‘Jeopardy!’ Bosses Defend Champ Ray LaLonde’s ‘Distracting’ On-Air Behavior

Ray LaLonde on Jeopardy!
Jeopardy, Inc

Jeopardy! champion Ray LaLonde won his fourth straight game on Tuesday (December 20), but his “distracting” on-air behavior has grabbed the attention of viewers and the show’s producers.

A scenic artist from Ontario, LaLonde has impressed viewers across his four episodes so far, which has seen him qualify for 2023’s Tournament of Champions. However, in addition to his immense trivia knowledge, LaLonde also has a penchant for swaying back and forth (watch in the clip below) while he’s answering questions.

“Could one of the Jeopardy producers suggest to Ray that his twisting is distracting, please?” tweeted one viewer after a recent episode, while another added, “Can the Jeopardy! producers, PLEASE tell Ray to stand still.”

Not all fans were as harsh, as others understood there could be various reasons for LaLonde’s swaying. “Please know that for many rocking or swaying is a self soothing technique and for others it’s completely involuntary. Let’s show some empathy,” wrote one Twitter user.

Longtime producer Sarah Foss addressed LaLonde’s on-air antics during the December 19 edition of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, acknowledging that his constant movements make the filming process more difficult.

“Ray, He kind of likes to move back and forth during his gameplay, which is difficult for our camera operators,” Foss explained. “So he may or may not have gotten the nickname ‘Ray the Sway.'”

However, Foss isn’t bothered by LaLonde’s swaying and seemingly has no intention of telling him to stop. “But Ray, however it is you like to win Jeopardy!, you do you!” she stated.

While some fans might be annoyed by LaLonde, the Ontario native has a medical reason for his swaying. According to TBS News Watch, “He suffered some spinal cord damage over a period of years and had to work hard to prevent muscle spasms in his legs while he was on camera.”

On Monday’s (December 19) episode of the long-running game show, LaLonde revealed he has an identical twin who is “in the process of auditioning for Jeopardy! right now,” joking, “There’s a chance you’re gonna be seeing this face again and again.”

When host Ken Jennings asked if the siblings had considered swapping in and out without telling the producers, LaLonde quipped, “How do you know we’re not?”

“We’re going to have to start fingerprinting before every game,” Jennings joked.

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