‘Jeopardy!’ Ken Jennings Blasted For ‘Unfair’ Decision

Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! | YouTube

Jeopardy! fans were unhappy about a specific question on the show this week. It also provided some questions about how fair some of the right and wrong answers are on the show. This wrong answer comes just a month after fans bemoaned a “right” answer. There is some concern now over when an answer is right or wrong based on pronunciation.

Here is the question this week that was deemed wrong that has Jeopardy! fans frustrated.

Jeopardy! Deems Answer Wrong Based On Mispronounciation

Mike Flanagan was on Jeopardy! on Thursday and he got a question about Kung Fu Panda. The clue was “In the KFPU (‘Kung Foo Panda’ Universe), Dustin Hoffman voices this role, Mandarin for ‘Master.'” The answer was Shifu, who is the Master who helps Po’s panda become the Dragon Warrior.

Ken Jennings - Jeopardy!
Ken Jennings – Jeopardy!

However, when Mike hit his buzzer, he answered, “What is Sifu?” Ken told him the answer was wrong, and they moved on. Neither Adriana nor Hakme could answer the question, and both seemed confused. That is because “Sifu” and “Shifu” sound the same with one letter difference.

This isn’t the first time a contestant has gotten something wrong based on mispronouncing a name. In the Alex Trebek days, one contestant said “Gangsters Paradise” and was deemed wrong since the song was titled “Gangsta’s Paradise.” However, a moment this year seemed to reverse this rule.

When asked about the band Salt-N-Pepa in Jeopardy! Masters, Yogesh Raut answered, “Salt and Pepper.” That was just as wrong as “Gansters Paradise,” but Raut was credited for the correct answer, making some fans wonder when Ken Jennings and Jeopardy! let it pass, and when they don’t.

Jeopardy! Fans Feel Ken Jennings Ripped Off Contestant

When Ken Jennings said the answer was wrong, many Jeopardy! fans went onto social media to call out the host for being unfair.

Ken Jennings in Jeopardy! | YouTube
Ken Jennings in Jeopardy! | YouTube

Here is an example of comments from Jeopardy! fans about the lack of consistency when it comes to the prounciation rules?

  • “Mike got screwed with sifu/shifu. Shi and si are almost indistinguishable in Mandarin”
  • “I think the writers probably intended it to be a tricky one, especially if you’re not familiar with the differences between dialects.”
  • “I didn’t think it was fair to call his answer incorrect”

However, one person pointed out that the problem here was that this was in the “foreign words” category. In that case, it needs to be pronounced correctly.

What are your thoughts on Jeopardy! and the lack of consistency for contestants mispronouncing words? Do you think the show should make it the same for all players, or do you not mind changing the rules for different games? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Shawn Lealos
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