Saturday, 12 February 2011

Brain of Britain Semi Final 4

The last four brave contestants trying to earn a place in what looks like a fearsome grand final line up were William de’Ath, Elizabeth Manning, Derek Moody and Andy Tucker. The form guide suggested that 2010 Mastermind semi finalist William de’Ath, who had the highest score in the first round of these four semi finalists, should be the favourite. However Derek Moody was also a Mastermind runner up, and we saw last year just how successful they can be in BoB. Elizabeth Manning won through just pipping our own Mark Walton for the last repechage slot, and Andy Tucker had quietly impressed when winning heat 7.

First to show were Elizabeth with three correct answers on her own questions in the first round, and especially Andy, who took the first four of his own questions, and two bonuses for good measure. He looked good value for his lead.

When you’re on BoB your absolute nightmare is to get stinkers, and keep getting stinkers for your first question, round after round. To be fair it rarely happens quite as badly as that, but it happened to poor William de’Ath. Rounds 2, 3 and 4 all saw him fail to score a point on his own questions, which realistically made his chances of progressing extremely slim.Derek fared slightly better, picking up points in the first three rounds, but as a contest the early stages were all about Elizabeth and Andy. By the end of the third round, as we broke for the Beat the Brains interval, Andy led by 10 to Elizabeth’s 9, with William and Derek both on 4.

The Listener’s questions were dispatched to the boundary without any hesitation. All the panellists knew that when Matti Nykanen of Finland won both individual ski jump gold medals in Calgary in 1988, Eddie The Eagle Edwards came last in both competitions. They also knew all about the Jamaican bob sleigh team. Back to the game, and we were rather becalmed for the next two rounds. In round six, though, William finally managed to escape from the shackles a nasty set of questions had placed upon him, and scored the only full set of five of the whole contest. With a bonus as well, the seven point put him up to 11, just two points behind Elizabeth, but still 5 points behind Andy, who had a good round himself. Russell then announced that this would in fact be the last round. William fell on the first question of his set. It had been a valiant fightback from a fine quizzer, but the quiz gods had clearly set out their stall against him this evening. Elizabeth improved her score by one, but with a good enough lead any way Andy saw out the match by answering his first. The final scores were : -

William de’Ath – 11
Elizabeth Manning – 14
Derek Moody – 6
Andy Tucker – 19

So we have the final line up : -
Mark Kerr
John Beynon
Iwan Thomas
Andy Tucker

I’m sure they are all biting their fingernails, hoping to goodness that they don’t become the recipient of the Clark tip. I honestly, hand on heart, have no inside information on this one, and genuinely do not know how it did/will turn out. So with that in mind , this is how I see it. Both Andy and John have shown that they are excellent quizzers, and great competitors. Either of them could win, and either of them would be a worthy champ. Both Mark and Iwan, though, are incredibly strong. If I’m put on the spot, I’d say that I think it will be one of them. No disrespect to Iwan, whom I don’t know as well, but I shall be rooting for Mark, who I have had the honour of sharing a studio with, and who is a great guy as well as being a great quizzer.

Good luck to all of you.

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