The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Russell High School senior Shelby Malone won in the Jeopardy! teen tournament Friday night, putting two Kentuckians in the semi-finals of the tournament. Malone, a 17-year-old Grayson resident, won $19,599, and will join Lexingtonian Jay Schrader, who won Thursday night, in the semis.
Malone started rolling up her total correctly answering a question about the Joker in Batman and then rolled through several Shakespeare questions which Trebek relayed in teen-speak. The first half of the show, Malone stayed fairly even with her competitors, Ben Chuchla of Calabasas, Calif., and Charlie Carbery of Oak Park, Ill. But a little way into the second half, she started pulling away. With a $600 lead, she bet $1,500 on a Daily Double and correctly identified Alberta as one of three Canadian provinces that border Montana. A few minutes later, she hit the other Daily Double, wagered $3,000, and correctly identified the manatee as the state marine mamal of Florida. Montana and Florida — pretty diverse for a Kentucky girl. That put her at $14,300, well ahead of her competitors.
Chuchla pulled close toward the end of the round, going into Final Jeopardy with $13,600 to Malone’s $15,100. But Malone was the only one to correctly answer the final question: “The first public one of these schools began in Illinois in 1901 for students who wanted to pursue higher education in their home areas.” Answer: Community or junior colleges.
In the interview segment, Malone told Alex Trebek that she and her friends had devised a way to play “muggle quidditch” using brooms, volleyballs, and one player dressed as the golden snitch. Quidditch is the high-flying game of the Harry Potter stories.
In the semi-finals, Malone and Schrader join this week’s winners: Anurag Kashyap of California, Bradley Silverman of Georgia and Karan Takhar of Massachucettes. Four wildcard contestants, who won the most money among the non-game winners are Chuchla, Brandon Saunders of New York, Sarah Marx of Maryland and Audrey Hosford, also of Maryland, making Maryland and Kentucky the only states to have two semi-finalists.
Those nine will compete in three games shown Monday through Wednesday. The winners of each game will compete in the finals, with a guaranteed minimum prize of $75,000. Schrader and Malone will face each other and Silverman in the semi-final game to be shown Tuesday. The tournament was taped in September, and competitors are not allowed to discuss how they fared until after their episode is shown.
Check the Jeopardy! website for more on the teen tournament, including interview videos of each of the contestants.
After the Transy Boys A Cappella ensemble finished singing, Chanticleer music director Matt Oltman considered their performance of O Little Town of Bethlehem and asked, “What language was that in?”
It was a comment worthy of Simon Cowell, though it lead to a much more constructive critique of the Transylvania University ensemble than most American Idol contestants ever receive.
Chanticleer was on the Transylvania campus Friday for a sold-out 7:30 p.m. concert at Haggin Auditorium. It is the second show in the school’s Dorothy J. and Fred K. Smith Endowed concert series that brings world class ensembles to campus for free performances. It started last year with an October 2007 concert by Kronos Quartet.
As an added bonus to Transy music students, the visiting artists have made time to conduct master classes, though the Transy Boys couldn’t be blamed if there were moments the Chanticleer workshop didn’t feel like much of a bonus.
“They looked scared to death,” said music professor Gary Anderson. “But if they handled it, I knew they’d be better for it.”
Over approximately 45 minutes, the 12 Chanticleer singers and Oltman deconstructed the Transy ensemble’s diction, breathing technique and performance style.
“This is tricky, because you have some really bad habits you’ve gotten into that are going to be hard to break,” Oltman said. “But that’s why we’re here.”
So, soprano Gregory Peebles talked about working with wide-mouthed Southern vowels, alto Alan Reinhardt demonstrated how to sing from the lower abdomen to get a flowing legato sound, and baritone Gabriel Lewis-O’Connor told them to have fun.
“In a way, we’ve scared the character out of these guys,” Lewis-O’Connor said toward the end of the critique. “This is all about singing together and having fun. I swear, if you would smile while you’re singing, that would take care of 50 percent of this.”
Though the session was tough, the Transy Boys appreciated it.
