Season 38 of Jeopardy! has been quite eventful: Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik are cohosting the quiz show, Amy Schneider is now in the Hall of Fame and the National College Championship is the latest special currently airing. Exciting changes aside, many Jeopardy! fans are still on the lookout for this year’s Tournament of Champions. But it sounds like it might still be a while before it happens because the trivia show is making way for a new special, the Second Chance Tournament.
On February 9, executive producer Michael Davies got candid on the Jeopardy! site in a blogpost addressing concerns about how the National College Championship has unfolded. Since kicking off on February 8 with Mayim at the lectern, the pool of 36 undergraduate students competing is quickly dwindling down to 12 quarterfinals. Then four semifinals will move on and from there, only three participants will compete in the finals. Jeopardy! is set to announce the winner of the National College Championship on February 22.
Jeopardy! EP, folks were not thrilled that all four semifinalists couldn’t go to the finals. “It’s an imperfect solution that resulted from necessary changes to the original tournament format and the fixed number of hours we were committed to deliver,” he explained in the blogpost.
That said, Michael revealed that it’s part of a bigger plan. “However, I am happy to announce that we will invite the fourth place finisher back for our postseason Second Chance Tournament that will precede, and feed, at least one player into the Tournament of Champions,” he wrote.
Yes, you read that right. The National College Championship winner will earn a spot in the 2022 Tournament of Champions and the fourth place finisher of the National College Championship will compete again in the Second Chance Tournament.
What’s more, the producer shared what the Second Chance Tournament will be “slot it in right before the ToC.” In other words, there will be exciting special after special with some of the greatest competitors on the show’s current season. It’s important to note that no dates have been set for the 2022 ToC or the Second Chance Tournament. Mayim will also most likely host it given that her role specializes in these Jeopardy! events.
Though there aren’t tons of details about the Second Chance Tournament, Michael declared that only Jeopardy! contestants who appeared since the last ToC will be considered to have “a second shot.” So for former Jeopardy! contenders from back in the day wanting to return to the stage, it’s not your time just yet! “So… how far back will you go for considering possible contestants for a 2nd Chance Tournament? Asking for a friend. (ok not really) :-),” one person asked the show on Twitter.
“I know there will be many contestants from previous years who will be howling at this point, and I do not rule out a future opportunity to compete again for some of you,” he concluded. “But for now this is part of the postseason for this season. We are all so excited at the prospect, and we look forward to seeing some wonderful contestants again on our stage.”