Saturday, 5 January 2013

Sleb Mastermind - Show 9

No prizes for guessing where the support from the Clark sofa was going in this show. Well, actually there were two potential recipients. As an England rugby legend Austin Healey would normally get my vote. However I haven’t met him, and I did meet Nick Hancock at the GetConnected Charity quiz last November, and so it had to be him.

This looked to be a good choice when he began his specialist subject, Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”. Now, I know that this is becoming a bit of a familiar refrain, but the fact is that I have never read the book, nor seen the film. Yes, I know that I have a degree in English Literature, but the fact is that I was always much more of a medievalist. So my 3 points weren’t actually that bad under the circumstances. Not anything like as good as Nick’s 12. Had he avoided his one pass he might even have set the highest specialist score of the series outright, instead of merely sharing top spot on the series leaderboard.

T’Pau’s “China In Your Hand” was a good song, I grant you, but even so it’s enabled Carol Decker to pursue a sleb career for a long time, hasn’t it. I’m no pop expert, but I couldn’t name another song she did. Never mind. She was here on behalf of a charity and that’s praiseworthy in itself. Tina Turner promised a lot, and it actually delivered 9 points. That’s 9 for me and 9 for Carol as well.

Austin Healey is a very competitive person, I’m sure. I doubt whether you could be a world class sportsman – and although he has his detractors the fact is that he was a world class sportsman – without being naturally competitive. So I guess that he’ll have been annoyed with himself for finishing down the pack with 8 at the halfway stage. I thought I’d do better than my own 3 points as well, but there you go, can’t win them all. Never mind, there would be another specialist round along in a minute.

The one which came along , offered by Michael Underwood, was much more to my liking. The Roger Moore James Bond films may not have been the very best of the series – well, let’s be brutally honest , they weren’t – but when they first appeared I was young and my heart was an open book, so to speak. I equaled Michael’s score with 11, and funnily enough it was the same question we both got wrong – well, both passed anyway. The others were a walk in the park. Come to think of it I think Roger Moore needs a stunt double to walk in the park for him these days, but I digress.

Austin returned to the chair first, answering on behalf of The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. Here my point about the man’s competitiveness was born out as he treated us to a terrific 16. His score of 24 didn’t , if I’m honest look like a winning one, what with Nick already on 12, but it was a good ‘un and left him able to look back on his Mastermind experience with at least some satisfaction. Carol, representing Crisis, managed to get herself into double figures with 11, which also had the effect of pushing her to the psychologically important score of 20. No chance of a win, but not amongst the worst of the series.

Michael Underwood, whose chosen charity was Born Too Soon, started his round brightly enough. However the passes and pauses started creeping in, and pretty soon he was behind the clock. He actually scored 1 less on GK than he did on specialist , which is something the majority of slebs have avoided this year, and his ten was just enough to put him into second.

Two questions remained to be answered. Would Nick score the 13 he needed to win the show outright ? It looked likely. Would I score the clear round I needed to get my second glam slam of clear rounds in one show of this series ? The answer to both questions was yes. Nick whacked in a very impressive 18, to give us the first 30 pointer of this year’s series, and I cleared the round with all questions correctly answered. Well done Nick !

The Details
Nick Hancock Douglas Macmillan Hospice The Great Gatsby 12 - 118 – 130 – 2
Carol Decker Crisis Tina Turner 9 – 2 11 – 2 20 - 4
Austin Healey The Rainbow Trust Everton FC 8 – 2 16 – 1 24 - 3
Michael Underwood Born Too Soon James Bond the Roger Moore Years 11 – 1 10 – 4 21 – 5

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