"Jeopardy!" Producer Explains "Painful to Watch" Episode Amid Backlash
The game was discussed during the June 12 Inside Jeopardy! episode.
It's hard to watch Jeopardy! without playing along at home. As contestants buzz in with their responses to tricky clues, we challenge ourselves to see how many we can get right. Generally speaking, the players on TV have a higher success rate than the amateurs at home, but they can also falter—and sometimes a game doesn't go as expected. One recent Jeopardy! episode was actually slammed as being "painful to watch" by fans. Now, show insiders have responded to the controversy. Read on to find out what went wrong.
Almost two dozen clues went unanswered.
The fateful game aired on June 7, featuring returning champion Suresh Krishnan facing off against Kristine Rembach and Collette Lee. Fans were shocked when a significant number of questions went unanswered by all three contestants, otherwise known as "triple stumpers."
The three beeps signaling missed clues were constant throughout the game, with two Daily Double clues also answered incorrectly.
In total, contestants missed a total of 23 clues, and in Double Jeopardy! alone, 16 clues went unanswered, The U.S. Sun reported.
Fans didn't miss a beat discussing the game online.
Of course, fans were quick to air their grievances about the lackluster episode online.
"Is it just me, or was tonight's episode of #jeopardy painful to watch? As far as unanswered clues went, this episode had to be in the top 10," one viewer wrote on Twitter.
"This has to be in the running for worst game ever, right?" another fan quipped on Reddit. "I mean—16 triple stumpers in [Double Jeopardy!], out of 28 questions (two questions were left unplayed). Plus only 33 correct answers across the two rounds, and two incorrect [Daily Doubles]. Wow."
However, some fans noted that the clues may have also been more challenging. "I mean, playing from home, I thought this was a steep step-up in difficulty from the last several games," a viewer wrote on Reddit.
Another added, "It was certainly a really hard board."
The contestants feared going viral.
In the aftermath of the game, the players knew the episode would likely drum up some conversation, and Lee even chimed in on the Reddit thread recapping the June 7 episode.
"Collette here—Kristine and I commented on that to each other before Final, saying that we were worried we'd go viral for not knowing anything!" she wrote. "I personally tried to 'keep calm and clam up' to try to avoid ending up in the red with bad guesses but as the game wore on, especially in Double Jeopardy it was obvious we were collectively riding the struggle bus with our board!"
Insiders offered an explanation.
During the June 12 episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, producer Sarah Foss and her co-host, former champion Buzzy Cohen, had a few things to say about the "painful" game.
"One thing not so great about this game—and actually Kristine and Collette joked about it in the post-game chat—they were really hoping that they wouldn't go viral for leaving so much money on the board," Foss said, again highlighting the 23 triple stumpers. "This has to be a record … and it's something we never like to see."
Cohen agreed, but said that the three contestants' struggles may have had something to do with when the episode was filmed. "Maybe … it's the last game before lunch, maybe everyone's a little sleepy or something, a little hungry, but yeah, that's a tough stat to carry with you," he noted.
While Foss predicted that the episode wouldn't go viral, both she and Cohen wrapped up the discussion by saying that they plan to move on from it.
"We'll forget it ever happened," Cohen said, which Foss then echoed.