The road to the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions finals has been paved with unexpected results.
One of the favorites was eliminated in the semifinals, contestant Ryan Bilger got the internet up in arms, and two of the finalists already played each other in the quarterfinal round. That’s right, Veronica Vichit-Vadakan suffered a defeat at the hands of Sam Kavanaugh. Now, the two are facing off again with $250,000 on the line.
Last week, the opening round of the “Jeopardy!” tournament saw its fair share of glory and heartbreak. During the Friday matchup, Sam Kavanaugh, Andy Wood, and Veronica Vichit-Vadakan went toe-to-toe for a chance to move on to the semis.
In a heated battle, Sam just barely edged out Veronica to take the victory. He won by a margin of less than $400, posting $22,801 to her $22,460. Andy laid it all on the line and finished way behind with $100 to his name.
Veronica’s second-place finish earned her a wildcard spot, however. And she took full advantage, winning her semifinal round to keep her dream alive. Sam coasted through his semifinal, and now we have a rematch for the ages.
How Are the ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Feeling Ahead of Their High-Stakes Showdown?
The contestants spoke with guest host Buzzy Cohen and Clue Crew member Sarah Whitcomb Foss in a video previewing the finals matchup. Hearing them speak, it’s clear that these are all battle-tested “Jeopardy!” veterans. None of them seemed overly stressed about the competition. And they’re all having the time of their lives.
Both Sam and Veronica spoke briefly on the nature of their rematch.
“Really just trying to keep things together at this point. All of these games have been amazing,” Sam said. “And having played Veronica, I kind of know what I’m up against, and it’s not an easy task. So I’m excited.”
“Sam’s a tough competitor, you know? That first quarterfinal game, it was a real brawl,” Veronica said. “But it was a lot of fun. That’s what I like about the game, is like when you get a good set of competitors and you’re just like go, go, go the whole time. It’s really a great time.”
It’s good to see some mutual respect between the pair. They know just how tough it will be to beat each other. Oh, and don’t forget Jennifer Quail. The third finalist is a force to be reckoned with as well.
The “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions final round is already underway, and a winner will be crowned tomorrow. Follow along with Outsider for updates.