Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 21

Well, none of the contenders in last night’s show had appeared on Mastermind before, so there was nothing to go on there. However, looking for some guide to form, I’m pretty sure that Liz Gore got to the semi final of last year’s Brain of Britain. No mug there, then.

First up, though, was Sam Nemzer. Sam was answering on the TV series “Breaking Bad”. I’ll be honest, I’ve never watched any of it, which does actually put me at a disadvantage since for at least a while last year it was certainly flavour of the month in some of the quizzes I’ve played in. Come to think of it there’s several recurring questions about it on Superbuzzer as well. Never mind all that. Sam showed that he’d done his preparation, and he also managed to avoid passes by answering every single question – never a bad idea, that. Still, a couple of errors meant that he levelled out at 9, which I fancied might put him too far behind at half time.

Gerard Watson was taking a far more traditional MM subject in the shape of the Spanish Civil War. I managed to pick up three or four of the more easy questions in this round, but that was about as far as I got. Gerard had prepared well too, and kept the scoreboard ticking over throughout the whole of the round, breaking through the double figure barrier, and eventually finishing with 11 points. Good round.

When I saw that Adam Richardson was answering on The Clash my first thought was to ask myself – should I stay or should I go. Not it wasn’t. Sorry, terrible joke. As I think I may have mentioned before, the whole punk scene was one of those parties I arrived at after everyone else had left, nonetheless I managed 4 of these. Which was nowhere near the 13 that Adam managed. Alright, it wasn’t quite a perfect round, but it was still pretty good, and ensured that he would at worst be close to the lead at the turn around.

On to Liz Gore, then. Liz was answering on the Lord Peter Wimsey novels of Dorothy L Sayers. I haven’t ever read any of these, although I have answered a few questions on Lord Peter Wimsey – you know, the ones which crop up in quizzes. In fact, come to think of it, the only thing Dorothy L Sayers wrote that I’ve actually read is the Penguin translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy – and very good it is too. Back to Liz’ round. From early doors it became clear that even when Liz paused before answering, when she did answer it was going to be correct. In fact, for most of the round it looked like a perfect one was on the cards – only a wrong Christian name for a character on one question prevented her from this. Still, it was good enough to ensure that she led with 14.

Sam was first to return, and although he was some way off the lead he made a spirited attempt at his GK round. Judging by what we’ve seen in this series so far anything in double figures on GK represents a good performance, and Sam added 11 to take his score to 20. My feeling when I was on the show was always – well, I want to win, but if I can’t win, then I want to be second, and if I can’t be second then I want to be third. In all honesty it looked unlikely that this would be enough to win the show, but it was certainly enough to put some of the remaining contenders into the famed corridor of doubt. When you’re doing a GK round, if you know your first two or three questions then you can build up a momentum which can help you achieve the best score you’re capable of. If you don’t get this momentum going, though, a GK round can be a bit of a struggle, and in all honesty that’s what Gerard Watson’s round appeared to be. He fell into a pass spiral, and in the end finished with an overall score of 17.

So it looked like the win would be going to either Adam or Liz. Adam, like Gerard, just couldn’t get going in his round and he too finished with 17. So Liz needed a relatively modest 7 to progress to the semis. It’s not a huge score, but we have seen people struggle under the weight of nerves in the past, so nothing was guaranteed. She looked good for it before the first minute was up, though, and she maintained a steady pace throughout the round, answering what she knew, guessing what she didn’t, and not panicking when she had a wrong answer. In the end she too added 11 to her score, and was a very comfortable winner with 25. Well played – good luck in the semis.

The Details
Sam Nemzer Breaking Bad9 – 0 11-120 - 1
Gerard WatsonSpanish Civil War11 - 16 - 717 - 8
Adam RichardsonThe Clash13 – 0 4 - 517 - 5
Liz GoreThe Lord Peter Wimsey Novels of Dorothy L Sayers14 - 011 - 125 - 1


Mycool said...

Yes, I watched Liz Gore in the heat and semi of BofB 2014; she was up against the formidable Robert Charlesworth in the heat and qualified as a highest-scoring runner-up. Her lost point in her Mastermind specialist subject shows the danger of giving both given name and surname when a surname will do; I am sure that they would have given her the point if she had just said "Templeton".

Londinius said...

Hi Michael

Yes, I thought that. In fact I remember in my final being asked who the new England cricket coach was. I was sure it was Moores, and thought it was Peter (it was), but just gave the surname. If you do that you'll get the point if its right, but then John will invariably repeat your answer back with the first name - yes - Peter Moores. Mind you sometimes he'll do that even if you do give the christian name.

Stephen Follows said...

He really should stop this repeating answers lark - he did it again in this heat, pointlessly saying 'Poum' when Gerard had correctly said P.O.U.M'. As this wastes valuable time and doesn't happen to everyone, it's extremely unfair on the contestant in question when it does happen.