What a great week for Reality TV! After a pretty awesome first episode of Survivor Cagayan, the sixth installment of King of the Nerds
season two was an equal match for excitement. Midas Touch Attack is down to two members, Zack and Jack, and the Titans of Rigel still have four, Xander, Chris, Brian and, the only girl left in the competition, Kayla. We’re on the verge of a merge and there’s no telling what will happen when the players execute their end-game strategies.
After Katie’s departure, the teams head back into Nerdvana. Jack and Zack feel great about their position in the game, Zack in particular is feeling quite confident that MTA will control things from here on out and that one of them will win the crown. The Titans of Rigel are really bummed that Katie has been eliminated and don’t know where they went wrong since they did everything they could to help her send Jack home instead. This is the first time that ToR has really felt the sting of losing a team member since they had to say good-bye to Kelsey in the first episode; their mood has visibly changed as they grumble about Jack and/or Zack being a part of the Final Five they wanted to share with Katie. It’s time to focus, regroup and figure out what to do in the next phases of the game.
At this time, I completely retract all comments made about Chris being a wall flower. This guy is actually quite sinister; he aims to misbehave, making it his mission to drive a wedge between Zack and Jack so that their performance in the upcoming Nerd War will be more difficult for them. They fall for it hook, line and sinker. Chris is disgusted that Jack would choose to have him physically harmed in the name of revenge during the last Nerd Off and there is no way the emotional damage can be repaired. Jack takes the sneak attack in stride. Equally upsetting thoughts are shared with Zack and you can imagine how he reacted to Chris poking at his ego… Zack isn’t sure what’s happening, but he doesn’t like it!
When Curtis calls all nerds to the courtyard, we see that the silly costumes are back! This week’s activities are all about science fiction and one of sci-fi’s most beloved icons is in trouble. George Takei needs help and only our nerds can provide it. Resident Star Trek lover, Kayla is absolutely excited, well, they are all absolutely excited, I mean, come on – it’s George Takei! What nerd doesn’t love Uncle George? Curtis and Bobby further explain that two people from each team will have to work together to navigate a maze of lasers and solve a math problem to open the cage in which George Takei has been imprisoned. Jack is super excited that math is involved; math is a staple in the nerd community and numbers are Jack’s bread and butter, but that’s only half of the equation. The “working together” part of this Nerd War means that one person will be “blindfolded” and the other will have to direct them through the lasers.
Always excited for the next Nerd War, everyone rushes back into the house to grab their practice gear from the T.A.R.D.I.S. Each team has been giving brightly colored spools of string and tape so that they can create their own “laser” mazes. The gravity of the situation hits Zack after he and Jack have set up their mock maze a hallway. If they lose this Nerd War, they both go to the Nerd Off and one of them will go home. They decide that Jack will go through the maze and Zack will guide him. Zack has lead many successful raids in World of Warcraft and he’s very confident that he will be able to do the same in this situation. The Titans also have their mock maze set up; six foot two inches tall Xander is not having much luck and from the sounds of it, his math skills are as “amazing” as my own, (hashtag not that amazing). Everyone agrees that Chris and five foot four inches tall Brian are the best Titans to go to battle on this one; Brianrietta’s skort will come in handy yet again!
Later, there is an altercation in the hallway; Chris and Brian have stumbled upon Jack and Zack’s hallway maze and Chris want to use it to practice. It’s in a public area, which according to Chris makes it public property and he is adamant that his team will use it. Zack argues that it’s unfair if the purple team unless the advantage is vice versa. Chris is still executing his “mind games” strategy, “asking” if the Titan’s can use the space next to MTA’s maze to practice, which absolutely makes no sense and Zack agrees with me. Frustrated, and aware now that Chris is messing around with him, Zack gives up, let’s Chris do whatever he wants with the gold team’s maze and meditates in another room. Zack is not going to let his emotions get the best of him; he is determined to win this Nerd War.
