‘Jeopardy!’ Are Mayim Bialik & Ken Jennings Being Deliberate?

Jeopardy! - YouTube/Jeopardy

Jeopardy! fans have blasted hosts Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings for not properly enforcing the game show’s rules. It has happened so much that viewers have begun to question whether or not they are doing it on purpose. As it turns out, there are some significant inconsistencies in recent judging choices.

Final Jeopardy! Handwriting Issues

In the final round of Jeopardy! contestants have to write out their answers. However, Bialik and Jennings seem inconsistent in determining what is legible and what isn’t.

Jeopardy! - YouTube/Jeopardy

Credit: Youtube/Jeopardy!

According to the official Jeopardy! website, the responses during the final round don’t have to be spelled correctly. They only need to be spelled phonetically correct and you cannot subtract or add anything to the word/phrase. So, there technically isn’t anything in the rulebook about handwriting.

Fans haven’t held back when criticizing Bialik and Jennings since they have taken on temporary co-hosting responsibilities. Because it is assumed that one of them will be taking the position permanently, viewers have let producers know what they think of each host loud and clear.

This has been no different. Viewers were quick to hop in and criticize Bialik and Jennings’s recent Final Jeopardy! decisions. In two different episodes, there were hard-to-read answers given in the last round, but two very different decisions were made. Now, fans want to know why?

Are Mayim And Ken Being Deliberate?

One contestant, Sadie, lost Final Jeopardy! because Bialik stated that her penmanship was not acceptable. “It looks like you were going for ‘Harriet Tubman’ but you did not finish, so unfortunately that is not going to be acceptable,” Bialik told the unfortunate contestant. Sadie agreed and they went on.

Jeopardy! - YouTube/Jeopardy!

Credit: YouTube/Jeopardy!

Many fans and even the winner that night did not agree with Bialik’s decision. They found it to be legible and thought it was unfair to Sadie. The contestant who won tweeted after the show saying, “It’s probably inappropriate for me to say anything about the judges’ call in FJ yesterday. But will say I’d love to see Sadie compete again (if she wants to!).”

At the same time, Jennings made a very different call during Final Jeopardy! Another hard-to-read answer showed up during the final round. Jennings accepted the extremely difficult-to-read answer and verified that it was correct. His decision led to a rare tie-breaker round that doesn’t occur very often.

Jeopardy! - YouTube/Jeopardy!

Credit: YouTube/Jeopardy!

“#jeopardy this didn’t count, but then this one did??” one fan tweeted after the episode aired on Monday.

“I think that Harriett Tubman is FAR more legible than whatever Erica has written!” another person wrote on Twitter. Viewers accused the host of purposefully accepting a badly written answer to force the tie-breaker challenge to make the show more exciting. Either way, no one agreed with the decision.

While there isn’t anything that would point to either judge being deliberate with these actions, it is clear that Jeopardy! fans aren’t happy. Do you think Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings are making these mistakes on purpose? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Amanda Blankenship


  1. Hire someone who will be professional and yet have fun, like Alex did. I used to watch the show religiously, but since Alex is gone, it just seems like a joke and I haven’t watched at all. And until it gets back to the level of Alex, I will not watch it.

  2. As the author knows from the quoted material, this isn’t about penmanship. Not finishing a word is a totally different issue.

    Also, surely you know whether to accept a Final Jeopardy! response or not is not the host’s decision.

  3. I think Jeopardy’s bosses made a bad decision when they fired Richards because of something that happened long ago. He was by far the best host, and I can’t understand why they thought that fans would even think about something like that. Everyone has something in their past that they shouldn’t have done, and it seems that there are those who just look for it to ruin people’s lives. Bring yourself above those who think like that an do what is really good for the show – BRING RICHARDS BACK….

  4. The judges see what’s being written, and make their judgement, before the response is revealed. Mayim and Ken have nothing to do with it.

  5. We watch without fail and like both Mayim and Ken and think they do a magnificent job. Play on …..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *