Before we start, I think it worth saying that on Jenny Turner’s excellent Quizzlestick website it mentioned that there was an article in this week’s Radio Times that seemed to suggest that the good people of 21st Century Quiz are asked to produce GK rounds tailored to some extent to each competitor –the quote from one of the setters was -
“But if someone’s got a career in science they might have a slightly harder one in their general knowledge than someone who was a musician.”
Very interesting, that.
Tonight then saw the last five semi finalists take to the chair. They were : -
Ian Scott Massie
LAM reader and one-time resident of Ealing, Jesse Honey won heat 13 back in January, answering questions on the London Borough of Wandsworth. Much fancied to do well tonight, Jesse this time was answering on the Life and Work of Antoni Gaudi. I have to admit that I’m a lover of Gaudi’s work myself, ever since a visit to the Sagrada Familia during a rainstorm several years ago. This didn’t mean that I could answer many of these questions. Jesse, however, made a mockery of the curse of the Clark sofa by having a perfect round of 14 from 14. Superb round.
In Heat 6, way back in October last year, we saw Chloe Stone clinch her place in the semis , answering on the Cazalet Novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard. Tonight she offered us British History from 1815 to 1914. Hello – I thought – chance of getting a few answers here, my boy. You know how it is. You want to answer at least one question right on every subject, although it doesn’t always happen. However there are some subjects where you fancy you could give it a good old lash. Without doubt some of these questions could have been asked in a GK round. Still I was pleased with my 9. Not as good as Chloe Stone’s 13 and 1 pass, though. Good performance.
Peter Cowan was runner up to Andrew Maclagan in Heat 14 in January, when he answered on Caesar’s Gallic Wars. Tonight he gave us The Pliocene and Galactic Milieu Novels of Julian May. I think they probably had to give the person who makes the captions overtime for that one. I will confess that I did once try to read “The Many Coloured Land “ many years ago, but found that it was not for me. Each to their own. Peter looked a little nervous in the chair, and passed on his first question, but then he was away. 11 is a good score in a 2 minute round, and in a 90 second round its even better. Well done, sir.
In October Ian Scott Massie was a close runner up to Andrew Warmington in Heat 7. Then he offered us the Life of Paul Nash. Tonight his subject was the films of Powell and Pressburger, another fine subject. Mr. Scott Massie started very confidently, snapping out his answers very quickly. However the fact is that this was a very wide subject, and although there were no passes and no pauses worth speaking about, a number of questions slipped through the net, and he ended with 8 points.
Finally came Ian Orris, conqueror of my friend Les Morrell back in Heat 3 in September. Well, Les has already claimed his spot in the Final, but Ian was going to have to go some to give himself a chance of joining him. In the first round, Ian answered on the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Tonight he went for King Henry IV. Cards on the table, I’ve always thought that Kings and Queens make good specialist subjects – I took George IV in my own semi final. This was a very good and confident performance. No unneccessary amplification of answers offered, and answers snapped out as quickly as possible. No surprise , then , that Ian managed a superb 14 .
So on to the General Knowledge. Down among the wines and spirits Ian Scott Massie returned to the chair first. 6 points behind in real terms, it looked a tall order. It was nice to see a nod to Brain of Britain in one of the questions. A fighting 11 took his score to 19. Peter Cowan may feel himself rather unlucky to have been in 4th after scoring 11, but these semis have shown some extremely well prepared contenders in the GK rounds. You can tell the World Cup is on its way since he was asked a question about the Jules Rimet Trophy. I’m afraid that nerves seemed to make him hesitate a couple of times in this round, but he still managed to take his score to 21.
Chloe Stone answered her first three GK questions very confidently, with no hint of the pass spiral she was to fall into. 4 passes later she managed to pull herself out, but the round was a desperate struggle for her. Having said that, you might think that 7 passes in a round indicates something of a train wreck, but it wasn’t. For all that she still added 9 to her score, and even took the lead with 22. So , with the full weight of the Clark tip hardly seeming a burden to him Jesse Honey returned, and zoomed through the questions for one of the finest GK rounds we’ve seen for a few years now. 16 points gave him 30 – as a matter of interest that’s higher than he scored in the first round, when he had 30 seconds longer on specialist. All of which didn’t just give Ian Orris a mountain to climb, it gave him Mount Everest. With K2 on top. Still he can be pretty pleased with the way that he went about it. Crisp and sharp answering brought him 11 points for 25.
Congratulations Jesse ! A stunning performance , which puts him right up among the favourites for the title. Since this completes the semis, we’ll be taking a look at all of the finalists, and seeing who gets burdened with the curse of the Clark sofa , in my preview which will appear within the next couple of days. Watch this space !
|Jesse Honey||The Life and Work of Antoni Gaudi||14 – 0||16 - 0||30 – 0|
|Chloe Stone||British History 1815 - 1914||13 - 1||9 - 7||22 -8|
|Peter Cowan||The Pliocene and Galactic Milieu Novels of Julian May||11 - 1||10 – 2||21 - 3|
|Ian Scott Massie||The Films of Powell and Pressburger||8 - 0||11 - 1||19 – 1|
|Ian Orris||King Henry IV||14 - 0||11 - 3||25 – 3|