Friday, 9 December 2016

Mastermind: Round One: Heat 22


There he goes again – ‘you can’t prepare or revise for the General Knowledge Round.’ John, you can, and some people do. It’s just a question of focus and timescale. Still, I don’t plan to get bogged down with this issue again.

I remember in my first Mastermind audition that Andy Warhol was the answer to one of the 20 GK questions I was asked. He was the subject of every question Gary Gilday was asked in the first round last night , which is hardly surprising since this was his specialist subject. Gary knew his stuff, and in the context of this particular series anything in double figures is a good return for a specialist round. Looking at the last few shows, though, 10 never looks like it is going to be enough to give the contender a realistic chance in the GK rounds.

Gary didn’t pass during his round, and neither did Louise Earnshaw-Brown in hers, which was on the Life of Septimius Severus. As Roman Emperors go, Severus was one of the more successful. I may be wrong but I think he died in Eboracum – York to you and me. If you gotta go, then there’s worse places to do it. Louise too obviously had prepared and knew her stuff, but didn’t quite manage to make it into double figures.

Nicholas Hawksmoor should be a lot better known than he is, since he built many beautiful churches in London. However, there was the fact that he came just a tiny bit after this fellow Wren, with whom Hawksmoor worked on a number of projects, and as we all know, the sequel never quite get the same amount of credit as the original. Steven Marc Rhodes frankly left little on the table with a fine round, and he looked to be worth his two point lead and then some more.

It was an outright lead, though, which was not going to be preserved into the GK round, for teacher Samantha Hills equalled it with a fine round of 12 on The X Files. Yes, of course I’m biased towards teachers. All in all, then, we had seen a set of SS rounds in which the lowest score was a respectable 9, and not one single pass was accrued. That’s great. Of course, I don’t have the right to ask anything from contenders, but I do like to see a set of specialists where all 4 contenders have obviously prepared their rounds thoroughly.

So to GK. Louise wasn’t actually going along too badly. There was a good 30 seconds or more left in the round and she was on 18, so a score in the low 20s looked possible. A couple of passes, and a couple of wrong answers did for that, and all in all, she managed just the one more point to finish with 19. Gary Gilday achieved the same number of correct answers in his own GK round, still, having started one point to the good this was enough to give him the lead. However, with 2 contenders still to go it looked highly unlikely that he would still be leading by the end of the show. 9 being required to take the lead just isn’t enough really to put a decent contender into the corridor of doubt.

Every now and then a round comes along which makes you feel like standing up and applauding the television. Such a round was Steven Marc Rhodes’. I’m indebted to John Humphrys for pointing out when it was all over that he had missed only the one question. A total of 19 is the finest GK round that we’ve seen for a very long time, and let’s be honest, it’s a Hall of Fame performance. With no disrespect to Samantha Hills who had yet to go, you could have named your own odds against Steven winning. In fact, with a score like that Steven was in the semi-finals whatever happened in Samantha’s round.

What did happen in Samantha’s round? She did a perfectly decent job to earn double figures, and take her score to 22, that’s what. In fact all of the contenders in last night’s show managed double figure scores on GK, and that’s always nice to see. Still this wasn’t the story of the show. The story of the show was Steven’s GK score, as shown by the unprecedented amount of time John spent talking to him about it afterwards. Why on Earth not, too. Magnificent performance and many congratulations.

The Details

Gary Gilday
Andy Warhol
10
0
10
2
20
2
Louise Earnshaw-Brown
The Life of Septimius Severus
9
0
10
2
19
2
Steven Marc Rhodes
Nicholas Hawksmoor
12
0
19
0
31
0
Samantha Hills
The X Files
12
0
10
1
22
1

5 comments:

Will G said...

Excellent review as usual. Just a slight correction. Samantha Hills' SS round was on the X Files, not X Factor.

Liam Holton said...

What a barnstorming round from the Barrister!!!! I'd say I'll have him and Daniel Adler right up there as my potential champions, seeing as Daniel had scored 16 points the highest result in the specialists rounds this year.

Also quite poignant to have the X-Factor as a subject this week seeing as it's the final this weekend in the X-Factor.

Londinius said...


"Excellent review as usual. Just a slight correction. Samantha Hills' SS round was on the X Files, not X Factor."favourites

*BLUSH*

Thanks Will - I can't believe I did that!

Agreed about favourites Liam, although I will say that first round form can be very misleading. Dan has been there and done that before, but let's reserve judgement for a while

Dan said...

Thanks Liam. My lips are sealed.

Dan said...

I have to say, a high GK score is more impressive than a high specialist subject in my opinion. You can game the specialist, but GK relies on knowing whatever comes up.