The contestants did so badly, Alex Trebek didn't even have the heart to condescend to them.
The competition is really cooling down. (via YouTube)
According to the rules of Jeopardy!, any contestant who is in the red at the end of the Double Jeopardy round is disqualified from participating in Final Jeopardy, and can't win the game. This doesn't happen all that often, because Jeopardy! contestants are thoroughly screened to make sure they'll keep it competitive. In theory, anyway.
Two contestants not making it to Final Jeopardy is very rare. Until last night, it hadn't happened since 2011. Now, however, it's time to reset that clock, cause this game was a stinker.
Brad seemed to take it in stride, but he at least was in and out of debt for much of Double Jeopardy. Stephanie, however, seemed to spend the round only sinking deeper and deeper into the red. She played well in the first round, but couldn't face the pressure in the second half of the game, and became increasingly flustered with each incorrect response. She got careless, and it cost her big-time.
Ouch. (via YouTube)
As the clock wound down, it became painful to watch. Just look at her expression:
I'll take "Deer in the Headlights" for $1,000. (via YouTube)
In the end, only returning champion Kristin was around to face Final Jeopardy, although she went into it with a respectable $8,400. She even ended up missing the final question, but it didn't matter, of course.
We shouldn't be too hard on Brad and Stephanie. They clearly know their stuff; something just fizzled when they were in front of the camera. It should be noted that no contestant is selected to appear on Jeopardy! who isn't intelligent and knowledgeable. Regular Jeopardy!, that is. Not Celebrity Jeopardy! That's a shit show.