In Jeopardy!, being a contestant is hard work. Each contestant is tasked with having an astounding amount of knowledge across virtually every subject imaginable. That said, the game’s three competitors aren’t the only ones who have to study beforehand to achieve success.
Being the host of Jeopardy! requires not only knowing the answers to every question but possible alternatives as well. Now, it’s true that they have the help of judges and producers. However, waiting around for confirmation after each response would slow the game tremendously. No, at the very least, the vast majority of it must be memorized.
It’s not unusual for a Jeopardy! host to appear impossibly knowledgable – who could possibly know everything about all of those different categories? But on Monday’s episode, host Ken Jennings nonchalantly displayed such a firm grasp of music history that he left his contestants stunned.
As the game reached its conclusion, the Final Jeopardy category was revealed to be “The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”. Ken Jennings then presented the contestants with the clue. “Honored in 1998 as part of a rock group and in 2019 as a solo artist, this singer was the first woman to be inducted into the Hall twice,” he read.
The correct response was none other than the queen of rock herself, Stevie Nicks. In the moment, however, the answer seemed far less obvious.
Game-winner Ed Coulson’s only saving grace was that he was ahead by $8,000 going into Final Jeopardy and bet only $1,301. Despite the triple stumper, he walked away with the title of champion and $17,399 in winnings.
Ken Jennings Wows ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants With Music Knowledge
Following the difficult Final Jeopardy clue, Ken Jennings soothed his contestants by revealing that each of them was, in fact, very close to the right answer. Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, and Tina Turner were all incorrect responses but strong guesses nonetheless.
“We were talking about the other options this morning,” he said. “Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Carole King is apparently in twice because she’s in as a songwriter now as well. Stevie Nicks was the first.”
“Twenty-five years after your debut, you become eligible,” he continued. “So I guess actually, Gwen Stefani must be getting close. And maybe Destiny’s Child as well, right? When’s the first record?”
Rather than expressing relief in his almost-correct response, “Tina Turner,” Ed Coulson was simply astounded that Ken Jennings was able to recall such a long list of Hall of Famers at the drop of a hat. “I’m amazed you know all this stuff,” he said.
“Well, here’s the thing,” the Jeopardy! host replied. “[In the] morning, we look at the clues and we think about what might be hard, what might be easy, what are the possible responses. So I get to look very smart out here. But there’s like 12 much smarter people who are writing and researching this stuff for me.”