Jeopardy! Champion Explains Why The Show Is Getting Worse

Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer says poorly worded questions are the show's biggest issue.

By Chad Langen | Published


Since its inception, Jeopardy! has cemented its place in television history as a beloved trivia game show that engages contestants and millions of viewers in a test of knowledge. Despite its enduring popularity, the show has faced some serious criticism recently. According to Fox News, James Holzhauer, one of the show’s most triumphant contestants, shared his insights on the growing frustration among fans, and cited the poorly worded questions as the biggest issue.

Holzhauer, renowned for his remarkable 32-game winning streak in 2019 and his record-breaking winnings, stands as one of the most triumphant contestants in the history of Jeopardy! He brought his streak to a victorious conclusion by winning the Tournament of Champions that November. During an interview with TV Insider, Holzhauer addressed the recent changes in the show’s production team and the effects of this turnover on the program’s content.

As per Holzhauer’s observations, Jeopardy! has seen significant backstage changes, notably with the complete transition of the production team. This shift, he believes, led to the loss of certain elements that once distinguished the show. He commented, “The whole production team has turned over, so you kind of see some of the things were lost when they changed hands there.”

Despite this critique, Holzhauer said he firmly believes that Jeopardy! is still an exceptional show. Nevertheless, he asserted there is room for adjustments, primarily in crafting questions. He conveyed that the quality of question writing has somewhat diminished recently, suggesting a need for sharper, more engaging content.

James Holzhauer’s Jeopardy! record

In addition to Holzhauer’s critique, Jeopardy! has received criticism for the rise of “triple-stumpers.” This term well-known within the Jeopardy! community, refers to clues that stump all three contestants. Often deemed “painful” by viewers, these instances raise a constant question: Are the clues excessively challenging, or is there a deficiency in contestants’ knowledge in the required subject areas?

Despite these recent criticisms, Jeopardy! continues to hold its place as a cornerstone of television. The game show first came to life in 1964, born out of the creative genius of television producer Merv Griffin. The show’s original version ran until 1975, with a reboot in 1984 introducing a new host, Alex Trebek, who became an enduring symbol of Jeopardy! The show’s innovative format, where contestants are given answers and must respond with corresponding questions, offers a fresh perspective on the traditional quiz show format, securing its status as a prime-time mainstay.

However, the transition after the unfortunate passing of Trebek in 2020 triggered concerns about the show’s longevity. Trebek’s departure ended a significant era, leaving a void that seemed impossible to fill. Nonetheless, Jeopardy! managed to weather this transition period, largely owing to the charisma and appeal of new hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik. Their presence and the show’s resilience serve as a testament to the adaptability of this long-standing television tradition, ensuring Jeopardy! remains a favorite among viewers.

In most markets, Jeopardy! airs weekdays on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, or The CW. You can find out which channel airs the game show in your area by entering your zip code on the show’s official website. Additionally, you can stream Jeopardy! on platforms such as Sling and Pluto.