We'll take Game Show Misfires for $500, Alex...
Just a few weeks after Alex Trebek came across two shades meaner than Darth Vader for dashing a young person's dreams over a minor mistake on "Jeopardy!" it's happened again. Fortunately, once again, it didn't affect the show's final results.
The latest incident went down on Tuesday night's show and came complete with a "Seinfeld" tie-in.
Contestant Rich Hansen selected the category "Name That TV Role."
"'Seinfeld': Julia Louis-Dreyfus," Trebek replied.
That's when contestant Fidelito Cortes, who was in the lead with $5,200, answered "Elaine," — but, according to Trebek, the contestant pronounced the name incorrectly.
"Benes," Hansen chimed in, naming the character's surname. At first, Hansen was told that he had it wrong, too, but the judges almost immediately reversed their decision.
"Oh, we'll accept that," Trebek said.
"It was EE-laine, not UH-laine, Fidelito," Trebek explained to Cortes. "That's why the judges ruled against you on that one."
Say what, Alex?! Yeah, we were a bit puzzled too.
Fortunately, it ended up not mattering; Cortes, who's a published poet, won the game, collecting $25,000 and adding to his two-day tally of $45,000-plus.
Not everyone's reaction has been so kind. "The judges on 'Jeopardy' are racist deebags" the blog Death and Taxes titled its post on the incident, noting that Cortes is a Filipino-American.
And several fan tweets fell along these lines:
— duncan (@theshoegazer) October 1, 2013
.@Jeopardy Fidelito was unfairly scored because of his accent! He definitely said Elaine!
— Lorraine Rojas (@LorraineRojas85) October 1, 2013
It's the second time in recent weeks that the quiz show's been slammed for being overly nitpicky. In August, during a kids' edition of the show, the judges faulted Thomas Hurley III for adding an extra "t" in his Final Jeopardy answer of "The Emanciptation Proclamation." The young man lost $3,000 on his tally, but still couldn't defeat eventual winner Skyler Hornback, who was far in the lead.
Just two weeks ago, sister show "Wheel of Fortune" had a mispronunciation kerfuffle of its own, when Paul Atkinson lost out on a million-dollar prize by answering, "Corner Curro Cabinet" instead of "Corner Curio Cabinet." Fortunately, he later found minor redemption, courtesy of Jimmy Fallon.