Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Here’s today’s Final Jeopardy (in the category The Music Biz) for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 (Season 36, Game 2):

In 2019, at a 60th anniversary event in Detroit, this producer announced his retirement saying he had “come full circle”

(correct response beneath the contestants)

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Today’s contestants:

Betsy Reisz, a test prep tutor from Sherman Oaks, California
Betsy Reisz on Jeopardy!
Ted Fruchtman, a supply chain manager from Los Angeles, California
Ted Fruchtman on Jeopardy!
Cory Barger, an orchestra musician from Riverside, California (1-day total: $23,800)
Cory Barger on Jeopardy!

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Correct response: Who is Berry Gordy?

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More information about Final Jeopardy:

Berry Gordy is best known for founding the Motown record label. Gordy invested his profits from being a successful late-’50s songwriter into the label after discovering Smokey Robinson’s band, the Miracles. Motown’s best-known acts include the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, and Boyz II Men.

Tonight’s game features Ken Jennings’ first category: KEN JENNINGS ON WINNING STREAKS. I’m personally curious to know what you thought of the category? Leave a comment!

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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, nearly $500 has been raised.)

Looking to find out who won Jeopardy! today? Tonight’s results are below!

Scores going into Final:
Cory $13,600
Ted $6,400
Betsy $2,000

Tonight’s results:
Betsy $2,000 – $800 = $1,200 (Who is Barry Gordy?)
Ted $6,400 – $0 = $6,400 (Who is ???)
Cory $13,600 – $0 = $13,600 (Who is no idea :() (2-day total: $37,400)

Cory Barger, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the September 15, 2020 game.)

Scores after the Jeopardy! Round:
Cory $8,400
Ted $4,000
Betsy $400


Opening break taken after: 15 clues

Daily Double locations:
1) KNOW YOUR RIGHTS $600 (clue #28)
Cory 6400 +2000 (Ted 4000 Betsy -400)
2) THE SULTANS $1600 (clue #19)
Ted 7600 -3600 (Cory 12400 Betsy 2000)
3) HELLO & GOODBYE $1200 (clue #23)
Ted 6800 -4000 (Cory 12400 Betsy 2400)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this game: -75

Unplayed clues:
J! Round: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS $1000
DJ! Round: OF STING $800
Total Left On Board: $1,800
Number of clues left unrevealed this season: 4 (2.00 per episode average)

Game Stats:
Cory $12,200 Coryat, 17 correct, 2 incorrect, 30.91% in first on buzzer (17/55), 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Ted $14,000 Coryat, 19 correct, 5 incorrect, 36.36% in first on buzzer (20/55), 1/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
Betsy $2,000 Coryat, 11 correct, 4 incorrect, 27.27% in first on buzzer (15/55), 0/0 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: $28,200
Lach Trash: $11,600 (on 9 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): $12,400

Cory Barger, career statistics:
34 correct, 7 incorrect
2/4 on rebound attempts (on 11 rebound opportunities)
30.00% in first on buzzer (33/110)
2/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,500)
1/2 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $11,800

Ted Fruchtman, career statistics:
19 correct, 6 incorrect
1/2 on rebound attempts (on 6 rebound opportunities)
36.36% in first on buzzer (20/55)
0/2 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$7,600)
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $14,000

Betsy Reisz, career statistics:
11 correct, 5 incorrect
0/0 on rebound attempts (on 4 rebound opportunities)
27.27% in first on buzzer (15/55)
0/0 on Daily Doubles
0/1 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $2,000

Cory Barger, to win:
3 games: 40.506%
4: 16.407%
5: 6.646%
6: 2.692%
7: 1.090%
Avg. streak: 2.681 games.

Andy’s Thoughts:

  • In my opinion, this was easily the worst ruling that the judges have made on the show in a great many seasons. To my ear, there is such an insignificant difference between “Barry” and “Berry” that the judges deserve to receive every single last complaint the show gets tonight on social media. Thankfully, this was immaterial to the outcome of the game and she won’t be returned, but still. Betsy should have received credit and this was 100% a terrible ruling by the judges.

