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'Jeopardy!' champ who overcame breast cancer appears without her wig to 'normalize' recovery

Christine Whelchel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 and had her "Jeopardy!" audition the night before undergoing surgery.
/ Source: TODAY

The current “Jeopardy!” champion has shown she can beat more than just the other contestants on the quiz show.

Christine Whelchel, a breast cancer survivor and current "Jeopardy!" champ, appeared on Monday's episode with her natural hair, after initially wearing a wig for her first few games.

Host Ken Jennings said viewers may have noticed that Whelchel looked a little different.

“After the winnings, I decided that I didn’t need to hide behind a wig anymore and I wanted to normalize what cancer recovery looks like,” Whelchel said.

“Well, you look fabulous. Congratulations on your recovery and on your success on ‘Jeopardy!’ so far,” Jennings said, as the audience applauded.

A piano teacher and church organist from Spring Hill, Tennessee, Whelchel was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2021.

During her first appearance on the show last week, she explained how she took the test to get on “Jeopardy!” a few weeks after learning of her diagnosis.

“I ended up getting my audition the night before my surgery in May,” she said.

“Everything else went well and I’m cancer free as of right now,” she added.

Whelchel continued her winning ways by tacking on another $14,001 and remained champion following Monday’s episode. She’s now won $73,602 during her four-game streak.