Jeopardy! has struggled for more than a year to name a permanent host in the wake of longtime host Alex Trebek's death in November 2020, bringing in both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik to both host in the interim. Both Jennings and Bialik bring their own flavor and expertise to the role, but Mattea Roach revealed in a new interview with Vulture that she favors her fellow Jeopardy! champ to take over long-term.
Roach, 23, has already made her way into the Hall of Fame with 23 consecutive wins making her the fifth-best in the show's history, close on the tails of fellow champions Matt Amodio and James Holzhauer. Having filmed episodes with both Jennings and Bialik, Roach told the outlet she thought Jennings' 74-game win streak and history on Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Jeopardy!: The IBM Challenge, the Battle of the Decades, Jeopardy! All-Star Games and Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time all spoke highly in his favor.
Three of the top five longest streaks in Jeopardy! history happened (or are happening, in Mattea's case) this season. Remarkable. pic.twitter.com/6yMUphBs4G— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) May 5, 2022
"I would say Ken because of his history with the show," she said. "As a contestant, there's something really special about being on stage with the greatest player of all time. Someone who understands in a very visceral way what it's like to be in your position." When it comes to choosing Jennings over Bialik, Roach assured the publication that there was nothing personal involved in her decision. "Mayim is fantastic, but she doesn't have that same experience," she explained.
The show has yet to announce any concrete plans on naming Trebek's official predecessor, but Jennings has been high on the list for many people speculating what's next for Jeopardy!. The champ even was brought on as the first guest host to take Trebek's place last year just months after the late game show icon died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
"Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life," Jennings said when taking the stage. "Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years. And it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace – really, there's no other word for it."