So off to the Nerd War we go and the whole set up is just too much for Xander; there are lasers, math problems on podiums – he’s over-stimulated. It’s probably a good thing Xander is not actually competing to save George Takei. Before the War begins, Curtis explains a few more rules. Every time they trigger a laser, the player must freeze in that position and endure a one minute penalty to be able to continue; if they mess up on the math problem to unlock Uncle George’s cage, they will incur a 30 second penalty. Without further ado, George encourages the teams to “live long and prosper”, (Jack doesn’t know how to do the hand gesture), the teams take their positions on opposite sides of a hallway, the maze crawlers each don a pair of spectrum reducing goggles so that they can’t see the lasers and the War begins.
Using the “Tortoise and the Hare” strategy, Brian of the Titans is taking baby steps around the lasers. Jack is definitely the hare in this situation; Zack encourages risky moves like jumping over lasers and crawling swiftly under others and Jack is not afraid to execute his commands. Curtis and Bobby provide the usual commentary, unbiased and objective commentary unlike some other reality competition show hosts we know… What I find interesting here is that almost every time we see the hosts and our iconic captive, George has his eye on Midas Touch Attack; it must be be Zack’s rambunctious instructions, which lead to the first one minute penalty in the game. Brian scores a penalty for the Titans soon enough – oh myyy! He’s also kind of stuck in a corner at this point in the competition.
When Jack’s penalty time is over, Zack urges him to jump again and he does so successfully; Brian’s penalty time is up quickly after, but he immediately incurs another – on the same laser. Jumping Jack continues following Zack’s directions of hopping over lasers and lands in the math zone of the challenge quickly; the Titans aren’t even half way down the hallway. In the math zone, the question of the day is as follows… Tribbles Trouble: Through asexual reproduction, a single Tribble will produce a litter of 10 offspring every 12 hours. If you brought ONE Tribble aboard your starcraft, how many Tribbles would you have after 48 hours.
Yeah… Math… Multiple multiplications… My brain just isn’t wired to be able to solve these math problems quickly in my head. I would probably have trouble on paper as well. Numbers just aren’t my thing, but Jack and Zack should breeze through it right? Not so much, they fail to answer correctly on their first attempt, opening the door for the Titans to advance during the 30 second penalty time. Chris and Brian, taking a cue from the gold team, begin to act more adventurously, lessening the gap between the teams. After their 30 seconds are up, though, Jack figures out the key to solving the equation – the Fibonacci Sequence! Just because I’m not good at it, doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated by mathematics – I own Donald in Mathemagic Land and Pi on DVD so… I know what the Fibonacci Sequence is… I just can’t explain it nor do I possess the ability to explain how Jack uses it to quickly release George Takei from his cage. Yup! Midas Touch Attack has finally won another Nerd War!
Ironically, Chris’ mind games actually helped solidify the bond and focused the communication skills of Midas Touch Attack. Their reward for winning the Nerd War is a visit to the Legacy special effects studio, which Jack and Zack totally enjoy. Too bad Katie couldn’t have survived to go with them! While the two fingers of Midas are off seeing the special effects wizardry, the purple teams makes light of their situation by filming a series of special Diary room sessions. Two members of their team will be voted into the Nerd Off and they have to do part of the voting. They haven’t had to do this since the first episode. Chris is pretty sure that the gold team is going to vote him
into the Nerd Off because of his behavior before the Nerd War. Zack confirms they are thinking about Chris, but he and Jack both agree that Brian is just as threatening in the end game.
In the ToR room, talk has now switched to which of their own they are going to offer to the Nerd Gods in the throne room. Want to see what happens when real brains have an open forum before a “tribe vote”? I’m still so disgusted by Garrett in Survivor… I will say it again here: What a terrible casting choice for someone who was supposed to be on the Brains tribe, let alone the show itself. So glad he’s gone… Since all of the Titans are rational, logical people who work well together, and don’t have a lame player like Garrett around, they discuss openly that most of the team is threatened by Chris and will be voting someone into the Nerd Off that they believe can beat him. Kayla has a lot of science fiction knowledge and both Xander and Brian agree that she is the best choice to compete against Chris.
