Saturday, 9 November 2013

Mastermind - Round One - heat Twelve

After a two week break for Autumnwatch – ho hum – Mastermind was allowed back for the twelfth first round heat of this year’s series. The first contender, Stephen Dempsey, took my favourite subject of this show, Star Trek: The Original Series. I don’t know if it was nerves, but Stephen hesitated a bit on a few of his questions, and missed a few others. His score of 8 was certainly nothing to be ashamed of on a subject which really required detailed knowledge of a lot of episodes – I’ve watched them all several times over and I only had 5. 8, though, is not really going to give you much of a chance going into the GK round. There was a rather controversial moment at the end of the round as well. Stephen’s last question was interrupted by the buzzer, and he clearly told John that he didn’t catch it because of the buzzer. Now, I know the rule seems to be no repeat of the last question, but even so John didn’t even allow him the chance for a wild guess, and took it immediately as a pass. Alright, it wasn’t going to affect the overall result of the show, but even so it was fairly harsh on Stephen I felt.

James Ludden was offering my second favourite subject of the evening, The Rugby Union World Cup. Unwikied I had 7 of these. James, on the other hand, raced through to a highly impressive 15. Were the questions slightly shorter this week? I don’t know – it may be that I’ve just got used to the waffling question format that seems to have been adopted for this series. Whatever the case, James certainly knew his stuff, and didn’t look the least bit phased by sitting in the black chair, and was looking the favourite for the win already.

Chloe Stone last passed this way in 2009/10 in Jesse’s series. She won her first round heat with the Cazalet novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard. In the semi she took British History between Waterloo and the outbreak of world war 1. She had the misfortune to be in Jesse’s semi, so that was the end of her run. Last night she was answering on the Fethering Mysteries of Simon Brett. I have never read any, so I didn’t trouble the scorer. Chloe’s score of 12 was slightly lower than both of those she managed in 2010, and it did mean that she had a three point deficit to overcome in the GK. Not that it’s insurmountable, but it’s a significant hurdle.

Bringing the last round to a close Allan Cook answered questions on the life of Giordano Bruno. No, he didn’t win the World Heavyweight Title from Oliver McCall, he was an astronomer. I would probably have had more points if it had been Frank Bruno, as I managed just the one. Allan again knew his stuff, but you got the feeling that the 11 points he had scored just weren’t going to be enough. He needed four answers right to just pull level with James.

It was Stephen who was first to return to the chair, though. His round represented a lot of honest endeavour, but a few wrong answers, some passes, and some fairly long hesitations meant that he never really managed to establish any momentum. As it was he gritted his way to another 8 points for 16, and at least had the satisfaction of leading the contest again, even if it was going to be a short lived lead. Allan was the next to go, and his round had rather more bite and attack than the previous one. It never quite looked like it was going to be the kind of super score that he would need to push himself into serious contention, but any round in the teens in GK isn’t bad going at all, and Allan managed 13.

In her previous two GK rounds Chloe had scored 12 and 9 from 2 minutes. That suggested a potential of anywhere between 12 and 16. Her face remained a picture of concentration throughout the round, and she did what you must do in giving an answer to everything, a good guess where you can, and a correct answer when you know it. This resulted in a round of 15, which set the bar at 27. With 2 passes altogether it was enough to put Chloe into a repechage slot at this stage of the competition. Just as importantly it was the kind of score she needed to at least put James into the corridor of uncertainty.

Well, James himself seemed not the least bit bothered about being in the corridor, and made calm, comfortable progress through his round, picking off the answers well. He was always ahead of the clock, and had passed the finish line with enough of a margin to add another three points to take his score to 30. John commented that we rarely see scores of 30. I suppose that’s a fair comment when applied to this series – this is only the third so far. But then a super high score in the first round isn’t necessarily that significant, especially when you get put into a top heavy semi-final. In my series, for example, 6 people scored 30 or more in the first round. Only one of those made it through to the final. Nonetheless, this is not to take anything away from James; that was an impressive performance, as much for the manner in which the score was achieved as for the score itself.

John made the point that Chloe’s score could well see her back in a repechage slot. Well, yes, maybe it could. However we do have three people all tied on 27 and 2 passes. What happens if we have one more contender coming runner-up with a score of 27 and 1 or better? How do they decide who goes off the board? Answers on a postcard, please.

The Details

Stephen Dempsey Star Trek: The Original Series8 – 28 - 516 - 7
James LuddenThe Rugby Union World Cup15 - 015 - 130 - 1
Chloe StoneThe Fethering Mysteries of Simon Brett12 - 115 - 127 - 2
Allan CookLife of Giordano Bruno 11 - 013 - 424 - 4

Repechage Places

Steven Broomfield 30 – 1
Beth Webster 28 – 2
Ron Wood 28 – 3
=Carol O’Byrne 27 – 2
=Peter Russell 27 – 2
=Chloe Stone 27 - 2


George Millman said...

I have been wondering about how it is decided who gets eliminated if there is a tie on high-scoring runners-up as well. The only thing I can think of is maybe in that instance, they keep the player who scored the closest to the winner of their heat? I know that is fairly arbitrary, but there has to be some way of choosing.

Could someone contact the BBC and ask them?

LisaH said...

In 2009 we were told it would be the contestant with the highest audition score that went through