Ken Jennings is feeling the wrath of “Jeopardy!” viewers after the champion-turned-host appeared to play favourites with his rulings during his first week of the show’s 39th season.
According to People, controversy was sparked when contestant Luigi de Guzman answered a question in which a painting was shown on the screen, with the clue reading, “Here’s a typical 19th-century landscape by this British painter.”
“Who is Constant?” de Guzman said.
“Say it again,” Jennings replied.
“Sorry, who is Constable?” de Guzman replied, with Jennings accepting his answer as correct.
Later in that same episode, contestant Harriet Wagner experienced a similar misstep when answering a question about the name of a science fiction author by responding, “Who is Angela LeGuin — sorry, Ursula LeGuin.”
This time, however, Jennings interrupted and told her she was incorrect.
“Yes, Harriet, you remembered that her name was Ursula, but I had already begun ruling against you when you began correcting yourself,” Jennings told her. (People notes that the “Jeopardy!” website states, “Contestants may change their responses as long as neither the host nor the judges have made a ruling.”)
When de Guzman ultimately won, Jennings was hit with backlash when fans lambasted his different responses to seemingly identical flubs.
@Jeopardy Not a fan of the ruling against Harriet tonight and a free ride for Guzman…Ken Jennings is partial and not a good moderator. Won’t be watching anymore.
— J (@Tazmania472002J) September 14, 2022
Gosh, Jeopardy – why not have a certain amount of time to answer? Harriet answered her revised answer of Ursula at least as quickly as Luigi was allowed to correct his response from Constant to Constable a few minutes earlier 😊
— Ann Swann (@ann_swann) September 14, 2022
— Steven Glen (@Redbirdsfan82) September 14, 2022
#jeopardy why did Ken Jennings let one contestant (male) change a wrong answer, but ruled against another (female), even though she said the correct answer within the time limit? Tonight’s episode was an unfair runaway because of that ruling on the last answer in double jeopardy
— Mike Harrington (@mikewat) September 15, 2022
Wow, is @jeopardy fixed?
— Michelle (@shellybee721) September 14, 2022
YOU SUCK, KEN JENNINGS!
You gave Luigi a pass and Harriet a JIP!#Jeopardy
— 🧢Gina Turn Texas Blue 2022🧢 (@ginadem) September 15, 2022