HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’ Former Champ Brad Rutter Accepted GOAT Tournament In Part To ‘Get To Hang Out with Alex Trebek’

‘Jeopardy!’ Former Champ Brad Rutter Accepted GOAT Tournament In Part To ‘Get To Hang Out with Alex Trebek’

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

One of the most memorable special events in the recent history of “Jeopardy!” was the 2020 GOAT tournament event. It pitted Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter against one another.

Luckily for the three competitors, the show’s long-time host Alex Trebek was still alive. It was Trebek who stood behind the podium and read clues for the three GOAT competitors. It was a competition for the ages.

During an interview with TVInsider.com, Brad Rutter talked about why he decided to take part in the tournament. Unsurprisingly, his decision had to do with Alex Trebek. Rutter was aware that the “Jeopardy!” host was ill and he didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to spend time with Trebek once again.

“Well, I was in immediately because, sadly, I wasn’t sure whether I would get to see Alex again,” Rutter said. “So that was just like, ‘OK, I get to hang out with Alex. That’s all you need to say.’ That was what I was focused on …”

‘I Love ‘Jeopardy!’ Brad Rutter Once Said

Brad Rutter also said he decided to return to “Jeopardy!” because of his previous experiences on the show.

“… plus, I love ‘Jeopardy!’ and they’ve been great to me over the years,” Rutter explained.

The popular “Jeopardy!” champion also said even he was surprised by how popular the GOAT tournament turned out to be.

“I think this probably has to do with Alex as well, but the extent to which it was the biggest thing on television took me completely by surprise,” Brad Rutter said. “I figured it would be a pretty big deal, but we don’t really have water cooler shows anymore, and it seemed like that was, and it wasn’t like anything I had been involved with before. So it was surprising and gratifying. I’m glad we got that big ratings win in for Alex, too.”

Champions Join Forces On Another Quiz Show

As fans of the quiz show already know, the “Jeopardy!” GOAT tournament was won by Ken Jennings.

It wasn’t the last time he appeared on a quiz show with Rutter and Holzhauer, however. The three also teamed up for the show “The Chase.” This ABC show began its second season during June 2021.

For those who haven’t watched this quiz show, it pits the three “Jeopardy!” champions against contestants. It is the job of the champions, who are referred to as “chasers” on the show, to keep the contestants from earning money.

“One of the interesting things about this is, we’re on the same team now, instead of playing against each other. So of course we’ll still want to do better than the other two guys, but I was kind of rooting for them too,” Rutter told Entertainment Weekly.

If you want to see how these “Jeopardy!” champions do against others, you can watch “The Chase” on Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. ET.