‘Jeopardy!’: Why Guest Host George Stephanopoulos Says the Show is ‘So Precise’

by Leanne Stahulak

“Jeopardy!”‘s latest guest host George Stephanopoulos confessed his thoughts about hosting to the contestants after the “Final Jeopardy!” round.

Last night’s July 12 show was Stephanpoulos’ first time up on the “Jeopardy!” stage. He’ll be hosting until this Friday, and then his “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts will take over for the week after that. LeVar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck are the last three guest hosts we’ll see this season.

The game show regularly posts a clip of the “Final Jeopardy!” round on their official YouTube channel, and for last night’s episode, they added a small segment where Stephanopoulos chatted with the contestants.

Returning “Jeopardy!” champion Jen Jazwinski, who was defeated by newcomer Tim Moon, told the guest host, “You did a great job up there.”

“It’s very different from anything else I’ve done,” the GMA news anchor replied. “The show is so precise.”

“Yeah,” Jazwinski said, “and a lot of moving parts that you have to track all over.”

“We were talking about it yesterday on my day job, ‘Good Morning America,'” Stephanopoulos continued. “If you make a mistake [on GMA], it’s not a big deal. Like reacting to the mistake is part of the job. Here, you can’t make a mistake.”

While talking to his GMA coworkers about his “Jeopardy!” experience, Stephanopoulos confessed a behind-the-scenes secret that helps guest hosts like him who are new to the job.

“They really just want everything to keep going, going, going, going, going,” he said. “The dirty little secret is – have you ever noticed that the host isn’t on camera all that much? … When you make a mistake you can redo.”

Being precise saves hosts the trouble of having to redo a segment, and it also makes sure contestants aren’t thrown off by the game flow being interrupted.

Being a “Jeopardy!” Host Comes With Its Challenges

Stephanopoulos has taken no pains to hide how difficult being a “Jeopardy!” host can be. In an exclusive “Good Morning America” segment, the news anchor confessed that the hardest part was “moving things along.”

In addition to reading the clues correctly, hosts also have to transition quickly to the next clues and move contestants steadily through the game so that their concentration isn’t interrupted.

At one point, the clip shows Stephanopoulos up on the podium saying, “God bless Alex Trebek and everybody that has been a guest host!”

But Stephanopoulos is also grateful for the opportunity to step into the role and give it his best shot. He’s excited to see all of his episodes come out this week since it was several months ago that he taped them.

“It was so intense, it was so much fun,” he said. “The crew of ‘Jeopardy!’ are true professionals, they are amazing at what they do.”