‘Jeopardy!’ Star Arthur Chu Just Slammed “Circus” of Guest Hosts and Mike Richards Scandal
In the wake of Jeopardy!‘s ongoing hosting scandal, several past contestants are voicing their opinions on the matter, including 2014 Tournament of Champions contestant Arthur Chu.
Last Thursday, Arthur, who famously won 11 games of Jeopardy! back in 2014, shared his true thoughts on everything in an op-ed for The Washington Post. Not surprisingly, the Jeopardy! mastermind had a lot to say about the recent drama involving executive producer Mike Richards and the search for a new host to replace the late Alex Trebek.
In one part of the article, the self-proclaimed “Jeopardy! villain” (known for his unique style of play) explained he is now “struggling” to watch Jeopardy!. As he sees it, the show is currently threatening “to destroy its own appeal” by not taking Alex’s advice for the next host of the show, which was “stay out of the way, and let the contestants be the stars.”
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But instead, as Arthur continued, the search for a new host became “a public circus of ‘on-the-job tryouts'” largely due to the celebrity bookings. He wrote in part:
The disruption of rotating hosts was jarring enough for a show built on dependability, but the whole celebrity concept betrayed the secret of how Jeopardy! captivated us: the fantasy that you or I or anyone else could be the one in the spotlight.
The Jeopardy! star also addressed the saga involving Mike, who was offered the permanent host job and stepped down and back into his executive producer role just one week later after offensive podcast comments and former discrimination and harassment allegations from his time at The Price Is Right resurfaced (to be clear, the article was published before news broke on August 31 that Mike would immediately exit Jeopardy! as executive producer). Now, Blossom actress Mayim Bialik, who was initially offered to host primetime Jeopardy! specials, will temporarily take Mike’s place at the lectern during the week this fall.
Arthur concluded: “This sort of churn is typical of the manipulative reality TV that clogs our airwaves now — the bait-and-switch, the opacity of the evaluation process, the ratings boost extracted from the fans of guest hosts who never really had a chance. That’s why it’s such a stain on the good name of a show we expect better from.”
Arthur is one of many in the Jeopardy! universe to voice concern over this tumultuous chapter of the beloved quiz show’s history. While talking to The Ringer about the upcoming Jeopardy! season, fellow champion and former guest host Ken Jennings noted, “Obviously I’m disappointed with how this process played out, but I’d rather look ahead. I plan to be with the show as long as they’ll have me, no matter who’s hosting.”
Meanwhile, after Mike stepped down as host, another Jeopardy! legend James Holzhauer tweeted, “I was really looking forward to the season premiere where after an exhaustive 61-clue search for the next Jeopardy champion, the show looks past the three obvious candidates and declares Mike Richards the winner.”
When the new season of Jeopardy! begins on September 13, Mike will not be behind the scenes as executive producer. It is expected that the show will once again resume its search for a new permanent weekly host. No guest hosts have been confirmed so far other than Mayim.
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