Before they are called to the Throne Room, the Titans are still debating on who to vote for; Brian suggests they vote for Bacon. AND I FINALLY KNOW WHAT ALL THE #IMBACON IS ALL ABOUT! Seriously! I was so confused because I didn’t think any of the nerds were Big Brother fans so they couldn’t have been referring to Adam from Big Brother and his obsession with bacon. Now I know it was a talking bacon strip plush, probably from Think Geek. I really want one now – he would go well with my “The Cheat” talking plush. Anyway… Chris doesn’t want to vote for Kayla to go into the Nerd Off – she can beat him and he doesn’t want to lose. Kayla tells him to vote for Brian, but Chris doesn’t know if she plans on doing the same or if there is strategy involved. In the Throne Room, the votes are revealed; MTA has voted for Chris and ToR has voted for… whaaaaat? Hashtag blindside in King of the Nerds!? Brian is voted in by the purple team to compete in the Nerd Off, not Kayla!
After Brian and Chris bend a knee, they learn that this Nerd Off will be part science fiction trivia, part first person shooting game. They have three hours to utilize the weaponry provided for them in the T.A.R.D.I.S for target practice and they are encouraged to memorize the millions of sci-fi literature on Amazon. There are absolutely no hard feelings between the Titans of Rigel and both nominees are eager to begin preparations. Chris is not going to worry about shooting Nerf guns; he is going to study as much science fiction as he can because the trivia portion of the Nerd Off will be most challenging for him. Brian will balance his time between studying and target practice. Kayla offers her assistance to anyone who would like her help, but it seems that Chris is more content working alone. Don’t know where Xander was in all of this, but even Zack and Jack are giving Brian some shooting pointers.
When all of the nerds are gathered for the Nerd Off in the Throne Room, Curtis explains how the game works. For each trivia question answered correctly, both Brian and Chris will have the opportunity to shoot 40 rounds at three rows of spaceships of various sizes, shapes and point values. Whoever scores the highest number of points will win the Nerd Off. The first question is Firefly related and easy if you’ve seen Firefly and Serenity… Chris! Come on, man! So Brian answers the first two questions correctly, the table turns for the next two questions and Chris ends up with the higher score: 7800 to 6300. With two questions left, tensions are high, but both boys answer the fifth question right. Chris shoots first and boosts his score to 8900; Brian boosts his to 8700.
Time for the final question, and it is far easier than the first. Though our nerds may disagree on Star Wars and Star Trek, I think there is something other than Firefly that brings them back together: Doctor Freakin’ Who. What nerd doesn’t know what T.A.R.D.I.S means?! Oh wait, probably Jack, right? lol Obviously Chris answers correctly, he defined T.A.R.D.I.S for everyone in the first episode, and Brian knows as well that it means “Time And
Relative Dimension In Space”; they both get 40 more rounds. Chris is first to shoot and he sets the bar at 11,200 for Brian. When Brian takes his last crack in the gunner’s chair, an error occurs in the games-o-matic scoring system; a hashtag nerdcliffhanger protocol has been executed while the system re-boots! Ahhh! zOMG1!!
Brian is victorious and another nerd bites the dust. The teams are as predicted, dissolved, and the game will switch to “every nerd for his or herself” mode in the next episode. And there are only two episodes left!!! <sigh> Two episodes… I have Survivor and the second season of Big Brother Canada to satisfy my desperate need for reality TV, but I am really going to miss King of the Nerds. I’m saying it now, and I will say it again – TBS: There had better be a season three; my suggestion, you do eleven seasons then all the winners compete for chance to join the ranks of Curtis and Bobby as a Nerd God. It’s just an idea. Let me know if you want more. I’ve got a lot.
King of the Nerds airs on TBS at 10pm/9pm on Thursdays. You can check out the cast bios and loads of extras at the Official King of the Nerds Webpage. And don’t forget to follow our nerds on Twitter! All of their Twitter
handles are on their corresponding biography pages on the TBS website. Stay nerdy, my friends!
If you’re not following me on Twitter you can @thedolphinpoet. I’m compiling a Top Ten List of things we learned from this season of King of the Nerds and I want YOUR suggestions for what should be on it. Tweet them to me whenever you think of something funny and I might use yours!