What Did Ken Jennings Do Wrong On ‘Jeopardy!’?
One of the two permanent 'Jeopardy!' hosts, Ken Jennings, has been taking a LOT of heat on the internet over the last few weeks. Simply because 'Jeopardy!' has rules to follow. Think of it like rules for a board game you'd play at home. (Not Uno, because everyone I know around Flint makes up their own rules for that!) As the saying goes, "you win by the rules, you lose by the rules." I've read comments stating Alex Trebek would never have allowed that -- He would have allowed it because rules exist. (Many Michiganders have been contestants and based on the way they fondly remember Trebek, there's no way they wouldn't appreciate and respect the rules of play.)
It turns out, that's what happened with a returning champ, Luigi de Guzman. Not some nefarious attempt at Ken Jennings or the show being sexist. Here's the clip in question:
A quick look at the 'Jeopardy!' rules page states:
"1. Contestants may change their responses as long as neither the host nor the judges have made a ruling.
There’s no way to prepare for how nerves may affect you when the game is in play. For instance, have you ever seen a contestant blurt out a response, then give a “where-did-that-come-from” look? Don’t laugh! It happens. If you’re giving a response and suddenly hear your mouth saying something your brain wasn’t planning on – or forget to phrase your response in the form of a question – you can correct yourself; but you’ll have to be quick."
If you listen closely to the clip, Ken Jennings asks Luigi to repeat what he said, correcting his previous answer. Then, Jennings "ruled." The chronology is important for the above rule to apply. That was not the case with the other contestant as Jennings was ruling as she tried to correct.
Clarity is important for die-hard fans of the show. It isn't staged or fake. The rules really do exist. And, no, it wouldn't have been different if Alex Trebek was still alive and hosting, today.