Back in March, Robin Roberts was convinced that she wouldn’t be a “Jeopardy!” guest host. Not because she didn’t want to be, but based on her “Celebrity Jeopardy!” track record, it wasn’t looking too hot at the time.
“I knew I was not destined to be a guest host because I was on ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’” Roberts told Newsweek. “I was so bad as a guest, that I think that if I had been on the list, that anybody who remembers me from being on the celebrity show, they knew that.”
Fast forward to today, when the “Good Morning America” co-anchor is just hours away from her “Jeopardy!” guest hosting debut. The game show released an exclusive interview with Roberts a few days before her first episode premieres. During the interview, Roberts talked about what it was like to step onto that stage as a host.
“I’m telling you it was unlike… even more so than being a contestant on ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’, being a host, being behind that podium, knowing all the people, all the guest hosts, that have been there,” Roberts said. “But more importantly, knowing the man who was behind that podium for all those years and to stand there… Something I will not forget, ever.”
Later on in the interview, Roberts got choked up talking about late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek. The man who hosted the game show for 37 years died of pancreatic cancer last November in his Burbank, California home.
“I’m sorry,” Roberts said after a long pause. They’d asked her what she’d hoped to bring as a guest host. “I just want to bring a little bit of Alex, just a little bit. Can’t be him, no one can be him, but I just want to bring a little spirit that he brought each and every time he was here in this studio.”
Check out Roberts’ full “Jeopardy!” interview below:
Finding the Next Permanent ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
Several guest hosts have since stepped in for Trebek since his passing, including 74-time “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings, executive producer Mike Richards, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and several journalists like Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper. Fans and other hopefuls estimate that the show will announce a permanent host by the end of this season.
Aside from Roberts, three more guest hosts have a chance to make a winning impression on fans and the production team. LeVar Burton will take the reins from July 26 to July 30, David Faber from August 2 to August 6, and Joe Buck from August 9 to August 13. As of right now, several fans hope LeVar Burton will be selected for the permanent position, but previous guest hosts also have a good shot at it.
TVLine conducted an informal poll two days ago to gauge fan reactions to the guest hosts. They first asked if the most recent host, “GMA” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos, should be named the permanent host. More than 69% voted no, followed by almost 17% saying they were undecided and wanted to see the next hosts and almost 15 % saying yes.
The second part of the poll asked who they would choose for the full-time position. Actress Mayim Bialik led the vote with almost 26%, followed closely by Ken Jennings with almost 23%. Far behind Jennings was the undecided vote with 12%, with the rest of the guest hosts split up into even tinier percentages.