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Jeopardy! fans slam Mayim Bialik’s tournament as ‘too long’ and say show is ‘taking opportunities’ from new contestants

Jeopardy! fans slam Mayim Bialik’s tournament as ‘too long’ and say show is ‘taking opportunities’ from new contestants

JEOPARDY! fans are not all sold on Mayim Bialik’s currently airing High School Reunion Tournament.

Fans on grumbled Reddit that the three-week special is “too long” leaving fewer regular contestants now able to score a shot.

GettyJeopardy! fans think Mayim Bialik’s High School Reunion Tournament is ‘too long’[/caption]

NBCViewers miss regular contestants and Ken Jennings – returning March 10[/caption]

Mayim, 47, is hosting the 14-episode High School Reunion Tournament featuring 27 former Teen Tournament contestants who first duked it out in 2018 and 2019.

Now in its second week, the winner will get $100,000 and a slot in the 2023 Tournament of Champions.

The semi-finals will begin on Friday as the students are dismissed and when three remain, there will be a two-day total point affair finals ending on Thursday, March 10.

Aside from mixed feelings on Mayim’s hosting chops compared to Ken Jennings, 48, the special is just plain long.

It’s not only lengthier than the two original Teen Tournaments from which its precious players were pulled – but just two weeks shorter than the 2022 Tournament of Champions – which also aired instead of regular episodes.

This season has now resulted in seven weeks of specials with new contestants or potential champions left waiting in the wings.


On Reddit, a Jeopardy! fan titled a thread: “Not a fan of new tournament format.”

They wrote: “So now the special tournaments are stretched out to 3+ weeks? This is taking away opportunities for regular people to get their chance to play Jeopardy. Two weeks with five semi-finalists and four wild card slots is a great setup.

“This new format is unwieldy, interminable, and confusing.”

“They are disrupting the regular season for almost a month to celebrate young, pretty, successful people who have already had their chance,” the tough customer penned.

One user replied: “I just think it’s too long.”

Another wrote: “The real issue is that these people were just here four years ago. No one really cares. A reunion of a teen tourney from the ’80s or picking people from a wide variety of seasons would be a lot more interesting.”

A fourth wrote: “Yes I agree. I wish they would’ve done something different too, but let’s not blame these kids.”

“If Ken hosted I’d be more interested in watching,” joked a fifth.

“I’d rather have more regular folks get a shot,” agreed a sixth.

A seventh replied they can relate and they’re waiting to compete: “While this post definitely has strong ‘old man shakes fist at cloud’ energy, I’m tempted to agree as someone who finally made it through all the testing/audition parts and is still waiting for “The Call!”

A ninth even called the concept “dumb” – “‘We gave these folks a shot a few years ago, so here they are again’…ok?”

“I’m just in it for the trivia,” defended one fan who seemed happy to watch any form of the game show.


Halfway through Season 39 which will end in August – the next Tournament of Champions airing in September is looking bare-bones.

Not that many contestants have qualified and there are no female multiday winners eligible, so the 2023 list isn’t exactly buzzing with diversity.

At the moment, six contestants are listed by the show as qualifiers; former poker ace Cris Pannullo with 21 wins, four-day winner Matthew Marcussix-day winner Troy Meyer, fan-favorite Ray Lalonde with 13 wins, five-day champ Luigi de Guzman, and four-day champ and priest David Sibley.

It takes four wins to qualify, but Jeopardy! notes that the mile marker is up to “producers’ sole discretion.”

The famous game show also announced this year’s Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Ike Barehnholz has accepted an invite as well in an unprecedented move.

They have also floated inviting divisive three-day champ Yogesh Raut given he had such a “high-scoring” run, despite – or perhaps even especially – after he went viral blasting the show for all its worth on Facebook after his run aired.

Counting the winner of Mayim’s current tournament that’s nine possible contestants – and if there are two from the new Second Chance Tournament, that would make 11.

So the total is still far from last year’s 21 players (though admittedly, they pulled from two seasons) and there’s still time to go.


On Monday, longtime producer Sarah Foss cleared the board on the hosting schedule for the rest of the season on the show’s podcast.

It was announced that Ken will be back after Mayim’s three-week tournament, but not for very long.

“Ken Jennings will be back on March 10th and then he will continue the rest of his syndicated run which will take us through April 28th.

“Then Mayim will take over on May 1st and she’ll take us all the way through the summer.”

Fans were left in a frenzy since after May 1st, we won’t see Ken on the regular show until Season 40, or September 2023 – many daily viewers are begging the show to just let him host.

Instagram/JeopardyOne Reddit user wrote: ‘I’d rather more regular folks get a shot’ and another even thrashed: ‘No one cares’ about what’s airing[/caption]

Only six contestants have technically qualified for next year’s Tournament of ChampionsJeopardyLast year’s event had 21 – so fans are also wondering what the show will do about that too[/caption]

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