Yes, dear friends, no sooner do I review semi final 2, than I review semi final 3 ! All the wonders of modern technology. Or in this case a lull in the proceedings at lunchtime enough to allow me to listen to the first broadcast of the third semi.
The line up was
All of them did well int eh first round heats, but the ones whose performances really stood out were 2006 Mastermind finalist Ray Eaton, and Iwan Thomas, who is through to the semis of this year’s Mastermind .
This show wasn’t really a nip and tuck affair like the previous show. Iwan took a very good lead in the first round with 6 points to Michael Parsons’ 2, but after that he didn’t get a run of more than two going in any round. This didn’t matter. His buzzer and bonus work was much better than any of the other contenders, and by the Beat the Brains interlude he looked very much the man to beat.
The listener’s questions were a pair of spot the odd one outs. I didn’t catch the full list of either, but caught enough to know that the first one was a set of bridge bidding conventions, apart from Steadman, which is from bellringing. The second question also proved to be similarly elusive.
In the 6th round things became rather more exciting, as Michael Parsons laid down the gauntlet by taking a full set of five and a bonus. This in a round where he took a buzzer bonus as well, to pull his score up from 5 to 12, 3 points behind Iwan. Game on ? Well, not really. Michael didn’t manage a point in the next two rounds, and while all of the contestants found points hard to come by in the last two rounds, Iwan bagged one in each and ended with a comfortable win , scoring 17 to Michael’s 12. As for Ray, well the questions just didn’t suit today, and when that happens, there’s nothing you can do. With regards to Iwan now, he’s a Brain of Britain finalist, and who’s to say he won’t do Mastermind in the same year. In fact we have the mouthwatering prospect of him becoming the first person since Kevin Ashman to hold the two titles simultaneously. Can it be done ? Sure can. Will it be done ? Your guess is as good as mine.