Friday, 7 November 2014

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 12

Well, tonight’s show brought us to the halfway stage of the first round, and yes, there was another recidivist in this week’s heat. I’ll come to him all in good time. Meanwhile, let’s begin with the first of tonight’s three Mastermind virgins. Patricia Gardener was answering questions on the Crown Jewels. Now, that is one of those unusual, slightly out of left field subjects where you sometimes see that there is a bit of a gap between the setter’s idea of the parameters of the subject, and the contender’s. Patricia was extremely strong on the constituent parts and jewels of the individual pieces, but not so good on the odd historical facts connected with the pieces. That having been said she still managed to get into double figures, and that has been something of the mark of quality again in SS in this series.

Our second virgin was John Boyle. Now, there was something about the way he answered his name rank and serial number at the start of the round which made me fear for him. He looked nervous, and as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. I think I was right, for he really struggled with the first minute of his round. He answered the first two questions, but then the old quiz chestnut about the original name of the Supremes – the Primettes – pulled him up in his tracks, and seemed to play on his mind as the round progressed. Stuff that I’m sure he knew, like the first hit for the Jackson Five, went begging, and by the end of the round he had only accrued 6 points on what I, a lover of Motown music from the 60s particularly, can vouch for as a very fair set of questions. It’s just one of those things, and shows what nerves can do to you.

The draw on the show meant that the recidivist was kept until last in the first round. This meant that Nigel Tomlinson preceded him. Nigel was answering on the Battle of Gettysburg, probably the most important and decisive battle of the American Civil War. I knew enough to pick up a couple of points from Little Round Top and Jeb Stuart, but Nigel did considerably better. In fact it looked a better round than the score suggested. Nigel took that little bit more time to answer than some other contenders, and as a result he topped out at 11.

This week’s lone recidivist, then, was my Facebook friend, Kevin Quinn. Kevin’s most high profile TV outing was probably in 2011’s Quiz Trippers. However a year before that Kevin also appeared in Jesse’s 2010 Mastermind series, where he won his heat and put in a decent performance in the semi where he was beaten by my mate Les Morrell. Tonight, then, Kevin was answering on The Life and Music of Dusty Springfield. Kevin managed double figures – which as we have already seen is a good score in SS in this series, but did miss a couple of gettables, such as the fact that many of Dusty Springfield’s hits being written by Bacharach and David. Still, he was only a point behind at the halfway stage and there was everything to play for.

Back to the chair for his GK round came John Boyle. It did look as if his first round experience was playing on his mind. He answered slowly, and by the end of the round he had managed to raise his score to 14. I’m glad that he at least was in the lead by a couple of points at this stage, even though he must have known in his heart of hearts that he wasn’t going to still be in the lead for much longer. Patricia Gardener was next, and she did a little better than John had. Again, though, it was deceptive. It seemed that Patricia was answering more quickly, and scoring at a faster rate than John had done, but in the end she just added 9 to her score, while John had managed to add 8. OK, so it’s not a massive total, but this has been such an unpredictable series you wouldn’t necessarily have bet that much against it being enough.

Kevin returned to the chair for his own GK round. Ideally he wanted to set a score into the teens, and really place Nigel who was still to come into the corridor of uncertainty. Well, that was the idea, but you can only do that when you find the majority of the questions suit you, and if that doesn’t happen, then you’re going to struggle to impose yourself. This wasn’t the best GK round we’ve seen Kevin deliver, but that’s the way it goes. He needed a minimum score of 9 correct answers and 3 passes to take the lead, which was exactly what he produced. This left Nigel needing a minimum of 8 correct answers and 3 passes. After the first minute of the round you wouldn’t have found many takers willing to bet against him doing it. Again, he wasn’t answering particularly quickly, but the majority of his answers were correct, and that was the key. In the end he managed our only double figure general knowledge round of the competition, and ended with some daylight between himself and runner up Kevin.

Well done Nigel – good luck in the semis.

The Details

Patricia Gardener The Crown Jewels10 - 29 - 319 - 5
John BoyleTamla Motown6 - 28 - 414 -6
Nigel TomlinsonThe Battle of Gettysburg11 - 011 - 122 - 1
Kevin QuinnThe Life and Music of Dusty Springfield10 - 19 - 319 - 4

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