Jeopardy's Current Champion Is On An All-Time Run But Fans Hate Him
It's been awhile since we've had a truly dominant Jeopardy champion. I think the last one everyone remembers is "Jeopardy James" Holzhauer. And that was over two years ago. Well, let me introduce you to Matt Amodio.
Amodio has won eight games in a row for a total of $291,200. That already makes him the 9th highest regular season Jeopardy earner ever. On Thursday, he won $74,000 which is up there with the all-time highest single game scores and puts him in some great company with James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Roger Craig.
So why is Matt so good? Well, he just knows EVERYTHING. I know that most Jeopardy contestants know most questions, but this man just simply doesn't miss. It doesn't matter what the category is. Sports, history, the Bible, literature, even like fucking species of turtles. I don't know how it's humanly possible to know so many things. Where could he possibly learn all this? According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly: Wikipedia.
"But my main source is Wikipedia. I don't know how people got knowledge prior to the age of the internet. I usually just start the evening on a particular single question, but then fall into 15 links from that page, and each of those links gives me 15 other links. I just read as much as I can and hope to remember some of it. [Laughs] That's how I would spend the evening in general [before Jeopardy]; it just would tend to be on stuff I'm more interested in, rather than intentionally shoring up gaps."
Eat your heart out, college professors.
And in addition to just knowing everything, he also said he's learned from Ken Jennings about how to listen to the cadence of the host's voice to time the buzzer, and he's learned from James about what clues to take based on probability-analysis. He seems to always starts with the higher-money clues and hunt for that Daily Double, which he pretty much finds every single time.
But despite all his impressive wins, knowledge, and techniques, he is HATED among a lot of Jeopardy fans. Why? He has an incredibly annoying habit of replying "what's ___?" for every question. Even when it's a person, he'll say "What's Frank Lloyd Wright?" I used him as an example because I think he's the answer to every architecture question ever. Instead of "Who is" or even "what is" it's pretty much always, "what's ___?"
Look at some of the fan reaction online.
And there's plenty more where those came from. This was Matt's response to the criticism in that same EW interview:
"I don't necessarily want to say too much about that. I guess I just want to say that I hope nobody's offended by it. I do hear some people say that it's disrespectful to the game, and I would counter that if there was a Jeopardy fan club ranking, I think I would have a strong case to be number one Jeopardy fan. I live and breathe the show, I love every aspect of it, and so I'm definitely not doing it out of any disrespect or undermining of the show."
Kind of a weird, cryptic response. "I don't necessarily want to say too much about that" as if it's some secret government project he's not allowed to talk about. Or maybe it's just simply a strategy. Instead of thinking of "who is" vs. "what is" he spends his brain power just thinking of the answer and instinctively has trained himself to just say "what's" every time. But it's not like it's too hard of a distinction to make. Strange either way.
Ultimately, it doesn't bother me too much personally. At first, I was yelling "It's WHO you idiot!" but I got over it. When you're on a streak like this and putting up the totals he is night after night, I don't care what/who the hell you're saying. I just want to watch greatness and he has been great in every sense of the word. My only criticism for him is he doesn't have a great champion name. Ken Jennings just flowed so well. Jeopardy James had the alliteration. Matt Amodio is kind of a bleh name, but I suppose we can't blame him for that.
If you've missed out on his run so far, I highly suggest tuning in. It's becoming appointment television every night to see what what insane number he's going to put up. Although I'm probably jinxing him with this blog and he'll lose tonight.
PS: How about Netflix just taking Jeopardy off with zero warning? Wasn't on any of the lists about shows/movies they're losing. It did say "Last day to watch: July 28th" on some episodes but I assumed that was just about the current collection since that's how it always worked. Can't remember the last time I've been this mad about something. Don't think The Office leaving even fired me up like this. Fix it, Netflix!
PPS: ABC just has me by the absolute balls every Monday night. Jeopardy at 7. Break at 7:30 because Wheel of Fortune is garbage. But then I always lose my remote at 8 and end up watching the Bachelorette for two hours. Then after that there's Celebrity Dating Game. Which is a horrible show that I tell myself every week I won't watch. But then they end up with great guests that hook me in and I just can't turn it off. They had Carmen Electra on two weeks ago for God's sake.