JEOPARDY! executives have hinted that two players in the now-airing Tournament of Champions scored an “advantage” over their competitors.
Executive Producer Mike Davies revealed who to especially watch out for on his podcast Inside Jeopardy!.
Davies – who scored the Executive Producer gig in 2021 after the disgraced Mike Richards was ousted for sexist and racist resurfaced comments – was joined by producer Sarah Foss on Monday’s sit-down.
The Jeopardy! head honcho discussed how this year’s tournament season is a little different than in the past.
Instead of 15 past winners in the annual $250K event, there are 21 – and two of them just won via the Second Chance competition.
The two formerly snubbed players, Jessica Stephens and Rowan Ward, nabbed the last two slots through the never-before-done contest for power players who lost their first time around.
Having returned late last month, the two winners proved themselves and now have gas in the tank.
The rest of the legends returning have had months if not years since their last games.
Davies implied that they both now have an added boost since they had played most recently, and one did better than expected by anyone.
On Rowan, the blue-haired barnstormer who dominated their comeback opportunity – playing so well one of their games was a runaway, Davies said: “What a Jeopardy! player.”
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“They were in such form. How do you seed someone like that?” Davies wondered.
‘THERE IS SOME ADVANTAGE’
“There is some advantage going into the Tournament of Champions coming out of the Second Chance competition because you just played.”
“You just got reps. You’re right there,” he continued.
Producer Sarah Foss agreed: “We should say these [competitions] were [taped] just days apart. It was a quick turnaround.”
They seemed to hint Stephens and Rowan will not be slowing down – and champs like Amy Schneider may need to watch their back.
BRING BACK THE BRAINS
Jeopardy!’s brand new season premiered on September 12th.
Regular episodes and reigning ace Cris Pannullo will return later this month after the Tournament of Champions conclude.
The contestants include Mattea Roach (23 wins and $560K), Amy (40 wins and $1.3M), Matt Amodio (38 wins and $1.5M) who have five of the longest winning streaks in history.
As a result, fans are calling this Tournament of Champions the most “stacked” special the show has ever done.
The special will have quarter-finals, semi-finals, and a best-of-three finals all hosted by Ken Jennings, and will air at the usual time of 7 p.m.
Mattea, Matt and Amy will not have to play the quarter-finals and are getting byes since they went on such amazing streaks originally.
On November 8th (or Election Day) the show will air a “just for fun” secret practice match between the dynamic trio – it won’t count but will be one for the books.
Rowan and Jessica will play in the first round and will be back on-screen just days after getting their slots – if they win the first round they can face the legends they lost to originally (for Jessica, Matt – for Rowan, Matt too.)
Ken will step aside from the iconic game show in January so that co-host Mayim Bialik – now handling Celebrity Jeopardy! – can take the reins.
Over the summer, he and actress Mayim were officially announced as the permanent replacements for the late, great Alex Trebek.