Our first contender tonight was the first one who has previous form for quite some time. Kathryn Johnson has competed twice before. However its not just in Mastermind that she has previous form. Kathryn Johnson is currently ranked within the top 20 quizzers – of either gender – in the whole country. As such, I expected fireworks. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Kathryn offered us Victorian and Edwardian Poisoners , an interesting subject indeed, for her specialist round. I was interested to hear her say in her filmed insert that in the 19th century, if you poisoned someone you actually had a 70% chance of getting away with it. This was a fine round, with Kathryn confidently batting back some quite involved and complicated questions, setting the target at 15 and 1 pass.
Daniel Tudor was the first of three Mastermind newcomers to follow Kathryn to the chair. His specialist subject was the Life and Music of Lead Belly. Huddie William Leadbetter was an American folk and blues musician . According to Mr. Tudor , in his filmed insert he heavily influenced American folk and blues music from the 1950s onwards, and pointed out that the White Stripes use one of his songs in their stage performances. I’ve no doubt that Mr. Tudor know his subject, but a couple of early questions floored him, and this , allied to what seemed quite a bad attack of nerves, meant that he was never really able to build up a head of steam. He finished the round with 8.
Bishop John Robinson – no – he wasn’t the next contender, but the next specialist subject, and he was offered to us by Andy Lie. Mr. Lie explained that Robinson, at one time the bishop of Woolwich, and the Dean of Trinity College Cambridge, was an influential cleric who was open to inspiration from other traditions of faith encountered on his international travels. Mr. Lie made quite heavy weather of this round. He seemed rather overcome by the speed required, and did struggle his way to 7 points.
Youngest contender of the week was Gavin Fraser, a student whose specialist subject was The Football World Cup from 1930 – 58 , in what passed for the most obviously populist specialist round of this week. Mr. Fraser certainly knew his stuff. There were a few old stagers to begin with – Fontaine and Belo Horizonte for example, but plenty of far more obscure stuff too. For example, I didn’t know that it was Stan Mortensen who scored England’s first ever goal in the world cup finals. A good round saw Mr. Fraser take his score to 13.
Andy Lie was first to return for the General Knowledge round. I’m afraid that his general round made his specialist round look positively relaxed by comparison. He knew , obviously knew, more than the three questions he managed to answer, but he just couldn’t drag many of the answers past the tip of his tongue. He finished with 10 points. Daniel Tudor at least managed to match his first round score in his general round. Its all relative, I know, but I found his set of questions to be a bit more difficult than the other three sets of GK questions. Its just the luck of the draw. Still, at least his final score of 16 was enough to give him the lead, albeit only for a couple of minutes inevitably.
Gavin Fraser followed. While it never looked likely that he was going to post a target that would prevent any real problems to Kathryn, I he did have at least an outside chance of pushing his way onto the runner up board. He’d need 12 to do it , though, and after the first minute this looked unlikely. Younger contenders are often at a disadvantage in the GK rounds I feel, and viewed in this light his 9 was a decent battling performance. He finished with 22.
Right, time for a little bragging. Before tonight’s show, the last two people to score 30 in proper Mastermind were Nancy in last year’s final , and myself in the previous final. Yes, there were quite a few other scores of 30 or better in my series too, but certainly since then 30 point scores have become pretty rare. Kathryn’s round looked like a winner right from the start. I’ve seen people answer more quickly, but when you are getting so many of them right as Kathryn did, then you do build up an almost irresistible momentum. The target was easily reached, and then she pushed on, and hit 30 with a question to spare. 15 is a terrific score on GK, and this was the first 30 we’ve seen this series. I think John Humphrys called it a ‘stonking’ score, and he’s right. Congratulations, Kathryn. Who is to say we won’t have a second female champion in 2 years ?
|Kathryn Johnson||Victorian and Edwardian Poisoners||15 – 1||15 – 2||30 – 3|
|Daniel Tudor||The Life and Music of Lead Belly||8 –3||8 – 6||16 – 9|
|Andy Lie||Bishop John Robinson||7 – 2||3 – 3||10 – 5|
|Gavin Fraser||The Football World Cup – 1930 – 58||13 – 2||9 – 6||22 – 8|
Current Highest Scoring Runners Up
|John Cooper||29 – 3|
|Ian Scott Massie||26 – 2|
|Les Morrell||26 - 3|
|Colin Wilson||25 - 0|
|Peter Cowans||25 - 2|
|William de'Ath||25 - 4|