Saturday, 30 March 2019

Mastermind 2019 - First round heat 22

Heat 22

So here we go, dearly beloved, just another couple of heats to go after this, and then we’re into the hurly burly of the semi finals.

Last night then we kicked off with Nick Henderson, who was answering on top 40 music of the 1970s. Now, I was a kid throughout the 70s, and I didn’t fare too badly on this round, scoring 7. Granted, that was under no pressure, sitting on my own sofa. Nick also scored 7, and 6 of these were the same ones I answered. I didn’t know the La Belle Epoque one, but I knew the old quiz chestnut about Pussycat being a Dutch group. This suggests to me that like me, Nick got most of the easy ones, but failed on the harder ones, and that, I’m afraid, suggests a contender who was underprepared.

I only managed 5 on the next round on Neville Chamberlain, offered to us by Derek French. This was a better round, but even having said that Derek’s score of 10 left quite a bit of wiggle room for the contenders yet to come. To more or less guarantee that you’re still going to be in the contest at the hald way stage whatever your fellow contenders do you really need to score 12.

Third to go was Paula Keaveney. Paula was making what I believe to be a fourth tilt at the title. In 2006 she appeared in the first round, then in both Nancy’s 2009 series, and Marianne’s 2015 series she won her heats to reach the semis. In fact I believe that Paula is one of a small number of contenders to have to endure a tie break. So this all attests to a certain pedigree in the show, and made her the pre race favourite if you like. Her round on the history of Sparta was, disappointingly, the lowest that she has produced in a first round heat. She obviously knew her stuff judging by the correct answers she gave, but she didn’t know enough of it, and finished on 9.

This left Judith Lewis, who was answering on her namesake, the great Clive Staples Lewis. What followed was fine demonstration of how you take a round by the scruff of the neck and give it a good old thrashing. Judith scored 14 and no passes. Putting that into perspective this put her 4 points ahead of the chasing pack. Only something remarkable looked likely to prevent her from winning.

So to Nick Henderson’s GK round. Now, with some contdners it’s pretty obvious that it doesn’t matter how well or how badly they do on their specialist because their General Knowledge is just not good enough to give them a realistic chance of a win. I get really frustrated with people who clearly have a good general knowledge, but have put themselves so far behind on specialist that they completely negate their own advantage. So you can imagine how I felt as Nick proceeded to score 16 in a fine GK round. As it was this took him to 23, which is the brink of a score which might just be good enough in some heats. Had he managed a good specialist score, well . . .

It's fairest to say that Paula’s previous displays on GK have been steady but not spectacular, and following Derek’s round she was going to have to be on her very best form to take the lead. This wasn’t how it worked out. She’d made the clear decision to pass rather than agonise, but seemed to fall foul of this as she amassed 5 passes for only 8 correct answers and finished with 17.

Such was the nature of Nick Henderson’s performance that Derek French would need to score 14 on GK to go into the outright lead, and while he stuck manfully to the task it had become clear before the appearance of the blue line of death that he was going to fall short. He finished with a respectable 10 to take his score to 20.

This left just Judith. Now, we have seen people go from last to first during the GK rounds before, but it’s still relatively unusual, especially when the gap between 4th and 1st is so wide at the halfway stage. Still, Judith needed 10 to take the lead, and that‘s enough to put some contenders into the corridor of doubt. There was precious little sign of this in Judith’s round, mind you. Hers wasn’t quite as good as Nick’s, but it was still very good, and her score of 15 gave her a great total of 29. Now that’s how you win a heat of Mastermind. Well done, and best of luck in the semi finals.

The Details

Nick Henderson
Top 40 Music of the 1970s
Derek French
Neville Chamberlain
Paula Keaveney
History of Sparta
Judith Lewis
The Life of C.S.Lewis

1 comment:

Mycool said...

Paula also appeared in a heat of Brain of Britain 2016.