‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Says Ken Jennings Should Be Permanent Host

‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Says Ken Jennings Should Be Permanent Host

Mattea Roach, the reigning Jeopardy! champion, is backing Ken Jennings to be the long-running game show’s new permanent host.

Jennings has been sharing hosting duties with Call Me Kat star Mayim Bialik ever since public backlash saw Mike Richards dropped from the position. The legendary quiz show is expected to eventually name a permanent host, and Roach is firmly on the Jennings bandwagon.

“I would say Ken because of his history with the show,” the 23-year-old tutor told Vulture when asked who she thinks should host the show. “As a contestant, there’s something really special about being on stage with the greatest player of all time. Someone who understands in a very visceral way what it’s like to be in your position. Mayim is fantastic, but she doesn’t have that same experience.”

Roach’s comments echo that of former Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, who previously told CNN, “You could see the work that [Jennings] put into it, and I just thought he did a really great job, so as far as I’m concerned, that’s my endorsement.”

The Nova Scotia native was on a 23-game winning streak as of May 5 and has amassed quite a following due to her unique facial expressions and thinking aloud comments during the show. However, some fans have speculated that Roach’s behavior on the show is done intentionally to distract her fellow contestants.

“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,” she told Vulture. “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.”

Roach said her relaxed playstyle is because she wants her time on the show to be fun. “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 said. “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.”

After securing her 23rd win on Thursday, Roach has now accumulated $560,983 in winnings.

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