Polarizing "Jeopardy!" champ Arthur Chu won an 11th straight game, though not without early struggles and a few testy exchanges with show host Alex Trebek.
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Man the people who hate me must REALLY hate me after tonight, I'm scared to see what they're saying on @TVWithoutPity— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
Okay I'm going to be honest - the producer Maggie directly asked me to be a little more engaging and funny this ep and chaos ensued— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
Chu, 30, an insurance compliance worker and voice-over actor from Broadview Heights, Ohio, who has been live tweeting his winning streak, didn't really take off on tonight's pre-taped episode until the "Double Jeopardy!" round, which he began in second place, $400 behind the leader, Kirsten Albair.
But, in a familiar story, Chu pulled away from his rivals by controlling the board with rapid-fire picks of high-value squares chosen out of the game's conventional sequence -- a playing style drawn from game theory that has prompted some traditionalists to dub him the "Jeopardy! Villain" and others to cheer him via the Twitter hashtag #ChuChuTrain.
Chu's strategy once again allowed him to secure all three of the hidden "Daily Double" boxes, to place big bets on them and to keep them away from his opponents.
In the first round, Chu was able to double his score to $4,000 using a "Daily Double." In the second round, already securely in the lead, he picked up an additional $4,000 by hitting a "Daily Double," but he soon lost $5,000 on another one by mispronouncing the name of the actress Frances McDormand. Chu's response would have been correct but Trebek said he heard Chu say "McDarmand."
Look if I were from Fargo that is how I would say it okay?! Not that that's why— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
I'm sort of constantly muttering "McDORmand" to myself now and freaking out about it— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
On a subsequent clue, a seemingly annoyed Chu emphatically pronounced the name of another actor, Sam Waterston.
People think I was throwing shade at Alex but I was actually just paranoid I'd drop the S in Waterston— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
He lost another round of the pronunciation wars when he pronounced the politician Elbridge Gerry's name with a soft "g." Trebek noted it should have a hard "g," prompting Chu to protest that the term gerrymandering has a "soft-g" pronunciation and is derived from Gerry's last name.
And the Gerry thing -- does anyone say "gerrymandering" with the hard G? #ComeOn— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
Trebek declared it an anomaly of the English language and moved on.
I'm not mad at Alex about any of these rulings except in a kind of shoot the messenger way— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) March 12, 2014
Nevertheless, by the "Final Jeopardy!" question on "Novel Titles," Chu led Albair $17,000 to $5,200. Both got the question right but Chu easily coasted to victory. His $20,000 take for the game brought his 11-day winnings to $297,200.