JEOPARDY! fans have not taken champion Ben Chan’s loss lightly and some even refused to tune in to the following episode- others called it “hard to watch.”
Ben’s nine-day streak ended over an “incredibly harsh” Final Jeopardy spelling ruling and many internet users wanted answers one game later.
Ben’s shocking defeat on Tuesday after a record nine runaway wins and $256,000 came down to just one wrong letter and left Jeopardy! fans up in arms.
One-day winner Lynn Di Vito – who technically beat Ben – faced Joyce Sun, a retired lawyer from Bloomfield, New Jersey, and Ed Petersen, a planning technician from Orlando, Florida.
Lynn Di Vito is a retired museum educator from Colorado Springs, Colorado who won with $11,800 after the controversial call.
Opening Wednesday’s show, Mayim Bialik complimented Lynn for her win against Ben and didn’t mention the tough way Ben went out.
Mayim said: “She defeated the seemingly undefeatable 9-game winner Ben Chan in a come-from-behind victory! We are happy to welcome her back.”
All three Daily Doubles went missed, and the timer ran out with three clues left on the board.
Newcomer Joyce lead going into Final Jeopardy! with $10,800 while Ed had $10,400 and Lynn $6,400.
Final Jeopardy! under “Classical Music” read: “When the opera ‘Lohengrin’ premiered in 1850, this man, a future in-law of the composer, was the conductor.”
Most read in Entertainment
Everyone was incorrect and no one could guess it was composer Franz Liszt.
Ed made the smallest wager of $2,401 and became the new winner with $7,999, looking thrilled to do so.
‘I WILL NO LONGER WATCH’
Fans were less thrilled, and people on Twitter were still not buying the results of the earlier game.
One person tweeted: “Ben Chan was cheated and Jeopardy! fans are furious he lost a 9-day winning streak over a rotten final ruling.”
“I No longer watch Jeopardy! after being a super-fan for 40 years.
Another person wrote: “I’ll watch again when Ken Jennings returns. Jeopardy! is messy and will not change until Mayim leaves!”
A third wrote: “I’ll skip this, and I won’t watch ONE MORE episode until you say why Ben Chan was robbed!”
A fourth simply lamented: “The combination of 3 players and the host moving things slow made this weird to watch after.”
Another Reddit user wrote: “This is far from the slowest game to take place after a ToC entrant was defeated, but no Ben raising the roof makes it feel weird anyhow.”
“Man…I miss Ben, this was a little hard to watch” wrote one more.
BEN CHAN’S CONTROVERSIAL DEFEAT
Ben is a philosophy professor at St. Norbert College from Green Bay, Wisconsin who can boast of being the first contestant ever to come out of the gates with nine consecutive runaway victories.
Having nine ensured wins by Final Jeopardy is such a rare feat that fans were not expecting him to go anywhere anytime soon.
On Tuesday’s much-discussed episode, Ben had $17,400, Lynn had $14,800, and Danny had $2,400 going into Final Jeopardy.
Final Jeopardy under “Shakespeare’s Characters” read: “Both of the names of these 2 lovers in a Shakespeare play come from Latin words for ‘blessed’.”
Danny wrote down “Romeo and Juliet” which was deemed incorrect, as did Lynn, who wrote “Romeo and Juli” which Mayim read as “Romeo and Juliet.”
Mayim finally turned to Ben who revealed he wrote “Beatrice &
Benedict Benedict,” striking out the first “Benedict” but then writing it the same the second time.
“From Much Ado About Nothing,” Mayim concluded- but she didn’t go further in explaining the decision to rule against him.
Ben revealed he wagered $12,201 and slapped the podium in disappointment as he was left with $5199 and in second place.
Lynn was declared a one-day champion and Ben kindly clapped for his victor.
Mayim concluded: “Ben what a terrific run we will see you in the next Tournament of Champions.”
According to Jeopardy!.com: “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.”
‘THEY SOUND THE SAME’
Viewers hotly debated how Ben lost on Twitter, and if Ben’s otherwise correct response did change the pronounciation enough to be wrong.
“Awful ruling against Ben Chan on tonight’s #Jeopardy,” one person wrote.
“Since when does being off by one letter count in final jep? There’s no other character he could have meant,” another person pointed out.
“@Jeopardy wow. Ben Chan loses over a t??????” wrote a third.
“I can’t believe @Jeopardy made a contestant lose for writing ‘Beatrice and Benedict’ instead of ‘Benedick.’ I’m not even that petty, and I’m a Shakespeare professor,” wrote a fourth.
“A good example of why Mayim sucks as a Jeopardy! host: her not taking the time to simply say ‘it’s actually Benedick with a k, not Benedict’ and showing some compassion for how close and unlucky he was on this one,” fired off a fifth.
A sixth wrote: “Nothing against Ben, but Jeopardy! really needs to be consistent with their leniency on pronunciation.”
A seventh wrote: “The thing I hate about Jeopardy! is if Ben had said that response he would have got it correct, but writing it was wrong. The inconsistency has always bugged me.”
And an eighth: “Lynn doesn’t finish spelling ‘Juliet’ yet it’s ruled as a complete (albeit incorrect) response, and Ben misspells Benedick by one letter and is ruled incorrect.
“Clearly they knew what he was going for and yet ended his run on a terrible technicality. #Jeopardy”
“Very rotten final ruling on Final @Jeopardy tonight. Google the answer and BOTH Benedick and Benedict come up. Both spellings are accepted,” tweeted one more.
On Reddit fans more closely discussed if the ruling was fair game, one writing: “Ouch.. quite a hard Final Jeopardy anyway, and then a harsh ruling… shame for Bens run to come to an end!”
“Since Final Jeopardy is supposed to be by pronounciation, I’m not entirely sure why it wasn’t given (Benedict and Benedick really sound the same in my opinion).”
Some people sided with the show: “Oof, a heartbreaking way for Ben to lose. Losing on a triple stumper by being one letter off the correct response while his opponents weren’t even close (I think that was the correct ruling, though).”
Other viewers evoked the controversial “Harriet Tubma-” Final Jeopardy ruling from last season in which contestant Sadie Goldberger would have won but was deemed incorrect and their response “incomplete”.
Others yet wondered if Ben should have simply left the last letter off completely and if so if he’d still be the champion- let alone if the ruling was fair anyway.
‘MAYBE THE JUDGES COULD HAVE OKAYED IT’
Ben wrote on Reddit that he stood by Jeopardy!’s ruling initially yesterday.
“1: Benedict is incorrect. The character’s name is Benedick. As Ken (presciently) noted on my first episode, there is no partial credit on Jeopardy! (Yes, I was sooo close!).”
“2. I made some bad flashcards. The ‘Benedict’ misspelling is common, and it worked its way onto a couple of my flashcards.”
However, Ben tweeted his thoughts one day later and felt there could have been more leniency on the board.
He wrote: “Soooo… if we could go back in time, maybe the judges could have okayed “Benedict” as a historically acceptable alternative form of the name.”
He added: “But they wouldn’t have to because I’d just write the indisputably correct response: ‘Benedick'”
Ken is hosting Jeopardy! Masters – the finals of which are tonight -while his co-successor to Alex Trebek, Mayim, finishes out the regular season until the summer.
After Masters, Ken won’t be seen until the 2023 Tournament of Champions which will kick off Season 40 in September-which both Ben and Hannah will be in.
That is, barring the last week of Season 39 which he is subbing back in to host as Mayim is supporting the WGA writers’ strike.
Leave a Reply