Final Jeopardy: 20th Century America

The Final Jeopardy question (1/2/2015), in the category “20th Century America” was:

In 1923 Fanny Brice made news by having this procedure, later rejected by a woman portraying her.

5x champ Vaughn Winchell brought his winnings up to a whopping $103,103 yesterday. Today he takes on these two players: Elliot Yates, from New York, NY; and Mike Blaha, originally from Homestead, FL.

Round 1: Vaughn found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “In My Cabinet” under the $800 clue. He was in the lead with $4,600, $1,800 more than Elliot in second place. He bet $1,800 and he was RIGHT.

George Romney, John Connally, John Mitchell. show

Vaughn finished in the lead with $7,200. Elliot was second with $5,000 and Mike was last with $3,200.

Round 2: Elliot found the first Daily Double in “Crossword Clues ‘D'” under the $1,600 clue. He was running this first category and was now in the lead with $7,400, $200 more than Vaughn in second place. He bet $3,000 and he was RIGHT.

The usually wealthy widow of a king. show

Vaughn found the last Daily Double in “Penn. Pals” under the $800 clue. In second place with $8,000, he had $3,600 less than Elliot’s lead. He bet $3,400 and he was RIGHT.

This General from Uniontown won the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize for his plan helping European Recovery. show

Vaughn finished in the lead with $18,200. Elliot was next with $16,000 and Mike was in third place with $2,400.

TWO of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


In 1927, Fanny Brice gave her nose job as a reason why her marriage to Nicky Arnstein fell apart: “Fanny’s lawyer told the judge that Nicky had first become attracted to Fanny because she resembled his mother. After Fanny had her nose job, Nicky’s lost interest in her. Nicky had something called an Oedipus Complex.”

Singer and actress Barbra Streisand played Brice in “Funny Girl”, on Broadway and in a 1968 film. She talked about her unique nose and her reasons for not getting a nose job with Playboy Magazine in 1977 and with Barbara Walters in 1985.

Mike got it right. He bet $2,399 bet and finished with $4,799.

Elliot got it too. He bet $2,201 and that brought him up to $18,201.

Vaughn thought it was a face lift. He lost $13,801 so he ended up in third place with $4,399, making Elliot the new Jeopardy! champ.

Congrats to Elliot. We’ll be seeing him again on Monday.


Elliot Yates is an opera producer but he didn’t talk about opera during the chat. He talked about his second roommate, the top half of a mannequin named Kipper, and their encounter with the police on the Grand Central Parkway when he was moving to New York. “We get all kinds,” Alex joked. It’s a safe bet that this part will be on youtube very soon.

2 years ago:: TWO of the players got this FJ in “Imaginary Characters”

For a 1912 play they were dubbed Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick & Quee; 25 years later, they got new names. show

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15 Responses

  1. janet says:

    Can anyone tell me, please, the name of the author or the series of 7 books mentioned on the show January 2nd?

    • VJ says:

      do you mean this clue–

      At last count there were 16 books in this apocalyptic series that began with “A Novel of the Earth’s Last Day”

  2. Tom Clark says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb now, but don’t I do that a lot?

    I find today’s FJ vaguely anti-Semitic, due to the expression “nose job” (as opposed to “nasal plastic surgery” or something more dignified.)

    You know anti-Semites were thinking, “Yeah, they had Jew noses.”

    Which brings me to Vaughn. Vaughn said he converted to Judaism, and it’s long been said that converts often take their religion more seriously than those born to it.

    He might have been thinking, “Nah, they wouldn’t go for ‘nose job.’ That’s vaguely anti-Semitic.” So he went with the more dignified “face lift.”

    I’m thinking this because of the expression on his face when they came to him at the end. He seemed to be thinking, “It’s one thing to lose, but to lose to THIS?!”

    I might be in a small minority, but I can’t be the only one who finds a question about Jewish women with big noses getting “nose jobs” somewhat insulting. I bet Streisand found it offensive. After all her years of great success, people are still hung up on a trivial facial feature!?

    By the way, for those who care, which can’t be many, I searched the New York Times to see if Brice’s NOSE JOB really did make news back in 1923, and it sure did. However, they referred to it with a bit more dignity as simply an operation on her nose.

    • VJ says:

      It never occurred to me. “Nose job” is very commonplace these days — Jeopardy even had a $400 clue in 2002 in the category “Just Say ‘No'”: It’s the informal, more common term for rhinoplasty.

      On jboard, Vaughn said he couldn’t believe he missed FJ – he had all the pieces but couldn’t put it together.

      I don’t think Streisand would be offended. In the article I linked to, she says: “When I was young, everyone would say, ‘You gonna have your nose done?’ It was like a fad, all the Jewish girls having their noses done every week at Erasmus Hall High School…”

      As for me, I did not even know Fanny Brice had a nose job, but I did know Streisand played her and had read about Streisand thinking getting her nose “fixed” would affect her singing abilities.

      btw, I was watching that WWTBAM video Jacob mentioned and the answer to the 9th question Elliot got was “ghetto booty”.

    • john blahuta says:

      i agree in part with you, though i said earlier that i actually like streisand’s nose. the question is now, what race would be insulted if you call “breast enlargement” a “boob job”?
      re streisand , that nose gives her that “je ne sais quoi” charisma…
      but just bringing the whole thing up: we still have racism in our good ols u.s. of a, not just against blacks and hispanics….

      and nobody as zealous as somebody who converted, you got that right!! i experienced that myself in all walks of life, not just religion!
      but the whole thing was really ironic, you got that right as well!!!

  3. aaaa says:

    Elliot is now a champion on three game shows. He won $58,500 on WWTBAM last March (making it to round two but walked away at the $100K question) and $48,360 on Wheel in 2011.

  4. john blahuta says:

    at least vaughn won 5 games and over 100K. the fj category was named in a very ambiguous way. 20th century america? that could have been anything. elliot wagered accordingly, i.e.cautiously and that won him the game. that and that vaughn was wrong with the huge wager… so that would have made elliot the winner, even had he been wrong. i wonder how long he will last?

    the dd clues were extremely easy imo. but: congratulations, especially for anticipating the sneaky ways of fj…