If you’ve not watched our Only Connect yet, I suggest you visit the iPlayer before reading this.
Done that? Good.
So that’s that then. To be fair, our main aim was to get on the show in the first place. Once we’d done that, we just didn’t want to humiliate ourselves. We didn’t really have much ambition beyond that. Winning the first game was a great surprise and we were really chuffed. The final eight of OC is not to be sniffed at at all.
The QF was made harder because we got on really well with the Wrights. I had the advantage of not meeting the Mensans until we were on set so I hadn’t grown to like them (though they’re great guys and we got on well during the recording and after), but we sat around with the Wrights and the production team comparing fan-notes and discussing the relative hotness of various contestants before the game and we thought that maybe the public would be on our side against Mensa, after all we were the underdogs, but they’d surely be rooting for the Wrights this time round – and so were we.
The Wrights are just as big OC geeks as us so it was much nicer to go out to them than a pro quiz team, and I hope they do well in their semi.
As for the questions, watching it back there are some for both teams that seem so easy on the telly but which flummoxed us in the studio. It’s harder with the lights on you and the pressure. There were only two moments where I could have kicked us – Chris getting the ‘In space no-one can hear you scream’ wrong and me getting ‘cholesterol’ wrong, mainly because in the first, I could have shouted over him and got it right – collaboration is allowed in the rules, and in the second, my gut said ‘cholesterol’ so I buzzed, and then my head said CHOLESTEROL IS NOT AN ALCOHOL YOU IDIOT. Apparently it is. Who knew? That round threw all of us as I think we were expecting Vodka or something. Science is something I know nothing about. Ethanol is literally the only alcohol I’ve heard of in terms of science, and I guessed that one, so that’s pretty satisfying. The vowels round seems a lot faster in the studio than on telly and we hit the buzzer at what felt like the same time as the Wrights on many questions, but they beat us by a split second (and the same for them on the ones we got right). On other things, though, David and Liz knew way more than us (science and history mainly, my weakest subjects. Science was one of our team’s weaknesses to be fair).
Anyway, had those two questions cost us the match, I’d be gutted, but they didn’t. The Wrights won convincingly but we didn’t embarrass ourselves and came out with a respectable score, which was a brilliant result as far as I’m concerned. I am pretty sure we’d have got creamed in a shameful way in the semis, so it was good to go out on a decent match to nice opponents.
Was I disappointed? Not really, no. If you recall my blog entry about the train journey to Wales you’ll know why. To have been in the semis would have meant another journey a week later and I really wasn’t sure I could cope with that. I felt a bit more disappointed we didn’t go further after our first round when everyone was congratulating us and getting excited for the QF. It’s kind of weird when you know you already lost a match to see people wishing you luck because you don’t want to let them down.
But overall, I’m really chuffed to bits with how we did, and I’d totally recommend anyone reading to submit a team. It was terrifying but a lot of fun. Just beware of the train.
PS Chris’s account is here