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123 Comments on "Today’s Final Jeopardy – Tuesday, September 15, 2020"

  1. I think that – with all respect – Ken is somewhat overplayed. I mean, enough already, how far are they milking this thing? Next thing you know they’ll have a category ” Ken’s astrology – your winning stars…”.

    • Gary Kevin Ware | September 15, 2020 at 10:39 pm |

      Primarily and initially, due to an interaction with Ken Jennings through his Tuesday Trivia e-mail, I have a very negative view of him. I think that he is arrogant and I agree that he is overplayed. Still, if someone were to replace Alex Trebek, I would rather have Ken Jennings than the proposed suggestion of a woman host. Jennings is also a primary player on another game show, on Game Show Network, Master Minds.
      I agree with the majority that the Final Jeopardy ruling was terrible. Spelling is not supposed to count and there is no pronunciation difference between Barry and Berry. If it had not been Final Jeopardy, giving an oral rather than written answer, she would have been ruled correct.

  2. This might confuse you even more, but although “Barry” & “Berry” are pronounced the same, changing the vowel from E to A makes Berry Gordy, or Barry Gordy a different person. Either way, I have never heard of Berry Gordy before.

    • Because there’s no similarly-named person to confuse Berry Gordy with, this should have been a slam-dunk ruling for the judges in the other direction. I am still at a loss to explain what happened.

      • Inexplicable. I thought I had a good understanding of their rules, but this completely goes against my understanding. I hope they put out an explanation of this particular ruling and clarify the underlying rule.

      • I have to agree completely. To my ear, “strawberry” and “Gene Barry” are identical — and I pronounce them both the same way. “Barry” does NOT have the same sound as the first syllable in “Barbara” unless you’re Thurston Howell III. It was a bewildering ruling that could have led to torches and pitchforks had it affected the outcome.

      • Absolutely agree. Inexplicable and AWFUL decision!

    • Matthew Yothers | September 15, 2020 at 3:33 pm |

      Yeah, they should’ve given Betsy credit for a correct response. It doesn’t affect the pronunciation at all.

    • Berry Gordy’s son had a hit song with Somebody’s Watching Me.He went by the name of Rockwell.

    • Matthew Yothers | September 15, 2020 at 8:50 pm |

      Well, I guess that means all of us have a lot of complaint letters to write then.

  3. Just curious – if Betsy had said simply “Gordy” would they have had to give it to her? They have accepted worse misspellings than this.
    This is very petty on the judges’part.

    • I would say that “Gordy” would have 100% been accepted, but I honestly don’t know after seeing today’s ruling. I can’t say anything for certain anymore.

  4. Ok, seriously. Enough of the Ken Jennings stuff. Either give him the host job or send him home. Who really cares about him having categories. Don’t cheapen the best game show ever.

  5. Christopher Denault | September 15, 2020 at 2:25 pm |

    I came here today JUST to see your response to the “Barry/Berry” problem, as I too think this’ll be one very hot topic on the interwebs tonight. Had Betsy ended up in a position to win with this being ruled correct, this would NOT have been a pleasant discussion online.

    I do agree with you that the judges should have easily accepted her response as correct, as there’s such a minimal difference between the pronunciation of Barry and Berry.

  6. This situation reminds me of the “Johnny B. Goode/Johnny Be Good” FJ! that happened in season 25. At least that instance was properly ruled despite the complete title change.

  7. Ok, some sheepishly BAAAD puns and Ms. Spellings too lie•ten the MOOOD less wee bee cowed!

    “That ruling was berry bad and I can Barry Lee (not two bee confused with Bruce Lee) contain myself. The judges should bee berry embarrassed!”

  8. Michele Wonder | September 15, 2020 at 4:11 pm |

    I’ve heard Alex day many times in Final Jeopardy, “we don’t penalize for spelling”. This was an example of that and it shouldn’t have been ruled as wrong. Berry and Barry are pronounced the same!

