"Jeopardy!" Slammed Over Rewarding Contestant's "Clearly Wrong" Response
Contestants say Monday's winner Melissa Klapper shouldn't have been awarded points for an answer.
Jeopardy! is a fast-moving game, with contestants firing off answers at a rapid-fire pace. Players wait until the full question (er, answer) is read by the host, and then furiously buzz in. But while judges are adept at catching little mistakes with phrasing or pronunciation, viewers believe a "clearly wrong" response slipped through the cracks on the March 20 episode of the long-running game show. Read on to find out why fans say the most recent Jeopardy! winner should not have earned points for one response.
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Viewers said that Melissa Klapper answered one question incorrectly.
During last night's episode, Jake Garrett, Melissa Klapper, and reigning champ Kelly Barry were facing off, with gameplay overseen by host Ken Jennings. All was smooth sailing until the last question of the first round.
In a clip of the broadcast posted on Twitter, Jennings read the $600 clue from the "Quite the Fish Story" category, which asked about the Scot who played "a fisheries expert in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." Klapper seemed to buzz in with the correct response, Ewan McGregor, and Jennings awarded her the points.
However, fans say if you listen closely, you'll notice that she misstated McGregor's name.
Fans rewatched the clip several times.
Viewers were quick to point out that Klapper said "Ewan Gregor," missing the "Mc" portion of the actor's surname.
"She said Ewan Gregor!!!" one outraged fan wrote on Twitter. "It's McGregor! Come on Judges!!!!"
Several viewers said that they went back and listened to Klapper's answer multiple times, arguing that her response was "clearly wrong" and "needs to be corrected."
"I'm shocked they didn't correct this. It's as clear as day," a fan tweeted.
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Some argue the flub could've changed the course of the game.
Fans said that this mistake impacted the game as a whole, as Klapper went on to win with a lead much smaller than $600.
"@Jeopardy tonight's winner shouldn't have won. She answered Ewan Gregor – not Ewan McGregor," a tweet reads, claiming that Garrett, who placed second, was cheated out of a win.
"@Jeopardy Melissa missed the question where the answer was Ewan McGregor! She said Ewan Gregor…we replayed it several times," yet another fan tweeted. "She was awarded the points in error…and now she won. Unfair to the other players."
Other Twitter users said that Klapper still would've won in the end, as she would have maintained the lead going into Final Jeopardy! even if she hadn't been awarded the $600. And as all contestants answered the final clue correctly, she "would've bet to win" and ended up as the victor.
Still, some held steadfast and pointed out the complexity of the game.
"I never think it's as simple as that," a fan tweeted in response to the "betting to win" strategy. "It's not just points but also changes game play. Someone else might have gotten it correct and control of play…could've found a DD [Daily Double] and taken the lead rather than her….you never know how it could change the game and ultimate scores."
Fans also criticized Klapper's strategy.
Jeopardy! viewers also took issue with Klapper's wagering techniques, per TV Insider.
At the end of Double Jeopardy, Klapper was leading with $24,400, Garrett was in second with $12,400, and Barry trailed with $8,200. Klapper had just correctly answered the final clue, which was a Daily Double, but she only wagered $3,000.
Jennings noted that she "did not wager quite enough" for a runaway or lock game, meaning that if she'd wagered just a bit more, the other competitors would not have been able to catch up to her in Final Jeopardy!
"Why in the world did Melissa not wager another $500 on that last DD?? It wouldn't have made much of a difference if she missed it but would make a lot of difference if she got it. Maybe just a brain fart due to pressure?" a Twitter user suggested.
Another wrote, "You could see the moment when Melissa realized she could've locked the game with that round-ending DD. Take a breath before wagering."
However, Klapper still came out on top—even though all three contestants gave the correct response to the Final Jeopardy! question—narrowly clinching the win by just $1. Jennings said Klapper's $401 Final Jeopardy! bet was "the perfect wager," but fans again argued that she could've risked much more.
"If she was wrong, she would have lost whether she bet $401 or $24,800," a viewer tweeted.