Friday, 28 November 2014

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 15

Recidivist watch? Oh yes, and I was delighted to see none other than our own LAM regular, Gillian Taylor. Gillian was a semi finalist in both Nancy’s and Ian’s series, so she knows exactly what it takes to win a first round match. She was drawn second to go, after Steve Wilson. Steve kicked off with Marc Bolan. I’ll be honest, I was never a fan really. I was very young at the time he was around. Still, I did manage to pick up a couple of the easiest points on offer n the round. Steve made a good start to his round, I thought, and by the minute mark he looked set for double figures. The points did start to rather dry up in the second minute, as maybe one of the wrong answers began to play on his mind. In the end Steve levelled out at 8, and bearing in mind Gillian’s previous first round matches I had no doubt that she would set the specialist bar considerably higher than that.

In the 2009 first round Gillian took the Romney Marsh novels of Monica Edwards, and in the 2011 first round she took the Life and Career of Josephine Baker. In both of those rounds she scored 18. Well, we’ve seen that this sort of score just isn’t going to happen in this series, but Gillian displayed all of her skill in taking this round, firing back the answers as quickly as possible, to raise the target to 14. Already you could say that Steve was out of the running.

David Good was answering on The Sasanid Empire. No, I can’t say I had a great store of knowledge to draw upon for this round either. My hopes for David were a little dashed by the fact that he had to pass on his first question. The round improved from then, but it was one of those rounds when the contender’s answers lead you to believe that either their conception of the parameters of the subject are at variance with the letters, or somehow their preparation lacked a little thoroughness. IN the end David levelled out at 8, but I’m afraid that you just have to score more than that on your specialist to give yourself a chance. At best it looked as if it was going to be a two horse race by the time we turned around for the second half.

Now, here’s a funny thing. I was having a chat with Craig, my grandson’s dad, the other day, and he said that if he ever went on Mastermind, then his specialist subject would be the sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo. Imagine my joy when I saw that this was exactly the same subject as was offered by Philip Isaac, the last of tonight’s contenders. I’ll tell you one thing about the round as well. Craig wouldn’t have done any better with it than Philip did. He couldn’t. It was a perfect round of 13 correct answers to 13 question, which meant that he was still behind Gillian, but there was next to nothing in it.

So, essentially what we were left with was a two horse race, but the nature of the contest is that when it is a two horse race on Mastermind, you still have to watch the other two horses running the course first. Steve was first, and he still seemed to be recovering from his specialist round. He struggled manfully on, picking up points where he could, but in the end he looked a little relieved when it was over, and he had levelled out at 16, having added another 8 to his total. David Good’s round, well, now, that round was a completely different kettle of fish. I don’t think that I know David, but I would venture to say that he is a quizzer. He seemed considerably more confident and assured in this round than he ever did on specialist, and he just kept on finding the answers. An excellent 15 pushed his score up to 23, and he would be forgiven for asking himself if he couldn’t have just managed to squeeze a few more points out of that specialist round.

Philip Isaac, then, needed 11 correct answers in order to take the outright lead, and as many as possible on top of that to put Gillian into the corridor of doubt. Philip too came up with the sort of answers which lead me to suspect that he too is a quizzer. As with the specialist round his answers weren’t quite as quick as the best round of the evening, but they were pretty good and kept coming throughout the round. A score of 13 wiped out David’s lead, and set the target for Gillian at 26.

So Gillian needed a round of 12 correct answers to give her a chance of winning the show. This is something she has achieved before. Nonetheless it is by no means a comfortable total to have to chase, and despite a good start Gillian fell behind the clock at about the 90 second mark. She did rally, but the finish line was always coming a little too quickly, and she finished on 24. Very bad luck Gillian, but congratulations to Philip, a good performance, that. Best of luck in the semi finals.

The Details

Steve Wilson Marc Bolan8 - 18 - 516 - 6
Gillian TaylorThe Empress of Ireland14 – 0 10 - 024 - 0
David GoodThe Sasanian Empire8 -215 - 223 - 4
Philip Isaac’Allo ‘Allo13 - 013 - 226 - 2

7 comments: said...

You might want to check your writing there, as you credit David with a score of 223 after his GK round :)

I hadn't intended to apply again, but the production team phoned me and asked me to, and I fell for the flattery. The question I got wrong took me completely by surprise. It was about a ship that was sent a call by the wireless station on land, in the hope they could help the Empress. I hadn't registered this at all in my study and just guessed the name of a ship I knew was in Canada, rather than passing on the question. I looked it up when I got home and found that the ship's wireless operator was asleep at the time, so the message was never recieved, and the ship took no part whatsoever in the events of the night. As there was so much else to learn, and this ship was essentially irrelevent to the story, I'd overlooked it.

GK has never been my strong point on Mastermind, and Philip's first round score was so close to mine, I knew he'd be a serious threat. My revision hadn't gone smoothly, for a number of reasons, so I wasn't at all surprised to not win. I did feel better about it when I afterwards learned that Philip had taken part in Brain of Britain. I'll be interested to see how he goes on in the next rounds, as he was a worthy winner.
(And I'm sure the question setter for his round just wanted to see how often they could make John Humphreys say 'big boobies')

Londinius said...

Hi Gillian,

Whoops - I've corrected the score now. The lad did well, but not quite that well:)

Your comment about the production team ringing you up and persuading you to have another go explains a lot about why we've seen so many recidivists in this series. Maybe they didn't have the amount of applications that they wanted this year. Maybe too many of the first time applicants just didn't measure up in terms of GK - as far as I know there's still a level you have to reach in the audition questions before you are considered as a realistic prospect for the show.

It's interesting what you say about the ship. My experience was that on all my GK rounds, anything I'd overlooked, or hadn't been able to find out - that would be asked. In the London Bridge round, one of the questions I had wrong asked about something where the only place I've ever seen the answer printed since then is in a book which had been out of print for a long time. I knew of the book's existence while working on the round, but was unable to source a copy of it.

Still, another terrific performance on specialist - you know yourself that this and your GK round would have been enough to win quite a few of the other shows this series.

Jack said...

Could this be the same David Good who won Fifteen-to-One in 2002 and UC with the OU in '99? He is a semi-regular quizzer if so.

Londinius said...

It would make sense. When you've played in a lot of quizzes, you know there are certain questions which an ordinary member of the public just wouldn't know the answer to, but which would be meat and drink to a regular. David answered all of those. He's a quizzer, I'm sure of that. said...

When I was first contacted, I immediately asked if they were short of good applicants for this series. They admitted it was strong female applicants they were particularly looking for.

I think the problem is in the number of women applying for the serious quiz shows, not the quality of the applicants. There's still a degree of social conditioning about not wanting to look 'brainy' and a lack of confidence about competing at the tougher end of quizzing, especially going solo, rather than being part of a team.

While I regret that there aren't more women on Mastermind etc. I always felt that it worked to my advantage. Other things being equal, I thought production teams were more likely to choose a younger female applicant than a male, simply to get the variety on screen.

Thank you for the kind comment at the end. I wasn't feeling as competitive as in the past, and was quite relieved at the thought of not having to keep up the hard work for another few weeks for the semi-final.

ThePQG said...

David Good also reached the Grand Final of the first series of Fifteen to One earlier this year. (finished 8th)

Unknown said...

@Jack, yes I am that person. Bit more regular than semi, but more semi than quizzer.