Dr. Sanjay Gupta had to keep Jeopardy clues in hotel safe while preparing to guest host
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta is revealing the lengths he went to keep Jeopardy! clues out of, well, jeopardy.
Ahead of his Monday debut as a guest host, the neurosurgeon and CNN's chief medical correspondent wrote about his experience taping the iconic trivia program.
Gupta said he learned just how much "integrity is baked into all facets of the show," in a CNN article published Sunday. The Jeopardy! team took things so seriously that they asked him to keep any papers that contained clues "in the hotel safe whenever I left the room."
And it didn't stop there. Gupta said he wasn't permitted to share clues with anyone, not even his wife.
"While I was given multiple show scripts, I wasn't told the order we would tape them until just before filming began. And, even after that, the order could be changed again to ensure no one had advance notice of the clues," he continued. "Even the contestants themselves weren't certain when they would be called into a new show. There was a constant and purposeful shuffling of schedules and content to maintain that sterling history of high integrity. I felt it all around me."
Gupta also shared that the show was extremely particular about how contestants responded, unsurprisingly. It's well-known that players have to respond in the form of a question, and Gupta revealed that if people didn't do so during "Double Jeopardy!", he was "told to 'stare down' the contestant until they either figured out their mistake or time ran out."
Making his Jeopardy! entrance on Monday, Gupta spoke to viewers about how he wanted to honor the late Alex Trebek, who hosted the trivia show for decades before his death in November.
"Such an honor to be here, a life dream for me really, also thrilled to be able to pay my respect to the great Alex Trebek," Gupta said.
He then talked about what it meant, not just professionally but also personally, to step into Trebek's shoes.
"I am the son of two engineers. Facts and data have always filled my life," Gupta said. "And that's what Jeopardy! is all about, whether watching with my parents or now my own three teenage daughters, who like to beat me by the way, they are certainly watching right now."
Gupta will be hosting until July 9. He'll be followed by the likes of George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and LeVar Burton. Gupta's fellow CNN host Anderson Cooper previously led Jeopardy! between April 19-30.
America's favorite answer-and-question game.