Becoming a successful contestant on Jeopardy! requires a little bit of luck and an immense amount of knowledge on an impossibly wide variety of subjects. The categories and clues on the iconic game show are random and often verge on the obscure.
As such, fans of the show not only enjoy watching the action but playing along from home. Part of the fun is testing yourself on your knowledge of the most arcane trivia. So when a triple stumper comes around, viewers are typically understanding. After all, how many people can name an opera from 1728 or the correct term for the science of determining a tree’s age at the drop of a hat?
Every now and then, however, a contestant will get lucky. Rather than drawing a clue about a 19th-century sailing ship or the establishment of the Social Security Administration, they get a subject so entrenched in pop culture that it’s impossible to get wrong. Or so it seems.
Such a clue was given on Wednesday’s episode. And rather than the satisfaction that both they and their beloved contestants got an easy clue correct, the ensuing scene sparked outrage among Jeopardy!‘s most passionate viewers.
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Criticize Contestants for Missing Taylor Swift Clue
Reaching its halfway point, Wednesday’s episode was getting exciting. Matt Mierswa was well on his way to scoring his second win, with Alison Trembly and Alfred Guy giving admirable performances as well.
In the Double Jeopardy round, Matt Mierswa chose the $400 clue in the “Title That Completes the Rhyme” category. To fans’ delight, the song was one every knows.
“And I’m just like oh-oh oh-oh oh-oh oh-oh oh-oh, you need to just stop, like can you just not, step on my gown?” Ken Jennings said, careful not to reveal the melody or finish the lyric.
Fans around the country screamed at their TV screens. The answer was obvious. Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down”. The attorney from New Jersey, however, merely stared at Jennings blankly. The Grammy-winning singer was clearly not in his musical wheelhouse.
Okay, so Matt isn’t a pop fan. Surely Alison or Alfred would buzz in and claim the prize, right? Well, no. They didn’t know it either. The viral hit fell flat, leaving all three contestants completely stumped.
Once the timer ran out, Ken Jennings revealed the answer. “I really wish this was Johnny [Gilbert] reading these,” he said. “This is ‘You Need to Calm Down’ by Taylor Swift.”
Unsurprisingly, Jeopardy! fans instantly took to social media to express their disbelief. “Everyone who makes it on to Jeopardy! clearly has a crown in my book, but I cannot calm down when there is a triple stumper Taylor Swift clue,” a witty fan remarked. “None of the Jeopardy! contestants got the Taylor Swift clue shut the whole show down,” another joked.
NOBODY GOT THE TAYLOR SWIFT QUESTION ON JEOPARDY??? boooooooooo— hunt. (@helsbaxian) July 20, 2022