‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions Contestant Apologizes for ‘Gonna Go for the Kill’ Behavior

by Thad Mitchell

The intensity is turning up on Jeopardy! as contestants compete for a large sum of money in the show’s annual Tournament of Champions. But one contestant is apologizing for going too far.

The tournament’s first episode aired Monday with Buzzy Cohen in command behind the Jeopardy! host’s podium. The Tournament of Champions brings back only the best of the best Jeopardy! contestants over the last season. Competitors in the tournament are all multi-game winners who have accumulated big bucks in their wins.

As is often the case with athletes and others, tournament time brings out people’s competitiveness. That was the case in Monday’s Jeopardy! episode as Pennsylvania native Ryan Bilger secured a spot in the tournament semifinals. Bilger won in impressive fashion, hitting on two Daily Doubles on his way to a blowout win.

Along the way to his big win, Bilger’s competitive spirit may have gotten the best of him. Social media critics described Bilger as a “sore winner” for his antics in the tournament’s first round. The graduate student is now apologizing for his behavior during the opening Jeopardy! match.

Jeopardy! Winner Says Adrenaline Got Best of Him

Jeopardy! fans watching Monday’s tournament match could easily see Bilger’s confidence in his game. The problem is that his confidence was a little easy to see. In his apology, the young contestant says he is sorry if he was being a bit too loud, excited, or arrogant. He also apologizes for using the phrase “go for the kill” before making his Daily Double wager. He says the adrenaline in his veins got the best of him and caused him to act out a bit.

“I see there’s a lot of people out there who are displeased with me after Jeopardy tonight,” he says in a social media post. “Look, I get it and I had a ton of adrenaline flowing through my veins. I got a Daily Double on a piece of Pennsylvania history I’ve known since I was a child. I was playing better than I ever expected. Yes, I got pretty loud and excited, I get that that’s not what many people want out of Jeopardy!.”

It is easy to see why Bilger was so excited about his performance. Most people would also be in a state of elation if they moved closer to winning a big sum of money. It is also easy to see why some Jeopardy! fans were turned off by his actions.

With a victory in the preliminary round, Bilger advances to the next round. He says he will try and be more mindful of his actions in his next match.