Jeopardy! is held in high esteem by his fans and former players, and there’s proven to be little tolerance for those deemed not show the game a proper amount of respect. So it’s no surprise that former three-day champion Yogesh Raut came under fire for absolutely decimating the show in an epic social media rant, after fans accused him of bad sportsmanship following his loss. James Holzhauer had strong feelings about the situation – as did executive producer Michael Davies – with the super-champ calling for a “lifetime ban” of Raut. Let’s break down this latest Jeopardy! drama:
Yogesh Raut Calls Out Jeopardy! In Multiple Facebook Rants
Yogesh Raut, who is apparently a well-known name among the quizzing community, appeared on Jeopardy! beginning January 11, winning $96,403 in three victories before getting beat. Raut rubbed some viewers the wrong way with his confidence, and he was accused of being a sore loser after some thought he refused to congratulate Katie Palumbo after she beat him in his fourth game.
The podcaster from Springfield, Illinois, posted several since-deleted Facebook rants over the course of several days, in which he called Jeopardy! “a glorified reality show” and said (per the New York Post):
He furthered those sentiments in other posts, arguing that Jeopardy! is merely entertainment and not relevant in the larger quizzing community. He wrote:
His issue seemed to be more with that seriousness Jeopardy!‘s fans have for the game than the show itself, as he said several times that his experience on the show was fine. He simply said Jeopardy! doesn’t deserve to be on the pedestal viewers put it on, writing:
That was just a fraction of what Yogesh Raut had to say, and it’s not hard to see how the game show’s staunch defenders would take issue with such harsh criticisms.
James Holzhauer Calls For Lifetime Ban
One person who was quick to defend Jeopardy! was James Holzhauer, one of the biggest winners in Jeopardy! history with nearly $3 million acquired since he made his initial appearance in 2019. The professional sports gambler has never been one to hold back when he’s got an opinion on something, and he made a pretty serious suggestion in response to Yogesh Raut’s rants. Holzhauer tweeted:
Anyone who’s ever used social media to criticize Jeopardy or its producers should get a lifetime ban from the show https://t.co/3gOgsASk0kJanuary 24, 2023
Given how much money James Holzhauer has earned as a Jeopardy! champion, and the opportunities it has afforded him — he is now a member of another trivia game show, The Chase – one can see how he might take issue with a fellow champion biting the hand that feeds, so to speak. Raut won almost $100,000 after all.
James Holzhauer himself, however, has not always had complimentary things to say about the show. While it’s clear he has a lot of respect for the game, he was vocally critical of disgraced former executive producer Mike Richards and the show’s sloppy search for a permanent host to replace the late Alex Trebek.
Michael Davies Responds To Controversy Surrounding Yogesh Raut
Michael Davies, the EP who came in the following Mike Richards’ removal, has even addressed the situation with Yogesh Raut, saying that he liked that Raut defended himself against social media attacks. As far as the contestant’s controversial views on Jeopardy!‘s relevance, Davies said on the Inside Jeopardy! (opens in new tab) podcast:
While he said he does not think Jeopardy! serves a “very important public need,” Michael Davies went on to say that he would never want to silence a player who felt the need to defend himself, even saying he felt bad the show doesn’t do more to prepare its contestants for the challenges they may face in regards to social media. He continued:
In regards to a lifetime ban, Michael Davies added that he enjoys a character like Raut and said, “players of that quality will always be welcome on the Alex Trebek Stage.”
Longtime Jeopardy! producer Sarah Foss doubled down on Michael Davies’ words, pointing out that with Yogesh Raut being considered the “best of the best,” in the quizzing community, as well as a repeat champ with a high total earnings, it’s not out of the question that Raut could be invited back. She did not address James Holzhauer’s request directly, but she did note that if Raut would return to Jeopardy!:
While it doesn’t sound like James Holzhauer is going to see justice served the way he wishes, it would make for some pretty interesting television if he and Yogesh Raut faced off sometime in the future! In the meantime, check your local listings to see when to catch Jeopardy! in your area, and also take a peek at ours 2023 TV schedule to see what premieres are headed our way soon.