Friday, 9 February 2018

Mastermind 2018 Semi Final 2


Shall we start with the form guide? Here’s how last night’s contenders did in their heats: - 

Adam Gilchrist
The Battle of Agincourt
12
0
11
2
23
2
Cliff Houghton
Everton FC
12
0
14
0
26
0
Chris Cummins
Paul Simon
13
0
13
4
26
4
Madeline Grant
The Harry Potter Novels
15
0
10
0
25
0
Alfred Williams
The Life and Times of Alfred the Great
15
0
16
3
31
3

Now, being honest you have to say that one name stands out. Step forward Alfred Williams. If that GK performance was not a flash in the pan, and I had no reason to suspect it was, then Alfred was going to go very well indeed. The only former semi finalist was Chris Cummins, who’d done well in his previous campaign, but had left himelf too much to do on GK in his previous semi.

So Adam Gilchrist kicked us off with the sitcom Frasier. Very well he did it, too. Last time out he scored a useful 12 off 120 seconds on Agincourt. So realistically, his 10 on Frasier was an improvement. Ironic that this should be show the week that British born John Mahoney, who played Marty, Frasier’s dad, passed away. I watched the show from time to time, but only managed the three easiest questions. Not a great start if I was going to improve on last week’s aggregate SS total.

Cliff Houghton was this week’s repechage semi finalist. He was a contender in that remarkable 9th first round heat where the winner David Love, Cliff and Teresa De Billot all qualified for the semis. He too had scored 12 on his specialist subject – Everton FC. Switching codes to Rugby League, he too improved in real terms, scoring 10 on Warrington Rugby League Football Club. Just the one for me, and prospects were looking bad.

By now, Chris Cummins isn’t just an old Mastermind hand, he’s experience in other broadcast quizzes as well, most notably being part of a team which reached the finals of Only Connect a few years ago. Like Adam, Chris offered us a sitcom that I watched from time to time, but didn’t know anything like enough about – namely Absolutely Fabulous. There was a sense of inevitability in the way that he too claimed a score of 10. Three for me took me to 7 overall.

Madeline Grant participated previously in Marianne’s 2015 series, where she was just a point or two short of a repechage semi slot. In her heat she was allowed to use one of those subjects I don’t think we’ll see again for a while – The Harry Potter Novels where she scored an excellent 15. She did very well again last night with the novels of Jane Austen. Madeline’s round demonstrated the way that if you really snap the answers quickly back at John H, then he sometimes speeds up his delivery. I noticed that in a couple of rounds last night. Madeline’s 11put her into the lead, and my 5 put me into respectable territory.

Finally Alfred Williams, my pre-match favourite. He was answering on Eric Satie, which meant it was a case of Dave C – nul points. Alfred too fired back the answers at machine gun speed and was rewarded by a quick delivery of the questions. He finished with 10, but being only one point behind Madeline, the Clark 50p looked to be backing the right runner. Without wishing to sound horrible, I felt in my heart of hearts that even despite the fact that only 1 point separated the 5 contenders, it would be a two horse race, between Chris and Alfred.

Adam returned first to the chair, and I’m afraid that his GK round was a bit of a struggle for him. He never go the run of questions he needed to build up any momentum, and when John told him he’d scored a total of 18 overall, his face told the story. He knew it wasn’t going to be enough. Cliff Houghton pushed the target into the 20s. A double figure round on GK in 2 minutes is a good round, but you have to say that with the big hitters still to come, his score of 10 for 20 never looked like it was going to be enough. 

This was emphasised as Chris took the first minute of his own GK round and pretty much ripped it to shreds. He was well ahead of the clock, and was always going to take the lead. However the second minute of his round was not as good as the first. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, 13 off 2 minutes is a very good score, but at one stage I thought he was heading for 15 or more. Yes, the remaining two contenders would have to pass throught the corridor of doubt, but the corridor was not quite as long as it might have been.

Like Chris, Alfred ripped the first minute of his GK round to shreds. He continued to do so through the second minute as well. It wasn’t a perfect GK round, but then how often do you see that? That didn’t matter. It was a great GK round, and 15 off 2 minutes is top drawer quizzing. Alfred finished with 25, and the mountain that Madeline had to climb had assumed Everest proportions.

I’m not just saying this. Normally I manage to score a similar amount on all the GK rounds in a given show, allowing for the speed of the contender’s answers and the number of questions asked. I have to say though that I rather struggled with Madeline’s round. I’m not saying it was necessarily harder than others, just that it was harder for me. So I have some sympathy with Madeline. By the minute mark she was out of contention for the win, and it was just a question of how close to the top she could get. In the end she finished with 18.

Well played all, and many congratulations to Alfred – a very serious contender for the title, I would say. 

The Details

Adam Gilchrist
Frasier
10
1
8
3
18
4
Cliff Houghton
Warrington RLFC 1895 - present
10
0
10
1
20
1
Chris Cummins
Absolutely Fabulous
10
1
13
3
23
3
Madeline Grant
Life and Works of Jane Austen
11
1
7
2
18
3
Alfred Williams
The Life and Music of Eric Satie
10
0
15
1
25
1

1 comment:

claire slater said...

Very exciting semi final