Katy Perry, Pat Sajak, Mayim Bialik trashed by fans: TV hosts come under fire on competition shows

Competition shows can make or break contestants as they compete for the grand prize, whether it’s money, a recording contract, or finding the love of their life.

But often standing in the way of success are the hosts or judges, who can help or hinder a competitor’s efforts.

Whatever they do, fans of these long-running series speak their minds.

From established hosts like Pat Sajak on “Wheel of Fortune” to newcomers like Mayim Bialik on “Jeopardy!” or Katy Perry as a judge on “American Idol” and the latest host of “Bachelor” – all have faced pointless fan talk.

Katy Perry, Pat Sajak and Mayim Bialik have come under fire for their respective concerts (Getty Images)

‘Wheel of luck’

“Wheel of Fortune” has been on the air since 1975, with host Pat Sajak and Vanna White hosting the series starting in 1981 and 1982 respectively.

Over the past few months, Sajak has had a number of moments that have sparked comments online from fans.

In early March, she spoke to a contestant about her fear of fish, who after a few questions said it “was a big story” and seemed keen to move on.

Later in the episode, she was about to advance to the next round when Sajak went to congratulate her, but not before he pulled a fake fish out of his pocket, jokingly asking another contestant to hold it for him.

“You’ll forgive me for that, won’t you?” asked the contestant.

“Maybe,” he replied quietly.

Fans called Sajak “shady” and “naughty” for the prank.

Pat Sajak has hosted

Pat Sajak has hosted “Wheel of Fortune” since 1981. (Ricky Middlesworth)

The 76-year-old also recently pulled the beard of a contestant who plays Santa during the holidays.

When he did, Sajak exclaimed: “Oh! I’ve never done that before! And I won’t do it again,” in a moment viewers called “ridiculous.”

However, the veteran host had to keep some contestants in check.

In February, Sajak had to scold a contestant for missing out on the million-dollar prize, as she had yet to call in a letter to qualify for it.

The fans were more on Sajak’s side in this scenario.

“I see nothing wrong with what he did, he was right,” wrote one, while another added: “People always make this mistake.”

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‘Risk!’

“Risk!” is still struggling to find its footing with a new host after the death of Alex Trebek.

Trebek died in 2020, and after a series of test guest hosts, including a controversial choice of executive producer Mike Richards to fill in, “Blossom” star Mayim Bialik and former champion Ken Jennings shared hosting duties starting in 2021.

Bialik primarily hosts special tournaments and primetime episodes of “Jeopardy!”, with Jennings handling standard episodes.

Fans have been vocal in their preference for Jennings, especially with the recent spring and summer scheduling announcement.

Fans have expressed their displeasure with Mayim Bialik as

Fans have expressed their displeasure with Mayim Bialik as “Jeopardy!” host. (ABC/Tyler Golden via Getty Images)

“Ken Jennings will return on March 10 and then continue the rest of his syndicated run that will take us through April 28,” a producer for the show announced to “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast. “Then Mayim will take over on May 1 and take us through the summer.”

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The news prompted fans of the game show to express their dismay at the plan, with one commenter saying, “Danger, stop trying to make Mayim happen. It’s not going to happen.”

The biggest problem fans seem to have with Bialik is her apparent tendency to pause before confirming an answer. One fan complained that the actress “roars when bad answers come up.”

Jennings tried to joke about his absence from the show in early March on Twitter.

When asked what he does when he’s not hosting, he wrote: “I get into one of those cases from the Alien movies when Mayim is hosting and vice versa.”

Ken Jennings has tried to reduce his breaks from hosting

Ken Jennings tried to make light of his hiatus from hosting “Jeopardy!”, but fans jumped at the chance to poke fun at Mayim Bialik. (Raymond Liu)

Fans took the opportunity to let him and “Jeopardy!” you know who they prefer, with one commenter saying they “mourn” when Bialik hosts.

Jennings holds the record for most consecutive wins and total earnings as a “Jeopardy!” contestant. He was the first person to ask for the show to host in 2020, following Trebek’s death.

Alex Trebek with Ken Jennings after his record winning streak on the gameshow surpassed $1 million on July 14, 2004, in Culver City, California.

