NYU student to compete on college ‘Jeopardy!’ tonight

Tisch student Jeric Brual will represent NYU and test his trivia skills in the “Jeopardy! National College Championship” at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Nicole Chiarella, Contributing Writer

NYU student Jeric Brual is a contestant in the “Jeopardy! National College Championship.” He is one of only 36 students selected from 26,000 applicants nationwide. (Image courtesy of Jeopardy Productions)

Tisch senior Jeric Brual is set to represent NYU in the “Jeopardy! National College Championship” at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15. The film and television student will compete against 35 other undergraduates from across the country for a chance to win the grand prize of $250,000. 

“This member of the NYU Tisch class of 2022 is a source of Violet pride for being one of only 36 students selected from 26,000 applicants nationwide to compete in the Jeopardy! National College Championship and will be cheered on by NYUers this coming Tuesday,” NYU spokesperson John Beckman wrote to WSN.

It took nearly a year for Brual to find out if he was going to be a contestant in the tournament. His audition process started in October 2020 after he decided to take an online test for the college championship. After passing, he completed a proctored test on Zoom in December 2020. 

Brual then received notice of his participation in the competition only a few weeks before the episodes were taped last November. He was initially required to keep his candidacy in the show a secret, and he only told his mother once he filled out the paperwork and booked travel plans to the studio. 

“She was very excited,” Brual said. “I’ve been at this for close to a decade, so it was definitely exciting news to share with her. I didn’t tell my dad until about two weeks before I was scheduled to fly out to Los Angeles.”

Brual spent around a month and a half preparing for his appearance on the “Jeopardy!” tournament. To prepare, he focused his studying on two books — “Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy!” and “Secrets of the Buzzer.” He said that learning how to use the “Jeopardy!” buzzer is as important as trivia knowledge to succeed on the show.

“I bought the books to learn, essentially, the secrets of the buzzer and how to handle it and what the optimal positioning is,” Brual said. “As a film and TV major, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different films and television shows that I’d never thought to watch on my own time — that knowledge definitely came in handy.”

No matter how badly or how well someone may do, I think it was just impressive enough for all of us to get on the show.”

— Jeric Brual, NYU student and college “Jeopardy!” contestant

The two contestants that will compete against Brual, Raymond Goslow and Lucy Greenman, both noticed the extent of his preparation for the show. Goslow, a senior at Kennesaw State University majoring in geospatial sciences, and Brual would watch the other games backstage prior to their competition. Goslow said that Brual’s tracking of scores and wagers stood out to him.

“That was a kind of expertise that no one else really brought,” Goslow said. “To see how much preparation he had put into that was really cool. It was really fun to play against him. I wouldn’t trade that game for anyone else.”

Greenman, a health analytics student at The College of William & Mary, recalled when she and Brual had to leave early from lunch to get their makeup done and record their episode. The three contestants formed a friendship with one another during their experience and have kept in touch since the show’s taping.

“We had this little bonding moment of, ‘Yeah, we’re about to go showdown, but we’re friends,’” Greenman said. “We’d already spent a couple of days together. It was just very sweet. We were all very excited to be there together.”

Jeric Brual competes in a quarterfinal game against Raymond Goslow and Lucy Greenman. (Image courtesy of Jeopardy Productions)

During the morning of the taping, Greenman said she had texted her boyfriend saying that she hoped that she would not be paired with two contestants in particular. Since she was participating in one of the last quarter final games, there were only a handful of potential competitors left, and she ended up competing against the two people she had worried most about — Brual and Goslow.

“We’d all had been playing along with the other games as they taped,” Greenman said. “I could tell he definitely knew a lot, but Jeric is very sweet. We wound up becoming even better friends. We all got dinner that night and we stayed in touch.”

Ahead of his episode, Brual expressed his gratitude for the community he found among his “Jeopardy!” competitors. It has pushed him and the other students to get through the tournament and combat the criticism that some of them have faced during their time on the show.

“Twenty-six thousand people auditioned to be on this show from 4,000 schools, and 36 of us were chosen,” Brual said. “No matter how badly or how well someone may do, I think it was just impressive enough for all of us to get on the show.” 

Contact Nicole Chiarella at [email protected]