“Jeopardy!” is still a game show mainstay for many viewers, but there is no denying that it has been getting a huge amount of criticism recently.
James Holzhauer, one of the most successful contestants of all time, has an idea about why fans are getting so frustrated about the show lately: behind-the-scenes issues with the show’s crew.
In a new interview with TV Insider, Holzhauer was asked about any changes he would make to the show if he could, and his answer was definitely interesting.
“There has been a lot of turnover backstage, I will say,” he began. “The whole production team has turned over, so you kind of see some of the things were lost when they changed hands there.”
He continued, “I think it’s still a great show, but it could use a little tweaking here and there. Some of the question writing could be a little sharper than it has been.”
Holzhauer has been in the “Jeopardy!” world long enough to know what he is talking about.
He won 32 consecutive games in 2019 and, in the list of the top 10 highest winnings in a single game, he holds every single spot.
When it comes to the record for the highest winnings in regular season play, he comes second only to Ken Jennings.
Many fans would likely agree with his assessment that “the question writing could be a little sharper,” as that has been a major complaint about many episodes this season.
In an episode earlier this week, the Final Jeopardy category was “World of Water,” with the clue reading: “The Bass Strait divides Tasmania & mainland Australia & hydrographers have disputed which of these 2 larger bodies it’s [sic] part of.”
The correct answer was deemed “Indian and Pacific Oceans,” which two of the contestants guessed, but fans did not think the question was fair.
“The Aussies would say What are the Pacific and Southern Oceans?. Their definition of the Southern Ocean goes all the way to the south coast of their continent,” a puzzled viewer stated on the show’s YouTube page.
Another fan responded to the geographical comment writing, “The question is poorly worded: I think the default position of Australians on this question would be ‘What are the Southern Ocean and Tasman Sea?’ but you do you America.”
This Monday’s episode featured a category called Movie Mashups, and contestants and viewers alike were left confused by the clues.
The $1,200 clue read, “You stay classy, Kali! A 2004 San Diego news anchorman ‘&’ a 1984 Indiana Jones title structure.”
None of the contestants attempted to guess, and the correct answer was revealed as “Ron Burgundy and The Temple of Doom.”
The $1,600 clue was “An Alan Rickman ‘Die Hard’ villain ‘wants those detonators’ from a title Great Dane of 2002!” One contestant gave it a try and incorrectly answered, “Hans Gruber Beethoven.”
Host Mayim Bialik informed them the correct answer was “Hans Gruber and Scooby-Doo.”
“That movie category was horrendous,” one Twitter user wrote. “Not even a mashup or a ‘pun’. Just two random things. Awful.”
“Well that episode was [trash],” another added.
Another issue lately has been what’s referred to in the “Jeopardy!” world as “triple-stumpers” – clues that none of the three contestants solve.
Viewers have called these instances “painful,” and many were left wondering if the issue was that the clues were too difficult or if the contestants weren’t familiar with the subjects.
One episode had 23 of these triple-stumpers, just one short of the show’s record of 24.
Producer Sarah Foss touched on that during an episode of the “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast, saying, “We’ll forget it ever happened.”
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