‘Jeopardy!’: Mayim Bialik Explains Biggest Challenges for Host During Final Jeopardy

by Maggie Schneider
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Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik is sharing with fans some of the difficulties of Final Jeopardy: “I can be a real mess.”

Mayim Bialik is excited to be hosting the Jeopardy! National College Championship. Airing tonight, the special edition of the game show is bringing college students together from all different parts of the country. While Bialik is a genius herself (she has a doctorate in neuroscience, after all), there is one part of hosting the game show that remains difficult.

The Stress of Final Jeopardy

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she discusses her struggles with Final Jeopardy.

“It’s so confusing,” she says and laughs. “I mean, just because I have a doctorate in neuroscience doesn’t mean that when I look at this gigantic notecard, with three columns that have every single possibility of every bet — visually, it’s a lot of stimulus. Also, often I will leave the podium before I see what [the players] have finished writing.”

Bialik says that there is a lot of pressure to saying the right things in the first take. There is a certain way she must ask the contestants to reveal their answers during Final Jeopardy.

“You want that reveal to be as accurate as possible, meaning I don’t want them to have to refilm winning or losing. So I’m trying to say all the right things. There are certain words you can’t say as a host; I’m not allowed to say, ‘What did you say?’ I have to say, ‘What did you write down? What was your response? And your response is …’ So I have this catalog in my brain to make each one different, and not say the things that don’t make sense and that I’ll have to do as pickups. And the numbers, the math, the pronunciations — it’s a mess. I can be a real mess in Final Jeopardy.”

How To Watch: ‘Jeopardy!’ National College Championship

Great news, Jeopardy! fans! The National College Championship begins tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Airing on ABC, new episodes will air from Tuesday to Friday. No new games will broadcast Saturday through Monday.

Nine special hour-long episodes will air over the next two weeks. Each installment of the championship will feature two games instead of one. The two winners from each episode will move onto the semifinals, which will then narrow the competition down to the final three. The finale will see the three winners going head to head for the $250,000 grand prize.

Mayim Bialik calls this version of the game show March Madness.

“With these 36 students, I was just a fun energy … This tournament, there’s representation from public schools, private schools, historically Black colleges, small schools big schools. It really is a beautiful representation of really exceptional young people.”

Outsider.com