Ken Jennings Comes Under Fire from ‘Jeopardy! Fans For Controversial Ruling

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Since Alex Trebek’s death in 2020, the public hasn’t hesitated to call out his successors’ missteps. Ken Jennings was recently appointed permanent host of the show. Jeopardy!. Jennings was generally accepted by fans with open arms. However, some critics had strong feelings about the former champ following a recent episode.

Ken Jennings Blurs Lines with ‘Jeopardy!’Ruling

Neu Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings is in fans’ crosshairs after toeing the line on a controversial ruling. On Wednesday’s episode, Jennings allowed defending champion Luigi de Guzman to correct himself on an answer. The clue was: “Here’s a typical 19th-century landscape by this British painter”It was accompanied with a painting.

De Guzman responded, “Who is Constant?”Jennings replied, “Say again,”De Guzman was prompted to make the right decision. “Sorry, who is Constable?”

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’Contestant Reflects on the Two Mistakes That Cost Her The Game

It’s unconventional for a host to give a contestant a second chance at an answer. It’s especially alarming considering Jennings seemingly did not afford another contestant the same privilege. Harriet Wagner, another competitor, had a similar mishap while recalling the name and author of a fantasy novel for $2,000.

“Who is Angela LeGuin—ah—Ursula LeGuin?”Wagner responded. Jennings didn’t accept her correction: “Yes, Harriet, you remembered that her name was Ursula, but I had already begun ruling against you when you began correcting yourself.”

According to the Jeopardy! website, “Contestants may change their responses as long as neither the host nor the judges have made a ruling.”The technical difference between them seems to be Wagner’s correct answer, and Wagner’s incorrect one. De Guzman, on the other hand, didn’t speak clearly enough when stating his initial incorrect answer, and thus Jennings was required to ask for a clearer response.

De Guzman Advances to The Next Round

The ruling is still murky. Although Ken Jennings had started to rule against Harriet Wagner long before she finished, it was not yet final. AlreadyShe was in the process to correct herself when he intervened. Many people believe that he should have allowed her time to finish. Some are even decrying sexism on Jennings’ part. However, the decision as to which answers counted and which didn’t falls to the show’s judges—who have had to Before explaining their controversial rulings—rather than the host.

It’s even more upsetting once you realize that if Wagner had simply responded “Who is LeGuin?” and omitted the author’s first name entirely, she still would have won the $2,000 clue. It wasn’t a game where $2,000 was irrelevant. Wagner gave a correct answer in Final Jeopardy that nearly doubled her score, landing her just $700 behind Luigi de Guzman—the returning champion who Did receive the prize for Wagner’s fumbled question.

Jennings is a surprisingly promptedde Guzman to correct his previous answer, it seemed to be an injustice to Wagner to some watchers. It’s only salt in the wound that de Guzman progressed to the next episode. De Guzman later admitted the controversial rulings via Twitter.

“Having watched the game again as an outsider and with cold eyes, I want to say that I probably owe @harriet4332263 two apologies … If I’d have been Ken, I’d have either cut both of us off, or hesitated both times. But that wasn’t the side of the stage I was on on the day, and it took a great deal of separation in time and space for me to watch it and see it,”de Guzman wrote.

It was an extremely kind sentiment on de Guzman’s part—the sign of a truly gracious winner. He says he’s reached out to Wagner to make things right, and there are no hard feelings between the contestants. As for Jennings’ time as host, it remains to be seen if these sorts of unusual rulings will become a common occurrence or if they will be remembered as an unfortunate isolated hiccup.

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