; Executive producer Mike Richards told USA TODAY’s Gary Levin that LeVar Burton was the only guest lobbyer.

USA Today

After an 18-month break due to the COVID-19 outbreak “Dangerous!”, The Tournament of Champions is back, the first time without host Alex Trebek.

Instead of former Austin champion David “Buzzy” Cohen, Cohen presided over the two-week event starting Monday in the show’s latest audition for the permanent host. As usual, the tournament brings together 15 top players (safely) in Los Angeles, following a mission by producer Mike Richards to return Pillar work in one year. This was caused by the outbreak of Trebek’s death and the cancellation of other tournaments of the quiz show. Teens, Teachers and Students

For Cohen, 36, the gig has responded to a lengthy mission dating back to the 2017 tournament when Trebek coined the term “Mr. Personality” to describe his sprinkling father from Los Angeles. List of music production for commercials

“Alex and I had a hilarious exchange about my interest in hosting one day when he retired, so people came to ‘Jeopardy!’ Knowing it was my dream, I don’t think. As to what’s going to happen, and I’m definitely not calling Sony that ‘Hey, can I have a word?’ ‘Exchange: hosting prevents him from competing. Again as a contestant But put him among 15 other guests, many of whom have also stolen Trebek’s job.

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Who is qualified for the competition?

This year’s tournament covered longer competitors. Anyone who joins the tournament after the players in the last tournament was announced in July 2019 until Trebek’s final appearance as host on January 8 of this year. The field includes Jason Zuffranieri, Albuquerque math teacher Nibir Sarma, a University of Minnesota student; And Jennifer Quail, Michigan wine tasting consultant.

“I’m not holding on to trying to win the Tournament of Champions,” said the broadcast, Richards. “It’s just a normal piece we want to inject into this season and ultimately when we move the dates around and we can get in touch with all the champions and ask,” Who is it? ” ‘Are you willing to travel?’ And ask ourselves, can we protect them with peace of mind when they come? “

over: ‘Dangerous!’ Special: Who is Mike Richards’ new guest? Who’s next? And how soon will the show replace Alex Trebek?

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How did Sony produce the show? There were no studio audiences apart from other contestants, COVID testing and other safety measures that prohibit hugging, handshakes or chatting after close-up games.

Most of the contestants during the pandemic lived in the Los Angeles area due to travel restrictions, but the top players lived across the country. “Basically, we ended up taking over a hotel. All of them shut down all this time and they were the only ones to live in, ”Richards said. “That’s how we use this process very intensely, so it’s good to pull it off, you can tell from people who haven’t been here in two years, because some of these champions have been around for a very long time now. They’re very happy to be back. It’s the most emotional tournament of champions that I think you’ll see. “

But why was Cohen chosen as the over 15 MCs, Stars, and Journalists who had been taking turns since January (Mayim Bialik was next on May 31st) and was he a candidate for a permanent slot too?

“I think everyone who approaches people should look to (As a candidate) and by human nature they would say ‘Can I see that person doing it?’ Buzzy is one of the great personalities that comes out of ‘Jeopardy!’, ”Richards said. (Cohen’s boring appeal and playful cheerfulness are demolishing some audiences. People find him repulsive.)

But it’s the other Cohen you’ll see this week, “for me,” he said. “Homage to the clues, homage to the contestants, I think what Alex does well and what I’m really trying to muster is when there are moments when you can lead me, but of course there is Buzzy as a Contestant and Buzzy as host: It’s different roles and have different responsibilities. ”

over: ‘Dangerous!’: The most beloved, hateful and memorable contestants over the years.

Cohen appears as an assistant contestant on ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ while Richards is producing a quiz show. “And he’s charming and funny and wonderful,” said the producer. “And I think he’ll understand the tournament stakes, as if we bring in some celebrities maybe. (They wouldn’t) understand what happened there and the importance of it, I just felt that way. Will make the contestants feel at ease “

Will Cohen take on a permanent job? “In a heartbeat,” he said, “I have loved being the host of my favorite show since I was 9 and part of myself.” He won nearly $ 165,000 in 2016, winning the competition in the year. He returned to captain for the 2019 All-Stars.

Cohen said he trains strength and cardio for “Keep my patience because I want to make sure I’m just as enthusiastic, caring and focused,” Richards believes Cohen is. “The only person who truly trains his body to prepare for three days of standing and standing and being really hard involved, because it’s really tough, five episodes a day. That’s a lot of time in the studio. You never stop breathing. I think people will be amazed that he takes it so seriously. He’s really the host. “

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