Saturday, 28 September 2019

Mastermind 2020 - First Round Heat 7

So once again to Mastermind, then, dearly beloved. Last week’s heat was not, in all honesty, one of the finest first round heats we’ve ever seen, so I did wonder what the show might have in store for us last night.

Well, the first of the GK rounds wasn’t at all bad. Diane Howe was offering us the Life and Career of Sir Kenny Dalglish, and she did a pretty good job with it, scoring 11 and no passes. I didn’t hold out any great hopes of a high aggregate this week, and felt that the 7 points I took on this round were probably more than I was going to score on the rest of the specialists all combined.

I once started to read one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ books, but then he never read any of mine, so I thought – stuff it. So under those circumstances I was quite happy to take the one point that I did. I felt that Evan Lynch, whose specialist this was, was rather unlucky not to squeeze in just one more question. As it was he scored 9, but somehow the round did feel just a tiny bit better than that.

As little as I knew about Marquez, I knew even less about the Student Non Violent Co ordinating Committee. Or I thought I did. Actually I scored a couple on this round – Marion Barry and Black Panthers being particularly low hanging pieces of fruit I managed to pluck. I felt for Amy Latimer, whose round this was. She was going great guns for the first few questions, then suddenly, bang, one wrong answer and it was as if she had just hit a road block. What we might think of as the black chair effect saw her struggling with questions to which she seemed to know the answer, wasting valuable seconds before passing. In the end she scored 6.

Alright, I have seen some Christopher Nolan films, but that still didn’t help me a great deal. I bottomed out with an aggregate of 12 specialist points for the show. Which actually was just one more point than Naveed Azam scored just on this one round.

So to General Knowledge. I think that Amy was still suffering a bit from the experience of her GK. I say this not because 8 is a bad score – it isn’t – but because again there were a number of times when those valuable seconds just ticked by while she wrestled with an answer which just refused to come. She finished with 14.

Evan’s task was relatively simple. Both Diane and Naveed had scored two points more on specialist than he had, and so it was vital he score enough points to make things as difficult for them as possible. With the current series, I’d say that once a target gets into double figures, then that’s enough to put most contenders into the corridor of doubt. Even shaped up pretty well. He didn’t miss a great deal and not all of those he answered were gimmes by any stretch of the imagination. 13 points for a total of 22, and a lead of 11 were going to be enough to give him a fighting chance. I felt.

It didn’t look as if he’d still be in the lead after a minute of Diane Howe’s round. But as I’ve often said, especially in the heats, a GK round is a marathon and not a sprint. After scoring her first 7 points, the correct answer Diane needed just refused to come. She managed to add one more to take her total to 19, but I’m afraid that you have to expect to do better if you have serious aspirations to win a heat of Mastermind.

So only Naveed Azam remained. Right, being objective, I have to say that his round really wasn’t very good. The plain fact was that he scored 4 off a set of questions which certainly weren’t noticeably harder than any of the other rounds in the same show. Only Naveed himself could say whether this was due to nerves. It’s certainly possible that they played their part. However quite a few of his answers weren’t near misses. In the end he finished with a total of 15.

Well played to Evan. In his piece to camera he said that he’d like to go on and win the semi and the final. Good – you should aim high, certainly. Best of luck in the semi finals.

The Details

Diane Howe
The Life and Career of Sir Kenny Dalglish
Evan Lynch
The Novels and Novellas of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Amy Latimer
The Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee
Naveed Azam
The Films of Christopher Nolan


dxdtdemon said...

I've heard that former Mastermind contestant and LAM commenter Lisa Herrmann is no longer with us.

Londinius said...

Thank you dxdtdemon. I was unaware that Lisa had passed. We only met the once, to the best of my knowledge, but Lisa was an internet friend, and long term reader of LAM. In fact, in our original incarnation for our Only Connect team, Gary and I were to have been partnered by Lisa when we were considering an application for the 3rd series. The reasons why Lisa could not make it for the 4th series are now lost to me, but I am saddened by the news, and wish to add my condolences to her family.