In ABC’s new sport present “The Chase” — the newest American adaptation of a U.Okay. format, hosted by ‘The View” co-host Sara Haines — the trivia grasp that contestants face off in opposition to is described as a “ruthless quiz genius decided to cease contestants from profitable money prizes.”
Right here, that function is held by three of the most well-known trivia buffs on U.S. shores — Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter — thanks to their years of mastery of “Jeopardy!” and their participation in final yr’s “Jeopardy! Biggest of All Time” event that proved to be a scores large.
On this present, three contestants get a probability to beat both Jennings, Holzhauer or Rutter at a sequence of fast-paced questions. The gamers are given a bonus of being a few steps forward of the “Chaser,” as the trivia kings are referred to as on the present, however they’re additionally enticed with extra money prizes to hand over a part of that benefit.
This gig is extra high-pressure in some methods, regardless that the trio isn’t enjoying for any cash in any respect.
“I felt like I used to be letting the format down if I didn’t know one thing, as a result of I’m supposed to be educated and pedantic, and I can do all that, however regardless that there was much less at stake financially for us as gamers this time — as a result of we’re not contestants — it did really feel like, ‘Oh, for this present to work, I’ve actually received to be on the ball,’” Jennings instructed Selection at a current digital press junket.
“You’re sort of combating an uphill battle as a Chaser,” added Holzhauer. “There’s a lot of stress up there. It takes a good kind of individual to give you the chance to deal with that and play by it.”
Jennings, Rutter and Holzhauer have a non-public group textual content going — in addition to a sequence of public Twitter exchanges, the place they’ve been taking good-natured jabs at one another since the GOAT tourney a yr in the past. That explains their conversational ease with one another on “The Chase” stage.
“I wasn’t anticipating the chemistry to gel as rapidly because it did,” stated Rutter. “It felt like we’d been capturing for years on the first day.”
Whereas one trivia titan takes to the Chaser chair, the two others linger backstage in the “Chaser Lounge,” watching the sport and making cracks about their peer — and the contestants.
Holzhauer, a sports activities fanatic and self-described “armchair quarterback,” stated he was “uncertain” of the Chaser Lounge as a idea at first, however quickly got here round to it.
“The thought of individuals providing working commentary, it’s sort of what the world of social media and TV exhibits and issues like that’s,” he stated. “You might have people who find themselves there watching there with you, and so they’re saying the identical stuff you’re saying; it’s a enjoyable factor.”
Quips Jennings: “For those who preferred us ribbing one another throughout the GOAT event, simply wait ’til you see it now the place there’s actually nothing at stake and we’re simply doing it out of pure pettiness.”
“The Chase,” like so many different trivia exhibits, works in the shadow of the format’s GOAT: “Jeopardy!” The brand new sequence, which premieres on Jan. 7 at 9 p.m., begins out with a heartfelt tribute to “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who died a number of months in the past after being identified with pancreatic most cancers.
Jennings, who final yr grew to become a consulting producer on “Jeopardy!”, will function one in all a number of interim visitor hosts in the wake of Trebek’s passing. He is aware of that it is going to be fairly an adjustment for viewers who’ve been used to seeing Trebek up on that podium for almost 4 a long time.
“I be part of with the viewers in not wanting to see me or another visitor host on the market, as a result of in a excellent world, that will be Alex each night time, that’s who I need to see,” stated Jennings. “But it surely’s a present with a enormous fanbase that counts on it each night time as a ritual, it’s a present Alex wished to be certain that outlived him. So I’m not thrilled about it, however I’m comfortable to do my half for my nation and my sport present and fill in so long as they want any individual in the chair, however it’s a robust transition.”
Shot throughout the pandemic, “The Chase” options no viewers, and the forged and crew had to put on face shields and masks once they weren’t on the stage. For Haines, internet hosting “The Chase” is a welcome respite from the usually troublesome state of the world.
“I used to be a fan of the format earlier than I spotted these three guys had been going to be on it,” stated Haines. “And then you definately dangle the GOATs in entrance of me and I’m like, ‘Can I nonetheless come to the celebration? I’m so in!’ I like a sport present, I believe it’s such a uniting format, particularly in distinction to the job I do day by day, which is a tremendous job, however we discuss a lot about present occasions — no matter the state of the world is in that second, you’re having to test in to issues that aren’t at all times enjoyable to discuss or laborious to take into consideration. Oftentimes escape is what I need and video games are that for me.”
Plus, she provides: “It was entertaining as something I’d ever seen to watch these guys and the pace at which they demolish trivia.”