Mayim Bialik Isn't Backing Down On Her Recent Jeopardy Controversy

Following the tragic death of Alex Trebek, Mayim Bialik was among a series of guest hosts brought in to helm "Jeopardy!" in May 2021. Once the carousel of revolving hosts was resolved, Bialik was left standing along with Ken Jennings as the permanent hosts of the quiz show. "The Big Bang Theory" star believed her background in performing, coupled with her education as a neuroscientist, made her a perfect candidate as a "Jeopardy!" host, although she was not fully prepared for how fervent the fans would be.

"I didn't realize how much people had such strong and passionate opinions about 'Jeopardy!' and what happened to it," she told "Today" in September 2021. Bialik was aware of how outspoken fans could be on social media, but believed it was not truly indicative of how the casual fan felt. "The Twitter audience isn't the typical 'Jeopardy!' viewing audience," she said. A portion of that audience voiced their displeasure when Jennings signed off as "Jeopardy!" host at the end of January to allow Bialik to make a return. "I was actually a little sad Ken wasn't hosting. I'd wish they just make up their mind and make Ken the permanent host," one viewer tweeted on January 31.

Bialik tried to leave an imprint on the popular quiz show. "Every host, as we learn from the guest-hosting situation, does bring a bit of their own personality," she told Variety on February 7. One small change Bialik made while hosting left an imprint, as it had certain fans fuming.

Mayim Bialik simply did what she was told

While hosting "Jeopardy!" on February 10 for the regular show and the National College Championship, Mayim Bialik referred to the opening round as "Single Jeopardy!" even though it is traditionally simply called "Jeopardy!," per Yahoo! Entertainment. That slight alteration did not go unnoticed by the die-hard fans of the quiz show. "@missmayim #Jeopardy You make my brain hurt when you say 'Single Jeopardy.' Jeopardy has had enough change – stop trying to reinvent it please!" one viewer tweeted. "It is NOT single Jeopardy!! It is the Jeopardy round. Please don't keep calling it that," another added.

Even though viewers put the blame of the change solely on Bialik's shoulders, the host had an explanation. Apparently, she was instructed by producers to refer to the opening round as "Single Jeopardy!" and was only following orders. "If it wasn't right, they would've had me redo it. I barely act alone ... there's so many things that we re-tape," she told Yahoo! on March 7. The actor wanted fans to know that she does not unilaterally decide to make changes to the beloved program. "So it's not like Mayim's going rogue! Everything is very carefully monitored," she explained.

From an outsider's perspective it may appear that Bialik wants to make changes, but that is not the case. "I really try to be a neutral presence as much as possible so that it is not an issue," she told Variety on February 7. Bialik's goal is to keep the spotlight focused on the contestants.