  9. Imagine if the judges had made Alex neg “Parks and Rec.” instead of accepting the shortcut?

  10. Poor decision for the judges on this!!!

  11. Our first triple stumper for FJ as it was a tough clue.

  12. Spelling has never been counted wrong except on a “Spelling” category. I completely disagree with the judges!

  13. Donna Kirchmeier | September 15, 2020 at 6:53 pm |

    Please enough of Ken Jennings! How about Jeopardy James? At least he has some humility and personality. I vote for James to take over as host 🙂

  14. It’s not a matter of pronunciation, the man’s name is Berry, not Barry and the ruling was 100% correct in my opinion. If she had just said Gordy with no first name I believe she would have been ruled correct. And to address someone else’s immaterial comment, his son who had a hit song is named Kennedy Gordy, after JFK. And also, anyone who admits to never having heard of Berry Gordy must have spent the past 50 years under a rock!

  15. terrible terrible ruling… barry is materially different than berry?….. i guess berry is almost exclusively last name….. BUT i thought the whole idea is phonetics.

    jeopardy rules strike me as pretty arbitrary anyway. …….. ken jennings night 1 of his huge run: who is jones?……. LOL that they allowed that and NOT berry gordy. (i realize there is significant time lag)_

  16. Andrea Jo Taylor | September 15, 2020 at 8:05 pm |

    I agree about the ruling; that is what brought me to this site in the first place!

    Thanks to the Mary-marry-merry merger, over half the US pronounces these sounds the same.

  17. The judges absolutely got this one wrong. Glad to see that I am not the only fan to think so. Spelling is not supposed to count in Final Jeopardy. No difference in pronunciation of Berry and Barry.

  18. Ken Jennings is a very nice guy, but this use of him is just too corny. Sooner or later, IMHO, he will be replacing Alex as host.

  19. I feel that Betsy should have gotten the answer correct. I thought that spelling did not count.

  20. I feel that Betsy’s answer in FJ was correct. Mispelled words in FJ are overlooked. Barry and Berry sound the same! The judges got this one wrong.

  21. David Whittington | September 15, 2020 at 9:13 pm |

    I have watched Jeopardy for decades The rule that ‘spelling doesn’t matter’ has always been prominent in Final Jeopardy on the show. Now tonight we see a player lose in Final Jeopardy because she spelled ‘Berry’ as ‘Barry’. This is ridiculous. The Jeopardy judges and Alex need to admit their mistake and bring this lady back to the stage.

    • David:

      I disagree with your assertion that she should be brought back. She was in third place and had zero opportunity to improve her position. That has never been grounds to return a player.

  22. Andy, in answer to your question, I liked Ken’s first category. I thought it was interesting to point out winning streaks in other fields besides sports and game shows, and just challenging enough for a Jeopardy! round (first round) category…not too easy or hard. Ken’s new presence on the show is very welcome to me, always has been. I frankly don’t get all the negativity towards him in tonight’s comments. He seems like a perfect fit, and he’s definitely earned it. And I really don’t get the “no personality” comments, I think he’s always been pretty witty. (Maybe witty’s not everybody’s cup of tea!) Definitely looking forward to future categories from him!

  23. The “judges” (whoever they are) have nearly always gotten it right. This was an egregiously wrong decision. Ridiculously wrong. They should apologize and announce that they’ve corrected her score for the record. It won’t make a difference to the outcome, but at least she could say that she was the only one of the three who got it right. And she did. Nobody’s perfect and they aren’t either. This is the best evidence of that I’ve ever seen.

  24. I think you are all wrong. The man’s name is Berry, not Barry. Berry is pronounced with a short e, Barry with a short a. Do you call a blueberry a barry, no I didn’t think so, it’s a berry! Do you eat a strawbarry?

    • Tell me about it, but judging from the comments all around us, we’re crazy! What I still don’t get is though, are people pronouncing Barry like Berry, or are they pronouncing Berry like Barry? Or both…WHO KNOWS?!! We’re right though Richard!! 🙂

      • It’s a regional dialect issue. In most of the US, Berry and Barry are pronounced exactly the same; in some areas they are pronounced differently. Since California is in the “same” category, I think it should have been an accepted answer.

        • Just curious—in parts of the country where “berry” and “Barry” are pronounced differently, how are they pronounced? Not only have I never heard them pronounced differently, I can’t even imagine how they would be pronounced differently. Which one is pronounced berry/Barry, and how is the other one pronounced??

  25. I think Ken will be replacing Alex once he retires. Having him have his own little slot in the game is just to get him warmed up. I like it.