“It was a lot of things we hadn’t thought about,” said Matt Campbell, 21, a senior from Indianapolis. “It was great to get an outside perspective and focus on things we hadn’t focused on before.”
And the ultimate message from Chanticleer to the Transy Boys was it was worth the effort to improve.
“You know, you are hearing from 12 of the most opinionated people in the world,” tenor Todd Wedge said. “But you guys are great, and I think you need to perform more. Whether it’s at a mall or a nursing home, get out there and perform.”
If TBA takes the advice, Chanticleer’s ultimate gift to Lexington may be more men’s choir music.
The results are in for our James Bond poll we conducted here at le blog. Here’s the big qualifier: This was not a scientific poll, just people who responded to a series of seven questions about the world’s favorite British superspy. Undoubtedly, Goldfinger was the big winner, with readers picking it for best picture, best villain in Auric Goldfinger and best gadget in the Aston Martin DB5 with many features that were not standard, to say the least. Technically, since it was a Sean Connery Bond, and the great Scot was our readers’ favorite Bond, you could also give the 1964 classic that category. Goldfinger was also a strong contender in best song and henchman.
But there was support for Bond’s new incarnation as well, with Daniel Craig coming in second in the best Bond race, and Casino Royale almost edging out Goldfinger for best picture — it actually did pull ahead for a while on Tuesday, the last day of voting.
Thanks to everyone who voted, and here are the results:
Best James Bond
Sean Connery, 58.6%
George Lazenby, 0%
Roger Moore, 4.5%
Timothy Dalton, 0.9%
Pierce Brosnan, 12.6%
Daniel Craig, 23.4%
Best Bond movie
From Russia with Love (1963), 10.3%
Goldfinger (1964), 35.9%
Thunderball (1965), 5.1%
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), 0%
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), 10.3%
Goldeneye (1995), 5.1%
Casino Royale (2006), 33.3%
Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), Dr. No, 31.6%
Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), From Russia with Love, 8.9%
Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman), Goldfinger, 19%
Tracy di Vicenzo Bond (Diana Rigg), OHMSS, 6.3%
Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), Diamonds are Forever, 5.1%
Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), The Spy Who Loved Me, 11.4%
Jacintha “Jinx” Jonselle (Halle Berry), Die Another Day, 17.7%
Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman), Dr. No, 3.9%
Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), Goldfinger, 35.5%
Ernst Stavro Blofeld (several actors), You Only Live Twice, OHMSS, Diamonds Are Forever, 31.6%
Dr. Kananga, aka Mr. Big (Yaphet Koto), Live and Let Die, 6.6%
Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), The Man with the Golden Gun, 14.5%
Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), A View to a Kill, 5.3%
Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), Tomorrow Never Dies, 2.6%
Goldfinger, Shirley Bassey, 25.8%
Diamonds are Forever, Shirley Bassey, 3.0%
Live and Let Die, Paul McCartney, 40.9%
Nobody Does it Better from The Spy Who Loved Me, Carly Simon, 9.1%
For Your Eyes Only, Sheena Easton, 4.5%
A View to a Kill, Duran Duran, 10.6%
The World is Not Enough, Garbage, 6.1%
Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya), From Russia with Love, 11.6%
Oddjob (Harold Sakata), Goldfinger, 34.9%
Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint (Putter Smith and Bruce Glover), Diamonds are Forever, 2.3%
Tee Hee (Julis W. Harris), Live and Let Die, 0.0%
Nick Nack (Herve Villechize), The Man with the Golden Gun, 2.3%
Jaws (Richard Kiel), The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, 41.9%
May Day (Grace Jones), A View to a Kill, 7.0%
Briefcase with dagger, rifle, etc. – From Russia with Love, 6.7%
Aston Martin DB5 with oil slick, etc. – Goldfinger, 46.7%
Jet pack – Thunderball, 6.7%
Little Nellie, tricked out helicopter – You Only Live Twice, 3.3%
Rolex with high-powered magnet, circular saw, etc. – Live and Let Die, 6.7%
Submarine Lotus Esprit – The Spy Who Loved Me, 16.7%
Cellphone with stun gun, car controls, etc. – Tomorrow Never Dies, 13.3%
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich