‘Jeopardy’ Receives Backlash For Unfair, Inconsistent Judging

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This image released by JEOPARDY! shows the new set for the popular quiz show.

Credit: ABC

When longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 80, passed away after a long battle with cancer on November 8, 2020, fans of the game show were devastated. The biggest question for viewers and contestants, of course, was who would fill Trebek’s shoes as the new host.

alex trebek (left) and ken jennings (right) taking a selfie on the jeopardy set
Credit: ABC

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Following months of guest hosts including Reading Rainbow host LeVar BurtonBig Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, and former champions like Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, Bialik landed the job following controversy involving former Jeopardy! producer Mike Richardson.

Bialik has faced her own minor controversies, including fans’ frustration at her use of the term “Single Jeopardy” to describe the first round of the show — “Double Jeopardy” has long been the name of the second round — and requests from producers to “tone it down” when dealing with contestants.

mayim bialik holding final jeopardy card
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Makes Notable Change to Final Jeopardy

Bialik’s tenure on the long-running game show has already given rise to some popular champions, including Amy Schneider, who won 40 games, and recent champion, Mattea Roach, who broke the win streak record for a Canadian contestant.

The current host’s future on Jeopardy is unknown at this time, however, as Ken Jennings’s recent exit from The Chase has many viewers convinced that he will be taking over full-time hosting duties next season. The fan-favorite has also been teasing his potentially permanent return on social media lately, leaving viewers hopeful that he will soon be back on a regular basis.

JEOPARDY! THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME - On the heels of the iconic Tournament of Champions, JEOPARDY! is coming to ABC in a multiple consecutive night event with JEOPARDY! The Greatest of All Time, premiering TUESDAY, JAN. 7 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)
Credit: ABC

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On Monday, July 18, 2022, in fact, Ken Jennings returned to his Jeopardy hosting duties for the first time since early May — and immediately made a “painful” joke that left fans extremely amused.

But, despite Jennings’s long-awaited return to the game show, Jeopardy has recently come under fire for unfair, inconsistent judging, specifically during the Final Jeopardy round.

mayim bialik on jeopardy set
Credit: ABC

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Parade noted:

During Monday night’s [July 18, 2022] episode hosted by Ken Jennings, contestant Erica Weiner-Amachi, submitted an answer during the Final Jeopardy! round that puzzled viewers after it was accepted.

The fourth-grade teacher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wrote what is said to be the answer in a very scribbled manner, which reminded fans of the June 22 episode hosted by Mayim Bialik where contestant Sadie Goldberger lost her wager after producers disqualified her response after they claimed it was illegible.

Viewer Herschel Cuyler shared a side-by-side comparison of the two responses, writing:

#jeopardy this didn’t count, but this one did??

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This isn’t the first time the show has received backlash recently — fans have also noticed that Bialik has accepted certain answers that are either incorrect or partially correct.

At this time, Jeopardy producers haven’t publicly commented on either issue.

What do you think about Jeopardy‘s handwriting controversy?

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