  26. Stuart L Rubin | September 15, 2020 at 10:38 pm |

    The judges ruling disallowing Barry contradicts my understanding of the rules. Barry and Berry are pronounced the same where I come from.

    • But how…with a short a or a short e. Not trying to be facetious at all, genuinely curious. What other word would rhyme with how you pronounce both Barry and Berry?

      • Gary Kevin Ware | September 15, 2020 at 10:56 pm |

        Saying that one has a short a and the other a short e is just theory. Actually pronounce the two words out loud. Where is the difference? The same with the two words ‘marry’ and ‘merry’.

        • Not to this ear, just said them out loud. . They’re totally different, but I believe you all. Would still love to know how you’re pronouncing them though!

          • To me, Barry, berry, bury, and each half of beriberi are all pronounced identically.

          • Gary Kevin Ware | September 15, 2020 at 11:07 pm |

            That is totally incomprehensible to me. Do you want to tell us, phonetically, how you are pronouncing them differently?

          • I’ve concluded this discussion is fruitless in print. We’ll all have to agree to disagree! As the song says…let’s call the whole thing off! 🎼(Old codgers like me, and old music buffs will get that!)

          • Jim, I don’t think anyone here is doubting your claim that they sound differently—we would just like to know what difference you’re hearing.

          • I pronounce Barry with a short a sound, like in sat. I pronounce Berry with a short e sound, like in set. Apparently those who pronounce them the same rhyme them both with hairy. This regional dialect difference is discussed in many surrounding comments. We’re obviously in the minority, but we’re here! 🙂

  27. Prithvi Sudhakar | September 15, 2020 at 10:47 pm |

    It was nice seeing Ken Jennings present a category.

    He once asked a question for a “High School Quiz Show” episode:

  28. Randy Skretvedt | September 15, 2020 at 10:59 pm |

    Since they would have accepted “Gordy,” they certainly should have accepted “Barry.” There might be some people in New England who would pronounce it as Bah-ree versus Berr-ree, but to the rest of the world Barry and Berry are pronounced the same. This is just as bad as the SHAMEFUL ending of the Kids’ Tournament episode where a boy was penalized for slightly misspelling Kentucky (and clearly was too upset about it to talk with Alex during the closing credits).

    • What part of the rest of the world are you from? Do you pronounce merry and marry the same? When you propose do you say I want to merry you? Do you wish people a marry Christmas? Give it up, you’re all wrong, the judges made the correct decision.

      • Richard:

        1) It’s called the Mary-marry-merry merger. 57% of Americans pronounce all three words identically.

        2) Please stop being so combative towards contestants and commenters here.

      • Gary Kevin Ware | September 16, 2020 at 12:04 am |

        That is a non sequitir straw man argument. Obviously, the words are spelled differently and wouldn’t make sense in your sentences. But they sound the same and since the issue is a proper name, there is no confusion as to definition and they sound the same.

        • Yeah Andy, I just read an article about the merger that cited the same statistic…that list of words you mentioned…Barry, Berry, bury, and each half of beriberi, according to the article you probably rhyme them all with “hairy”. I don’t rhyme any of them with “hairy”! And the only one I pronounce differently from the others is Barry! I rhyme Mary with hairy, but not marry or merry. I’m not a merger I guess!

          • It was very interesting…it said where you’re from has a lot to do with it. Evidently, if you’re from the northeast U.S. you don’t merge…I’m from NY! And I replayed Alex on my DVR, he didn’t merge either, said the two names differently. Maybe that’s Canada talking! So, maybe the ruling wasn’t right. Another thing great about my favorite game, I never knew any of this!

  29. David fr. Los Angeles | September 15, 2020 at 11:02 pm |

    Chary and cherry. I, too, believe she should’ve been ruled correct! Thanks Jeopardy Fan for room to vent!

  30. Gary Kevin Ware | September 15, 2020 at 11:28 pm |

  31. Russell Stone | September 15, 2020 at 11:38 pm |

    The Barry/Berry Gordy ruling was the strangest ever. For 37 years, and even back to the Art Fleming days, if a misspelling could be pronounced the same as the correct spelling, it was considered a correct answer. Maybe all the old judges were afraid to come to work due to COVID, and Jeopardy! had to hire all new judges.

