Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik slammed for 'jarring response' to contestant's story amid fan-favorite Ken Jennings' hiatus

MAYIM Bialik did not score points with many Jeopardy! fans Tuesday night.

Her "jarring response" to a contestant's Q&A story came as fan-favorite Ken Jennings shockingly announced he'd be on hiatus from hosting for "MONTHS."

Mayim, 46, is hosting Jeopardy! this week, returning after Ken's three weeks at the helm – and May 10th’s episode saw a surprising new winner.

Mallory Kass, a Brooklyn, New York editor inked out Danielle Mauer’s two-game streak – the latter defeated Canadian tutor Mattea Roach after her massive 23 games.

Hundreds of fans were stunned to discover Mallory wrote the bestselling book series The 100 under a pen name Kass Morgan – which was even turned into a CW series, one fan tweeting: "the author of the 100 is on jeopardy?!?!"

But less literary, according to fuming fans, was how Mayim responded to one audience member during tonight's Q&A portion.

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Right-podium Cherry Ignacio told a story during the portion of the show where the contestants share an anecdote about themselves – about autism research in grad school.

Cherry explained she helped implement a new way for kids to be tested for autism with saliva instead of a prick of blood.

"We developed a … screening test for autism, what makes it special is a lot of kids who could be on the spectrum, they don't like getting their blood drawn. So our pivot there … has worked really well."

Mayim, who is a neuroscientist, replied to the contestant with a joke.

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“Glad to hear spitting in a tube went better than taking blood," the host said.

Although Cherry mentioned "spitting into a tube" when describing the test process she helped make, fans were floored Mayim responded with that remark and nothing else.


"I like Cherry just based on her #Jeopardy story. Mayim's response to it, not so much," one wrote.

"It’s jarring how much worse JEOPARDY! is when Mayim Bialik hosts," bashed another.

Another fan wrote: "Ken would have had a more heartfelt response."

Others noted that Mayim generally "slows down the game and her responses come off as condescending."

While a fifth wrote: "I love Mayim, but she takes 3 seconds to say someone is correct."

Indeed Double Jeopardy wasn't completed tonight as time ran out.

"I hate when they don't finish the board. Ugh," wrote a sixth on the overall way the actress handled hosting.

While some called her "poised" Mayim has had banter blunders before, one involving a doctor – before Ken returned for his recent three weeks.


Fans were floored as Ken – whom many wanted to take over for good – announced on Twitter this week: "I'm handing the keys back to the talented actor-producer-writer-director (!) Mayim Bialik for a few months."

We are lucky to have her! Thanks for watching, and I'll be back before the end of the season.”

Ken currently shares hosting duties with the Blossom actress and an official replacement for the legendary Alex Trebek will be announced this July at the end of Season 38.

However, fans who watched Ken navigate the "wild" last three weeks which saw Canadian champ Mattea become an internet sensation and half-millionaire (pre-tax), were stunned.

One wrote: “For a few months? Guess I won't be watching for that long, then.”

Another added: “You will be so missed, Ken! You just need to be the permanent host! Why is this not obvious to the powers that be?"

The show's ratings nearly doubled as Ken, 47, made his first appearance and hosted through contestant Amy Schneider's two-month winning streak.

Amy and Mattea will both be in the Tournament of Champions in November.

Ken's view count dropped in January after Amy left, but Ken still averaged a commendable 9.2 million views, surpassing Wheel of Fortune and other competing game show ratings.

However, when Mayim, 46, took over her hosting duties for the Jeopardy! College Championship back in February, viewers tuned out, and the headcount dropped to 5.5 million viewers.

Mayim was first named the new Jeopardy! host, along with former Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards, following Alex's death in 2020.

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But after Mike landed in scalding water for comments he had made on an old podcast and during other shows he had produced, he stepped down.

Mayim will return to host May 11th's game as will Mallory, author of The 100 – a fact fans were stunned by which she also shared during the Q&A portion that saw the host's "jarring" reply.

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