Friday, 15 March 2019

Mastermind 2019 Heat 20

Mastermind 2019 – Heat 20

So to another Mastermind, dearly beloved, and one which had to contend with competition from Comic Relief over on BBC One. Would hat prove to be a good or bad thing for our four contenders? Well, first up was Lucy Glass. Lucy was answering questions on 80s icon Prince. Cards on the table, I was never a fan myself, although I thought he was a brilliant songwriter, and loved some of the songs he wrote for other artists. So as it was I was quite happy to take my 3 points on this one and run. Lucy did quite a bit better. 11, as we all know by now, is a competitive score. However it did leave quite a bit of wiggle room for any contender who could have a belting round on their own subject.

Next to try to administer said belting was Geoff Stephenson. He was answering on a good, old traditional Mastermind specialist with the engineer Thomas Telford. I did slightly better on this round with 4. Geoff started like he really meant business. However, as the round progressed he began picking up a few errors. Nothing too serious, but it did again limit his score to 11.

Now, the next contender was another Stephenson, Tom of that ilk. Nobody mentioned whether he and Geoff were related, but if they were, then it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had relatives on the same show together. It’s not important anyway. What is important is that Tom was answering on the Julio Claudian dynasty, which is something I rather immodestly claim to know a bit about. So I was satisfied when I accrued a score of 13 from the comfort of the Clark sofa. From the clutches of the black chair, Tom managed 11. That’s a perfectly good score, but I would argue that at least 2 of those he dropped were perfectly gettable.

Finally Susan Simmons, answering on the novels of Charles Dickens. Phew, that’s a subject fraught with danger I thought to myself, and despite the fact that I love Dickens, I’d never have opted to take it as a specialist subject. He wrote 14 completed novels and one incomplete, and each of the complete ones is a hefty tome. To learn them to the kind of depth needed to give yourself a fighting chance would be a mammoth undertaking. Seen in this light Susan’s 7 doesn’t seem quite such a modest score, but the fact remains that it left her out of the competition to all intents and purposes with the GK still to come.

I never had to go first in a GK round, so I don’t actually know what the experience is like, but I’d imagine it can’t be an easy one. So Susan returned to the chair, and she scored 9 points, a respectable round, certainly in the context of some of the GK rounds we’ve seen in this series. But with all due respect, this was never going to have a bearing on the race for the semi final seat.

Lucy Glass’ round, on the other hand, looked very competitive. I always like to see a contender getting the most points the possibly can by using the supposedly simple tactic of treating each question on its own merits, answering what they know, and coming up with a decent guess for what they don’t. It sounds simple when I write it like that, but it’s so easy to end up dropping points on stuff you know, or could work out when you’re in the chair. Lucy’s 13 for a total of 24 looked the kind of target which could actually give her a fighting chance of the win.

It looked even more so after Geoff had returned to the chair, and never looked quite convincing as he rather laboured to 11 for a total of 22. That’s a perfectly respectable overall total, but it’s not quite enough to give you a realistic chance of winning.

All of which meant that only Tom stood – er – sat between Lucy and the semi final. And to be fair to Tom, right up until the end of the round he looked on target to do it. He Was on 22, with a good 5 questions still to come. If he could answer three of them, then he’d go through. Well, the questions came, and they went, and it was only as the blue line of doom completed it’s stranglehold on the score box that he managed to find a correct answer, leaving himself stranded on 23.

Well played Lucy – good luck in the semi finals.

The Details

Lucy Glass
Geoff Stephenson
The Life and Work of Thomas Telford
Tom Stephenson
The Julio-Claudian Dynasty
Susan Simmons
The Novels of Charles Dickens


Paul Gilbert said...

This appears only to have been the second time in the Humphrys era that we have had 2+ contestants with the same last name on the same show. The previous instance was in July 2003, in only the 3rd Humphrys-era show, when Nigel White and Martin White both competed.

Geoff Stephenson ( said...

Just for info: Tom and I are not related, and it was a complete surprise to both of us when we learnt that we were both Stephensons.