  32. Didn’t anybody catch the error in the question about the internal combustion engine with opposing banks of cylinders? The answer given was “a V8 engine”. The correct answer should have been “a boxer engine”.

    • Gary Kevin Ware | September 16, 2020 at 2:28 am |

      I’m not an expert on engines, but in the clue was the allusion, “I could have had a (V8), and it said that there were 4 cylinders on each side. To my mind, that is a V8 engine.

    • I agree. The cylinders in a V engine are no opposing ala Porsche and Subaru, the are angled.

  33. Hey Andy…go on Google and type in these exact words (without the quotation marks)…”jeopardy rules on spelling”. Ok, now look at the first 6 words that pop up on
    the screen…”Jeopardy is not a spelling test”…see it? I absolutely could not BELIEVE those judges did that. That was plum RIDICULOUS! Now do THIS…right underneath that “Jeopardy is not a spelling test” paragraph, you’ll see the words “5 Jeopardy Rules Every Contestant Should Know/J!Buzz/Jeopardy”. See it? Click on it then scroll down to
    number 5 and read it. There ya go…they absolutely should have accepted her answer.

  34. I’m all for a woman host when Alex retires!

  35. Wow. So far on Twitter the official Jeopardy response thus far has been to repeat

    “In this case “Barry” is a different name. When a contestant adds incorrect information to an otherwise correct response, they are ruled incorrect.”

    To any query about the spelling error, which they have done several times over, including to a tweet from TheJeopardyFan. Certainly not clearing up any confusion yet.

  36. Michael Schwartz | September 16, 2020 at 3:40 am |

    The correct question was “Who is Berry Gordy?” The correct question WAS NOT “Who is Barry Gordy?” The only controversy should be if the Judges’ ruling was contradictory to the rules and/or previous decisions regarding FJ spelling of real names.

  37. This may be late to the discussion, but for those of you who merge the pronunciations and who don’t understand how us non-mergers pronounce them, I would pronounce “Barry” with the a as in “back,” and “Berry” with the e as in “beck.” If you pronounced “back” equal to “beck,” then I don’t have an example for you. I’m a Southerner (North Carolinian), by the way, not Northeasterner. So non-merger is still widespread.

    • Thanks! Very good example. I also wonder how people hear the words, if mergers like Andy and others heard Alex pronounce Barry and Berry alike (which I and probably you did not). If any mergers still have the show on DVR, I’d love it if you’d play it back and report on what you hear. Fascinating stuff!

    • Gary Kevin Ware | September 16, 2020 at 12:30 pm |

      Those pronunciations are real ‘tongue twisters’!

    • Interesting. I know four people named “Barry”, and they all pronounce it identically to berry/bury. A couple of them would be insulted if you pronounced it any other way—they’d assume you were mocking them.

  38. Francine Pilon | September 16, 2020 at 10:09 am |

    I do hear a difference and I believe when the correct response is a person’s name it should be spelled correctly.

  39. Francine Pilon | September 16, 2020 at 10:10 am |

    BTW, on Monday’s show I would have responded Parthenon. Would I have been deemed correct?

  40. Where’s a theoretical linguist when we need one? John MacWhorter, are you a fan of this website? If so, please chime in on the Barry/Berry question. John would elucidate us on the Barry/Berry/bury/beriberi and Mary/merry/marry debate as well as other similar vowel migrating patterns. John may not (or may) know the Jeopardy rules but there’s no better an academic to explain how all this stuff evolves.

  41. Not to belabor this, but if a hypothetical answer has been “he is the host of Jeopardy”, and if the contestant had replied “who is Alix Trebek” would that have been accepted as correct? I certainly think it would. This was a horrible judges’ ruling and anyone on this forum who argues otherwise, just likes to be contrary and hear themselves argue.

    • Andrea Jo Taylor | September 16, 2020 at 1:20 pm |

      I think that is a great comparison and I agree that it should be ruled as correct. I also think Alex Tribek should be accepted.

      As a former linguistics student, I can hear the difference in some people’s speech, but I say them the say way. Another word example is pin/pen. I say them both the same.

      I think what bothers me the most is that if it was a verbal answer, she would have been ruled correct. Because of that fact, this is clearly a ruling about the spelling.

