KEN Jennings made a decision on Wednesday’s episode that fans called “unfair” and “illogical.”
The danger! The presenter asked Alex Lamb to elaborate on an answer that many already thought was correct.
Ken, 49, is hosting a three-week Second Chance tournament that kicked off its 40th season last week.
Previous participants who initially lost fight for an unexpected second chance at great success.
Last week, Hari Parameswaran won $35,000 and a spot in a follow-up tournament that will air immediately afterwards.
The special is now in its second week and it was time to see the final finalist of the week.
Pam Sung, a doctor and scientist from Amherst, New York, met Alex, a data scientist from Lake Forest, California, and Brian Ross, a lawyer from Los Angeles, California.
In “Double Jeopardy!”, Alex chose the $1,200 clue from “The Real (White House) Wives of DC.”
Ken read: “She met the future president in 1938 when they both auditioned for a local play in Whittier, California.”
Alex came in and puzzled: “Who is Nixon?”
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Ken didn’t accept it and replied, “More specifically?”
Alex replied: “Richard Nixon – ‘Oh, uh, sorry.’
His expression changed from realization to regret as he seemingly realized he had called the wrong Nixon when Ken asked for clarification.
Ken decided, “No,” and interrupted.
Alex’s score dropped to $3000 and his challengers came into action instead; Brian took it as: “Pat Nixon.”
“Pat Nixon, that’s right,” Ken said.
“Who else could he have meant?”
Even though it didn’t affect who won, fans on Reddit were unhappy with Ken’s decision to ask for details, since Richard Nixon only had one First Lady (and was only married once).
The generally accepted rule is that if a surname refers to only one person, the first name is not necessary. However, if there is more than one person to whom the notice could potentially relate, it is required.
One person wrote: “This is bizarre. What other first lady with the last name Nixon did they have in mind that would be a plausible answer?”
Another wrote: “I came here to make this exact comment. It seemed really unfair and illogical to me.
“I would have sympathy for Barbara Bush because there are two first ladies named Bush, but a first lady named Nixon could only refer to one person.”
A third agreed: “I really think they should have accepted Nixon as an answer.
A fourth wrote: “I think if you go by ‘Mrs. Richard Nixon’, it would have been accepted.”
A fifth post wrote: “I really, really didn’t like the ‘be more specific about the Nixon reference’ clue – the clue already had a ‘she’, the category topic was already decided, just didn’t make any sense.”
“As far as the actual game goes, it’s probably not a big effect in this game, but in the long run it sets a strange precedent for this sort of thing as long as the series goes without the writers.”
Alex wrote in the thread: “You can imagine that after replying to Nixon, my mind was completely focused on the next clue.
“So when I was asked for clarification I was caught off guard and that’s just how it is! I should have stopped and answered.”
Another user even linked to a recent game where Last names for first ladies were accepted.
Last season, a contestant on “Who is: Deschenel” was deemed correct by Ken because she had a lead in finding Zooey Deschanel, even though her sister was also an actress.
Later in the game, Final Jeopardy said: “In 2022, the Department of Energy found a ‘flawed process’ and overturned a 1954 commission decision ‘in the matter’ of this man.”
All three players had no trouble guessing “Oppenheimer,” and Pam – who found both later Daily Doubles, missing one and getting the other – jumped $5,000 and even won $20,000.
ALL ABOUT THE SECOND CHANCE TOURNAMENT
Each tournament week begins with three qualifying matches by Season 37 participants in place of new players.
Pam, Monday’s winner Deanna Bolio and Tuesday’s winner Rob Kim will compete in a final on Thursday/Friday.
This winner (as well as another one next week) advances to the next tournament, Champions Wildcard.
This will air immediately afterwards and the winners of this series will take on the short champions of Seasons 37 and 38 – the line-up to be announced.
The prize for the subsequent eight-week tournament is a ticket to the currently postponed Tournament of Champions.
This takes fans into December, but given the writer’s strikes, it’s unknown what will air after that.
EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEASON 40
The monumental 40th season of Jeopardy! premiered on September 11th and runs until July 26th, 2024.
Ken is hosting the entire season alone and Mayim Bialik, 47, is not currently involved.
She bowed out in solidarity with the strikers, which came as a huge shock since she and Ken were chosen to co-host following the death of Alex Trebek in 2020.
This is far from the only big change in the highly anticipated new season.
Aside from there being no new contestants and no Mayim, the other big change is the clues.
The game show reuses questions from past seasons without their writers present.
Showrunner Michael Davies explained in “Internal Danger!” Podcast that it “wouldn’t be fair for new contestants to appear on the show for the first time” with material that is not original or that was written before the strike.
“The material we will be using is a combination of material that our WGA writers wrote before the strike and that is still in the database, and material carried over from several, several seasons of the show,” said he.
Davies also announced a $1,000 increase in consolation prizes and said he admires and misses the series’ beloved writers.
The news sparked a scathing reaction from Masters winner James Holzhauer, who took to the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to denounce the show.
“If you don’t have time to listen, here is the recap of today’s announcement,” James, 39, wrote, sharing a link to the podcast episode.
“1:00-2:00: The writers of Jeopardy are invaluable and without them we couldn’t produce the show,” he continued.
“2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: This is how we will produce the coming season without them.”
Meanwhile, the 2023 Tournament of Champions will not take place until the strikes are over.
Several Season 39 champions, including Ray LaLonde, Cris Pannullo, Hannah Wilson and Ben Chan, said they would not participate in TOC until the strikes were completed.
Ken remained relatively quiet on the subject, repeating a statement from the series’ executive producer in which he referenced the late Alex continuing to serve as host during the 2007–08 writers’ strike.
Mayim will also be replaced by Ken for all of next season on Celebrity Jeopardy!, which airs on ABC.
Season 2 of Celebrity Jeopardy! will air on September 27 and the stars of the premiere were announced on Wednesday.
Her exit marks the first time that Ken will host all programming for Jeopardy! and it won’t return until the strikes and scheduled tournaments end, or at least until 2024.