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Variety

How ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion James Holzhauer Is Ruining the Show

Apr 23, 2019  •  Post A Comment

The venerable TV game show “Jeopardy!” has been getting a lot of attention since current champion James Holzhauer began his record run. But columnist Daniel D’Addario writes in Variety that Holzhauer’s success may be bad for the show.

“He’s become such a dominant force that a historic run has come to seem, as television, boring,” D’Addario writes.

The columnist adds: “He is simply a more advanced player, a perfect one, seemingly sent from the future to dominate the show, and his personality as a TV character is frustratingly difficult to know, even by the standards of the breezily quick thirty-minute game show. More than most contestants, he is there to complete a mission.”

D’Addario notes that Holzhauer’s run “represents a bit of a producing challenge. If every episode is a blowout in which two of three contestants are basically never competitive, does that not grow uninteresting over time?”

The columnist also observes: “A steady march that goes the same way each episode evokes not the heady cut-and-thrust of a game well played but the dreary awareness that a game show, just like all other aspects of life in the late 2010s, can be optimized.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to Variety to read the full column.

59 Comments

  1. I’m enjoying the show, even though he keeps winning. I’m enjoying it more, since I get to see it a day before it airs.

  2. I think your looking at the future replacement for Alex Trebek

    • “Your”?

  3. The link does not work.

  4. I look forward to Jeopardy every single day! I have friend’s who’ve asked if we’ve been watching it. It is creating excitement.

  5. Jeopardy should limit how much a player can stay or how much they can earn – it is very boring now watching James answer virtually every question! Don’t plan on watching the show until he’s gone – maybe in 2025 or later?!

  6. The fascination of Jeopardy to me, is watching and trying to answer the questions along with a possible favorite, hoping your favorite will win—not knowing before the show starts, will your favorite win (I hope, I hope!!!)
    With James, it is exclusively the “James” show, and before each show starts you know 1. James is going to win 2. He’ll get, if not all of the Double Jeopardy questions, he’ll get at least two 3. He’ll gamble as much to ensure he wins the game, and wins big 4. He’ll either wish someone a Happy Birthday or say Hi to someone 5. The other two contestants look like stupid people 6. E not a good example that gambling is bad
    Even if you like James, where is the tension, and challenge of the game with him on board. No thank you, I have more interesting things to do than watch the “James” show.

  7. Oh, kind of like Babe Ruth “ruined” baseball? Ridiculous. If viewers don’t enjoy and appreciate his talent they can tune out for a while.

  8. Its great watching .someone so intelligent is a pleasure to watch.

  9. Jeopardy is a lost breed of game show that makes the game more important than the contestants. That’s why this run won’t hurt the show. Fans of the game will still tune in to play along regardless of the run that James is having.
    I just wish more modern game shows did the same. Now every one of them thinks I care about their contestant’s five minute back story. Give me a line (A LINE) to sum them up and then show me a competition.

  10. I still want to watch him play to see how far he can go. I wouldn’t want to be one of the other contestants. Perhaps they can all be rescheduled for future shows.

  11. I find him creepy with his false teeth smile. Honestly who would pay attention to a person who earns his living gambling and is banned from most sports books. He should also be thrown off Jeopardy. Not fair to others.

  12. James is smart, daring, and completely arrogant. I can’t wait to see that smug grin snuffed out.

  13. Then, why didn’t anyone throw a fit when Ken Jennings kept winning?

  14. This guy is such an arrogant ass. I cannot stand him if he continues to be on I will quit watching the show. He sits there like a know-it-all and shows his big toothy grin as if to say no one’s as smart as I.

  15. He is smart! And fast!! That is what keeps him winning, he comes up with the answer so quickly. I know many of the answers – I could even get them, if only I had a minute or two or five!!! 😀

  16. His arrogant and fake grin at the end of every show makes my stomach turn. I quit watching a few
    days ago and will not return until he is gone.

  17. We’ve changed our years-old pattern of TV watching.
    No more Jeopardy for us…it’s become both boring AND out-of-control.

  18. It’s called Jeopardy not Monopoly.

  19. I agree with Nancy! I find the show so boring now. Plus I can’t stand James arrogant smile. If you watch he positions himself turned away from other players and he interrupts Alex by going to the next answer immediately. I’ve read several articles where Alex has states he really dislikes when people skip around the board like James is doing. He said it throws the whole game off

    Please someone beat him so we can have an interesting competition again

  20. Let me happily reiterate how much I hate watching Jeopardy now. It must be soul-killing to realize, after you probably spent months trying to get on the show, that you are doomed to lose almost at the start. Somebody needs to take gravel bird liner (used of course) and scrub the hyena grin off his fatuous mug.

