Jeopardy! Champion Criticizes Mayim Bialik As Inexperienced

Jeopardy champion Jake DeArruda has criticized Mayim Bialik's hosting prowess for the quiz show.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

Mayim Bialik jeopardy

Part of the thrill of watching Jeopardy is seeing new challengers unseat the previous kings and queens of the quiz show, and that’s exactly what happened recently when Jake DeArruda managed to beat reigning champ Troy Meyer. It didn’t take long for DeArruda to offer various thoughts about the game in a series of blog posts, and that included thoughts about Big Bang Theory veteran Mayim Bialik as host. As TV Insider reports, when comparing Jeopardy hosts (right now, former champ Ken Jennings alternates with Mayim Bialik), DeArruda said that Bialik “mispronounces words, blows through punctuation, and is genuinely inconsistent in her pacing” and that Jennings “knows the proper words to emphasize and generally seems consistent with his pacing.”

For viewers at home, whether Jeopardy is better when hosted by Mayim Bialik or Ken Jennings is mostly a matter of preference. However, as Jake DeArruda sees it, differences in their hosting styles could have a major impact on how he and other contestants played the game. For example, he noted how the pacing of each host “is important for buzzer timing purposes,” which is why he and other contestants allegedly “collectively cheered when Ken Jennings was announced as our host for the tape week.”

It’s important to note that DeArruda’s critiques of these Jeopardy hosts (particularly Mayim Bialik) have nothing to do with their personalities. Both hosts are generally amicable and have an easygoing manner, which are important qualities for any game show host. However, at the end of the day, he simply felt that Bialik did not have enough experience to provide the smooth and consistent questions that Jennings was capable of pulling off.

mayim bialik

And between the two Jeopardy hosts, it was always clear that Ken Jennings had more of this very specific experience than Mayim Bialik did. After all, he was not only a previous contestant but someone whose series of impressive trivia victories made him arguably the first breakout star of the show other than former host Alex Trebek. Compared to that, Mayim Bialik was seemingly cast for celebrity name recognition, although she is certainly educated enough to host a trivia game (keep in mind that she actually has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, which is very similar to her Big Bang Theory character having a Ph.D. in neurobiology).

Jake DeArruda is also quick to point out that many intangible factors helped him become the new Jeopardy champion, and his ultimate victory didn’t come down to whether Ken Jennings or Mayim Bialik was hosting that day. For example, he became a big believer in the power of luck when he realized that, as a major country music fan, he lucked out when “there are five clues about COUNTRY SONGS staring at me in the most important 20 minutes of my life.” If those had been, say, clues about hip-hop songs or any other genre, then this famous quiz show might have a different champion altogether.

Ultimately, only time will tell if Jake DeArruda’s luck on Jeopardy holds out, just as only time will tell if Mayim Bialik wants to continue as one of the hosts. The show has been her most prominent role since the end of Big Bang Theory, but she might be willing to cease her hosting duties if the right acting gig comes along. Until then, future contestants better hope they can hit that buzzer faster than Sheldon can blurt out “bazinga.”