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‘Jeopardy!’ champ’s Ewan McGregor "error" sparks fan furor, debate

A Jeopardy! contestant’s response to a clue regarding actor Ewan McGregor has sparked furor and debate among fans of the syndicated quiz show.

Monday’s episode saw Kelly Barry, a marketing communications specialist from Seattle, return to defend her new champ title after she brought Stephen Webb’s hot streak to an end. Her challengers were Jake Garrett, a football coach and teacher from Trussville, Alabama, and Melissa Klapper, a professor from Merion Station, Pennsylvania.

Close to the midway mark of the game, host Ken Jennings presented a $600 clue—the final one of the round—under the category “Quite the Fish Story.”

“The force of Lasse Hallstrom was strong to pull in this Scot to play a fisheries expert in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” Jennings read.

Being the first of the three to buzz in, Klapper responded: “Who is Ewan McGregor?” Jennings deemed the response to be correct, awarding Klapper the $600.

However, viewers were not accepting of Klapper’s response, with many insisting that they heard her response to be: “Who is Ewan Gregor?”

Tagging the verified Jeopardy! account, one viewer tweeted: “Melissa missed the question where the answer was Ewan McGregor! She said Ewan Gregor….we replayed it several times. She was awarded points in error…and now she won. Unfair to other players ..”

To back up their claim, another Twitter user shared video footage of the moment, writing: “Clearly wrong. @Jeopardy this needs to be corrected!!”

“Anyone else notice that Melissa gave a response of ‘Ewan Gregor’ instead of Ewen MCgregor on tonight’s episode of #Jeopardy? Clearly the judges didn’t,” another viewer said.

One fan opted to directly address Jennings on his Twitter account, writing: “Hi Ken, on tonight’s Jeopardy, Kelly answered ‘Ewan Gregor’ to the question about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and was given the points when the answer should have been Ewan McGregor. Were the scores ever corrected?”

Another posted a screenshot of McGregor’s Wikipedia page, adding the caption: Tonight there was a mistake on @Jeopardy the woman in the middle named Melissa said ‘Ewan Gregor’ when really it’s ‘Ewan McGregor.’ I played it back twice just to make sure.”

However, a host of other viewers expressed doubts that Klapper would have been awarded the points by producers had she made such a glaring error.

“I rewound it back, she absolutely said [Ewan] Gregory,” said one Jeopardy! fan on Reddit, “but I can only assume the judges have a direct feed to the contestants’ microphone which we don’t hear when the sound gets mixed for television, and they heard something different.”

“It was quick but it looked like she said the entire name,” wrote another viewer.

“Just went back and watched her mouth,” said another of Klapper. “The ‘Mc’ is definitely there but barely audible.” They added that after watching video footage “at slow speed (YouTubeTV), there’s no doubt” Klapper responded correctly.

Video footage viewed by Newsweek at a slower speed showed that rattling did say McGregor’s last name correctly and in full during the round.

Klapper became a talked-about contestant later in the episode for another reason, when she brought Barry’s brief reign to an end after winning the final round with just $1.

Under the category “Countries of Africa,” Jennings posed the clue: “At one time a province of the Roman Empire, this kingdom is known to Arabic scholars as Al-Maghrib Al-Aqsa, ‘the far west.”

All three of the contestants correctly responded “What is Morocco?” to the clue, leaving it all down to how much each had wagered from their winnings.

Barry almost doubled her final score from $8,200 to $16,200, while Garrett wagered all of his winnings to end on a grand total of $24,800. Klapper’s comparatively cautious wager of $401 saw her win by a hair with a total of $24,801.

A Jeopardy! contestant’s response to a clue regarding actor Ewan McGregor has sparked furor and debate among fans of the syndicated quiz show.

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