  21. It appears he’s going to break the show’s budget before anyone beats him. Good for him…Jeopardy might’ve seen this coming. Or not.

  22. As good as the show could ever be…it’s on its way out with a bang. James is a double agent just like the big lottery winners..I believe it’s all hype….

  23. I find him rude and off putting and arrogant and can’t stand his “Caddyshack gopher” smile. Who wants to see the same smug arrogant guy win every day? Plus Alex is a nice guy, and I watched the show to see competition, not some grinning self congratulating automaton. Ken Jennings was always humble. This guy is a smug jerk.

  24. I guess Tiger Woods ruined golf, Montreal Canadians ruined hockey, NY Yankees ruined baseball…. In their prime everyone knew that they were so dominant that all others were playing for second at best. Players say Tiger was the best thing that ever happened to golf and even grew the game. Jeopardy will survive…..no streak runs forever but boy is it cool while it’s going on!

  25. Go James. I find the down comments about him as just mean spirited. Like people are unhappy he is so skilled? True he has a system but it’s within the rules and the knowledge to answer the questions is not a gimmick. My family watches BECAUSE of James. I suspect there are many new viewers because of him. If a few of the older guard drop off, that is just part of the cycle. His run will be a boost for the show.

  26. I have stopped watching as well, and will return when (or if) JH is finally off the show. The Teacher’s Tournament was a pleasant break from boring Jeopardy for two weeks – a reminder of how the show should be played, for fun.

  27. James Holzhauer is rude and interrupts Alex all the time.

  28. I always enjoy Jeopardy…but though it’s awesome to see he is very gifted…it has now changed the dynamics of the show. There is nothing better, given in any sport or game, to watch equally skilled players that keep you on the edge of your seat. Now we all know he’s going to “Ace”, no pun intended the show, but it is abit boring and I do feel bad for the other players. It’s almost like their ” invisible. I don’t think he’s smug at all…just a regular guy…with a gift. But I will still watch…there’s nothing else on.

  29. Boring, so very boring … enough of this uninteresting James !!
    Bring back the five game limit !!!

  30. Boring, boring, boring -I can’t watch anymore. I think he has a photographic memory – so when/how will he ever lose!

  31. I also really enjoyed the Teacher’s Tournament because it was fun. James plays like a professional and he never deviates from his “system”.
    I agree. They need to limit the number or games, or the amount a contestant can win in the future.
    Praying for you, Alex.

  32. People are so petty. The guy is smart, get over it and be happy for someone else. Even the other contestants are being rude. Grow up and quit being so envious.

  33. His run has been fascinating theater, but enough already. The show needs to limit winnings or number of appearances. I agree with Nancy, it’s getting very old fast, and I have other ways to spend my time. Furthermore, it is unpleasant to watch this guy trounce his opponents with the smugness that he does it with. He puts on a little show during final jeopardy pretending he is having difficulty coming up with the answer, when we all know he knows it with 100% certainty.

  34. I am a long-time Jeopardy fan, watched every night for many years. But I refuse to watch since arrogant James has high- jacked the game for his own amusement. It is not fun for the rest of us, or the new contestants. The teachers’ tournament was a welcome break. I really miss the show!

  35. I remember many years ago when a jeopardy contestant was gone after five wins. This keeps the show more interesting and gives more people a chance to win. They should also do away with the tournament of champions. They have won enough. Even when James loses, you know he will be back. I stopped watching Jeopardy weeks ago and won’t return until this creep loses.

    • I am with you! I cannot stomach Jeopardy! these days.
      I think he’s cheating and I am patiently waiting for him to get caught!
      What an explosion of scandal it will cause, but it will be worth it to see James
      carted off in handcuffs!

      • Am starting to think he might be cheating myself…

        Here is a working theory: Look at James’ left eye. Looks like a glass eye if you ask me. But perhaps it’s an implanted capture/display device that is communicating with a computer at the Deep Blue level. You can almost see him “reading” the response at times. Yes, that could be him “looking” at his mind’s eye, but hey, this is just a theory. And a $10 Million – plus payout might be worth it to lose an eye and become a guinea pig for a cyborg test project, possibly DOD skunkworks stuff?

  36. There is something unwieldy here….Anyone who can answer so many questions in so many subjects would have to have read EVERYTHING….magazines, books, seen every movie etc, etc. He is in a league of his own and it is not only boring after a while, but sad to see the other contestants that don’t have a chance…

  37. He may be a very lonely guy reading all those children’s books. I’d like someone to interview his parents. about his teeth, I think he needs braces to correct his malformed teeth closure. There are plenty of dentists watching who probably want to fix his malocclusion (sp?). He is a bit of an odd ball and the teeth accentuate that.

