All eyes are on Jeopardy! champ Amy Schneider, whose 40-day winning streak on the hit game show just made history — and whose signature pearl necklace has become a topic of discussion in the style sphere.
In a Thursday, January 27 interview with Elle as part of the outlet’s Clothes of Our Lives series, Schneider opened up about how the necklace became such a staple part of her game show look and why it’s so significant.
In every Jeopardy! episode, Schneider wore the necklace, which was a birthday gift from her friend-turned-partner, Genevieve.
“My initial reaction when she gave me mine was: ‘Oh, I don’t know if that’s my style.’ It wasn’t a piece of jewelry I’d ever considered before, maybe I associate it with Marge Simpson or something. But when I tried the necklace on, it looked great.”
While filming, Schneider wore the necklace to feel close to Genevieve. “It was the first time we’d been apart since we started dating,” she said. “I wanted to have something on that reminded me of her, so I put on the pearls. Then, I gave myself a pep talk in the mirror like, ‘You’re great at this! You’re going to do great!’”
And that she did! “The next taping, I decided to wear the pearls again. Once I started, I wanted to keep it going. I was like, ‘Oh, I mean, I guess that can just be my thing?”
As a transgender woman, it hasn’t always been easy for Schneider to be her authentic self when it comes to style. “Most of my life has been spent with my nose pressed up against the glass, looking at dresses and shoes and jewelry I felt unable to wear,” she told the outlet. “When I transitioned and was finally able to let loose, I gravitated to prettier, fancier things.”
But watching herself on Jeopardy! has been a transformative experience for the star, especially cognitively. “Seeing myself on television wearing pearls has given me so much confidence. I’m able to feel good about how I look and present myself in a way that I never did before — in a way I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever be able to.”
Schneider had tried out for Jeopardy “for years” before getting cast, telling Elle that she “was always confident that one day it would happen” — and that she “would do all right.”
“All right” is an understatement. Flash to today and the engineering manager now holds the second-longest in the history of the show. She’s also the show’s top female earner and the first transgender individual to qualify for its Tournament of Champions. Like it’s easy.