This week in Nerdvana… Upon returning to Nerdvana from their first Nerd Off, the teams gather around the table and Ori incites a toast to Jacob. Team SMASH is not very happy that Ori won the Nerd Off – everyone loved Jacob, but what’s done is done and it’s Tequila Time! Ben serves up the shots, Todd as the Clockwork King makes a toast, Raychelle is surprised with the drinking skills of these nerds and soon enough the topic of conversation takes a turn. Relationship status update, everyone! Thomas, the Brony Eagle Scout (and engineer), admits that he’s never had a girlfriend and the ladies of Nerdvana have a new mission: Heather is going to start up GirlfriendForThomas.com.
And she’s (Heather) mostly gay. 80/20 mostly gay – Ladies are invited to call her, guys, maybe! This shocks the group and then the other girls chime in with their stats. Amanda is 70/30, even though she’s married, but he’s the 70. Raychelle is 60/40, 60 then 40. Todd wants to know if Jonathan, the other married person in Nerdvana, is like, 80/20 maybe??? Sorry, Todd; Jonathan is 100/0… I have a sorta good joke I could include here, but it’s wildly inappropriate and I think it’s best to just move on. The next morning it gets all Big Brother up in Nerdvana because Heather, Amanda, Raychelle and Lily, the Girl Power Alliance, are in the bathroom putting on make-up and scheming. The boys have NO idea that they are talking strategy and that their plans do not really include them… Yet. The girls want to stay strong together. I hope they do!!! I love it.
Calling All Nerds! It’s time for the next Nerd War. In the courtyard, Bobby and Curtis greet the nerds and… The costuming department has turned it up a notch this year! Both of our hosts look great as they inform the players that this Nerd War is the cosplay challenge and this year’s theme is Science Fiction, but there is a twist! This year, their story must have a moral and not only will they be judged on costuming and creativity, but they will also be judged on how well they communicate the moral of their choice. Lily is super excited. This is HER challenge, her time to shine. She’s a competive cosplayer and she grew up in a costume shop so there is no way her team can lose. Raychelle is also super excited; this is what she loves to do and wants to turn into a career… Attention, ladies and gentlemen, we may be experiencing some turbulence ahead.
Team SMASH huddles up in their War Room and everyone knows that House Hooloovoo has a huge advantage in their team member Lily. She’s a powerhouse in the cosplay category and if you look up the term “master seamstress” you’ll see Lily’s picture. Jonathan suggests they figure out their moral and work backwards from there. Heather loves stories about robots with feelings and thinks they are always a good way to tell a morality tale. Not a bad idea, Heather, but isn’t Kaitlin on the OTHER team? ZING! I’m sorry, Kaitlin. I couldn’t pass up on that joke. In the House of Hooloovoo, Lily let’s her team know that she’s a perfectionist when it comes to her costuming and Kaitlin suggests they all let Lily take the reigns for this challenge. Raychelle is quick to point out that, um, hello? She does cosplay too! Oh well, yes of course you do, Raychelle. They all know that, but Lily likes control. She wants to lead the costuming charge and let someone else focus on the story. Lily is also pretty sure that her idol, Yaya Han will be a judge so they really have to knock this one out of the park (not the water…). Before too much turbulence can arise between Raychelle and Lily’s struggle for costuming power, the group switches to the topic of their moral. Since Yaya is super into cosplayers and acceptance of all cosplayers, they want to focus on that kind of story and they start channeling their inner Joss Whedon to find their edge.
Back to SMASH, Heather is heading up the costume department with Jonathan as her assistant while Amanda is in the writers room with the rest of the team. Jonathan thinks it’s a perfect set up even though he doesn’t really do the whole cosplay thing. With Amanda, she’s got Larper Ori to help with character development and things are pretty groovy for the green machine at the moment. Back to Hooloovoo Blue… Lily is frustrated by the lack of her favorite materials to build costumes with and Raychelle is frustrated with micro manager Lily. She is trying to be helpful, but Lily just isn’t relinquishing any control. That’s okay, though! Raychelle will gladly step aside and be at her service… With a smile even! Ben and Kaitlin are working well together on the Hooloovoo story and Todd and Thomas are taking a little video game break, which is surprising to Ben because they’ve only been on task for an hour or two. Meanwhile on the SMASHing side of the house, Amanda’s motherly patience is being tested in a major way by Ori. His lack of focus is distracting and it’s really frustrating because this challenge is going to be an uphill battle for their team and he’s not really helping. Final check in before the challenge: Everyone on Hooloovoo is listening to Lily and doing their jobs and it’s great! On Team SMASH, Ori has been given a task to keep him busy, one he’s perfect for since he’s a LARPer (he portrays a Battle Rabbi – Love it!) – he’s choreographing the fight scenes.
