Saturday, 6 January 2018

Mastermind 2018 - Recap - Heat 20

Mastermind 2018 – Heat 20

I can only apologise to the 4 contenders in heat 20. Here is my belated review.

Ben Holmes’ specialist subject promised to be my best of this season, bearing in mind how unlikely it is that any contenders in one of the remaining heats would take the Life and Times of Dave Clark as a specialist. (Believe me, it would be a very ordinaryist subject). I’ve been a huge Dr. Who fan since about 1966, when I was 2, and I’ve even written books on the subject. Alright, I’d rather have had a round on the classic series rather than the revived, but beggars can’t be choosers. I was delighted with my 13 – however this paled into insignificance against Ben’s perfect 15 from 15. Game on.

I’d only quite recently watched a decent documentary on the Concorde, so Kevin Howell’s round on the same promised a few points. Actually I did better than I thought, scoring 7, and putting myself on an aggregate of 20 with 2 rounds still to come. A record aggregate looked likely. Mind you, Kevin knew his stuff a lot better than I did. In normal circumstances a score of 12 on specialist will put you well up with the leaders at half time, however in this show it meant that he lagged 3 points behind Ben.

My first chance to break my aggregate record for the series came from Tony McConnell’s round on The Clash. Frankly, it wasn’t much of a chance at all. When you get right down to it, I just don’t know very much about The Clash, and only managed to get a single point. Tony obviously knew most of his stuff, but the fact is that when you’re up against perfection, knowing most of your stuff can still let you down. A double figure score on specialist is a good performance, and speaks of proper preparation, but sadly 10 points still meant that Tony was 5 points off the lead, and in all likelihood out of contention. 

Finally Diane Hardman offered us the Life of Sir Francis Walsingham. Now for me the issues were simple – 6 points would give me a new highest specialist aggregate for a show in this series of 27. So I went and scored 5. Ah, a show which had promised so much after the Doctor Who round. Well, returning to the real contest, Diane wasn’t quite perfect, but she kept on picking off the answers, and indeed seemed to even speed up as the round progressed. Scoring 13 gave her a chance. It’s a funny thing, but being a couple behind sounds so much better than being three behind. 

Tony McConnell returned to the chair, and added 10 general knowledge points to the 10 specialist points he had scored earlier. It’s probably not much consolation, but two double figure rounds, and a total of 20 is a perfectly respectable performance. It doesn’t help that it meant that the target after his round was only 5 points more than Ben had scored in his first round, but that’s just the way that this particular heat worked out.

Kevin Howell looked somewhat more nervous in his GK round than he had in his specialist. He was caught in a mid round pass spiral, and did well to eventually free himself from its clutches. Nonetheless, this limited his round to 8, which meant that he too finished with 20. 

The question, then, was whether Diane, starting on 13, could score enough points to at least make Ben have to cross the corridor of doubt. The answer was, well, almost. I really think that you need at least a double figure lead to really make the other contenders think that they have a sizeable task ahead of them, and Diane, who gave it a fair old lash, scored 11 to finish with 24. 9 and no passes would do it – 10 would provide and outright win.

Ben had provided the pick of the specialist rounds, and he provided the pick of the GK rounds as well. I often say this, but I do dare say that Ben is a quizzer, based on the breadth, speed and confidence of his answers. 14 is a good score, maybe not quite top drawer, but it’s the mark of a serious contender. In the end he won by a margin of 5 points. Well done Ben, and the best of luck in the semi finals.

The Details

Ben Holmes
Dr. Who 2005 - date
Kevin Howell
Tony McConnell
The Clash
Diane Hardman
The Life of Sir Francis Walsingham

1 comment:

Mycool said...

Both Ben and Diane improved on their previous heat performances, Ben on his specialist subject and Diane on GK. Ben scored 12 on the Manic Street Preachers and 14 on GK to win his heat in Mastermind 2014. He came joint 2nd in the semi to Mastermind veteran Hamish Cameron. Diane was up against that year's champion Alan Heath in a heat of Mastermind 2016; she scored 13 on Christopher Marlowe and 9 on GK and came second to Alan.