  42. Michael Schwartz | September 16, 2020 at 1:30 pm |

    Except that “Alix Trebek” isn’t the host of Jeopardy! Neither was “Abraham Linkin” the President shot in Ford’s Theater, nor “Geezus” who turned water into wine, and “Jon Wain” wasn’t an actor famous for portraying cowboys.
    Those are extreme examples, but they also illustrate that Final Jeopardy should not be a ‘get it close’ contest but require accuracy and demonstration of exact knowledge on the part of the contestants.

    • That’s a very classist viewpoint.

      • How about if the reply in my hypothetical case had been written “Alex Trebeck”?

      • Michael Schwartz | September 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm |

        I’m unsure how my comment could be considered classist.

        • Prescribing that English grammar and spelling has exactly one proper form, and shaming or penalizing those who do not follow that convention, is inherently classist, as the rules were historically prescribed by the upper class, and those in the working classes were more likely to deviate from these norms.

          (It is also my belief that Jeopardy! needs to take a more descriptive viewpoint and be less prescriptive in their rulings, for the same reason. Yes, there should be a “close enough” line.)

    • Andrea Jo Taylor | September 16, 2020 at 4:08 pm |

      If we care about spelling so much, then Mackenzie wouldn’t have been a champion for so long.

      The rules state that the answer must be phonetically the same. If she says berry and Barry the same, then they would be.

  43. Terry Lombardo | September 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm |

    The judges need to watch again “The Alphabet Conspiracy,” one of the Bell System Science Series.
    It tells us that west of the Allegheny Mountains the words Mary, merry and marry are pronounced the same. The same would apply to Barry and Berry. Many, if not most Americans pronounce them the same.

  44. A final Jeopardy answer should be held to a higher standard than any other answer. If only answering “Gordy” would be correct, a question shouldn’t come down to regional dialect disqualifying a contestant response. My 2 cents.

  45. What If Betsy had answered simply “Gordie”? Misspelling the last name

    Andy, Thanks for all your hard work!

  46. I, too, am dumbfounded with the fact that they ruled against “Barry” for the final Jeopardy question. Barry is a guy’s name. It is pronounced “Berry.” Supposedly they don’t count against spelling, but did the rules change? And it was so weird how Alex ruled against her immediately, without hesitation. I really wonder if there will be any backlash against this. I think it’s unfounded and really strange.

  47. Another point. “Barry” is the common spelling of the name. Does Jeopardy expect their contestants to know how to spell every person in history’s name correctly? What is the response had to do with Katharine Hepburn? Would they penalize someone for spelling it Katherine?

    • Excellent analogy—especially when you consider that some people pronounce Katherine and Katharine differently, while most people don’t.

  48. I may be in the minority, but I agree with the judges’ decision to deem “Barry” unacceptable for “Berry”. There is enough of a difference in pronunciation between the “a” and the “e” in those names. The former uses the “æ” symbol while the latter is a short “e”.

    I’m surprised no one here’s brought up the Hairy/Harry ruling from Password Plus. Reminded me of that.

    • Just because you might pronounce them differently doesn’t mean everyone does. Please do some reading into the Mary-marry-merry merger.

    • Gary Kevin Ware | September 17, 2020 at 3:30 pm |

      You’ll notice that although they diagrammed Harry as pronounced differently, they never gave the alleged pronunciation.

  49. Steven Morgan | September 17, 2020 at 3:27 pm |

    People living in the western USA where I live pronounce ‘Barry’ and ‘Berry’ exactly the same. I asked a friend from the east coast about all this, and he left me a voice mail pronouncing both names, and there is a SLIGHT difference in pronunciation, but I still heard ‘Barry’ on both pronunciations. But pronunciation isn’t the issue. The issue is Betsy KNEW the correct answer is Berry Gordy – she just misspelled Berry – pronunciation matters not – spelling is also supposed to NOT matter in Final Jeopardy – but in Betsy’s case it sudedenly DID matter. I always play along in Final Jeopardy – and I wrote down: Barry Gordie – I misspelled BOTH names – but so what – I knew the correct answer – as did Betsy. I know this error by Alex and the judges was not material to the end of the game, but the Jeopardy show still owes Betsy an apology and as a mea culpa she should be brought back to tape a new Jeopardy show.

