An Arlington Heights teen who scored a perfect 36 on the ACT -- twice -- and double 800s on her SAT will make her debut appearance on the "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament this afternoon.
Selena Groh, who is now 17, but was 16 when the show filmed in March, just finished her junior year at Buffalo Grove High School but took a few days off to fly to Los Angeles with her mom and brother to film the show. Groh is one of 15 teens competing for the tournament's $75,000 grand prize.
Groh's episode of "Jeopardy!" airs at 2:30 p.m. today on ABC 7 Chicago.
Contestants aren't allowed to say how they did in advance of the show airing, but she said "Jeopardy!" was a good experience no matter the outcome.
"I had a great time," Selena said. "I think it was one of the best experiences I've ever had." Last year Selena took a 50-question online test and was one of 300 teens selected to audition around the country. She traveled to New York City for a two and a half-hour interview with the show's producers and in February found out she was one of the 15 that made it on the show.
"When you watch a game show you always think, 'How would I do if I was on this show?'" Selena said.
The Teen Tournament is airing all week with winners moving on to semifinals and eventually two days of final competition.
Aside from the fun of competing, traveling to California and meeting her fellow teen contestants, Selena said she was excited for the professional makeup job she got before appearing on TV.
But, Groh is no stranger to a competitive atmosphere. She has competed with scholastic bowl for six years and was captain of the Buffalo Grove High School team last year. Groh attended Quest Academy in Palatine from prekindergarten through eighth grade and now volunteers as an assistant coach for that school's scholastic bowl team as well, said her mom, Lisa.
She scored a 36 on the ACT both times she took the test and an 800 on the math and 800 on the verbal portions of the SAT -- a test she took the day after returning from the "Jeopardy!" tapings.
"She has always been a good student. Of course, as a parent you're proud of your child in whatever they do," said Lisa Groh. "She loves to learn."
Selena will watch today's episode with friends and then re-watch the taping with her family and former classmates from Quest Academy in the evening, she said.
"It will be interesting to see myself on TV," Selena said. "But I'm excited."