“Jeopardy!” champion Mattea Roach has become a national sensation since she obtained the fifth-longest win streak in the game earlier this week, although, on Friday, she met her match.
However, fans still wanted her opinion on who she felt was the best pick for the next “Jeopardy!” host: G.O.A.T. Tournament winner Ken Jennings or “The Big Bang Theory” alum Mayim Bialik.
Mattea Roach Chooses Ken Jennings For Next ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
In a recent interview, Mattea told Vulture that Ken Jennings was her pick for the next permanent host position.
“I would say Ken because of his history with the show,” she said. “As a contestant, there’s something really special about being onstage with the greatest player of all time. Someone who understands in a very visceral way what it’s like to be in your position.”
She added that “Mayim is fantastic” but said that “she doesn’t have that same experience.”
Although Mayim had received plenty of criticism for her hosting ability, Mattea has received criticism of her own. She has been accused of trying to distract other contestants by her facial expressions and her musings throughout the show.
She said, “The notion of my comments being distracting either to the viewers or the players, I was like, ‘Huh?’ You don’t have time to think about weird mind games. I would never want to be deliberately distracting to another player because it’s so unsportsmanlike. I like to think it didn’t have that impact.”
Mattea said that she also received criticism that she played the game too casually, like she was playing the game at home instead of on a stage.
“I remember saying to a friend, ‘I’m not going to court. I’m not going to a job interview. I’m going to a game show,'” she explained. “Yes, it’s intellectual and that’s one of the most special things about it. But I respected the institution by playing the game really well. I’m enjoying myself a lot and that’s why I played the game that way.”
Mattea Roach Says She Should Have Played The Game ‘More Strategically’
Although she has the fifth-longest win streak in the game’s history, Mattea admitted that her “strategy was bad.”
“I probably should’ve played a lot more strategically,” she admitted. “I would describe my strategy as loss minimization rather than gain maximization. I was never somebody who would buzz in on clues and then think of the answer.”
She also admitted that she plays the game “quite different than what’s been seen before.”
“Anytime you have a generational shift of new people coming of age, conversations happen about how they’re shifting professional norms,” she said. “It’s not entirely negative, but a critical conversation about how I present myself on the show alludes to the fact that the way I behave is somehow unprofessional or not respecting the institution.”
Mattea has won over $500,000 dollars so far, but she doesn’t plan on going on a spending spree any time soon.
“I’m going to continue being really boring with money,” she told the outlet. “Most of it I’m going to sit on for a couple of years, and hopefully when I’m more settled in the longer term, I imagine it’ll help me buy a house.”
Mattea Roach Has A Long History Of Funny Facial Expressions!
Many have made note of my colorful facial expressions while playing Jeopardy – here is proof that I come by it honestly/have been making weird faces for a long time! https://t.co/47YMp7s9Xq
— Mattea Roach (@mattearoach) April 27, 2022
In order to defend herself from some of the criticism, the 23-year-old Toronto tutor revealed that she’s always had a history of making funny faces while she’s thinking.
She reposted an old photo of her childhood self at a spelling bee, adding, “Many have made note of my colorful facial expressions while playing Jeopardy – here is proof that I come by it honestly/have been making weird faces for a long time!”
Although she’s received criticism for her thinking faces and hand movements, they’ve earned her position attention too.
“There’s a lot of queer people specifically who have been fans of the way I move my hands and body,” Mattea said. According to her Twitter profile, Mattea identifies as a lesbian. “It’s not something I thought about at the time I was taping, but it’s fun to see the support from that community.”
When asked what she took away from the show, Mattea said, “My experience taping the show is some of the most fun I’ve had in my entire life. When I was actually onstage, I was having the time of my life.”
“I didn’t play differently as my run went along,” she added. “I was already making side comments and being animated in my first game.”