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Date Lab: Can a 'Jeopardy!' contestant pass a blind-date quiz?

Sunday, January 16, 2011; W04

7:30 p.m., Siroc, Downtown

Kevin: I got there about 20 minutes early because everything was running on time. She got there right at 7:30. I heard her tell the hostess her name. I thought she was really pretty. She had a nice smile. She's a good height and looked like she worked out.

Jennifer: I walked over, and we shook hands. I thought he was cute, but I like taller and darker-haired guys. I was really nervous. I think when we sat down and I picked up the menu, it was actually shaking. He asked if I was nervous. I told him yes. He said in the Date Labs he's read, ordering wine seems to help, so we ordered wine.

Kevin: At first, we talked about why we signed up for Date Lab. We both had the same fears. We didn't want to hear that you're ugly or boring to the other person.

Jennifer: He came very prepared for the date. He had a list of questions and icebreakers. We played "two truths and a lie." I went first and said I had a twin sister, I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I was on "Jeopardy." I don't have a twin sister. That was the lie.

Kevin: I said I'm a published writer, I've done stand-up comedy, and I traveled around Europe. My lie was that I'm a published writer. Neither of us guessed the other's lie correctly.

Jennifer: We ended up talking about "Jeopardy," the process I went through to get on the show. And he told me about who his favorite comics are.

Kevin: We split an appetizer and each ordered an entree. We agreed that we would let the other one try our dinner. I asked funny questions like, Would you rather be invisible or fly? We both said we'd rather fly.

Jennifer: At first, it gave us something to talk about. Then I started to feel like I was being quizzed. I learned a lot of funny things about him, like what kind superpower he would like to have, but I didn't learn a lot about him. Mostly when I've gone on dates, you talk more about the person. You talk more about where you've traveled, your family, that kind of thing. The icebreakers never led to that type of conversation.

Kevin: At one point, this lady came up and asked if we were on Date Lab. [She and her friend] told us they thought we were hitting it off because we were laughing a lot. I didn't want to talk about whether we were getting along. It's like baseball: You don't talk about a no-hitter when it's happening.

Jennifer: We got dessert. I don't think he was into dessert, but it's my favorite thing. I must have been talking about raspberries a lot because he gave me his raspberries.

Kevin: During dessert, she went to the bathroom. I took the flowers and fruit that came with the dessert and made a smiley face on her plate.

Jennifer: It was cute and silly. He was just trying to make me laugh. He asked if I wanted to do something else. I had a grad school application that was due. I told him I had to do that. It wasn't an excuse. I really did have to get that in, but I was ready to go home.

Kevin: That was a bummer. I wish we could have gone out in a less formal setting. But I understand; it was just the only disappointment of the night. We went over the [Date Lab budget of $125]. She reached for her wallet. I told her I got it. I'm a little old-fashioned like that. I like to be a gentleman.

Jennifer: I thought that was really nice. I would have paid for it or split it. We walked out, and he asked for my number. I gave it to him, and he called me so I would have his in my phone.

Kevin: I hailed her a cab. Before she got in the cab, I gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I would like to go out again. I read these Date Lab things, and they say there wasn't a lot of flirting at the table. I get that. No one is really watching you, but you're watching yourself. So I'd like to go out again, without The Post, and see if there really is anything there.

Jennifer: I'd be up for hanging out, but not really for a date situation. It was a really fun experience, but I didn't think there was a connection on a romantic level. The structure itself and all the questions [weren't] a problem on their own. If that had happened with someone who I was more attracted to, I think it could have gotten more flirty. I don't want to make it seem like he's not attractive. He is. He's just not my type.

Kevin: I'd give the date a 4 [out of 5]. There were no awkward moments. It was a great experience. She was open and nice and funny. It's not a 5, because I couldn't really grasp if there was chemistry.

Jennifer: I'd give it a 3. It was a fun time. But there wasn't really a spark.

-- Interviews by Kelly DiNardo

Update: Kevin texted Jennifer the next day to say he'd had fun but never heard back; she says she didn't respond because she was busy and not really interested. Kevin didn't follow up: "She was interesting, [but] she wasn't open and fun enough for me to want to hang out with again," he says.

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