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LeVar Burton says he was “wrecked” by not getting ‘Jeopardy!’ hosting gig

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Ian Tuttle/Getty Images

Ahead of his hosting duties for this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, LeVar Burton opened up about losing the bid to become the host of Jeopardy!. 

In an interview with Newsy, the Reading Rainbow alum says he was “not just disappointed but wrecked” by not getting the hosting job. 

“Experiencing a very public defeat, humiliation, if you will, was sobering,” he said. “I didn’t expect that I would not be their choice for host.”

Burton says he believes he was the best person for the job and claims the search for an Alex Trebek replacement was “fixed.”

“The truth is it was my favorite game show. It really was. I mean, I watched that show since I was in the third grade and Art Fleming was the host. And I honestly thought that I was well suited for it. As it turns out, it really wasn’t a competition, after all, the fix was in.”

On what the 65-year-old actor and host learned from the “humiliating” moment: “It reinforced my belief that everything happens for a reason, even if you cannot discern the reason in the moment. In the fullness of time, everything will be revealed.” He added, “I’m a firm believer in betting on myself, and I would encourage anyone and everyone out there to to believe.”

Regarding his upcoming hosting duties at the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, airing live on ION and Bounce at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 2, Burton said, “I’m definitely one to go where I’m wanted and loathe to go where I’m not invited.”

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