Let’s get to this Nerd War and it’s time for a change of scenery. Instead of in the courtyards of Nerdvana, this year’s cosplay challenge will be battled in a theater on a stage. I’m about 50/50 with this change up; I think being outside added some real ambiance to the cosplay challenge, but since this year’s theme is science fiction being inside on a stage works better as a background. After both teams take the stage, looking sooo so so so fabulous, the judges are introduced. First up is voice actor Tara Strong (Harley Quinn, My Little Pony…) followed by the one and only Cosplay Queen Yaya Han, of course, and finally, Lord of the Rings actor, Billy Boyd (he was Pippin).
House Hooloovoo is up first. The moral of their cosplay tale is that you can’t judge someone before you know them and this is the gist of their story: Todd is a stowaway aboard an alien space ship being commanded by Kaitlin. Her guards, Lily and human-in-disguise Ben find Todd and artificial intelligence droid Raychelle identifies him as human and violent. Alien doctor Thomas is brought in to inspect the prisioner, Ben is found out to be human, but before further action can be taken there is mechanical trouble on the ship! Luckily, Todd is an engineer (and gentle giant) and he saves the day and Kaitlin drives home the moral of their story by recognizing that her prejudice against humans could have destroyed them all. Time for Team SMASH to take the stage! Middle management Colby checks in on a business venture with robot servant builder Amanda then Amanda resumes programming robot Jonathan to feel. Colby reappears in the scene, steals away Jonathan and delivers him to evil “straight up trash villain” doctor Heather who, after a beautiful twerking session by robot Jonathan, activates his evil mode and sends him on a killing spree. Enter space constable Ori who battles with robot Jonathan until robot builder Amanda steps in and reprograms him to choose. Sword in hand, robot Jonathan makes a bee line for evil doctor Heather, but, what’s this? He HUGS her instead of attacking her! Awww, indeed, Curtis. So the judges are all favoring House Hooloovoo on the costume side of things, and that is the team that receives Tara’s vote. Billy bestows his vote upon Team SMASH and tie-breaking vote goes to Yaya. With all the costume love given to Hooloovoo, and Yaya’s known admiration of handmade costumes, they are shocked when she reveals her vote in favor of SMASH and they are the winners of this Nerd War. In addition to winning the Nerd War, each SMASH member will be rewarded with a $250 gift code to BuyCostumes.com.
House Hooloovoo is truly blue, in the depressed sense not the happy sense, after the Nerd War. Ben KNEW it was a good decision to rid SMASH of one of their cosplayers, but Lily and Raychelle said they were better and not to worry about it and look what happened. Ben was right! His move was a good move, but here they are… And Lily is crying tears that rival those of Genevieve’s after the Nerd Debate in season one. Losing a Nerd War in which her idol was the deciding vote is the worst feeling ever and Kaitlin really feels for Lily knowing how much she looks up to Yaya. Todd hates that she’s crying and wants her to be stronger, but she says crying does make her stronger… While Team SMASH celebrates, the upcoming Nerd Off becomes Hooloovoo’s topic of conversation. Raychelle thinks it would be really awesome if they could all just be honest about whom they are all voting for because she just wants to know if she’s going. Everyone kind of agrees that honesty and openness is the best way to move forward and Kaitlin is the first to say that she is voting for Thomas. Ben will also be voting for Thomas and it’s just kind of settled right then: Hooloovoo will send Thomas to the Nerd Off. With the decision made, Ben suggests they move to a harder form of drinking, both teams gather in the main room and Bartender Ben starts pouring the drinks… Because no one wants to vote out the bartender, right?
The party that ensues is, as Ori says, like the cantina scene in Star Wars except for all the sex talk floating around and the friendly flirty stuff going on with Jonathan and the ladies! Jonathan knows his wife will understand that he has to be friendly in the game and I agree with him. There is nothing wildly inappropriate going on between Jonathan and the women… Definitely not as wildly inappropriate as the joke I wanted to tell earlier in this blog, which I am still keeping to myself.
