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Jeopardy! fans have one major ‘quibble’ with new Masters tournament after the show revealed its six famous contestants

Jeopardy! fans have one major ‘quibble’ with new Masters tournament after the show revealed its six famous contestants

JEOPARDY!’s new top-tier spinoff has left some fans with a bone to pick.

Reddit users were bothered as five of the six Jeopardy! Masters contestants returning just fared well in the 2022 Tournament of Champions.

Jeopardy!Jeopardy! fans have one qualm with the new special hosted by Ken Jennings[/caption]

ABCSome fans wondered if ‘recency bias’ was on the board[/caption]

Jeopardy! caused quite a buzz when it announced what it’s calling Jeopardy! Masters on Wednesday – a six-champ special airing in primetime.

Those invited are Amy SchneiderMatt AmodioSam ButtreyAndrew HeMattea Roach, and James Holzhauer.

Ken Jennings, 48, is hosting and it’s said to be airing this spring as an ABC exec tweeted.

The game show considers them their six most “elite” and “highest-ranked” players per Deadline.

Now that the initial excitement has died down, fans have taken a step back to look closer at that qualifier.

Five of the contestants originally competed in the past two seasons and then just played in the 2022 winner’s tournament – the sixth is James Holzhauer.

The ranking system has not been shared yet for how they settled on them – the system is something boss Mike Davies plans to put forth and keep a running tab on year to year.

Amy, Mattea, Matt, and James have four of the five longest winning streaks ever only behind host Ken, so that tracks.

But 5-time winner Andrew and Sam Buttrey, meanwhile, scored fame as finalists with Amy in the 2022 tournament – and aren’t on the show’s leaderboard of legends.


One wrote in an internet forum on Thursday: “The selection really just doesn’t make any sense.”

“It really just feels like ‘what if we played the Tournament Of Champions over again but added James Holzhauer?’”

Another agreed: “It’s interesting that 5/6 contestants are from last season.

“I get why they picked Sam Buttrey based on entertainment value, but I would’ve hoped for some earlier contestants too.”

After six fierce finals games, Amy won against Sam and Andrew who gave the star a run for her money and it all made for great TV.

A third penned: “I’d agree, more top players from the past would be nice too.”

A fourth argued: “I’m sure they picked these contestants because of ratings. They’re the contestants whom current viewers are the most aware of.”

And a fifth: “My only quibble is that, other than James, these players have already played against each other.”

“We watched the same three contestants play each other six [Tournament of Champions finals] games in a row, but what’s to be gained if somehow that same matchup comes up again?”

“Really, the only interesting thing to me is seeing if any of them can stack up to James,” they added.

One more wrote: “100% agree. There’s some major recency bias in the selection of these 6 players.”

And a sixth agrued Sam Kavanaugh, who won the 2021 Tournament of Champions would have seemed fair game.

“I’m a huge fan of Sam Buttrey, but it’s hard to argue that his third-place finish [in the 2022 Tournament of Champions, qualifying by winning a Professor’s tournament] outweighs Sam Kavanaugh.”

I urge the producers to take this into consideration moving forward.”

“They’ll never admit it, but I wonder if they feel guilty about the incorrect/misleading Final Jeopardy question costing Sam a game during the finals of this year’s TOC“.

One more added: “Lol imagine how Brad Rutter must feel” – the great played in the G.O.A.T tournament against James and Ken.

Brad also has the second-highest earnings on the show ever, but hasn’t been on the Jeopardy! stage as recently, nor has Kavanaugh.

A final fan concluded: “Let’s be real here. They picked the best candidates available that most people knew. People know them and they all happen to have decent personalities that will do well on prime time.

“Look at this first Masters event like the pilot for a game show. The best thing you do is to maximize the variables you can control: casting.”


Sam Kavanaugh who won the 2021 ToC tweeted after the news dropped that he was expecting the call, training for it, and is not happy.

“Well, seeing the news today that I am not invited to the Jeopardy Masters was a bit of a gut punch,” he wrote.

“Nothing is ever guaranteed so I wasn’t planning on it, but because every other ToC winner in history was invited to a subsequent tourney, I was planning *for* it.”

“It’s hard to hang up the hat especially after working so hard over the past months to reach my full Jeopardy potential (I think I was about 80% of the way there in my ToC).

“I think that I can beat any one of these contestants, & hope there’s still a chance to do so in the future.

With that sting of disappointment, will I be watching J Masters? Absolutely I will. These 6 are great players & great people, & they will put on a good show.”

One fan replied: “You’re better off playing in the next one, won’t have to face James Holzhauer hopefully.”

But Sam responded he didn’t feel that way: “That’s reasonable, but If I want to be the best I have to play the best.”

Sam Cavanaugh also seemed interested as when the idea was first quietly floated, he tweeted: “Time to consider getting back into Jeopardy-ready form, I guess,” with a GIF of Elmo lifting weights.


Davies announced the special on the podcast Inside Jeopardy! and made it no secret that ratings for the 2022 Tournament of Champions (won by Amy) were high and a factor.

“I just look at the ratings, and when we have a super champion [10-plus-day winner] in the mix and playing against each other, the quality, ratings and social media is off the charts.”

“Like it is in most sports, recency. You look at Amy Schneider, you look at who gave her a run for her money in the [2022] Tournament of Champions, they rank up there.”

“It’s not just on a whim, there is a passionate debate for the competitors who will make that field when that is announced,” EP Davies continued.

Either way, this will be: “The pinnacle event, the top of the pyramid of all of Jeopardy!” he said.

“We need to know who is the best in any given year – I would like to see every elite player compete again [at some point].”

Jeopardy!One Jeopardy! fan posted: ‘this feels like if we played the 2022 Tournament Of Champions again but added James Holzhauer’[/caption]

GettyAnother agreed ‘Imagine how Brad Rutter must feel’ – as he’s one of the three highest-earning winners ever[/caption]

© 2021 Quadra Productions, Inc., photographer Carol Kaelson. All rights reserved.2021 tournament winner Sam Kavanaugh called not getting an invite a ‘gut punch’ – Jeopardy!’s boss admitted ‘recency’ and ‘ratings’ were big factors[/caption]

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