‘Jeopardy!’ Stunner as Champ Adriana Harmeyer Loses to ‘Survivor’ Star Drew Basile – Fans React

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All good things must come to an end, and that was the case for Jeopardy! super-champ Adriana Harmeyer on Wednesday night (June 19) as the 15-game winner finally met her match.

It was especially agonizing for Harmeyer as a victory would have taken her into the Top 10 Jeopardy! winners of all time.

Harmeyer’s streak was snuffed out by graduate student Drew Basile, who fans might know from Survivor 45, which aired last year on CBS. Basile finished in sixth place on Survivor after members of his own alliance turned on him and voted him out.

It was a tense battle between Harmeyer and Basile from the start, with fellow contestant Tekla Sauter, a nonprofit strategist from Chicago, Illinois, trailing behind. After the first round, Harmeyer had amassed $8,100 with 12 correct responses, while Basile stood at $5,600 with 10 correct responses.

During the interview segments, Basile told host Ken Jennings about his time on Survivor, comparing it to the game of Jeopardy!

“It’s not my first rodeo, Ken. I had the privilege of being on Survivor recently,” Basile said. “I lasted 23 days of 26 with no shelter or food, which affected the noggin a little bit, but I’m hoping to be back on course for Jeopardy!

When Jennings asked the Michigan native to compare the two shows, he explained, “Survivor is hard on the body, but Jeopardy! is hard on the mind, so I’ll tell you after.”

Jeopardy! contestants

Jeopardy, Inc!

Basile clearly tapped into Survivor‘s “big moves” mindset in the Double Jeopardy round when he found a Daily Double and made a bold wager of $10,000. This even surprised Jennings, who simply responded with a, “Wow!”

The big bet paid off, as Basile nailed the answer and took a significant lead over the competition. Harmeyer was further shut out after Sauter found the last Daily Double, though her conservative bet didn’t do enough to stop Basile from having a runaway heading into Final Jeopardy.

Going into the last round, Basile led with $23,600, Sauter stood in second with $10,600, and Harmeyer fell behind with $9,300.

The final clue read: “In 1978, a new cologne for men came out called this, what’s being played in the company’s iconic logo.”

Drew Basile on Jeopardy!

Jeopardy, Inc!

Harmeyer was incorrect, answering “Axe” and dropping to $7,900. Meanwhile, Sauter was correct with “Polo” and finished on $18,601.

Confident with his lead, Basile used his final response to make a joke, writing, “What is Jeopardy?”

“We should have a cologne named Jeopardy!” Jennings quipped. “What would it smell like, flop sweat right now?”

Basile only wagered $118, giving him a final, episode-winning total of $23,482 and bringing an end to Harmeyer’s impressive 15-game winning streak.

“As Alex Trebek used to say, we have a Giant Killer on our hands, rarely as giant as this,” Jennings added, noting Basile’s height. “Congrats Drew on the big win!”

Sadly for Harmeyer, she missed out on cracking the Top 10 of all-time Jeopardy! winning streaks. Some fans felt like Jennings jinxed her when he brought up this stat at the beginning of the show when he told her one more win would see her make the Top 10.

Harmeyer shook Basile’s hand at the end of the show and congratulated him on his victory, though she was obviously devastated. Some viewers noted how the interaction felt a little awkward.

“Kind of an awkward hand shake at the end there between Drew and Adriana,” wrote one fan on the Jeopardy! Reddit forum.

“Yeah, Adriana seemed legit bummed at the end when Ken came back to her after he crowned Drew the new champ. I think perhaps it was the lost chance to crack the all-time top-ten (Ken jinxed her at the start of the show when he said that lol),” said another.

Others commented on Basile’s game, with one user writing, “I knew Drew was previously on Survivor, so I had a gut feeling he’d be willing to play more aggressively than normal. That $10k wager was even more than I was expecting.”

“I would 100% describe his Survivor play as particularly aggressive,” added another.

Others unfamiliar with Survivor asked about how Basile came across on that show, with one fan explaining, “He was probably too cocky in confessionals but other than that didn’t have a great edit and suffered from being on a dominant tribe on a show where people tend to root for the underdog.”

However, they added, “I think the fact that he was well liked by all his fellow players and they had no complaints about him shows he is probably not actually annoying or arrogant in real life.”

One commenter felt that Basile’s cockiness reared its head in his joke response to the final clue. “I found it to be gloating in a way,” they wrote. “I think you should still play the game to your full extent rather than giving a goof answer because you know you had a runaway.”

Meanwhile, others praised Harmeyer for what was an iconic run.

“Congrats to Adriana on an incredible run. I think everyone knew that this is how she’d be eliminated. She’s proof that a top-down game style can still be formidable,” said one commenter.

“Shame to see Adriana go; I hope she goes far in the ToC,” added another.

“Godspeed to you, Adriana. You were a joy to watch, your games were competitive, and you knew your stuff. It will be hard not to root for you in the ToC!” wrote another.

What did you think of Wednesday’s game? Are you sad to see Harmeyer go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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