‘Jeopardy!’ Host Ken Jennings Has Acknowledged The ‘Very Harsh,’ ‘Garbage’ Call That Infuriated Fans

It’s rare for Ken Jennings to actually admit when certain Jeopardy! rules are too harsh, but when an online debate formed over one particular ruling, Jennings felt the need to clear up any confusion.

Last week, Jeopardy! fans took to social media to express anger over one clue from the popular game show. The clue read: “A Yosemite fall with a wispy ribbon of water that flutters in the air like diaphanous cloth bears the name of this marital wear.” contestant Kelly Proulx seemingly gave the correct answer, responding: “What is Bridalveil Falls?” Jennings revealed that Proulx was incorrect. “It’s actually Bridalveil Fall, so we couldn’t take that.” The clue was met with confusion, and Jennings addressed it while speaking with the contestants on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast.

Jennings admitted that it was a “very harsh ruling” but praised the contestants. “We had some real fireworks in that game. Well, all three of you played well. It was not a foregone conclusion until the very end,” he said. While he didn’t explain the reason behind the ruling (thats for the judges) it would not have affected the final outcome, since none of the contestants knew the answer. “I’m glad it didn’t hinge on my very harsh ruling on the ‘S,’” he added.

Last week, the folks over at the Jeopardy Subreddit seemed to agree that the ruling was unkind, even to Jeopardy’s standard. One user wrote, “I typically give long and wide deference to the judges, but f*ck the judges for that ruling. there is nothing pinning the clue to ‘fall,’ so she got the required information correct. that was positively disgusting.” Others called the rule “arbitrary,” while complaining about the inconsistencies in the games.

The game ended with Isaac Hirsch continuing his reign as a 3-game champion, and Jennings counting his reign as being harmless but a little annoying.