‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Debate Over Leftover Clues Following Ben Chan Loss
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the May 24 episode of Jeopardy!]
May 24, 2023 marked the first game of Jeopardy! following the end of Ben Chan’s recording-breaking, nine-episode streak. Returning champ Lynn Di Vito went up against Ed Petersen and Joyce Sun in the episode, which aired just before the finale of Jeopardy! Masters. Following the episode, fans of the game show remarked on the number of clues left on the board in the rounds, a result of a slower-paced game but not an entirely unheard of outcome.
Lynn, a retired museum educator from Colorado Springs, Colorado, came into the episode with $11,800 in winnings. Ed is a planning technician from Orlando, Florida, and Joyce is a retired lawyer from Bloomfield, New Jersey (whom you might recognize from a 1960s Pampers commercial). Their pacing was slower than what fans see in Jeopardy! Masters, which led to some leftover clues on the board in each round (though not a shocking amount). One fan on Reddit noted that there were also several clues left unturned in Ben’s final episode the night prior.
“What’s the most amount of clues left on the board?” the user asked on the Jeopardy! Reddit page. “Don’t know if we should blame the host or the guest but that’s two days in a row now.”
“I would partly blame Lynn’s habit of saying ‘Ummm,’ before making a selection when she has control of the board. That drags down the pace of the game,” one viewer replied. As another responded, “It’s absolutely on the contestants. None of the three today were very quick on calling for the next clues, and that adds up. Plus incorrect responses and triple stumpers, of course.”
One commenter compared Mayim Bialik‘s pace as host to Ken Jennings, who hosts Jeopardy! Masters. “In a civilian game: 22 combined between the two rounds,” the user said of the leftover clue history. “Also, the difference between Ken and Mayim in terms of unplayed clues is negligible.”
Others came to Mayim’s defense, noting Alex Trebek‘s track record. “Alex often had clues remaining, plus I recall hearing the 1 minute warning for most boards,” one user commented.
“When the show first began, it wasn’t uncommon to leave entire categories unplayed,” said another, citing the J! Archive.
It was a more mellow game than fans have been used to as of late. None of the Daily Doubles were answered correctly in this episode, but that worked out for Joyce, who found none of them. Because she found none, she lost less money than her competitors. Heading into the final round, she was in the lead with $10,800. Ed was in second with $10,400 (not bad for someone who ended the first round with $0), and Lynn was in third with $6,400.
The Final Jeopardy clue was a triple-stumper once again, but Ed made the smaller wager, helping him snag the win. In the end, the final scores were Ed with $7,999, Lynn $1,400, and Joyce with $300.