‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Give Savannah Guthrie Rave Reviews in Behind the Scenes Video Ahead of Guest Hosting Debut

by John Jamison

It seems like the focus has been solely on what the fans think of the “Jeopardy!” guest hosts in recent months. Of course, theirs is an important opinion. They do drive the ratings, after all. But how about a different perspective? One that’s arguably just as important, but not nearly as discussed. What do the contestants themselves think of the stand-in quiz masters?

Well, in the case of upcoming guest host Savannah Guthrie, they had nothing but words of praise. The longtime “Today” co-host was a natural at running the game.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Guthrie wasn’t allowed to bring her own camera crew to document the behind-the-scenes footage of her foray into the game show world. “Jeopardy!” was gracious enough, however, to provide those services for her. And ahead of her debut on Monday, “Today” posted the footage on Twitter.

“She kept everything moving along with the questions. It was just all around great,” one contestant said.

“She’s great at thinking on her feet,” another added.

“She read the clues beautifully, she ran the game beautifully, tons across the board,” another said.

We’ll have to wait and see how the contestants fared under her supervision. But from the sounds of it, she’s a player’s host. And that’s a good thing considering Guthrie isn’t looking for the audience’s vote. It would be great if “Jeopardy!” fans love her too. But she doesn’t have any interest in the permanent hosting job. So that takes some stress off of her plate.

That Doesn’t Mean the ‘Jeopardy!’ Job Was Any Easier

It doesn’t matter how you spin it. Hosting “Jeopardy!” is a big-time job. Whether you spend a few days doing it or decades, the stakes are high. Many of the contestants have been waiting their whole lives for the opportunity to test their trivia knowledge on the iconic game show.

And Savannah Guthrie is certainly qualified. She has years of journalistic broadcast experience, went to Georgetown Law, and been in some pretty high-stakes environments. Yet, she was still nervous.

“It’s a really hard job, and getting here didn’t make me any less nervous,” Guthrie said in the exclusive interview she did for “Jeopardy!”

“The more I knew about what was required, the more nervous I was. I think being a journalist working in television every day — working in live television — I think it helps because I’m used to being on camera. So, I didn’t have those kinds of nerves, but this is a different ballgame. It’s so different than what we do on the TODAY show every morning.”

If she seemed nervous in front of the contestants, it didn’t take long for her to settle in. Because the handful we heard from had only good things to say.