Saturday, 25 February 2017

Mastermind Grand Final Preview

If we boil it down purely to a matter of statistics, then here it is.

Heat
Isabelle Heward
The Life and Films of Rita Hayworth
12
0
14
0
26
0
Semi
Isabelle Heward
The Daughters of George III
9
0
12
0
21
0
Heat
Mohan Mudigonda
Nirvana
11
1
12
3
23
4
Semi
Mohan Modigonda
The Asterix Stories 1961-1987
10
1
12
3
22
4
Heat
Steven Marc Rhodes
Nicholas Hawksmoor
12
0
19
0
31
0
Semi
Steven Marc Rhodes
Herbert Howells
13
0
10
0
23
0
Heat
Lynn Edwards
The Forsyte Novels by John Galsworthy
15
0
15
0
30
0
Semi
Lynn Edwards
Mary of Teck
8
0
13
0
21
0
Heat
Frances Slack
The Musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein
12
0
17
0
29
0
Semi
Frances Slack
The Films of William Goldman
10
0
10
3
20
3
Heat
John Cockerill
British Race Courses
12
0
16
3
28
3
Semi
John Cockerill
Captain James Cook
12
0
12
0
24
0

That’s a lot of information, but how much does it actually tell us? Well, if we aggregate the totals, then it looks like this: -

Steven Marc Rhodes
25
0
29
0
54
0
John Cockerill
24
0
28
3
52
3
Lynn Edwards
23
0
28
0
51
0
Frances Slack
22
0
27
3
49
3
Isabelle Heward
21
0
26
0
47
0
Mohan Mudigonda
21
2
24
6
45
8

Does that help us to make predictions? Not necessarily. What it does do is help us make observations. One very interesting thing that the table reveals is that the contenders with the lowest aggregate specialist scores also have the lowest aggregate GK scores, and those with the highest specialists also have the highest GKs. Both Mohan and Isabelle had good enough general knowledge to overhaul 2 point deficits in their semis. However, with the quality of the field in a grand final, it would be extremely difficult to do the same again. Put in simple terms, if you don’t manage to be, at the very least, at the leader’s shoulder when you turn around for home, then it’s going to be extremely difficult.

So does the fact that Steven Marc Rhodes heads the aggregate totals make him favourite? Good question. It certainly suggests that he’s going to go well. However if we look beyond the aggregate we can make an observation there. Steven produced a good score of 12 on Specialist in his heat, but a brilliant score of 13 in his semi. On the other hand he produced a decent 10 on GK in his semi, but a brilliant 19 on GK in his heat. It just suggests a little inconsistency. Now, if he produces a specialist round like his semi, together with a GK round like his heat, then he’s a strong favourite. However if he produces a specialist round like his heat, and a specialist round like his semi, then it could be a lot closer.

You could say something similar about John Cockerill’s specialist rounds. He scored 12 in both, which makes his semi performance notably better than his heat. What you can say about John’s GK rounds are that they are both extremely good performances, and there’s no reason to suggest he won’t replicate this in the final. I’m not going to make predictions about who will win, but if I were I’d definitely have John on the podium.

Our two mid-table contenders, Lynn Edwards and Frances Slack are interesting. Compared with her SS round in the heat, Lynn underperformed in the semi, while Frances held her form well in the semi SS round, while underperforming in the GK compared with her fantastic 17 in the heat. This is just my feeling, and by all means feel free to disagree, but I always feel happier about the chances of contenders who produce consistently impressive GK performances. Predicting how someone is going to do on Specialist is a very inexact Science – there are so many things which can go wrong and foil weeks of diligent preparation.  However, if you’ve had two impressive GK performances in heat and semi, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that you’re more likely to do so in the final as well. So, of the two I just fancy Lynn Edwards’ chances a little more, despite her relatively modest specialist in the heat.

Does that mean I’m completely dismissing the chances of LAM readers Isabelle Heward and Mohan Mudigonda? No, not at all, that would be a foolish thing to do. What I am saying is that I believe that it will require a better performance than either managed in heat and semi if they are going to win. Now, as we know, the winner will be the player who deserves it on the day, who puts in the best overall performance in the final. But I can’t help hoping that Isabelle, appearing in her first final after so many semi-final appearances, goes well. But then I hope that everyone can do themselves justice. All of these contenders can feel very proud about what they have achieved in Mastermind this year, and will have nothing to be ashamed of whatever happens in the final. Nonetheless, I wish them all luck, and hope that they will be able to sit back when al the dust has settled, and be happy that they did the best they could.

5 comments:

Liam Holton said...

I think we're in for a close fight next week. These contenders have impressed everyone by using tactics such as never passing and always guessing an answer. So it will be fierce just as it was last year.

Ian F said...

I noticed Isabelle won a heat of Brain of Britain a couple of weeks ago. It would be fun to see her in the final of that as well.

Dan said...

I think I can say with some authority by now that past form means little when the Menace starts Approaching. Should be fascinating.

Steve lacey said...

I have read the blog with interest and as the unused standby for the final,Isabelle having knocked me out in the semi-final, without giving anything at all away I would agree that it was fascinating watching from the sidelines.I did manage a chat with 3 of the contestants beforehand and they all did very well to get there despite my attempts to tamper with their food.

Dan said...

See what I mean?