Jeopardy! fans are definitely known for being sticklers for the rules, and it doesn’t matter which host is standing behind the lectern. Social media users have critiqued Mayim Bialik for her share of supposed slip-ups — like calling the first round “Single Jeopardy!” — and it’s Ken Jennings' turn anew to face some backlash, with parts of the fanbase accusing him of showing favoritism to the current champion on the September 14 episode of Jeopardy!
Luigi de Guzman is on a four-game winning streak after a runaway game on Wednesday, in which some thought he received an unfair advantage from the host. For the category “Cons,” the contestants were shown a painting and asked to identify its British artist. When the attorney from Virginia buzzed in and responded, “What is Constant?” Ken Jennings asked for clarification, to which de Guzman said:
This answer was accepted, and de Guzman was awarded accordingly. The Jeopardy! rulebook states, “Contestants may change their responses as long as neither the host nor the judges have made a ruling.” The controversy over said decision occurred when contestant Harriet Wagner, in the same game, misspoke and was ruled incorrect, despite her getting the right answer out before her time expired.
Viewers voiced their opinions on Twitter, and the majority of those commenting on the situation were pretty upset that Jennings allowed Luigi de Guzman to correct himself, but not the challenger. For instance:
I’m pissed at @KenJennings because was unfair tonight on @Jeopardy . He allows Luigi to correct his mistake, and cut off Harriet as she was correcting her mistake… again favoring Luigi! Very obvious to me!September 15, 2022
The more quizzical viewers didn’t like the inconsistency of Ken Jennings asking the champ to repeat himself, only to then immediately cut off Harriet Wagner when she gave the correct response. This fan pointed out that the change in money would have put Wagner in place to possibly win the game outright in “Final Jeopardy!”
After Luigi was allowed a correction, Harriet would have a right to be pissed. She could have been in theoretical striking distance. #JeopardySeptember 14, 2022
Some even took the leap to theorize that a Jeopardy! fix was at play, and pondered if the host and judges favored the multi-day champion:
Wow, is @jeopardy fixed?Why is Luigi allowed to correct himself, but Harriet isn't?#WTF #JeopardySeptember 14, 2022
Others wanted to know why Jennings even asked Luigi de Guzman to repeat his answer in the first place, when it was clearly wrong as stated. He should never have been given a second chance at the answer, fans argued.
So the guy clearly said the wrong name. Ken asked him to say again, and he corrected himself with the right answer. Why didn’t Ken just say wrong? Why is this allowed?#JeopardySeptember 15, 2022
The contestant himself took to Twitter for a long explanation of what happened from his perspective and to apologize publicly to Harriet Wagner:
Having watched the game again as an outsider and with cold eyes, I want to say that I probably owe @harriet4332263 two apologies.First, “Constable.” I knew it was Cosntable. I recognized the painting. In the moment I had this memory of speaking to someone about Constable…September 15, 2022
While it’s really nice to see the sportsmanship between the two Jeopardy! contestants, I don’t think anybody faults Luigi de Guzman for his actions, as he was simply playing the game, and anyone would take advantage of the chance for a redo. He couldn’t have known that the host was going to react in different ways to the similar scenarios.
Harriet Wagner addressed her own mistake, calling the eventual winner “generous” for offering an apology admits the critical reactions from the general audience.
Luigi, so generous. We can’t second guess the umpire. Besides, it was MY brain that made me say “Angela “. I still have no idea where that came from and can only lay that on my own doorstep. $4000 mistake. You’re a gentleman.September 15, 2022
There are plenty of examples of Jeopardy! fans getting upset about certain goings-on in the gameplay, but it’s always nice when the contestants show such grace to each other when such moments come around.
As Ken Jennings kicks off Jeopardy!’s 39th season, Mayim Bialik is set to lead the debut of Celebrity Jeopardy! when it premieres at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, September 25, on ABC. Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions is also coming up soon, premiering October 31 and will feature some big changes to the annual tournament’s format. See what other premieres are coming up with our 2022 TV Schedule.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.