  50. DEBORAH SASSEN | September 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm |

    Very interesting reading all the comments regarding whether they are pronounced the same or not. I am from Massachusetts and I pronounce them quite differently. I say Barry with the vowel sound you hear in “bat”, and Berry with the vowel sound in “bet”. I know that in other parts of the country when folks pronounce them the same, it is with the vowel sound in “bear”. Now even though I am on the side that says them differently, I still feel she was robbed. She clearly knew the answer and they always say spelling doesn’t count. And this was just a spelling error. By the way, my own answer was Gordy Berry. I had it backwards. What do you think the ruling would have been there?

  51. Well, here are two thoughts from a former 5 time champ and UTOC participant.

    First, I think the ruling is harsh but correct. Barry and Berry are not the same name.

    Second, this wouldn’t have been a problem if the contestant had followed the first basic rule of Jeopardy: unless it’s something where the first name is essential (e.g., Presidents Harrison, Johnson, Roosevelt, Bush, Adams, authors Bronte, etc) you NEVER EVER give first names. Only last names. You can’t win extra points for first names. You can only lose.

    • As you know, though, Michael, being that you are a former champion and UToC participant, if an error is still phonetically correct, it should be accepted—and as has been mentioned multiple times in this thread, that is the case for 57% of Americans.

      To say nothing of the fact that Berry Gordy was credited as Barry Gordy in the credits of Teen Wolf Too (1987).

      Both of those points have been used to credit answers as correct in the past (Eva/Eve Marie Saint, for example here).

      The judges made a mistake and they need to publicly own up to it before it bites them in a more important spot later.

      • First, please, please stop the sarcasm, Andy. Not appreciated.
        On the phonetics, we’ll have to agree to disagree. It’s not so much that Barry can’t be pronounced like Berry; it’s that it’s a tossup. It’s like writing “hamburg” for “homburg” for the name of a hat. Is that a misspelling? Or does it show that you don’t know the right answer? To me, these sorts of answers need to be resolved against the contestant.

        As for the credits, I wouldn’t have given credit for Eve Marie Saint, because (A) her real name, which she went by, was Eva Marie Saint and (B) the question asked about “On the Waterfront,” in which she was billed as “Eva.” If the credit in TW2 was accurate, I would agree these decisions were inconsistent. But TW2s credit is “Berry Gordy (as Barry Gordy)” for writing “Do You Love Me.” I can find no evidence that the writing credit for that song was given to Barry Gordy instead of Berry Gordy. That seems to be an error in the credits.

        At least it didn’t affect the outcome of the game at all.

  52. While I think the Barry/Berry ruling was wrong, I’m surprised “Eve Marie Saint” was accepted. Eve and Eva are not only spelled differently, but are clearly pronounced differently.

  53. By pronunciation, I make no distinction between:

    If I was really trying to be picky, I could argue that there is a slight difference in pronunciation between Gord and gourd.

    As Jeopardy is first and foremost entertainment, it seems very strange that the program would apply it rules so harshly. Let’s hope no one is asked to name the former leader of Libya.

  54. First, please, please stop the sarcasm, Andy. Not appreciated.

    On the phonetics, we’ll have to agree to disagree. It’s not so much that Barry can’t be pronounced like Berry; it’s that it’s a tossup. It’s like writing “hamburg” for “homburg” for the name of a hat. Is that a misspelling? Or does it show that you don’t know the right answer? In other words, if the contestant had vocalized the answer instead of writing it, would she have said it as a homophone of berry or not? There is no way to know. In Final Jeopardy, these sorts of conundrums are generally resolved against the contestant.

    As for the credits issue, I wouldn’t have given credit for Eve Marie Saint, because (A) her real name, which she went by, was Eva Marie Saint and (B) the question asked about “On the Waterfront,” in which she was billed as “Eva.” If the credit in TW2 was accurate, I would agree these decisions were inconsistent.

    But TW2s credit is “Berry Gordy (as Barry Gordy)” for writing “Do You Love Me.” I can find no evidence that the writing credit for that song was given to Barry Gordy instead of Berry Gordy. That seems to be an error in the credits.

    At least it didn’t affect the outcome of the game at all.

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