JEOPARDY! fans were left buzzing over a 3-day champ's impressive win Friday.
But those preferring Ken Jennings over host Mayim Bialik soon rejoiced over a surprise announcement.
Emily Fiasco, a middle school band director from St. Louis, scored a sound victory with $87K total.
She bested Christopher Arns and Anmol Sinho in an impressive display.
But the enjoyable player isn't the only one returning Monday, July 18th.
Mayim, 46, will be switched out for Ken, 48, news that was tastefully tucked into the end credits.
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Longtime announcer Johnny Gilbert, 94, voiced who would be playing Monday with Emily.
But as a screen with Ken's silhouette appeared, he cheerfully added, "And Ken Jennings will be back as host!"
Fans who are leaning the alum's way for the perminent gig were quite happy.
"Ken Jennings is back on Monday!" one Tweeted.
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"Yay Ken's back!" wrote another.
"The long national nightmare is over!!!!!" a Mayim critic ripped.
"I just found out from our beloved announcer Johnny Gilbert that @KenJennings is back as host. Thank goodness!!!" wrote a fourth.
A fifth shared a GIF of a crowd cheering, "When Johnny Gilbert said, '… and Ken Jennings is back as host.'"
Ken shocked his supporters when he announced in May that he'd be out for "months."
However, he was rumored to be returning on Monday per TV listings to close out the season – and now that seems all but the case.
Meanwhile, three-day champ Emily scored some fans tonight as well.
She picked up 11 correct responses in the first round, swept two categories and entered Final Jeopardy with $29K.
She also got that last clue correct – "What Is: Titanic" and sealed the deal with another $5000 and a $34K win.
Emily got 28 clues correct and 1 incorrect as one fan tweeted, "Way to go, Emily! Impressive!"
"Someone was in full command tonight," wrote another on her buzzer beat-down – she'll get to meet Ken on Monday.
Ken and Mayim began filling in for the legendary Alex Trebek after his tragic 2020 passing and a fleet of Season 37 celebrity guest hosts, including now-disgraced Mike Richards.
The permanent hosting slot is still undecided with Season 38 ending on July 31st, 2022.
The show's ratings nearly doubled to 9.7M viewers when Ken made his first appearance.
When Mayim took over her hosting duties the headcount dropped to 5.9 million viewers during a college championship and sadly, she hadn't bested Ken's ratings since during Season 38.
From those telltale ratings to "cryptic hints," fans have collected clues that the former champion will be chosen over the actress.
For one, he sent his fans into meltdown when he bowed out of the new season of The Chase.
Another was that Ken accepted a 2022 Daytime Emmy award in June alone without Mayim, who also wasn't in its montage – and she has had her Fox sitcom renewed rendering her busier than him.
“Please tell me this is because you are taking the full-time Jeopardy hosting job,” one fan tweeted, as hundreds of others thought he was freeing up his schedule.
Fans have not been pleased with Mayim's stage presence, slamming her for errors and mishaps quite regularly.
Fan pages and live-tweeting followers have largely expressed during her eight straight weeks, Mayim has not found the rhythm it takes to host such a complex show.
They have nit-picked her pattern of only replying "that is correct!" at responses, wavering on when to let unspecific half-correct responses fly, laughing in the face of "True Daily Doubles" and not being able to connect with players during the Q&A portions.
Mayim then faced fan fury when a player's signature was ruled too sloppy in FJ though she had seemingly written "Harriet Tubman."
And last month – though not the actress-turned host's fault – there was ironically a typo in Final Jeopardy just days after the spelling snub which couldn't have come at a worse time.
During her go this summer, she also made an off-color joke about marijuana and seemed to misunderstand the legacy of the band Queen.
Fans knocked her for holding her cue cards close, yet those awkward moments happened off-book.
That said, viewers have warmed up to the actress and would surely be fine with an ongoing co-host situation given the show is about the players not the host, as Alex once said.
Ken surprisingly tweeted in May, “I'm handing the keys back to the talented actor-producer-writer-director (!) Mayim Bialik for a few months," adding, “We are lucky to have her! I'll be back before the end of the season.”
Since then, he's been 'lei-ing' low in Hawaii and at home in Seattle, Washington – though he's said he's already been tapped to tape more episodes for Season 39, another clue the job may be his.
One possibility that has been implied by execs is that the actress could simply host spinoffs soon, perhaps with Buzzy Cohen.
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If so, Ken would host the main show, with "multiple hosts for the franchise" altogether.
Jeopardy! airs on weeknights at 7 pm ET.
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