‘Jeopardy!’ Unveils All-New Format For Tournament of Champions, Reveals Returning Players

by Joe Rutland

Changes are taking place on Jeopardy! and we are getting more details about the new Tournament of Champions format. But we’re also getting info about the returning players who will take part in the famed tournament. As you might know, Ken Jennings, the GOAT himself, will be behind the podium for the T of C that starts up in November. Who will be coming back? Many of your favorite Jeopardy! champs from last season.

We picked up this information from another episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, TV Insider reported. Show executive producer Michael Davies and producer Sarah Foss chatted it up with Buzzy Cohen, who won the 2017 Tournament of Champions and hosted last year’s competition.

Plans, Contestants Laid Out For ‘Jeopardy!’ Competition

OK, we did find out that Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach will receive byes into the tournament’s semifinals. These three players don’t have to participate in the quarterfinals. Why? Davies said it’s because these three champions are “so far ahead of the curve” that there’s a feeling it would be unfair to put them in a lower bracket. Schneider won 40 games back in January, while Amodio won 38 games, and Roach notched 23 game wins herself.

Other contestants in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions include Ryan Long, Jonathan Fisher, Brian Chang, Courtney Shah, Eric Ahasic, Zach Newkirk, Megan Wachspress, Andrew He, Tyler Rhode, Jackie Kelly, John Focht, Margaret Shelton, Maureen O’Neil, and Christine Whelchel. Two more spots will be filled up thanks to the Second Chance tournament winners.

There will be six quarterfinal games in the T of C this year. The winners of those games move along to the semifinals. Then, the nine semifinalists play their three games to determine the three winners that will square off in the final round. But the final match of the tournament will be like the 2019 Greatest of All Time tournament. All three finalists will be playing until a contestant wins three matches. Now, the final round might take three days or seven days. It all depends on the competition itself.

As you know, Jennings will head up this year’s Tournament of Champions and that should be great. His time as host behind the podium runs from September through December. In January, Mayim Bialik comes on board for her time as the show’s host. She also is lined up to host any specials or additional games that spin off from the original show. Producers seem rather keen to get Bialik involved in other facets of the franchise. Jennings, though, has a strong connection to the show as a contestant and host himself. This should be a whale of a great season on the show with them on board.