(And boy, am I glad I’d already got on the Weight Watchers before watching that or else I’d be knee deep in booze and crisps by now – two skinny boys either side doesn’t help matters, though! Obviously I have had some booze tonight, couldn’t watch it without, but I’ll be walking to work at a swift pace tomorrow to counter it a little!)
So we did it! I already blogged about our experience of the day not long after the recording but as WE WON AT ONLY CONNECT, which everyone knows IS REALLY HARD, it deserved a bit of extra bloggage.
The first two rounds were horrible. You should have seen our faces when the Mensans got the question about Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. We also got Socrates and the reason why, but they would have got Bagpuss, so fair play. We were all gutted not to have got that, but I totally have no memory of the toad being called Gabriel. Some teams have had easier opening rounds this series, but others probably have had harder. Those two rounds are really hard when you can’t just change your mind or have another go like you can at home. We were torn between bridges and rivers, as you can probably make out from the footage, and went for bridges because it was Chris’s idea. Despite Chris being the youngest, Steve and I usually ended up going with him because he knows way more stuff than we do. Just wait til you see some of the obscure things he comes out with in the QF. He and one of the members of our opposing team in the QF seemed to reside in a whole different sphere of knowledge to the rest of us… but that’s for another time. Anyway, Chris knows lots, but not about bridges, apparently. I got a lot of stick for that one, being from Humberside, as you can well imagine.
The worst part of it all is the talking. We love Dame VC and she’s incredibly funny, but when she ad libs a question at you there’s no time to think of a witty answer. I’m just grateful most of the awkward pre-game babble was cut. That was awful. Both teams recorded it twice, and I can’t speak for the Mensans, but both times were excruciating for us.
After the first two rounds there’s a little pause in filming while they set up the wall and make you do ‘the walk’ (which is not to the wall but to a bit of floor to the side of it) We did about six takes of the walk, which was rather embarrassing. Then we all slipped a bit on the carpet next to the podium. Hitting the wall is hard as you have to press very very gently, not jab it. Before the wall, Dame VC was very sweet to us and told us to be more confident and that we’d kept talking around the right kind of answers. She is very good at listening to what’s going on in both teams during the opening two rounds (the opposing team confers while the other team plays) and during the wall, as you will notice in the show when she tells teams they were along the right lines and so on. We were, as you could no doubt tell, terrified throughout – it was Only Connect, for goodness’ sake, and we didn’t want to let ourselves, or Lowculture, down. We were even more nervous because we were trailing so much after the opening rounds – though at least if we went out, it’d be to Mensa, and the Mensans are lovely guys, not smug so-and-sos we’d have been delighted to trounce. Steve and I are both friends with them all on Facebook and everything!
I reckon this week’s walls were on the harder side, for both teams. We were so chuffed with ourselves for cracking the wall, which is our favourite round and also means it didn’t *just* rest on the vowels round. Watching it back at home, the vowels round is much, much easier than in the studio. Both teams can also hit the buzzer at what seems like the right time but there will be just a fraction of a second in it – speaking to our QF opponents, both teams found this to be the case, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mensans found the same thing. Chris was on fire, though. Trust me to get the popular people on Twitter! After that we barely had time for a cup of tea and a sandwich before we were back on set for the next match.
But that’s another story…
If you want to read the blogs of other OC folk, then Paul Cornell (of Doctor Who and the team known as the Fantasy Writers) has his say here and here, while Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five… I mean the Radio Addicts… has blogged here.