‘Jeopardy!’ Player’s ‘Gangsta’ Pronunciation Costs Thousands in Must-See Clip
Boy, if there’s one topic you’d never imagine Jeopardy! a stickler for, it’s gangsta rap. You have to see this viral video of a contestant losing over $3000, as judges reverse Alex Trebek’s acceptance of proper “Gangsta’s Paradise” pronunciation.
Jeopardy! contestant Nick Spicher had a $1600 question turn into a $3200 loss, as a rare instance saw judges contesting an answer that host Alex Trebek already deemed correct. The clue provided was to combine rapper Coolio’s famous Dangerous Minds track with John Milton’s 1667 novel, resulting in “Gangsta’s Paradise Lost.” Spicher phrased his response as “Gangster‘s Paradise Lost” – an answer Trebek accepted – before judges deemed it technically incorrect. Here’s the moment, as tweeted by The Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood:
The initial correct answer bumped Spicher from $9600 to $11,200, but the later ruling deducted a full $3200 from his then-score of $12,000, costing him the first-place lead (he nonetheless went on to win). Here’s the show’s official statement on separating “Gangster’s” and “Gangsta’s,” which – even in 2018 – is an *extraordinary* sentence to write about Jeopardy!:
Although Nick’s response of “Gangster’s Paradise Lost” was initially accepted, the hard R sound caught the ear of one member of the onstage team, who immediately followed up with a quick check.
It turns out that “gangsta” and “gangster” are both listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition.
Nick changed not only the song’s title, but also its meaning – making his response unacceptable.
As of yet – in another sentence I am truly astonished to type – Coolio himself has not yet commented on the error. Hopefully he (or at least Weird Al) will forgive Spicher’s transgression, and perhaps even make things right.
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