In January, former “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider made headlines for her massive success in the game show.
Not only was she the fifth person to become a millionaire, but she also managed to beat out Yale Ph.D. student Matt Amodio, who had set a second-place record of 38 games at the start of season 38. She replaced it with a new second-place record of 40 games, but neither one of them was close to topping the 74-game win streak set back in 2004 by current host Ken Jennings.
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) July 19, 2022
In a new tweet posted on Tuesday night, Amy revealed that she has “a lot going on” right now. Shortly after leaving the show, the first openly trans champion to qualify for the Tournament of Champions revealed that she had signed with CAA to write a book about her experiences and has even spoken at the White House about the wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation sweeping the nation.
Although Amy has a lot on her plate at the moment, she managed to find the time to publish a piece on Defector, comparing her fame to Jimmy Ray.
Former Champion Amy Schneider Says She Loves The Attention She Gets From Her ‘Jeopardy!’ Fame
In the article, she discusses how she compares her own sudden rise to fame against singer Jimmy Ray. As she wrote, “when Jimmy Ray peaked at No. 13 in 1998, it clearly touched some type of chord with the American public. It certainly did with me.”
Although he had two successful singles, he seemed to fade into obscurity as suddenly as he catapulted to the top of Billboard charts.
“It’s all completely inexplicable, but for one brief moment I, along with a decent chunk of other people, couldn’t get enough [of his music],” Amy said, recalling how, when she was a freshman in college, she had “discovered our mutual appreciation for the song ‘Stray Cat Strut.'”
“For all those same reasons, rarely has a song seemed so blatantly destined for one-hit wonder status,” she wrote. “Yet even by that standard, it was still remarkable how little interest anyone seemed to show in even pretending that Jimmy Ray would have any more success.”
“While two more Jimmy Ray singles were, in some technical sense, released, I don’t believe I ever heard them mentioned anywhere, let alone played,” she noted. “After a summer opening for The Backstreet Boys (which must have been an experience for all concerned), Mr. Ray rocketed back into obscurity just as quickly as he had rocketed out of it. It is unlikely that anyone has accidentally heard a Jimmy Ray song in this century.”
Amy Contemplates If Her Successful Celebrity Career Will Rival That Of Jimmy Ray’s
It seems that Amy has given a lot of thought to her time in the spotlight and how quickly the lights surrounding her will dim.
“The thing is, that question about which I’ve idly speculated for so long has suddenly developed a certain urgency for me,” she wrote. “This year I’ve experienced a rise to fame as unexpected and instantaneous as Jimmy Ray’s.”
Although some people are uneasy about suddenly becoming a household name and being instantly recognized in public, Amy seems to love standing in the spotlight.
“And I have to tell you: I really, really like it,” she told her fans. “I like getting recognized in public, being invited to speak in front of crowds, receiving little framed awards from politicians, seeing Padma Lakshmi praise me on Twitter. It feels amazing, and I don’t want this feeling to go away.”
However, even Amy Schneider knows that all good things are likely to come to an end eventually.
“But in the back of my mind, I know that all the interest and attention and praise I’m receiving right now may disappear as quickly as Jimmy Ray’s second single,” she wrote, openly wondering, “How would that feel? Would it break me? Would I spend my life pathetically trying to reclaim that spotlight? Or will I think, oh well, that’s a bummer, but I got a bunch of memories and a million dollars out of the deal, and then just move on with my life?”
“That would be the healthy way to go,” she admitted. “but at times I find it hard to picture myself bowing out gracefully.”
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like Amy’s time in the spotlight has to end just yet. She is still scheduled to appear in the 2022 Tournament of Champions, which is expected to air this fall.