What a year 2021 has been for Jeopardy!. As we look ahead to 2022, here is what I thought of this past year.
We kick off the year with Alex's last five episodes, his final one airing on January 8. Then the week after begins the rotation of various guest hosts, starting with Ken Jennings, whose tenure runs from January 11 to February 19. Brian Chang becomes the first 5+-time champion in the post-Trebek era, winning 7 matches; in his 8th match, he is defeated by Zach Newkirk (carryover champion from Season 36) who goes on to win his next two matches becoming a six-time champion. Brayden Smith, the last 5-time champion in the Trebek era, passes away in early February before making it to the ToC. After Jennings' tenure ends, then-executive producer Mike Richards guests hosts for two weeks. From then until July, there are different guests hosts every two weeks, raising the total earnings for their particular charities. And from July until the end of Season 37, there was one guest host a week. Many of the guest hosts were quite mediocre (e.g. Dr Oz, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Anderson Cooper), but the others were actually quite good (e.g. Aaron Rodgers, Mayim Bialik, Joe Buck). 2017 ToC winner Buzzy Cohen guest hosts the 2021 ToC. Courtney Shah becomes the first female contestant in the post-Trebek era to be a 5+-time champion, also winning 7 matches. Matt Amodio begins his Jeopardy! run on July 21 and wins his first 18 games to conclude the season.
Then we start Season 38 on a rather bittersweet note. Mike Richards is announced as the permanent host to succeed Alex, but steps down from both that role and executive producer a week in to the new season. Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings are asked to split hosting duties beginning with the second week. Stage 10 is renamed in honor of Alex. There is new theme music, albeit an arrangement of the one introduced in Season 25. Matt Amodio's winning streak continues, and he even surpasses James Holzhauer for second longest win streak. But on October 11, Amodio is defeated by Jonathan Fisher, who goes on to win 11 games of his own thereafter. Tyler Rhode and Andrew He become 5-time champions, with a week in between their runs. Then, Amy Schneider is currently riding a 22-game streak, and even surpassed Larissa Kelley and Julia Collins for most money won and most games won as a female contestant, respectively. At the beginning of December, the Professors Tournament debuts, with Sam Buttrey winning the inaugural event.
So what did you think of 2021 so far guys? And what does 2022 have in store? Will Amy's streak continue into the new year? And who is hosting the first week of episodes in January?
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