Jeopardy GOAT Day 3: Ken Jennings is a beast, James Holzhauer daggers Brad Rutter

January 10, 2020

Eric McCandless

Millennials, take note: stuff happened before the iPhone was invented. And back when we had to watch things through a cable box, a man named Ken Jennings dominated Jeopardy like no one previously in game show history. Well, now you're getting a taste of that.

Jennings took control of the Jeopardy GOAT tournament on Thursday night with the first runaway match of the competition. After a lopsided Game 1, the man who once won 74 episodes in a row, made the Final Jeopardy of Game 2 meaningless and wound up doubling up James Holzhauer by a final score of 67,600 to 33,692. Just an absolute beatdown. And he even got to say, "OK, Boomer," to Alex Trebek.

Millennials really got a kick out of that one. Well, maybe not Jeopardy James, who, after winning Game 2, suddenly finds himself with his back against the wall in this epic television event now that Ken holds a 2-1 lead in the first-to-three-matches competition. James might not wind up being crowned the Jeopardy GOAT, but he's still in the Twitter GOAT conversation thanks to gems like this:

And this:

And these, which refer to the fact that he can't buy a Daily Double thanks to Brad Rutter—oh, yeah, we forgot to mention that Brad Rutter is also competing (sort of) in this—luckily finding so many:

And this incredible dagger at Brad:

Damn, that's cold. James showed a softer side, though, with this Final Jeopardy message to Trebek:


Very sweet. And funny with the Pat Sajak reference. This guy should have his own show. Hmm. Maybe he's Trebek's successor? Sorry, I feel dirty even saying that. Let's talk about happier things. Like the fact that we'll get to see these three two contestants battle it out for at least one more night. But it's going to be a long and cold four nights to get through before the Jeopardy GOAT action resumes on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET with another one-hour episode comprising two games.

Hopefully, it doesn't end then, although Ken, who only needs one more match win, sure looked mighty impressive on Thursday. And from the Tuesday taped segment of him practicing with a Jeopardy buzzer at home to admitting he studies the intonation of Trebek's voice to gain an edge in buzzing in, it just seems like Jennings is out-working his younger competitors. He certainly had James rattled on Day 3 as he seemed to give as many incorrect answers in one episode while trying to catch Ken as he did during his dominant 32-game winning streak. Speaking of dominant, look at these TV ratings thus far!

Jeopardy! So hot right now!

Not hot right now? Rutter, whose performance through three days has been downright perplexing. This is a guy who had never lost to a human on Jeopardy entering this week while racking up nearly $5 million. And yes, he has beaten Ken multiple times on various tournaments. Weird.

In any event, either Brad or James has to win on Tuesday to keep this exciting exhibition going. No offense, Ken, but we're rooting against you. At least, for one night.