Vicky Versaci answered questions on The Hannibal Lecter Novels of Thomas Harris. Tonight was one of those nights when I achieved my aim of answering at least one question in each of the specialist rounds. Mind you, this was only because I’ve seen “The Silence of the Lambs “ a couple of times – I’ve never read any of the books. Vicky did rather better than this. On 4 points she hit a mini pass spiral which rather took the wind out of her sails, and although she pulled herself out of it she didn’t really get a huge amount of momentum going. Never mind, she reached respectability with double figures.
The History of Alcatraz was the interesting subject offered by second contender Paul Philpot. This looked on the surface to be the kind of unusual subject where you’d expect the contender to be extremely well prepared, and to be fair Paul didn’t disappoint on this score. He was going great guns – very fast answers without a hint of a wrong ‘un anywhere, until just the one answer tripped him up in the second half of the round. Not to worry, he mentally picked himself up, dusted himself off, and completed the round at top speed. 17 is a great score – well done.
I’ll admit it, I have a soft spot for British comedy films from the 50s through the 70s, so I was looking forward to Carole Symonds’ round on The Carry On Films. We last saw this as a subject when Sally Lindsay won her Celebrity Mastermind show a year or two ago. Carole obviously knew her stuff, but I’m afraid that nerves were rather her undoing. For example, when she was asked the name of Hengist Pod’s wife in the very finest of the films, Carry On Cleo, she knew the character was played by Sheila Hancock, but couldn’t remember the character’s name – inevitably Senna. She did remember enough to gain 8 points – not a huge total, but not one to be ashamed of either.
At last Brian. Now, being realistic, Brian was going to be good on General Knowledge, so there would be no need to panic if he couldn’t match Paul’s score. His subject was the Beatles – ah, another great subject. Although having said that , there has been so much written and said about them, that the amount of work it must take covering all the angles and any potential questions is mind bogging. Brian didn’t quite manage a perfect round, but it was extremely good. 15 and no passes put him handily placed at Paul’s shoulder, as we progressed to the General rounds.
Carole was already out of the running, to be fair. I thought that her general questions were very fair, but I’m afraid that she made rather heavy going of it. She added another 7 to her score to make a total of 15. Vicky had a two point advantage over Carole at the halfway stage, but she needed all of this, as nerves and a pass spiral ate into her time in a big way. She knew a lot more than she answered, as she ruefully showed when John gave her the answers to her passes. She took her total to 16.
Brain returned to the chair, and what followed was a performance straight out of the top drawer. The highest scores in a 2 and a half minute GK round we have seen before were the 19 scored by Jesse Honey, and the 20 scored by Pat Gibson in the Champions final. The highest score in a GK round of this series so far had been LAM reader Paul Steeples’ 17. Brian equalled Pat’s record with 20. It was a fabulous round, answers snapped out with no hesitation, no time wasted on the ones he didn’t know which produced the 2 passes. Some great answers, but just as impressive was not dropping a point on any bread and butter either. Brian , that was magnificent !
Not that the show was officially over yet, but in all honesty the chances of having two contenders who could perform like that on the same show seemed slim. Paul returned to the chair, and he certainly started brightly enough. However I’m afraid that the enormity of the task ahead of him seemed to adversely affect his performance. He was becalmed on 21 for what seemed like a very long time. The win slipped away very quickly, and it became less and less likely he’d manage to get enough to get on the semi final board. That’s a shame, but at least he takes away the memory of a very fine Specialist performance.
As for Brian, you have to say that Scotland has found in him a contender who shows every sign of giving them a very good run for their money this year. Many, many congratulations !
|Vicky Versaci||The Hannibal Lecter Novels of Thomas Harris||10 - 6||6 – 7||16 – 13|
|Paul Philpot||The History of Alcatraz||17 - 0||7 - 5||24 – 5|
|Carole Symonds||The Carry On Films||8- 0||7 - 4||15 – 4|
|Brian Pendreigh||The Beatles||15 - 0||20 - 2||35 – 2|
Current Highest Scoring Runners-Up
Anne Skillen - 30 -7
James Collenette - 29 - 2
Ian Packham - 27 – 7
Chris Harrison - 26 - 1
Laura Humphreys 25 – 4
Simon Martin 25 – 6