The next morning, despite feeling hung over and tired, Raychelle still has her head in the game and wonders what the other team is thinking in Nerd Off voting terms. Cut to Jonthan, Heather and Amanda talking in the Team SMASH bedroom. Kaitlin is the obvious choice for their team’s vote of whom to send into the Nerd Off, but Jonathan knows how important it is that Ori and Colby don’t realize the three of them are working together; if they vote Kaitlin, they have to vote Kaitlin. Jonathan also knows that they are still all three fair game if the tables are turned in future Nerd Offs and he’s got it in his head that the three of them need to find some Hooloovoo members to form a cross-team alliance… What a BRILLIANT idea! I know for a FACT that Amanda and Heather will be down with that because they already HAVE a cross-team alliance with Raychelle and Lily and how fortunate is it that those are the two blue team members that Jonathan approaches??? Of course this conversation goes really well and all five meet up in the bathroom. Five is great, but six is better – They are going to bring Ben into the mix. And the Secret Six alliance of King of the Nerds season three is born. Yeah, they named it. Guess whose idea that was?
I LOVE IT!!! If they pull this off, the Secret Six MUST go down as one of the best alliances in reality TV history, especially the Girl Power alliance that started it because those girls are totally going to Britney Haynes those boys. (Sorry, Brit, I LOVE YOU!!!). If they stay six strong, they can control who goes to the Nerd Offs every week from here on out and once everyone else is gone, the suspect the girls would go after the boys and we’ll be crowning another Queen of the Nerds. Unless people get shady… Ben has some doubts about this little agreement between teams; can they really trust the SMASH people? If it were HIM who had come up with this great plan, he would say that’s the plan, but continue to vote SMASH’s strong players into the Nerd Offs. Aw, come on, Ben! You were right on with the “we need to get one of the cosplay girls out”, but duuude… This is a good alliance for you. It keeps you safe. You have the numbers! Don’t do anything shady!!!
To the Throne Room! And this is getting ridiculously long so I’m going to cut down on the chatter chatter chatter. As decided, House Hooloovoo votes Thomas into the Nerd Off and by a unanimous decision on part of Team SMASH, Kaitlin will be joining him. Ben feels much better about the Secret Six. He sees the beauty in it now. GOOD! You better see the beauty in it now, Ben! After bending a knee in front of the Throne of Games, Curtis explains that this week the Nerd Off will test the wits of the players with riddles and that there is study material available back in Nerdvana in the library. The nerds are released and it’s time for Thomas and Kaitlin to hit the riddle books. Thomas does not feel confident going up against Kaitlin; she is a deep thinker and he is a face forward thinker and riddles are not his thing. Kaitlin, on the other hand, is concerned that the riddles will be focused on science fiction and fantasy and other nerdy stuff that she’s not as familiar with she’s focusing on riddles that have to do with those topics.
Grab your coconuts because it’s time for the Nerd Off and everyone is dressed up as characters from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Love it! After galloping to the challenge area and meeting up with Curtis and Bobby, the Nerd Off is further explained. They will all travel together through the forest while Kaitlin and Thomas are subjected to the riddles of the riddle masters; whoever “rings in” first can answer the riddle and if correct, they will get a point. If incorrect, the other competitor will have the opportunity to earn the point. Wearing more make up and clothing than we’ve ever seen before, Mindy aka Pom Pom Kitty is the first riddle master they meet and I’m pretty sure this is the most we’ve ever heard her speak on the show too. While Raychelle is mesmerized by Mindy, Thomas scores a point. Further ahead on the trail they confront a giant, who, in Heather’s opinion should be able to better dress himself; Kaitlin scores a point. An ogre/troll/pig man is the next riddle master in the forest and after a very close race to ring in, Kaitlin scores another point. Next on the trail is a minotaur and his riddle doesn’t even register with Ben because he’s too distracted by the directional tilt of the man’s nipples; Thomas ties up the score! This last riddle will determine the winner.
The last riddle master has got to be the cutest scary goblin thing I’ve ever seen. It’s got a skull bow, but the teeth… (See Above) The stuff of nightmares… So, Thomas “rings in” first, but he guesses incorrectly so Kaitlin has a shot at the point aaand she answers correctly so Thomas is the second nerd banished from Nerdvana. As with Jacob, it’s a real shame he’s gone since he wasn’t the target. There was really no reason to vote him into the Nerd Off in my opinion. Come on, Amanda… You watch Big Brother! If you’re going after a tough competitor you can’t use a pawn! There are no backdoors in Nerdvana… Except, for, ya know, the actual backdoors. Oh well. The Secret Six is working well together and doing a pretty good job of keeping their alliance under wraps. Judging from the previews for the next episode, though… It seems there is a LOT of turbulence ahead.