Alex Trebek with Ken Jennings after his record winning streak on the gameshow surpassed $1 million on July 14, 2004, in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images)

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‘American Idol’

“American Idol” premiered on FOX in 2002, completing its 15th season on the network before moving to ABC with returning host Ryan Seacrest and new judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan were the main judges

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan have been the main judges on “American Idol” since it relaunched on ABC. (Raymond Liu)

The atmosphere on the show has been generally positive, but in recent months Perry has faced some backlash over her behavior towards contestants, earning comparisons to Simon Cowell.

On the March 5 episode, contestant Sara Beth Liebe appeared before the panel. They noticed how young she looked and revealed that she was a 25-year-old mother of three.

Perry asked Liebe if singing was her dream, after the contestant revealed that her mother hadn’t left her much time for herself and she was trying things outside of karaoke and church choir for the first time.

Fans came to Sara Beth Liebe's defense after feeling Katy Perry

Fans have come to Sara Beth Liebe’s defense after they felt Katy Perry “shamed” the contestant. (American Idol/YouTube)

“If it’s not your dream, you might have to leave because there are a lot of dreams behind you,” Perry told Liebe, referring to other contestants waiting to sing.

Liebe finally made it through to the next round after being given the chance to sing two different songs, with the “Teenage Dream” singer being the deciding vote to let her through.

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Perry, despite being a mom herself, was accused of mom-shaming Liebe, with one commenter writing at the time: “A young mother following a dream while raising her kids needs to grow up and not be disappointed.”

Others defended Perry, saying she was just doing her job as a judge, writing: “Ever heard of Simon Cowell?”

Last month, former contestant Adriel Carrion revealed that Perry “traumatized” him during his audition.

In a TikTok shared to his account, Carrion shared a clip from his audition where he performed a duet of Harry Styles’ song “Watermelon Sugar” with fellow contestant Anthony Guzman.

Katy Perry has taken some flak from fans online for her harshest comment as a judge

Katy Perry has taken some heat from fans online for her harshest comment as a judge on “American Idol.” (Getty Images)

Before the duo started, Perry joked about the song being “banned” from auditions due to its popularity. When they announced the song was being performed, Perry exclaimed, “Is that ‘Watermelon Sugar’? Oh f—!”

“It’s the way it’s been three years, and I’m still traumatized from this moment,” he explained.

“I might be resting about my beauty and all I hear in my nightmares is ‘No ‘Watermelon Sugar,'” Carrion continued.

‘The Bachelor’

Jesse Palmer has been hosting “The Bachelor” franchise since late 2021, but his efforts have been met with mixed reviews.

While some found his performance good, others were more vocal about their displeasure with the former NFL star and Season 5 contender.

Jesse Palmer has hosted

Jesse Palmer hosts ‘The Bachelor’ starting in 2021. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images)

“BREAKING: ABC confirms that host Jesse Palmer will be replaced on the next season of The Bachelor by an old roomba with eyes glued to it,” said one commenter after the March 6 episode.

“I don’t know why I can’t take Jesse Palmer seriously. [bust out laughing],” wrote another.

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“Jesse Palmer is the worst host everyone melts down and all you can say is ‘I remember’???!! Bring Chris Harrison back,” one commenter demanded.

Longtime host Chris Harrison left the show after he was accused of defending “Bachelor” winner Rachael Kirkconnell for attending an antebellum-themed college party during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first black bachelorette.

Chris Harrison hosted

Chris Harrison hosted “The Bachelor” franchise for more than 20 years before leaving after controversial remarks about a contestant’s antebellum-themed party. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

“The Bachelor” has also struggled in the ratings game.

The season 27 premiere featuring current Bachelorette Zach Shallcross drew just 2.96 million viewers, the lowest premiere rating in the show’s history.

The Bachelor stars Zach Shallcross.

The Bachelor stars Zach Shallcross. (Nino Muñoz/ABC)

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Shallcross himself has seen his fair share of trashing from fans, calling him a “boring” choice.

Fox News Digital’s Stephanie Giang-Paunon, Brie Stimson and Emily Trainham contributed to this report.

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