Although James hinted that he was eager for a rematch in Monday night’s episode of the “Jeopardy! Masters” tournament, the host with the 74-game win streak feels that he has already proven enough and is ready to retire.
Ken Jennings Reveals Why He Doesn’t Want To Compete Against James Holzhauer In The ‘Jeopardy! Masters’ Tournament
On Tuesday, Ken Jennings sat down with TMZ Live to talk about James’ request for a rematch and compared it to a veteran sports player looking to enter retirement.
“I feel like I got away with one last time I got to play that guy,” Ken said when asked if he would want a rematch against James Holzhauer, referring to the 2020 Greatest of All Time Tournament where Ken came in first. “He is the best Jeopardy! player of his generation and I can’t believe I skated away with a win, here in my fading decade.”
“So, no, ain’t gonna be no rematch,” Ken said before discussing the Master’s tournament. “The thing about this Masters Tournament is that these players are each so great at the game. There are many clues that I swore to our writers were too hard. Like, ‘You gotta get rid of this. Nobody’s ever heard of this guy. Nobody’s ever heard of this writer. Nobody’s ever read this book.’”
“And these six players have so much Jeopardy! under their belts and they’re so smart. They just knew everything,” he continued. “I feel very lucky that I am not there in the trenches with them. There’s a lot more job security on the other side of the stage at the moment.”
Ken: ‘You Have To Let Somebody Retire’
Ken then went on to say how much the show has meant to him. “Personally, to me, as a kid, Jeopardy! meant so much, you know, a safe space for trivia nerds like myself. And, you know, if I have anything to do with it, we will continue Alex’s legacy on for decades,” he added, referring to late host Alex Trebek who passed away in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer.
When asked if he would have to come up against season 38 champions Matt Amodio or Amy Schneider to “carry the belt,” Ken replied, “Imagine more like sports where the retired athlete then, you know, comes back and he’s a couch, or there is, you know, she’s in the booth, she’s doing the play by play. This kind of thing happens in sports all the time.”
“You have to let somebody retire,” Ken continued. “You can’t just keep summoning my unquiet ghost to go play for Amy Schneider. She doesn’t need that.”
Amy Schneider Has A New Strategy For ‘Jeopardy! Masters’
Maybe it’s a good thing that Ken is going to stay behind the podium for this one, as the 40-game champion revealed that she has a new strategy for “Jeopardy! Masters” after facing off against many of the other players in the 2022 Tournament of Champions.
Although she ended up winning the tournament, she is still devising a plan to try to repeat her success on stage. In an interview with the San Francisco Bay Times ahead of the show’s premiere, Amy admitted that knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses is “exactly the point” of the “Jeopardy! Masters” tournament.
“With almost every game of Jeopardy!, if you lose, you’re done. This is a different scenario, like a season of a sports league. You keep playing. If you lose you pick up and take it to the next game,” she explained. “That’s going to be interesting. How do you adjust over the course of a season? How do you change your game play when you are up against James Holzhauer, versus Matt Amodio or Sam Buttrey? Does that change how you play the game? That is something Jeopardy! hasn’t had a chance to explore before.”
Although she admitted that she still considers popular music to be her weakest category, she has been spending time in the car listening to the radio to try to identify the names of songs and their artists.