Rules Change: Shout-Outs No Longer Allowed In Final Jeopardy!

James Holzhauer, on his Facebook page, has announced that shoutouts will no longer be allowed in Final Jeopardy, effective April 29.

Holzhauer said, “Tragic news! The end of a Jeopardy era is upon us on Monday…as the show’s producers have informed me that they’re no longer allowing personal messages in Final Jeopardy. No more shout outs!”

It is yet to be seen what the producers will do if a contestant attempts to defy them and give a shoutout anyway.

Many viewers, even some commenters here at The Jeopardy! Fan, have found the constant shoutouts during Final Jeopardy! over the past few months to be bordering on ridiculous, and while it was fun in moderation, I’m glad to see this practice stopped. (It certainly will make it easier on transcribing for the sake of the recap!)


Since Alex Trebek’s diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, many community members have been raising money. The Jeopardy! Fan Online Store is as well! All proceeds from any “Keep The Faith And We’ll Win” shirt sold will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. To date, over $250 has been raised.)


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14 Comments on "Rules Change: Shout-Outs No Longer Allowed In Final Jeopardy!"

  1. They probably decided to do this because James had run out of people to mention. 😉

  2. A major problem with allowing shout-outs as a subset of spurious additional information is that it created a potential ruling hazard, one that is easily avoidable with a hard-and-fast rule: any extra information that renders a response incorrect must be ruled so. To permit shout-outs is also to permit a competitor to argue that an extra piece of information written during Final which make the response incorrect was actually just an obscure shout-out to a friend.

    • I agree, it’s their show, and if they make it clear that anything that appears on the screen will be considered part of the response (regardless! of its placement), you won’t see it. Unless the contestant didn’t bet anything say, then they might do it anyway…correct or incorrect is moot at that point for them.

  3. I hope people are still allowed to write funny incorrect responses. If you don’t know the answer it’s more fun to write Alex Trebek Wheel-of-Fortune-style with RSTLNE XBKA than nothing.

  4. I’m wondering if “Hi Tuesday” had something to do with this ruling. Perhaps something was said after the taping that rubbed Mr. Trebek negatively. As for me, I enjoyed the shoutouts! They added to the fun, and shed a little more light on the personality of the contestants. To me, this ruling was heavy-handed, and totally unnecessary. A no-fun-allowed ruling. Perhaps, James is getting on someone’s nerves???

  5. During my time on the show last year, someone from the show would tell all the contestants before Final Jeopardy! not to write any shoutouts or draw anything, no hearts, no stars, etc. He did this every single time, so the producers must have been trying to discourage shoutouts even then, but of course they never penalized it.

  6. Christina O. | April 29, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Reply

    Effective April 29? Does that mean shows taped after April 29 will no longer have “shout outs”? Or, was this a decision made months ago and we’ll see it in play on tonight’s show which airs on April 29?

    • This was a decision made months ago and we’ll see it in play tonight.

      • Christina O. | April 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Reply

        Thanks for the clarification! While I enjoyed the shout outs I can see how this decision made by Jeopardy management could be in an attempt to keep a serious tone in finals and a sense of decorum.

        But, the fact that James was able to figure out AND HAVE TIME FOR: a correct final Jeopardy answer, a bet that had personal numerical significance and write numerous shout outs shows his superior level, concentration and skill.

  7. Michèle Duval | April 30, 2019 at 8:10 am | Reply

    In a clue last night Monday, April 29, I read “La Français” being the language of love. Surely they meant to say “Le Français”…. ? My cousin and I were both born in Québec and are bilingual. We watch Jeopardy without fail: she lives in Sydney, Cape Breton and I live in Peterborough Ontario. We text back and forth thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

  8. John Christian Ambion | April 30, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Reply

    This is, without a doubt, the stupidest decision ever made. The producers removed a 5-game limit and worked well. Now, this? No more shout-outs and fun wagers in Final Jeopardy?! WAY TOO TOTALITARIAN!

  9. His comment makes it sound like the policy was just issued, rather than back when the episode was taped… which would be significant, because it would confirm that he’s still winning.

    Which makes me wonder about another aspect of the lag from taping to airing: I see the Teacher’s Tournament starts this coming Monday… will new Jeopardy! episodes return after that, or do we have to wait until next season for new shows (presumably with Holzhauer, unless he messes up in the next few days).

    • The final game of the season is July 26. James is helping keep with the “episodes are close to live” by the wording of his comment.

    • Oh, I didn’t realise there was a James break. If James goes to the end of the season, what’s his streak at. I thought it was in the 80’s but I guess now. Does he reach 75 if he makes it? Or next year?

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