‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Receives Backlash from Fans after Losing in Tournament of Champions

by Thad Mitchell

As expected, the competition in this year’s “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions has been quite intense and full of drama.

The two-day “Jeopardy!” tournament final round will begin later today (Thursday) and carry on until Friday’s final match. Only the best of the best “Jeopardy!” winners of the past qualify for the annual Tournament of Champions. Each contestant appearing in the tournament has won multiple episodes of the game show and accumulated impressive win totals. The tournament began last week with 15 past “Jeopardy!” winners taking the stage. Now, only three final competitors remain as they battle for a $250,000 grand prize and the title of “Jeopardy!” champion. Competing in this year’s finals are contestants Jennifer Quail, Sam Kavanaugh and Veronica Vichit-Vadanka.

Although the tournament finals are now set, there’s another contestant who is drawing attention for what fans are calling “poor sportsmanship.”

Pennsylvania native and 2019 multi-game winner Ryan Bilger breezed through the first round of the tournament. His semifinal matchup saw him go head-to-head Vichit-Vadanka in a match that all came down to Final Jeopardy!. Bilger would fall in the semifinals and seemed rather disappointed that his “Jeopardy!” tournament run had come to an end. Fans say Bilger put his head down and didn’t put much effort into cheering the winner on. See for yourself in the following clip.

“An emotional win for Veronica,” the social media post declares. “She’s headed to the finals!”

‘Jeopardy!’ Watchers Chastise Contestant As ‘Sore Loser’

“Jeopardy!” fans immediately took to the comments section to point out Bilger’s reaction with some deeming him a “sore loser.” Others say they are glad about his elimination from the Tournament of Champions.

“The combination of getting to watch Veronica win and Ryan lose in the same episode was one of the highlights of my day,” a “Jeopardy!” fan wrote.

Another fan was even more blunt regarding their thoughts on Bilger’s behavior.

“I’m so happy Ryan didn’t win Jeopardy! tonight….what a sore loser and an overall jerk” said the fan. “He didn’t even look at the winner and just hung his head the whole time. Who’s going to tell him that the world doesn’t revolve around him?”

To his credit, Bilger took to social media after the episode aired to wish Veronica good luck in the finals.

“Veronica played a brilliant game and is an amazing human to boot!” he says in a Twitter post. “Big congratulations to her on the win, and make sure to tune in Thursday and Friday to watch her again in the finals.”

The “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions will conclude with Friday’s episode.