New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

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ThreeIfByAir
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New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by ThreeIfByAir »

If this has been covered already, my apologies, but I haven't seen anything about it.

J! has a new contestant coordinator named Aimee Seligstein this season -- I guess Robert left. Interestingly enough, she was actually a contestant last season.

I remember when I taped a couple of years ago, there was talk from the audience of who would host after Alex (his contract was up at the time and people thought he would retire). Someone from the audience suggested Ken Jennings, and Harry Friedman shot the idea down in no uncertain terms -- so forcefully, in fact, that it sounded like a legal prohibition to be employed by J! after being on the show. And with the many laws that govern the appearance of impropriety in game shows, that didn't surprise me.

But clearly it's legit, so does it, indeed, mean that Ken/Brad/Arthur/Julia/Dr. J are legally capable of stepping into the host's chair?

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by BobF »

ThreeIfByAir wrote:If this has been covered already, my apologies, but I haven't seen anything about it.

J! has a new contestant coordinator named Aimee Seligstein this season -- I guess Robert left. Interestingly enough, she was actually a contestant last season.

I remember when I taped a couple of years ago, there was talk from the audience of who would host after Alex (his contract was up at the time and people thought he would retire). Someone from the audience suggested Ken Jennings, and Harry Friedman shot the idea down in no uncertain terms -- so forcefully, in fact, that it sounded like a legal prohibition to be employed by J! after being on the show. And with the many laws that govern the appearance of impropriety in game shows, that didn't surprise me.

But clearly it's legit, so does it, indeed, mean that Ken/Brad/Arthur/Julia/Dr. J are legally capable of stepping into the host's chair?

If Robert left, it was after June 1 of this year. I don't think he has, though.
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by dhkendall »

It was mentioned before, and I'm sure someone will step in and link to the announcement that was posted here at the time.

I'm not sure if Robert's gone but I know that Maggie got a "promotion" somewhat recently, this might be accounting for that.

Your message is a bit contradictory, you say that Harry's shooting down Ken makes sense from an S&P standpoint (as it does me, which is why I don't seriously expect a former contestant to host) but then you ask if there is a possibility? I'd say no, for the reasons you alluded to earlier. Top of my list to host, fwiw, is Todd Alan Crain.
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by mitchparov »

Rocky Schmidt is a three-time contestant and now a producer of J! He also, as best as I can tell, is actually the show-side person (as opposed to the independent overseer) for S&P issues... so I'm not sure if there's something that would separate the host other than a more visible appearance of impropriety, but it would seem to me, based on that, that a former contestant could theoretically become the host.

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ThreeIfByAir
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by ThreeIfByAir »

dhkendall wrote:I'm not sure if Robert's gone but I know that Maggie got a "promotion" somewhat recently, this might be accounting for that.
The video I linked introduces four people in the contestant department, Robert isn't included, and Corina got a promotion (from 'contestant coordinator' to 'senior contestant coordinator'). So I think Robert left, Corina stepped up into his shoes, and Aimee arrived to fill Corina's job.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by Robert K S »

Robert James is fantastic, so I hope he hasn't left. He always had this joke about how he had to keep his job (or maybe it was that Jeopardy! had to stay on the air), otherwise it was "back to Hollywood Squares" or somesuch lesser game show. (I checked IMDb, and his only other official credit is for Balderdash (2004–2005).)

I'm no expert, but I don't see why it would violate S&P for a former contestant to join the show, and there's enough precedent for that besides. Aimee would just have to forego any possibility of ever appearing again, but as Julia-meat that wasn't exactly a hope to happen anyway.

More likely, Mr. Friedman wouldn't let Ken become Alex because Ken's more beneficial to the show as a future tournament invitee (the "Battle of the Centuries"?) and ratings-booster.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by SwanShadow »

This isn't the first time J! has hired a former contestant into the contestant coordination department. Back when we taped the UToC in 2005, two-time champ Ayesha Black was one of the coordinators.
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by gloriaclemente »

Another Robert fan here. If he is gone, I hope it's to something bigger and better, although what that could be, I can't imagine.

