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Ken Jennings Slammed for "Disrespectful" Comment About "Jeopardy!" Champ

The host appeared to call out Jeopardy! Masters player Mattea Roach.

Jeopardy! Masters is in full swing, with the quarterfinal episodes seven and eight airing tonight. The competition features the best of the best, including household names James HolzhauerMatt Amodio, and Amy Schneider. Also among the champs is Mattea Roach, the 25-year-old Canadian writer and podcast host. Roach, who uses they/them pronouns, holds their rightful place on the Jeopardy! Leaderboard of Legends, with the fifth highest number of consecutive games won. They've also earned the sixth highest amount of winnings during regular season play ($560,783) and the sixth highest all-time winnings ($810,983). With all of that said, you would assume that Roach would command some respect on the Alex Trebek Stage. But fans are accusing host Ken Jennings of snubbing the champ with a "disrespectful" comment.

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During the May 8 game, Roach was facing off against Holzhauer and Victoria Groce. While all three competitors have proven their worth, Jennings seemed to insinuate that Holzhauer and Groce were a step above.

"Coming up in a moment, it's the very first match between two heavy hitters, James Holzhauer and Victoria Groce, with Mattea Roach in the mix as well," Jennings before the start of the game.

One viewer called out the jab, writing on X, "A bit of disrespect not calling Mattea a 'heavy hitter;' they didn't win 23 games in their initial Jeopardy! run for nothing #JeopardyMasters."

Another also chimed in to share their support, writing "Stay strong, Mattea," as The U.S. Sun reported.

Roach did end up placing third in that game, with Groce clinching the win and Holzhauer coming in second.

The comment may not have come off well, but it's possible Jennings made it within the context of the Jeopardy! Masters standings. After games four and five, completed on May 6, Groce and Holzhauer were leading in first and second place, respectively. Roach was in fifth place at the time, only ahead of Schneider.

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To be fair, Roach didn't seem too confident ahead of the game either. In a May 8 post on X, the contestant wrote, "Playing against @James_Holzhauer and @GraceWithAnO on tonight's Jeopardy Masters…picture unrelated."

They punctuated the comment with the smiling angel emoji, while the "picture" in question was a meme of a hydrogen bomb versus a coughing baby. The meme is often used suggest an unfair match-up.

One X user sympathized with Roach—and poked fun at Holzhauer—writing, "Brutal to have to go against one of the most intimidating players of all time (and also james)."

Another wrote, "Mattea I'm so sorry for what's gonna happen tonight but I'm praying for you."

Others posted words of support, writing, "You got this!" and "Still rooting for you!" in response.

Another voiced support for Roach as well as their competitors. "Mattea, we are still rooting for you! You three are the ones my wife and I are hoping to see in the finals," they wrote.

Ahead of tonight's games, Mattea is currently in sixth place in the overall competition. Groce is leading the pack with a whopping nine match points, followed by Yogesh Raut with seven and Holzhauer with five.

We still have a few more weeks of competition before we see who comes out on top, though. The Jeopardy! Masters finals are scheduled to air Wednesday, May 22.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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