Robin Roberts on why her 'Jeopardy!' hosting nerves 'felt good,' wisdom from Alex Trebek

by 24USATVJuly 20, 2021, 1 a.m. 23
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"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts begins her turn as guest host on the "Jeopardy!" Monday, the latest journalist to help the game show carry on in the absence of longtime host Alex Trebek.

Roberts, 60, follows Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, Bill Whitaker and the show's most recent host, her "GMA" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos. Roberts is the first Black woman to ever host the show. Actress Mayim Bialik, NFL star Aaron Rodgers and "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings is among others who helped fill out the guest host lineup.

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The five-episode stint made Roberts uneasy, in a way that she welcomed.

"I ventured outside of my comfort zone as the guest host for 'Jeopardy!' and I loved it," she says. (Roberts also has a new talk series, "Turning the Tables With Robin Roberts" due this month on Disney+.) "I had butterflies. Nothing really rattles me anymore. I've been doing this such a long time. (But) I was nervous, and it felt good! It felt good to have those nerves.

"And let me just say – because I know 'Jeopardy!' has a lot of fans – that show is in great hands," she continues. "The producers, the writers, the crew, they love that show! They miss Alex tremendously."

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Roberts, a former "Celebrity Jeopardy!" contestant, admits "It was challenging to keep everything going, but I remember what Alex Trebek said: 'It's not about the host; it's about the contestant.' I knew that those people had been waiting all their lives to be there. So I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that they had an experience that they had dreamed of."

Marveling at the game show legend she adds, "Boy, Alex made it look a lot easier than it is! Whoo! That was work, but it was fun."

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