Saturday, 26 February 2011

Mastermind - Round One Review - Round Two Preview

Well, we now have the qualifiers for the semi finals of this year’s Mastermind, and one of these 30 people will be the successor to Jesse Honey. Here’s the list, arranged in order of totals. In brackets I’ve also put their scores on the GK round, for reasons which I will explain after. Highest scoring runners up are in italics.

Iwan Thomas – 37 – 1 (23)
Brian Pendreigh – 35 – 2 (20)
Keith Nickless – 34 – 1(16)
Nick Mills – 34 – 4 (16)
Thomas Perry – 33 – 3(16)
Paul Steeples – 32 -3 (17)
Brian Daugherty – 31 – 2 (15)
Gillian Taylor – 30 -1 (12)
Hamish Cameron – 30 – 2 (17)
Stephen Porter – 30 – 3(15)
Edmund Dickinson – 30 – 4 (15)
Lee Holmes – 30 – 4 (14)
Anne Skillen - 30 -7(13)
James Collenette - 29 – 2(16)
Tim Fenn – 29 – 2 (12)
Diane Hallagan – 29 – 4(17)
Ian Bayley – 28 – 0 (17)
Min Lacey – 28 – 0 (16)
Bill Cawley – 28 – 1 (14)
Philip Evans – 28 – 1(14)
Rachael Neiman – 28 – 1 (10)
Peter Watkins – 28 – 5 (15)
Julia Hobbs – 27 – 4 (14)
Peter Reilly – 27 – 4 (12)
Geoff Weller – 27 – 5 (12)
Robin Seavill – 27 – 7 (13)
John Wharton – 27 – 8 (14)
Leslie Hurn – 26 – 2 (14)
Kate Morris – 24 – 5 (10)
Martin Short – 20 – 3 (12)

Stand out performances are those of 2011 Brain of Britain champion Iwan Thomas, and our own Brian Pendreigh, both of whom scored in the 20s on their GK rounds. Congratulations too to our own Rachael Neiman, who is now a double semi finalist, having been part of the Manchester team who made it to the semis in last year’s University Challenge. Go Cherryade ! I may be wrong, but I think this will be Hamish Cameron’s 4th appearance in the semi finals, which is a Mastermind record. Ian Bayley, the only person so far to do the Only Connect and Brain of Britain double, not to mention coming runner up to Nancy in 2009, is in there too. The best show of the series - well you'd have to go a long way to beat the titanic battle between Keith Nickless and Nick Mills, who both scored 34s in their heat.

So, who looks good for the final ? Well, the temptation would be to take the first 6 off the top of the table. Oh, if only life were that simple ! A couple of factors make that a very dangerous thing to do. Firstly, there is no seeding as such in the semis. The team put together sets of subjects which they think will make a good show for the semis. This is why its not uncommon to get a ‘top heavy’ semi where two or more contenders for the overall title have to slug it out with each other just to reach the final. That’s just the way that it is. If you want to be the champion you have to be prepared to play anybody in any round of the competition. Also, anyone can play a blinder on the night, and anyone can have a ‘mare. So bearing that in mind, here’s what I think.

Iwan Thomas and Brain Pendreigh pretty much pick themselves for my list of most likely finalists – unless they get drawn in the same semi. Paul Steeples looks good value, and I hope that Hamish can make it through too. You have to say that anyone whose overall was 30 or more, and whose GK was at least 15 looks like a potential finalist. I mention the GK because for me it’s a slightly more reliable indicator than SS. For one thing its half a minute longer, and for another anyone can potentially have ONE good SS subject, but producing a massive SS score twice in a row takes something more. Which is why, for example, Gillian Taylor does not make it onto my list of potential finalists – only 12 on GK. Sorry Gillian, and I’ll be delighted for you if I’m wrong. Likewise it makes you look at some dangerous names in the middle of the draw on the 29s and 28s– Diane Hallagan and the afore mentioned Ian Bayley both scored 17 on their GK rounds, and James Collenette scored 16 on his. Which is why, incidentally , I’d say that Diane is a better bet for the final than Lee Holmes, even though Lee beat Diane in last night’s show.

As regards the male /female split, there are 7 female semi finalists , which is slightly less than a quarter, which is perhaps a little less than might be expected. I would say that Diane is the best bet for a final slot, although you’d be a fool to discount Min Lacey, who scored 16 on her GK round, and is an experienced TV quizzer as well.

Apologies to all of those whose chances I’ve probably just scuppered by mentioning them.


HughTube said...

Do you know if some of the stronger competitors, experienced quizzers who are there to win, use their weakest specialist subject in the first round? I think I would if I were in their position, you can aim to get 27/28 to get through the first round and the top quizzers can do that with just 10 or 11 on SS, whereas you'd want to be getting above 15 in the final in order to win. Or is the timing as such that no-one would take that in to consideration?

bj said...

Yes, it is fair to say that some quizzers were holding back on specialisms.

Londinius said...

Hi Hugh and bj

I can only really answer for myself with any degree of certainty. I wouldn't say that I had a banker subject of my 3 in 2007, although I was very happy to be going with Henry Ford in round 1. Funnily enough I did score higher on my semi and final subjects, though. I think that the point is to offer three subjects which you are as happy as you can be with - then learn, learn , learn, I'd have been worried of saving a banker subject if I'd had one, since there's no guarantee you'd get to use it.


Paul Steeples said...

I can't say I deliberately chose my weakest subject first, but then I'm well known for having no tactical acumen whatsoever...

Unknown said...

I chose what I thought would be my strongest subject for the first round, figuring that there was no point in saving a banker, only to fail to proceed to the semis. In the event though I ended up doing much better on the other two! It's hard to predict how well you'll do on one subject relative to the others.

Gruff said...

I only picked subjects I knew I could revise in the time given. I wasn't an expert in any of them before going on the show.

I don't think there is any point saving your best subject for the final. Just make sure you pick good, reviseable topics for all 3 rounds.

Katie F said...

I'd just like to say Peter Reilly was my history tutor last year and I am so glad he won his smei final. He is such a nice bloke and excellent at his job. He has so much enthusiasm and passion for history it rubs off on you and you want to do well to reflect his excellent teaching. WELL DONE PETER.
Katie F

Londinius said...

Hi Katie, and welcome to LAM.

Peter Reilly's performance was extremely good ! I don't know Peter at all, but I know how good Iwan and Nick are - superb quizzers both of them. Getting to the final against such oppsotion is something he can be exceptionally pround of !

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