Incidentally, the video linked in the first post is worth a watch. I thought it gave a really great behind-the-scenes look at what a Jeopardy! taping day is like in the studio.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by Peggles »

Robert K S wrote:Robert James is fantastic, so I hope he hasn't left. He always had this joke about how he had to keep his job (or maybe it was that Jeopardy! had to stay on the air), otherwise it was "back to Hollywood Squares" or somesuch lesser game show. (I checked IMDb, and his only other official credit is for Balderdash (2004–2005).)

I'm no expert, but I don't see why it would violate S&P for a former contestant to join the show, and there's enough precedent for that besides. Aimee would just have to forego any possibility of ever appearing again, but as Julia-meat that wasn't exactly a hope to happen anyway.

More likely, Mr. Friedman wouldn't let Ken become Alex because Ken's more beneficial to the show as a future tournament invitee (the "Battle of the Centuries"?) and ratings-booster.
Robert was the coordinator who made The Call to me. I agree that he is fantastic.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by MarkBarrett »

The Opus clip of Alistair can always use more views. :) That was my first memory when I saw the opening post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP2eLTEUrrc

*********
When the full credits ran last week Robert James was listed with Corina and Glenn for Senior Contestant Coordinators.

We have TOCers on board here as well as contestants from regular play. In season 31 has anyone seen Robert James or heard anything about him leaving staff or being away? Or was he off camera manning the green room?

***********
In aught five I got "The Call" from Ayesha although she was gone when I taped. It was Maggie and Tony Pandolfo handling the contestants.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by jfrumkin »

Very fond memories of Robert giving us dirt on some of the celebrities he worked with on Hollywood Squares during lunch on my first tape day. I'm sure there's someone on here who can shed light on his status with the show. I seem to remember him in the background of some of the behind-the-scenes Battle of the Decades pictures but I don't remember any of the ToC folks mentioning it one way or the other when I've talked to them.
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by NYCScribbler »

I think there was something up with Robert's family- I know someone in the group asked after him. I don't remember exactly, though.

Robert is adorable. And when they put him in charge of audition photography at my audition, he took one of the best pictures of me I've ever seen.
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by ThreeIfByAir »

I never knew Opus had excerpted that clip!

Interestingly, I didn't need the TOM for that clue. Having read way too much ProFootballTalk at the time Nike took over, I knew that they had completely redone the Seahawks uniform but mostly left the others untouched.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by MarkBarrett »

ThreeIfByAir wrote:I never knew Opus had excerpted that clip!

Interestingly, I didn't need the TOM for that clue. Having read way too much ProFootballTalk at the time Nike took over, I knew that they had completely redone the Seahawks uniform but mostly left the others untouched.
How you responded back when it happened:
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Thanks a lot for doing the clip. Yup, still sounds cool after several listenings.
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Actually, I have to credit PFT for that one. They made a big fuss over the new Seahawks uniform when Nike got the contract. (But even without that, I knew Nike were an Oregon company, so I'd have probably gotten it.)

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by This Is Kirk! »

I liked Robert, too. Great sense of humor and he did a great job keeping everyone relaxed.

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by sarah0114 »

NYCScribbler wrote:I think there was something up with Robert's family- I know someone in the group asked after him. I don't remember exactly, though.

Robert is adorable. And when they put him in charge of audition photography at my audition, he took one of the best pictures of me I've ever seen.
My memory was that he was out sick during TOC, but I suppose it could have been that he was out for someone else's illness. In any case, we didn't get any indication that his absence was a permanent thing. Any other season 31 players see Robert?

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by Austin Powers »

I heard that he was supposed to come back but maybe that's changed?

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by tep390 »

sarah0114 wrote:
NYCScribbler wrote:I think there was something up with Robert's family- I know someone in the group asked after him. I don't remember exactly, though.

Robert is adorable. And when they put him in charge of audition photography at my audition, he took one of the best pictures of me I've ever seen.
My memory was that he was out sick during TOC, but I suppose it could have been that he was out for someone else's illness. In any case, we didn't get any indication that his absence was a permanent thing. Any other season 31 players see Robert?

He wasn't there when I taped at the end of July, nor was he at my audition at the end of May, as far as I can recall.
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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by Carpe Diem »

What Robert K S, gloriaclemente, Peggles, jfrumkin, NYCScribbler and This Is Kirk! said. :)
Mr. James will always have a special place in my heart. :D

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Re: New contestant coordinator with an interesting history

Post by alietr »

Agreed. I got The Call from Robert, and he will be forever near and dear in my heart as a result.

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