A “Jeopardy!” contestant is getting criticized for reacting a little too proudly after winning his game.
Aaron Craig competed on Friday’s episode of the popular game show during its Champions Wildcard tournament. When he was named the winner, he enthusiastically blew a kiss toward the audience and began clapping for himself – something that rubbed some viewers the wrong way.
“I turned the TV off after the self-congratulatory behavior,” one person complained on Reddit. “I certainly am not rooting for this guy to win and not even sure if I’ll watch the rest of the tournament. I’ve watched Jeopardy for decades and don’t recall seeing such rudeness.”
“The clapping at the end was unnecessary,” another stated, and someone agreed, commenting, “My husband and I looked at each other with mouths agape lol. It was wild.”
In Craig’s defense, someone wrote, “Heaven forbid a contestant have enough situational awareness to understand the importance of that clue and celebrate a little when he beat out two tough competitors to it.”
“Sorry, we’ve seen this happen in dozens, if not hundreds of similar situations, and I can’t think of anyone ever reacting like that. It’s just poor sportsmanship,” a fan disagreed.
“That was unsportsmanlike and disrespectful to the other contestants. It was also very cringe. Self praise is no praise,” another complaint read. “I liked Aaron and was rooting for him but after that, I’m not rooting for him anymore.”
The Final Jeopardy clue was in the category “British History,” and it read, “At Leicester Cathedral in March 2015, the Archbishop of Canterbury led a religious ceremony for this deceased English monarch.”
The third place contestant, T.J. Tallie, had $4,200, and he answered incorrectly with a joking reference to a previous episode. He had bet all his winnings, leaving him with nothing.
In second place was Leah Wiegand. She answered with “Who is Prince Phillip?”, which was incorrect, and since she had bet all of her $4,400, her total was down to $0 as well.
Craig was in first place with $9,800, but he had just written down a question mark – the correct answer was Richard III, who was a king in the 15th century. As host Ken Jennings explained, his body had been uncovered and the ceremony was conducted ahead of the reburial.
Craig only bet $32, leaving him with $9,768 – the clear winner.
As Jennings announced him as that day’s champion, he smiled broadly and kissed two fingers before holding them out to the audience, seemingly gesturing to someone in the audience.
He then began clapping and said either “Let’s go, chat” or “Let’s go, Chad.”
Many fans thought he appeared boastful, and a Reddit user claiming to be Craig himself commented on the criticism, apologizing for his behavior.
“TJ and Leah are amazing and lovely and brilliant, and either one would have been a great and deserving winner today,” he wrote. “I’m sorry if I got overly excited. I certainly didn’t mean to show anybody up, but my kids were there and I couldn’t believe that they got to watch me not just play in a semifinal, but win! Anyone who thinks I was over the top, that’s 1000% fair. No argument here.”
Watch the footage for yourself below: