Packed house for Henderson's 'Jeopardy!' watch party

Baldwin City resident Becky Henderson answers questions from the crowd of people gathered at the Lodge Monday for a watch party for her appearance on the game show "Jeopardy." Henderson finished third and did not advance to another round tomorrow. Enlarge photo

June 7, 2010, 6:07 p.m. Updated: 9 June 2010, 1:38 p.m.

Becky Henderson’s long-anticipated appearance on the game show “Jeopardy!” didn’t last long. In Monday’s show, the Baldwin City resident finished third and did not advance.

But she’d do it again.

“I finally put my money where my mouth is, put my words into reality,” said Henderson, whose show was taped in February for Monday’s replay on ABC. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’d get a better clicker.”

During the show, it was apparent that Henderson was hitting the button to give answers, but it wasn’t working right. That’s how the show goes, she said.

“It’s the questions, it’s the timing of the clicker,” she said. “It’s a lot more about luck than you’d think.”

After the show was over at the watch party at the Lodge, she fielded questions from around 60 people who were there. She was asked if she was nervous on the show and she said there wasn’t time for that.

“I was more nervous coming to watch it with you guys,” said Henderson.

She talked about how small the studio was where the show is filmed and the interaction between the contestants. She had tried out for the show once before and had always wanted to be on it. That dream came true.

“This was a big deal for us,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience. I won $1,000. I got to go to California in February.”

The crowd Monday was heavy on the political side, too. Her husband is State Rep. Tony Brown, D-Baldwin City, who opened the show by thanking everyone for coming. State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, who is running for governor, was there, as were Mayor Ken Wagner, School Board President Alison Bauer and numerous members of the school board and city council.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for anything,” said Holland, a long-time friend of Henderson and Brown.

But it wasn’t about politics at Monday’s showing, where all of the crowd couldn’t fit in the room and others watched on televisions outside. It was about Henderson making it to the show she’d dreamed about.

“This was on her bucket list,” said Brown, during opening remarks before the show. “She’s wanted to do this for a long time. She’s been known around here as my wife all these years. Today I’m proud to say I’m Mr. Becky Henderson.”

When the show came on and Alex Trebek introduced Henderson, the crowd broke out in cheers. As the game started, she missed her first answer and one of her opponents got it right. Someone from the crowd yelled, “He’s obnoxious,” which brought laughter.

As the show progressed, Trebek asked Henderson about jumping off a cliff, one of the several stories she’d had to submit about herself. She answered, but would have preferred he’d asked about something else.

“He picked the story about when I was young, dumb and drunk,” she said after the show.

By then, Henderson had gotten on a roll with her answers and got five right, including one on a specialty of hers, Bruce Springsteen. But, in the end, she didn’t come close to winning. But she was still pleased to have had the experience and may try her hand at other game shows, such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

“Unfortunately, that’s all she wrote,” Henderson said during a question and answer period at the Lodge following the show. “It’s very fast. I will always love Alex Trebek for what he said as I watched from the crowd while other shows were being taped. He said in the first segment ‘the young lady obviously knew the right answers, but couldn’t get the clicker right.’”

She has no regrets.

“I did my best,” said Henderson. “I tried my hardest.”

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