Final 3 contestants talk about 'Jeopardy! Masters' finale

ByJennifer Matarese OTRC logo
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Final 3 contestants talk 'Jeopardy! Masters' finale
James Holzhauer, Mattea Roach, and Matt Amodio talk about competing in the "Jeopardy! Masters" finale.

NEW YORK -- It all comes down to the big finale on the "Jeopardy! Masters" Tournament tonight!

James Holzhauer, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach face off in a best-of-two-games competition.

Holzhauer had been leading the pack with points, but in tonight's finale, the points are reset for this heat of the game.

"I love this about American sports events, the heat. The heat can go from the play into the finals probably, but it's just an amazing run that you don't get if you don't have that playoff at the end," Holzhauer said.

Roach made it into the finale via a tiebreaker with contestant Andrew He in the semi-finals and wasn't sure who had won the right to the big finale.

"Just the presentation of it really surprised me. Andrew had been so, so strong through the quarter-final rounds," Roach said. "You can initially not be the strongest player in the initial season or in the quarter-finals in this case, but then if you have a hot streak in playoffs later on, that can propel you through and I guess that's what happened for me."

Amodio said that his strategy changed a bit going into the finale because felt he had to always go for the largest amount possible on a "Daily Double."

"I was a little bit more aggressive because we're all going for the same questions so I have to take a few risks and that may or may not pay out," he said.

As competitive as this trio is, they have a great respect for one another and all say they have developed a unique friendship.

"They're all fabulous people, and we're all friends now," Holzhauer said. "We live in different parts of the country, but anytime I'm in their neck of the woods, I'm going to look them up."

One thing is for certain, there are enormous bragging rights, not only with the prize money but with the coveted Trebek Trophy given to the champion in honor of late "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.

"Alex Trebek has always been an icon and a legend to me and just knowing that I'm playing on his stage, playing his game on his stage is a tremendous feeling," Amodio said.

"Jeopardy! Masters 'The Finals'" airs Wednesday, May 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET/ PT on ABC.