When Executive Producer Michael Davies was handed the reins on Jeopardy!, he wasted no time in developing ideas that he believed would improve the show and fans’ experience with it. And one of those ideas was the Second Chance Tournament.
According to Davies, the idea came to him almost immediately, as he was inspired by Jessica Stephens’ victory and subsequent defeat early in Season 38. “I thought, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be a cool idea to have a tournament where we bring excellent contestants like Jessica back?'” he wrote on the Jeopardy! website.
Davies was careful not to take full credit for the idea. “Many, many other people…had exactly the same thought, long before me,” he wrote. However, he’s been hard at work bringing it to fruition.
After months of planning, the Second Chance Tournament is officially on the way. As Davies explained, the rules of eligibility are similar to the Tournament of Champions. “We are looking at contestants who appeared on Jeopardy since the last Tournament of Champions who we believe deserve a second shot,” he said.
As such, the Second Chance Tournament will only include contestants from Season 38. The EP did add, however, that there could be more opportunities in the future. “For now, this is part of the postseason for [Season 38],” he said. “We are all so excited at the prospect, and we look forward to seeing some wonderful contestants again on our stage.”
‘Jeopardy!’s Second Chance Tournament Contestants Revealed
Jeopardy’s Second Chance Tournament is set to air on Monday, October 17, and will last for two weeks, during which Ken Jennings will act as host. Eighteen competitors from Season 38 will return, going head-to-head for a chance to become champion.
The tournament will begin with nine contestants competing in the usual groups of three on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, the winners from the previous three games will compete. The winner of that game will move on to the Tournament of Champions. The next nine contestants will go through the same process in week two.
The exact match-ups have yet to be announced. However, we do know which 18 contestants will compete in the brand new tournament. And those contestants are:
- Isaac Applebaum
- James Fraser
- Sadie Goldberger
- Aaron Gulvas
- Molly Karol
- Alicia O’Hare
- Do Park
- Tom Philipose
- Tracy Pitzel
- Nikkee Porcaro
- Renee Russell
- Pam Schoenberg
- Jeff Smith
- Sarah Snider
- Jessica Stephens
- Rowan Ward
- Jack Weller
- Cindy Zhang
For those familiar with the most painful moments of Season 38, one of the most exciting names on the list is Sadie Goldberger, the contestant who many fans believe was robbed of a win late in the season. Fans can only hope that poor penmanship doesn’t stand in the way of victory for Sadie this time around.