HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVJeopardy‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Says Her Mannerisms Have Been Cause for Lots of Fan Mail

‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Says Her Mannerisms Have Been Cause for Lots of Fan Mail

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

Current “Jeopardy!” champ Mattea Roach has won an impressive 22 games so far, officially seeing herself into the game show’s Hall of Fame as the fifth-best in history. And while many fans adore the 23-year-old contestant for her nonchalant gameplay, her mannerisms have become divisive among viewers. Now, post-filming her episodes, Mattea Roach took a moment to share the contents of some of her “Jeopardy!” fan mail.

On Thursday, Mattea Roach spoke with Vulture about her “Jeopardy!” gameplay, her mannerisms, and her thoughts on the game show’s viewers’ various responses to her behavior. Most recently, Mattea Roach went viral for performing a little jig, bouncing her shoulders, and waving her hands on her wrists, after scoring a Double Jeopardy! clue. However, since launching her winning streak, Roach has been known for her enthusiastic hand movements.

In speaking to the outlet, she said, “My wrist has received a lot of fan mail. If anything, my wrist received a lot of hate mail.”

Roach explained, “A lot of people really didn’t like it. I saw a couple of fan cams of my wrist, which is funny.”

The young “Jeopardy!” champ, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, added, “There’s a lot of queer people specifically who have been fans of the way I move my hands and body. It’s not something I thought about at the time I was taping, but it’s fun to see the support from the community.”

Mattea Roach Says Some ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Have Criticized Her for being Less ‘Professional’

In addition to her frequent gestures and hand movements, Mattea Roach has also been pegged as being less “professional” than former “Jeopardy!” champions. However, the generationally-crossed contestant, crammed in the weird gap between Gen X and Gen Z, argued, “the notion that ‘Jeopardy!’, which is a game show, is an environment where you should be expected to behave in a professional manner is odd to me.”

While the current champ explained that “Jeopardy!” is an intellectual show, she doesn’t see any reason why contestants shouldn’t enjoy themselves during their time there.

Roach continued, “I respected the institution by playing the game really well. I’m enjoying myself a lot, and that’s why I played the game that way.”

The “Jeopardy!” contestant further compared herself to former champions including her predecessor Amy Schneider and early season champ Matt Amodio.

“[S]ince we had so many long-running champions who hadn’t played the game [the way I had], it perhaps clashed for people seeing something so different from Amy Schneider or Matt Amodio. They showed personality and weren’t boring to watch, but I was much more animated.”

While Mattea Roach has taken “Jeopardy!” fans’ criticisms in stride, she was surprised at one claim. And that was that she intended for her mannerisms to mess with the other players.

“I would never want to be deliberately distracting another player,” she told the outlet, “because it’s so unsportsmanlike.”