  38. In the seminal work The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X asserts that anyone who makes such a huge fortune is cheating somewhere. This arrogant ass James is cheating somehow and I am patiently waiting for him to get caught, and the explosive scandal it is going to cause Jeopardy! It will be a pleasure, though, watching James on the news being taken out in handcuffs! He has to go already!
    There is no way one person can know where all the daily doubles are and know all that information!
    It is so very SUSPECT!!!

  39. I think jeopardy should go back to a 5 game limit. No one else has a chance to win with holzhauer there. I refuse to watch the program while he is on. He is arrogant and his smile is so phony I maybe it is time to take jeopardy off the air.

  40. I’m sorry to say .. the guy knows so much about everything it’s almost like he already knows the answers. I can’t watch him anymore. He gets on my last nerve. Somebody beat him PULEEZE!!!

  41. What’s wrong with James winning Jeopardy, Alex is getting rich doing the show, the host’s on wheel of fortune, price is right host, is getting rich doing a show, so let James do his show on jeopardy and get rich as he can, I think it’s great. One day he will miss it or get tired of playing. Till then let him win all he can.

  42. I like James but I can hardly get myself to watch the show anymore. It is just boring. I want to see a real competition.

  43. Stopped watching an American institution. Greed, affectation, joylessness, feigned enthusiasm from an incredibly gracious host battling a lethal condition. Alex deserves better.

  44. Alex Trebek ruined Jeopardy! long before “Jeopardy James” came along. His progressively pompous and condescending attitude toward players has become unwatchable. Of course you know the answer Mr. Trebek, it’s on the card in front of you and the perfect pronunciation was discussed at the production meeting you had weeks ago. Sadly, he has even surpassed his contestants in sympathy. Not to be outdone by former winner, Cindy Stowell, may she rest in peace, who died of cancer shortly after her champion performance, Trebek has to give us frequent updates about his battle with pancreatic cancer. Really? Too bad there is no counter HIPAA act.

  45. im looking forward to that annoying smile and possibly sticking out his tongue.

  46. It is a real possibility that James could put a dent in the coffers of NBC. Bankrupt the company, not likely, but it is a thought. Myself also, half-way through the first round and James is ahead, I leave until the next show.

  47. I can’t stand james. I thinks hes condescending, rude, and very arrogant. I stopped watching after his first show and I’m waiting for him to lose.

  48. *think

  49. Game shows do not directly pay the contestants. Money from show sponsors pays an insurance premium that guarantees the winnings. Whether you like the contestants or not, how much they win or lose, neither matters as long as the public buys the goods and services of the commercial sponsors. Complaining won’t remove a contestant, but boycotting the shows sponsors, like Geico, will get their attention.

  50. Ding, dong king James is dead. Congratulations Emma! Well played. Who will Alex get to exchange smug grins with now?

  51. Way to go, James. It was great watching your skills. This article could not be more wrong.
    Good luck in the tournament.

  52. Emma Boettcher singlehandedly became the Jeopardy champion by her own knowledge and merits. How sad that Trebek has to attempt to diminish her accomplishment by comparing her to the winner, also a woman, that toppled Ken Jennings. What a misogynistic, arrogant jerk. How appropriate that one of the categories for 6-4-19 is “Turning Around the Insult.” Go Emma!

  53. I watched every episode of the James regime. I found it to be the best Jeopardy show since Ken Jennings. James was smart, and witty. You guys are all envious of him. Yes he had a fake smile, but get over it. Jeopardy wanted him gone, so they brought on a librarian and stacked the deck so to speak so every category was geared toward a librarian’s knowledge. James knew virtually everything else. He would have broken the Jeopardy bank, so they had to find a way to get him off. Was that right? Hell no, Jeopardy got scared of him. I haven’t watched the show once since boring Emma came on and James was unfairly defeated.

  54. This is nonsense. The show was fantastic with James Holzhauer. He was a great player and wonderful person, by all accounts. His run raised ratings higher than they’ve been in fourteen years. Everyone raining on his parade is just foolish. To each his own.

  55. Jeopardy writers were feeding him the days answers through the dark web in an agreement that he’d pay them down the road.

  56. People like Ken Jennings because he is smart but personable.. He seems line the type of person You’d have coffee or a meal with… Smug, smarmy arrogance got most people that acted like that beat up in high school… j holzhauer is wholly unlikable… People don’t like to see him win because of this, not because of his dominance.

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