‘Jeopardy!’ Officials Speak out on “Painful” Episode, Fans Say It’s “One of the Worst Ever”

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Mayim Bialik holding Final Jeopardy card

Credit: ABC

Jeopardy! executives have broken their silence on a recent episode that fans deemed painful to watch.

alex trebek (left) with ken jennings (right) holding jeopardy trophy
Credit: ABC

When longtime Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek, passed away at the end of 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer, the future of the hugely popular game show was uncertain. Having presented Jeopardy! since its syndicated return in 1984, Trebek was part of the Jeopardy! family for almost 38 seasons.

Upon his passing, and after a string of guest hosts and the firing of Mike Richards, Jeopardy! bosses decided that The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik and previous Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings would share hosting duties for the remainder of the 38th season and through Season 39. Bialik also leads the Jeopardy! National College Championship and Celebrity Jeopardy!, with Jennings also hosting the Jeopardy! Masters version of the quiz show.

Mayim Bialik 'Jeopardy!' host
Credit: ABC

Related: Fans Calling Disney-Themed Final Jeopardy! Question “Way Too Easy”

The dedicated fan base has kept Jeopardy!, which was created by Merv Griffin, in the current pop culture canon, with millions tuning in each episode to see how contestants fare in the Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy!, and Final Jeopardy! rounds.

Recently, fans called out Jeopardy! for ruining the flow of the game show by seemingly making the clues more difficult to understand. On June 7, host Mayim Bialik’s episode featured masses of triple stumpers (unanswered clues), and fans were quick to notice the string of confusing category clues that left contestants Suresh Krishnan, Kristine Rembach, and Collette Lee staring into space.

Mayim Bialik holding Final Jeopardy card
Credit: ABC

And not only the fans but Jeopardy! officials have also spoken out on the difficult episode. Speaking on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, producer, and Clue Crew member Sarah Foss discussed the issues with former winner Buzzy Cohen.

Jeopardy! episode causes executives and fans to speak out.

“One thing that was not so great about this game, in this game — this has to be a record — 23 triple stumpers,” Foss said (via The US Sun). “And it’s something we never like to see.” Cohen went on to say that this was the last episode filmed before lunch, but nevertheless is a “tough stat to carry with you.” According to the report, one fan wrote that the episode had “probably the most unanswered questions ever,” going on to add, “WTF! One of the worst games ever.”

This image released by JEOPARDY! shows the new set for the popular quiz show. Season 37 will premiere on Sept. 14. "Jeopardy!" contestant Mattea Roach, the 23-year-old patron saint of Canadian nerds, has cracked the Top 10 list for most consecutive regular season wins.
Credit: ABC

And they weren’t the only fan expressing their thoughts. HSStevens (@NHSuz) wrote about the “painful” Jeopardy! episode on Twitter, saying:

Is it just me, or was tonight’s episode of #jeopardy painful to watch? As far as unanswered clues went, this episode had to be in the top 10.

Other fans were quick to respond, with Debbie (@dkjrn) writing:

This seems to be a trend. I’m usually a wiz at this game but lately the clues seem convoluted. I wonder if @Jeopardy has hired new writers.

Tommy Z. (@TommyZee81) gathered the stats, commenting:

Stat discovered…out of 55 clues read (couldn’t get to the last two in DJ and the DDs don’t apply) there were 23 triple stumpers – 16 in the DJ round. That’s insane, friends.

Susan R. (@Susqhb) didn’t hold back in their response:

It was ugly! And several of them are ones that I thought were fairly easy trivia.

Suresh Krishnan ended up winning the episode and has since continued his 4-day streak with a win on the June 9 game show, bringing his total earnings to $53,999. He is also in the running to secure a spot in the summer Tournament of Champions (per the official Jeopardy! website).

More on Jeopardy!

Recently, Jeopardy! executives addressed a change to the game show, where the position of the Daily Doubles was revealed to audiences ahead of the show. This was a feature in ABC’s Jeopardy! Masters game show — hosted by Ken Jennings and which James Holzhauer won ahead of Mattea Roach and Matt Amodio — and came due to a request by the network. It is unlikely to carry over into the popular syndicated show.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, host Mayim Bialik once again came under fire for her controversial hosting and seeming rule changes mid-game. The actress, author, presenter, and neuroscientist has often received backlash from Jeopardy! viewers due to her hosting style.

Mayim Bialik on Jeopardy! set
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Makes Uncharacteristic Mistake, Airs With Spelling Error

At present, the Call Me Kat star has handed her portion of hosting duties over to co-host Jennings after stepping aside in support of the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strikes.

What did you think of this Jeopardy! episode? Was it “painful”? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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