Four more newcomers to Mastermind took to the black chair tonight. Chris Stuchfield described himself as a 'house husband', and before the GK round John Humphrys spent quite a bit of time going into this apparently simple concept. From which we must surmise that The Peninsular War is a subject which just doesn't light his candle. 11 seemed a pretty decent score in this subject. Next came Angela Rutledge. Judging from her accent I would guess that she is either American, or has spent a lot of time in the USA. Hers was probably the most obviously populist specialist subject, but as we have seen, popular culture subjects don't actually give you any undue advantage, and I thought that 14 looked like a good score. In the interval chat, John Humphrys came out with the interesting revelation that Morrisey is actually very big in Mexico. I somehow think that the researchers winkled this fact out of Ms. Rutledge beforehand for him. If Benjamin Skipps isn't the youngest contender in the series so far , he certainly looks like he is. He certainly knew his stuff on Chichester Cathedral to score 14 as well. Finally Gareth Kingston. I will confess that I do know Gareth through an internet forum, and I have exchanged messages on his appearence since the show aired a couple of hours ago. Gareth achieved a perfect 16 out of 16, with no wrong answers and no passes, which was certainly the pick of the specialist rounds, and one of the finest we've seen in this series so far.
So to the GK round. Chris Stuchfield went for accuracy rather than speed, and as such did spend a lot of the round hesitating. 8 scored for a total of 19 was nothing to be ashamed of, but to be honest this never looked like a winning total. Angela Rutledge started her round well, but lost her way after the first half a minute or so, and really rather struggled to the end of the round. 6 points gave her 20 and the lead, but it was a slender one that was unlikely to see her through. I do tend to think that it must be more difficult for someone in their teens or their early twenties to post a really good score in GK, and Benjamin Skipps found it so, scoring 5 to level out at 19. Gareth has told me that, without being arrogant, he knew that he pretty much had the job done when he sat in the chair, needing only 5 to win, and he feels that he probably relaxed too much during the round. Still he joint top scored in the GK round with 8, and progresses comfortably into the semis.
Maybe this is just me, but I felt John Humphrys was a little fussy tonight. It seemed to me that far more than normal he was wasting contenders' time by either repeating their correct answers, or expanding on them - eg - one question asked who began his monthly TV show in 1958 - etc. etc. - to which the contender answered
and John Humphrys felt it necessary to add
Correct - PATRICK Moore !
Well, to be honest , John, we didn't think he meant Demi Moore ! Or even Ilkley Moor for that matter.
Well, that's two thirds of the first round heats done now.
|Chris Stuchfield||The Peninsular War||11 - 1||8 - 4||19 - 5|
|Angela Rutledge||Life and solo career of Morrissey||14 - 2||6 - 3||20 - 5|
|Benjamin Skipp||The History of Chichester Cathedral||14 -1||5 - 2||19 - 3|
|Gareth Kingston||The Great Fire of London||16-0||8 - 0||24 - 0|
Stop Press - Only Connect 2
Oh frabjous day ! An email message from David Bodycombe via the UK Gameshows Yahoo Group informs me that there will be a new series of Only Connect. What's more applications are currently invited, and if you're interested, they must be returned to the BBC no later than the 17th February - so you'll need to get your skates on.