Jeopardy! viewers ‘disgusted’ that Ken Jennings ‘cheated’ contestant: ‘Alex Trebek would never stand for that’

ken jennings Langham Huntington Hotel
Jeopardy! viewers are taking aim at Ken Jennings in a major way. Pic credit: ©

Jeopardy! viewers are outraged at Ken Jennings.

After a contestant missed a clue by one letter “S,” critics are taking aim at the 50-year-old trivia show host.

During the Double Jeopardy round in Wednesday’s episode of Jeopardy!, returning champion Kelly Proulx, a communications director from Billerica, Massachusetts, took a chance and buzzed in.

The $2,000 clue, in the category Waterfalls, read, “A Yosemite fall with a wispy ribbon of water that flutters in the air like a diaphanous cloth bears the name of this marital wear.”

Kelly’s response to Ken was, “What is Bridalveil Falls?”

Unfortunately for Kelly, Ken, and the elusive Jeopardy! judges, her answer was rejected because she made it plural.

Jeopardy! viewers express their outrage over Kelly’s ‘incorrect’ response

“No, I’m sorry,” Ken revealed to Kelly. “It’s actually Bridalveil Fall, so we couldn’t take that. It is, ‘What is a Bridalveil?’”

Following the episode, Jeopardy! fans rushed to social media, where they sounded off, calling out Ken for stealing a win from Kelly.

One critic felt that Ken and the judges were placing too much emphasis on trivial details.

“Now this ain’t right! She obviously knew the answer but…persnickety’s the word!” griped one X user.

Another critic felt as though Kelly “got screwed” and called the ruling “BULLS**T” and a “Ripoff,” claiming that former Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek “would never stand for that.”

jeopardy fans tweet about ken jennings on X
Pic credit: @CliffAutrey/@redicularity/@DJM0604/@TrishKelly85/X

One Jeopardy! viewer was so disgruntled that they threatened to fight the judges, referring to the call’s pedantry as “disgusting.”

Others mentioned that Ken Jennings accepted a mispronounced clue earlier this week when a contestant named Matt Brooks answered “larynx” as “lare-uh-nix.”

“You should, definitely, invite her back! After all, larynx was mispronounced & you accepted that!” added @DJM0604. “Shame!! Head shaker all around!”

jeopardy fans tweet about ken jennings on X
Pic credit: @rahtgee/@darb1963/@DaldinJohn/X

“Make it make sense,” @IrishKelly85 wrote.

What is Jeopardy’s official rule regarding pronunciation?

According to Jeopardy’s official rules on their website, the outraged viewers seem to be correct to an extent. It appears that Final Jeopardy is when details matter most.

Per Jeopardy’s Behind the Scenes blog, “Jeopardy! is not a spelling test – unless, of course, the category requires it.”

“Written responses to the Final Jeopardy! clue do not have to be spelled correctly, but they must be phonetically correct and not add or subtract any extraneous sounds or syllables. (Incidentally, the same rule applies to all responses on both the written and online tests.).”

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