Jeopardy! returns with Mike Richards, awkwardness, and Matt Amodio

JeopardyToday the Jeopardy! season premiere arrived and suffice it to say, it was awkward — very awkward. This may be one of the most uncomfortable game-show premieres we’ve ever seen; one of the big reasons why was the presence of Mike Richards as host.

There are a few important facts to remember here. Richards hosted the show not knowing he’d soon be stepping down from the position. Why did Jeopardy! even choose to air these episodes in retrospect? It’s all about fairness — you can’t slight the contestants for some poor decisions behind the scenes, especially when you have a dominant contestant like Matt Amodio front and center.

We should note that Jeopardy! seemingly edited Richards out at every opportunity they could; they did not spend a lot of time showing him interact with the other contestants. Still, it was rather disarming hearing him introduced as “the host of Jeopardy!” as though this wasn’t going to be a brief thing.

It’s going to be hard to get through Richards’ remaining four days of shows, but we hope that he does not continue to take away from Amodio’s greatness. He has to be considered one of the better Jeopardy! champs of all time and yet, he’s had to deal with near-constant distractions throughout. At the time these episodes were out there was at least some speculation on the future of Richards; they weren’t in a complete vacuum. The contestants may have also walked out on that stage wishing that someone else got the job in the end; that didn’t happen.

Following the week of shows with Richards, Mayim Bialik will be taking on the role of host for at least a few weeks; scheduling conflicts keep her from taking on the part full-time, and there is a search for a full-time host that is quietly happening behind the scenes. You can read more about the series over at the link here.

What did you think about the awkward Jeopardy! premiere with Mike Richards as host?

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