JEOPARDY! fans have accused Mayim Bialik of “faking” her reaction to a player’s meet-cute story on Wednesday.
Many viewers want the host to be replaced by Ken Jennings.
Indeed, he wasn’t exaggerating as it’s the actress’ eighth straight week.
Tonight, Yungsheng Wang – a Los Angeles, California Public Defender who has sported bowties for three nights – defended his title with a third win and $84.3K total.
But not before a player’s academia-tinged love story that had many throwing the book at its current host.
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Yungsheng – who has a tattoo that translates to “Live every day to the fullest” and seems to be doing just that on-stage with his excited reactions – was left of new player Jen.
The school librarian opened up during the Q&A portion about how she met her husband in an adorably on-brand way.
“We worked together at a college bookstore,” the contestant wearing a green top and blazer began as she smiled.
“And we were just friends at first and we kept in touch via emails and phone calls while were going to schools in different parts of California.
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“And then one day we just decided let’s go out for fun and it became a date. And many years later got married and had two kids!”
Mayim responded, “That is a sweet bookish story.”
She seemed to punctuate each word and then moved on, but Jeopardy! Twitter didn’t give the host the same library pass, unfortunately.
‘DOES SHE EVEN CARE?’
Many felt the actress-turned-host was acting a bit inauthentic after the new player opened up.
“Do you care about the Jeopardy contestants backgrounds, or are you a liar?” one tore on Twitter.
“Mayim is a turn the TV off cue. We want Ken full time please,” wrote another.
“I feel so bad for Jen,” wrote a third.
It’s not Mayim’s first rather stiff response to a Q&A segment story.
The neuroscientist earlier replied to one contestant’s earnest children’s autism testing Q&A with a joke.
“Glad to hear spitting in a tube went better than taking blood,” the host bluntly said.
And in another game in May, a player said he was in a “fancy sports league” and Mayim responded: “That’s so thrilling,” and moved on.
Mayim had another joke that flatlined before Ken returned for his recent stretch – she told a doctor he was “just an anesthesiologist, not a surgeon” while making a claw motion with her arm.
“Condescension has repeatedly shown to be part of Mayim’s brand,” one Twitter user wrote earlier.
Tonight, the scores going into Final were Yungsheng at $19,200, Alicia at $18,200 and Jen now far behind at $3000.
All three, however, the integral final clue correct, responding with “Soy Beans.”
Yungsheng revealed quite the bold wager – $17.2K – and sowed the seeds of an enthusiastic third victory.
“I’m really enjoying how excited Yungsheng Wang is as the Jeopardy champ,” one Tweeted after he couldn’t help himself from shouting in joy as he won once more.
‘WHERE IS: KEN?’
The permanent hosting decision is still on the board and is said to be sealed by the end of Season 38 this month.
Between them, fans largely prefer the alum after a season of shared hosting as games run more smoothly under him.
He famously won the most games ever in 2004 – 74 straight – and to many seems like the natural successor to Alex Trebek having bonded with the late legend.
Many noticed there was earlier a blank slate for TV listings for this week’s host – but now, Ken is rumored to return for the last two weeks of Season 38 or July 18th instead.
One fan claimed last night on Twitter, “Why is Mayim STILL hosting? I don’t get it. I thought she and Ken were trading off? She has had WAY more weeks than he has.”
While Ken hosted much of the start of Season 38 he’s now been gone for quite a while and this week alone – Mayim had back-to-back instances where fans felt she “allowed” players’ incomplete responses.
The show’s ratings also nearly doubled to 9.7M viewers when Ken made his first appearance.
When Mayim took over her hosting duties the headcount dropped to 5.9 million viewers during a college championship and indeed, she hasn’t bested Ken’s ratings since during Season 38.
While fans have found Mayim to be a perfectly plucky presence, hundreds have tweeted about her off-putting poise during the typically enjoyable Q&A shares, “slow” response time to contestants, and controversially erroneous games compared to Ken.
Mayim faced fan fury when a player’s signature was ruled too sloppy in FJ though she had seemingly written “Harriet Tubman.”
And last month – though not the actress-turned host’s fault – there was ironically a typo in Final Jeopardy just days after the spelling snub which couldn’t have come at a worse time.
This as fan-preferred former player Ken surprisingly tweeted in May, “I’m handing the keys back to the talented actor-producer-writer-director (!) Mayim Bialik for a few months,” adding, “We are lucky to have her! I’ll be back before the end of the season.”
Since then, he’s been ‘lei-ing’ low in Hawaii and at home in Seattle, Washington – though he’s said he’s already been tapped to tape more episodes for Season 39.
One possibility that has been implied by execs is that the actress could simply host spinoffs soon, perhaps with Buzzy Cohen.
One clue was that Ken accepted a 2022 Daytime Emmy award in June alone without Mayim, who also wasn’t in its montage – and she has her sitcom renewed.
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If so, and as many are hoping, Ken would host the main show, with “multiple hosts for the franchise” altogether.
Jeopardy! airs on weeknights at 7 pm ET.