
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