"Jeopardy!" Slammed by Viewers for Major On-Air Mistake
Fans said that a scoring blunder "spoiled" the entire episode.
Jeopardy! fans are known for being opinionated. Since former champ Ken Jennings and actor Mayim Bialik took over hosting duties in July 2022, viewers have been vocal about who they want behind the podium full-time. Some prefer Jennings' quick wit, while others claim that Bialik has better banter with contestants. But fans are just as critical, if not more so, of gameplay and broadcasting decisions–and they were quick to point out one major on-air mistake last week that some say spoiled an entire episode. Read on to find out what happened, and how fans responded.
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Final scores were accidentally shown ahead of time.
For three weeks, former teen contestants faced off in the Jeopardy! High School Reunion Tournament, with the competition concluding on Thursday, March 9. But during the March 8 broadcast (the first day of the final round), fans were confused when the contestants' final scores were displayed before the game even started.
In a clip from the episode, Bialik congratulated the contestants on making it so far, confirming that the player with the highest combined total at the end of the two-day final would be crowned the winner and take home $100,000.
However, when panning to the contestants' podiums, their final dollar amounts for that day were already on display—Jackson Jones was in the lead with $24,000, Justin Bolsen was in second with $13,570, and Maya Wright was in third with $3,370. Typically, before the game starts, the podiums only display contestants' names.
Viewers said it was a "poor editing glitch."
Fans were frustrated by the inadvertent spoiler. "I'm slightly annoyed," one viewer wrote. "I woke up to watch today's @Jeopardy (in the Chicago market, where it airs at 3:30pm), and as Mayim explained how the Finals are a two-day total point affair, the show flashed the final scores of all three players from the end of the episode!"
Some were simply confused. "I thought I missed a day and this was day two of a TWO DAY TOTAL POINT AFFAIR," a viewer said, while another said they thought they "had slept through Wednesday or something."
One fan called the mistake an "epic fail"—and another said it ruined the game. "Hey @Jeopardy thanks for spoiling the final scores tonight during the intro," one viewer tweeted.
Viewers questioned how a blunder like this could even happen. "How does that not get caught in editing?" a fan tweeted.
"Did anyone else notice in the opening before the categories were read that the final scores were posted? I guess it was a poor editing glitch," another suggested.
Best Life reached out to Jeopardy! for comment on the error, but has yet to hear back.
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The mistake didn't spoil the whole tournament.
Eagle-eyed viewers confirmed the mistake, as the scores revealed at the beginning were identical to those at the end of the game, with Jones in the lead.
But while it may have spoiled the results of the first final round, the flub didn't ruin the competition entirely, as the three finalists still needed to play a second round.
At the conclusion of the game on March 9, Bolsen was crowned the winner of the first-of-its-kind tournament. His two-day total was $35,361, just $363 more than Jones' total of $35,198. Wright finished third, with a total of $24,610.
Viewers had different opinions on the tournament itself.
Fans were seemingly unanimous in their disapproval of the editing glitch, but they were divided in terms of the High School Reunion Tournament format as a whole.
On Facebook, one viewer complained that the questions were "easier" for teen and college contestants, and another called the tournament "kinda boring."
"This was one of the worst tournaments if you ask me," a fan wrote. "I feel like they dumbed down the questions a lot in this."
Yet another quipped, "I don't like high school tournaments. Would really prefer getting going with ordinary contestants, because too many tournaments gets boring fast."
On the other hand, some viewers said they enjoyed watching the younger contestants duke it out. "It was great. Loved every day of it. Seeing the young people gives me hope for the future," a comment reads.
"Given their age and youthful life experience, I was impressed by the number of challenging questions they answered correctly," another fan wrote.