KEN Jennings has been forced to Daily Double-back and address a misruling that wasn’t caught right away on Monday’s episode.
The Jeopardy! host halted the interview segment to fix his mistake and apologize in an awkward moment.
Past contestants who initially lost are battling it out for an unexpected second chance at greatness.
Last week, Hari Parameswaran won $35K and a slot in a subsequent tournament which will air directly afterward.
The special is now in its second week, so it was time to see who would join him.
Matt Walks, a digital journalist originally from Billings, Montana, faced Deanna Bolio, a community outreach supervisor from Campbell, California, and Elliott Goodman, a history & Latin teacher from Culver City, California.
The $1000 clue under “American History” was selected early on and read: “Native American leaders at the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn included Sitting Bull & this Oglala chief, killed the following year.”
Deanna was ruled correct on: “Chief Joseph.” – “Right,” Ken said.
She was referring to the leader of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Tribe, who led his people on a dramatic effort to escape Canada (1940-1904).
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However, the clue was actually looking for “Crazy Horse,” a Lakota war leader of the Oglala band (1840-1877).
The ruling was not reversed immediately as usual and was instead changed halfway through the typically light-hearted interview portion.
After Elliott revealed he met his current girlfriend when he first competed- she “slid into his DMs” as Ken joked – the host stopped the proceedings.
Ken shared at that point that he had not caught Deanna being incorrect.
‘BAD NEWS FIRST’
“I’m afraid I have to give you the bad news first,” Ken said when it was time to get to know her.
“I inadvertently accepted your response of Chief Joseph instead of Crazy Horse in the first round.”
“So we’re gonna have to knock that off your score.”
Deanna looked deflated, and her head slumped as her score was cut from $2400 to $400.
“But it’s early!” Ken continued. “You’ll be back.”
‘THAT WAS ODD’
Fans were confused over the delayed change-up on Reddit.
One person wrote: “Chief Joseph was not Oglalla!!! Good it was corrected, but I am shocked Ken did not know initially and accepted her answer.”
Another wrote: “Apparently, they needed the response of ‘crazy horse’, not ‘chief Joseph.'”
“After Googling, those are two entirely different people. Odd that Ken initially accepted it (and that the judges didn’t immediately stop the taping). Did he think it was an AKA?”
A third argued: “Whoever wrote it wasn’t on hand, which would explain why it took so long to be corrected.”
A fourth wrote: “Yeah. Crazy Horse. A straight-up whiff. Is that one on Ken?”
Deanna did come back; she had an impressive Double Jeopardy! round, but Matt found all of the Daily Doubles.
But with just eight clues left on the board and $5,000 to his name – Deanna leading with $17200 – Matt made a shocking choice.
Having missed the first two Daily Doubles, he decided just to bet $3000.
So despite being correct, Deanna still had a runaway or uncatchable lead going into Final Jeopardy.
She had $19,600, Elliott had $8,800, and Matt had $8,000.
Deanna’s having a runaway proved even more pivotal since Matt was the only player correct in Final Jeopardy.
The clue read: “He dedicated books to each of his 4 wives, including Hadley Richardson & Martha Gellhorn.”
Only he was correct with “Hemingway” and wagered $7999- but since he didn’t have enough earnings going in, it didn’t matter.
One Redditor lamented: “Oof, Matt made a mistake not going all-in on the last Daily Double.
“Arguably cost him the whole game.
“Congrats to Deanna though. All three did very well.”
ALL ABOUT THE SECOND CHANCE TOURNAMENT
Each tournament week starts with three qualifying matches of Season 37 contestants instead of new players.
The three winners of the week face off in a Thursday/Friday final.
That winner advances to the next tournament; Champions Wildcard.
That will air directly afterward and pit the winners from this series against brief Season 37 and 38 champions- the lineup is yet to be announced.
The subsequent eight-week tournament’s price is a ticket to the currently postponed Tournament of Champions.
This takes fans into December, but given the writer’s strikes, what will air after that is unannounced.
EVERYTHING TO KNOW ABOUT SEASON 40
Jeopardy!’s monumental Season 40 premiered on September 11 and will run until July 26, 2024.
She bowed out in solidarity with the strikers, a big shakeup since she and Ken were tapped to split hosting after Alex Trebek‘s death in 2020.
That’s far from the only big change to the highly anticipated new season.
Aside from not having new contestants and no Mayim, the other major change is the clues.
The game show is re-using questions from past seasons while without its writers.
Showrunner Michael Davies explained on the “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast that it “wouldn’t be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance” on the show with material that isn’t original or that was written pre-strike.
“The material that we’re gonna be using is a combination of material that our WGA writers wrote before the strike, which is still in the database and material that is being redeployed from multiple, multiple seasons of the show.”
Davies also announced a $1000 bump in consolation prizes and said that he admires and misses the show’s beloved writers.
“If you don’t have time to listen, here’s the executive summary of today’s announcement,” James, 39, wrote, sharing a link to the podcast episode.
“1:00-2:00: Jeopardy’s writers are invaluable and we couldn’t produce the show without them,” he continued.
“2:00-15:00: Here is how we will produce the upcoming season without them.”
Meanwhile, the 2023 Tournament of Champions will not happen not until the strikes are over.
Several Season 39 champs, including Ray LaLonde, Cris Pannullo, Hannah Wilson, and Ben Chan, said they would not participate in the TOC until the strikes are concluded.
Ken has faced backlash from some fans and former players for his decision to cross the picket line.
Ken has kept relatively quiet on the subject besides resharing a statement from the show’s executive producer referencing how the late Alex continued hosting during the 2007 to 2008 writers’ strike.
Mayim is also being replaced by Ken on Celebrity Jeopardy!, which airs on ABC for the entire next season.
Her exit marks Ken’s first time hosting all programming for Jeopardy! and she won’t return until the strikes and scheduled tournaments end, or at least until 2024.