Why the Latest ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Is Polarizing Viewers

Feb 4, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The newest champion of the long-running TV game show "Jeopardy!" has become a polarizing figure among the program’s fans. TheWire reports that Arthur Chu, who has racked up three consecutive victories on the show, is alienating some viewers with his use of game theory strategies.

His strategies “have made for a frustrating television experience for viewers,” the piece notes.

His technique is to hunt for the Daily Doubles, which are usually hidden in the toughest (and highest-paying) answers. So instead of starting off with the lowest-paying squares, he starts with the highest ones. When those squares are finished in one category, he jumps to the highest-paying squares in another column.

“It’s a grating experience for the viewer, who isn’t given enough time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area. And it makes for ugly, scattered boards,” the story reports.

The piece adds: “However, Wednesday’s game showed the benefits of that strategy. Arthur’s searching was rewarded with all three of the game’s Daily Doubles. Arthur was particularly fond of the ‘true’ Daily Double, wagering all his money the first time (he lost it all) but quickly recovering with a massive wager later on another Daily Double. While most contestants are hesitant to go all-or-nothing, Arthur is happily taking those calculated risks.”

Described as a “hero-villain” by ABC News, Chu will return to “Jeopardy!” Feb. 24. From the Cleveland area, Chu works in insurance compliance but is an aspiring actor, the piece notes.

“I can understand it’s less pleasant to watch, but the producers weren’t paying me to make the show pleasant to watch,” Chu told ABC News. “If you were playing for fun, you could talk about poor sportsmanship, but within the rules, it’s about winning. If you don’t like it, change the rules."

arthur chu-jeopardy.jpgArthur Chu on "Jeopardy!"

3 Comments

  1. The great thing about game shows is that the producers can, if they see fit, change the rules (as long as they do it when there is a change of contestants.) I suggest that they make it against the rules to skip around the puzzle board.

  2. Jake, I don’t know if I agree. This is the contestant’s strategy. It’s interesting and innovative. It can help him, or just as easily recoil back and slap him in the face. To change the rules would be like when the NBA wouldn’t let Wilt Chamberlain dunk. It was kind of stupid.

  3. Forgotten in all the uproar, the only reason his strategy is working is because he is able to keep control of the game, which can only be done by buzzing in first and knowing the answers. I have seen other players try to hunt for the Daily Doubles, but they usually can only keep the control for a few answers. This guy may be bugging some people, but he is an excellent player and is following a strategy that works, just like competitive people in any situation.

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