Saturday, 14 September 2013

Mastermind - Round One - heat Five

Well, it was nice to see Mastermind back after that hiatus, wasn’t it? Three Mastermind virgins took on my internet friend Andrew Teale. We’ll come to Andrew shortly. For me one of the other main points of interest was seeing whether this heat kept up the practice of death by long questions which we’ve seen in the specialist rounds of this series so far. The answer was, well, yes, it did. The way that the specialist questions are being phrased now I would say that 13 is a very good score on GK, and 15, exceptional. OK, moan over. Let’s look at the specialist rounds. I haven’t the time to wiki at the moment, and of the four rounds I thought that I could get one or two points on each of them , but only one of them offered much more.

I have a bit of a problem with Bob Dylan. You see it’s like this. I’m perfectly able to concede that Dylan was/is a brilliant songwriter. I equally concede that his influence on popular music has been immense. But . . . (say it softly, Dave) . . . I never thought that much of him as a performer. Sorry, that’s just the way I feel. I don’t feel the same attachment to him as I feel to other artists who were contemporary with him. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t really there first time round with him, not having been born until 1964. I don’t know. Still, the upshot is that I really didn’t fancy my chances on Howard Davies’ round, so was very happy when a couple of sitters gave me two points. I did say at the outset that 13 is a very good specialist score at the moment, and that’s exactly what Howard produced. Consider the gauntlet to have been lain.

Janet Parfitt was answering on Sitting Bull. Right, there’s no gentle or soft way to say this, but even with questions of this length, 6 is not a great score. I’ve watched the round a couple of times, and I can’t say that I’m really sure exactly what went wrong for Janet. I don’t think it was nerves – her GK round was a bravura performance which didn’t show any sign of being affected by nerves. Likewise, granted that my knowledge of the subject is limited – Hunkpapa produced my only point in the round – it didn’t seem to me that the questions were especially obscure, or outside what might be taken as the parameters of the subject. So I don’t know. It’s a shame, though, for she had a very good GK round to come.

John Jacob offered half of a good old Mastermind favourite in the shape of Sir Arthur Sullivan – although not W.S. Gilbert. A couple of the easier points came my way on this round. John did considerably better. In previous years a score of 12 on GK would represent a round which had almost, but not quite delivered its promise. Now it seems to be a score which will always give you a say in the final shake up.

So to Andrew. Andrew last appeared in Mastermind in Ian’s 2011 series. He was unlucky to play in a very high scoring first round match, where despite scoring 27 he was third. AS explained by the previous producer of the series, at the time the ruling was that you could only earn a repechage slot through a second place. Well, we know that this rule changed last year. Back in 2011 Andrew answered on The Lancashire Fusiliers. Last night in a change of pace he offered us King Henry I. Of all 4 of tonight’s this was my ‘banker’ subject for want of a better term. As it was I only managed 6 of them. Andrew hit 12 though, which didn’t give him the lead, but placed him only 1 point behind with GK still to come. Game on.

Remember what I said about Janet Parfitt’s GK round? She posted a fine 16 and 4 passes. That indicates a certain presence of mind, to be able to pick off everything you know, and pass those that you can’t guess in order to keep the round moving. Had she only managed a competitive GK round, then she’d have been in with a shout, at least of a repechage slot. Which begs the question – why wasn’t her GK round better? Well, I don’t want to rub it in, and the fact is that 22 is a respectable performance, and that was a good GK round.

It wasn’t as good as John Jacob’s round though. 18 in 2 and a half minutes is good going by anyone’s standards. He was calm and controlled throughout, and although I don’t personally know the gentleman I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he has a bit of a pedigree as a quizzer. Well, either that, or his set of questions particularly suited him. On the whole I think the former is more likely than the latter. A total of 30 pretty much guaranteed him a repechage slot, but also guaranteed that either Andrew or Howard was going to have to produce something truly outstanding to deprive him of the win.

Andrew’s previous tilt at the chair produced 14 on GK in two and a half minutes, so he was really going to have to go some to overhaul John. To be fair he gave it a good lash. He answered quickly, giving surnames to save time, just like a good, seasoned Mastermind hand, and passed when it was necessary to maintain momentum. Ok, his 15 was not enough for the win, but it was enough to take his score to 27, and that might, just might well see him into the semis. All depending on whether Howard managed a score which would push him further down the repechage table.

Howard had a go at it alright, no doubt about that. he didn’t panic, he kept answering and kept the round moving. But it never felt quite convincing. By a minute and a half it was clear that John was safe. As for Andrew, well that was a lot closer. Howard’s target of 15 was approaching, but so was the finishing line, and it was coming too quickly. In the end he finished with 13 to score 26 overall. He’s not out of it yet, but I have a feeling he may be a point or two short of the semis with that score. Sadly , with both Andrew and Howard making it to the table Barry Humphrey has been pushed out.

So well played John Jacob. A fine performance indeed. Well played too Andrew – I hope that you make it to the semis.

The Details
Howard Davies The Life and Music of Bob Dylan13 - 113 - 426 - 5
Janet ParfittSitting Bull6 – 316 - 422 - 7
John JacobLife and work of Sir Arthur Sullivan12 - 118 - 130 - 2
Andrew TealeKing Henry I12 - 115 - 427 - 5

Repechage Table

Beth Webster 28 – 2
Andrew Teale – 27 - 5
Barry Nolan 26 – 3
Howard Davies – 26 - 5
Ricki Kendall 25 – 4
John Berridge 24 – 3


Paul Steeples said...

You're right about Jon Jacob's quizzing pedigree. He plays in QLL and very good he is too.

Londinius said...

Hi Paul

Ah, that makes sense!