Six-day champion Matt Amodio has been so good at “Jeopardy!” that the other contestants have had no shot. That’s how other long-running champions have dominated the game and run up serious win totals.
His take of $74,000 on Thursday was the 7th-highest single game score in “Jeopardy!” history, and I have a feeling he’s not done yet. His style of play, vast knowledge, and willingness to take big risks on the first Daily Double remind me of James Holzhauer, who was also ultra-fast on the buzzer and went for the highest-value clues first. Fun to watch.
The same can’t be said about Levar Burton as “Jeopardy!” guest host. After all the hype and fan support to get him behind the podium, I don’t think he’s been very good at the job. More than once, there have been pauses where he wasn’t sure a response was right, or took an extra second to rule something wrong, or had other problems juggling the multiple demands of keeping the game running smoothly.
He isn’t even as good as Robin Roberts and George Stephanopolous, who were both merely mediocre. Burton’s too old to ever be considered for the role of permanent host, but if he had been, this stint would have knocked him out of the running.
My favorite to get the full-time position remains Ken Jennings, who has been a better fit than everyone else who’s had a trial run. The other shows he’s on, “Masterminds” and “The Chase,” can easily continue without him — particularly the latter, which recently added original British star Mark Labbett to its corps of “Chasers,” along with Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer.
Speaking of that show, it is overstuffed with padding that has nothing to do with the trivia questions, including host Sara Haines explaining the rules of every segment in depth. The best game shows on the air (from “Jeopardy!” to “Wheel Of Fortune” to “The Price Is Right”) don’t have to do that, and neither does “The Chase,” where the simple format is easy to understand after a single viewing.