Former Jeopardy! Champion Says Alex Trebek’s Wishes Weren’t Honored For His Replacement

The search for a new host of Jeopardy! was long and controversial, and although the show appears to have settled on a solution, a former champion is not satisfied with the outcome.

Arthur Chu, who won 11 games in 2014 and finished in second in that year’s Tournament of Champions, told Newsweek he wanted Ken Jennings, one of the show’s most successful and famous winners, to replace Alex Trebek, who hosted Jeopardy! for 37 years until his death in November 2020.

“I was rooting for Ken Jennings as host out of solidarity as a fellow former contestant, and because it really seems like he was Alex Trebek’s choice for a successor, hence Trebek giving him his cufflinks and having him narrate his audiobook,” Chu said. “I don’t have strong opinions on it other than that I think there’s some clear signs Alex Trebek’s preferred successor was Ken Jennings and it would have been more respectful to abide by his wishes.”

After the resignation of Mike Richards, a former producer who had been tapped as the new host, Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik were selected to concurrently host the show through the end of the year while a permanent full-time host is determined. At the time of the announcement that Richards would be the regular host, Bialik had been selected to host primetime Jeopardy! specials.

Bialik has been criticized for her long-standing stance against vaccinations and a controversial 2017 op-ed in the New York Times discussing the #MeToo movement. She has since become vaccinated against the flu and coronavirus and apologized for her op-ed.

Bialik will continue to host Jeopardy! episodes through Nov. 5, at which time she and Jennings will film episodes as hosts whenever they can.