King of the Nerds airs on TBS on Friday nights at 9/8c and check out Knights of Nerdvana! There is also lots of other content here at Your Reality Recaps for you reality TV nerds like me. We’ve got plenty of Bachelor coverage from Dana, blogs & recap videos, Bravo shows and check out my Survivor: Worlds Apart Cast Preview! And please do all of your Valentines Day Amazon shopping by clicking here – it doesn’t cost you any more and it really helps support what we do here.
Also… I was a guest this week on the Nerd Chat Central King of the Nerds Recap show! Thanks again to Zack, Alice and Eve for having me. It was a lot of fun getting nerdy with you. 🙂 And you should check out their show next week on Friday after King of the Nerds because Xander from season 2 will be a guest a long with is friend Bonnie from The Quest! You can follow them @nerdchatcentral on Twitter. Oh… And one more thing… I now get visuals I would rather not have when hearing the phrase “kneel before Todd”. 😉 Until next week, loves! xoxox
***My Reply to Jim’s Comment***
Thanks, Jim! I will try to keep up the funny as best I can. SO! Since you put so much time and effort into your comment, I am going to put time and effort into replying to it. I’m typing it up in a Word document first!
#1: You are correct: KotN contestants don’t actually get to “vote out” players, but they all get to nominate, which makes them all like the “HoH” in Big Brother because the HoH doesn’t actually get to “vote out” players either, unless there is a tie. SO, while yes, no one can control who leaves Nerdvana as much as the players in Big Brother (or Survivor), they still control who gets to play in the Nerd Off, which is like deciding who will play in the Power of Veto on Big Brother, except there is no Veto. They can’t control the outcome of that challenge, but they control who competes and they actually have more control as to who competes in the Nerd Off because there are no other players in the Nerd Off and there IS no Power of Veto. One of them is going home no matter what. That’s a lot of control if you ask me. There are no second chances in Nerdvana. Once you’re nominated, you have a 50/50 shot at staying. In Big Brother and Survivor, the fight for safety is different – multiple people play for Immunity, it’s never just two and the same goes for the Power of Veto. There is always more than two players in these competitions so there is more room to wiggle.
The REAL loss of control here is in the fact that the players cannot predict at all what the Nerd Off challenge will entail. Survivor and Big Brother are pretty predictable, but in Nerdvana, there are set group challenges that we all expect to see like the cosplay challenge and the debate (AND A MUSIC CHALLENGE THIS YEAR I HOPE), but the Nerd Off is not predictable. Nerd Offs do not have consistent traits like OTEV, the Counting Veto and the Dirty Santa Punishment/Reward Veto like we do on Big Brother. Take this week for example: It probably would have been better to send someone else into the Nerd Off to “outwit” Kaitlin on the riddles, but they didn’t know it would be riddles. If they had known what to expect from the Nerd Off, they could have better controlled the outcome. That’s what makes this social game so much more difficult than Survivor or Big Brother – they have to anticipate what the challenge will be and they have no frame of reference for it.
The only thing that the contestants on KotN DO control is who they vote into the Nerd Off. That’s ALL they can control so a six person alliance with 11 people left in the game, that has three people on one side and three on the other, is SUPER DUPER powerful. They have more control over who goes home than the people on Survivor and Big Brother do with only 11 people playing.
#2: Yes, two members from the losing team have to be voted into the Nerd Off, but in Nerdvana, the teams live together so they are not prohibited from interacting with each other like players are in Survivor, except for Survivor: One World where the tribes were split by gender, but lived in one location. On Big Brother, there are no teams, but there are always two sides of the house. Always. In Nerdvana, they are split into teams like on Survivor, but they live together like on Big Brother, which is a HUGE advantage! If the girls from Survivor: One World wouldn’t have been able to communicate and talk to the boys, I don’t think the most successful all-woman alliance in reality TV history would have been what it is today – Because that’s what happened. Those girls PLAYED those boys and it’s all because they got to interact with them instead of living separately. In Survivor: All-Stars, there were cross-team alliances all over the place because they all knew or knew of each other – Amber would not have won that season if Boston Rob would not have convinced Lex to keep her safe – when they were not on the same tribe.
Contestants on KotN have the GIFT of being able to form cross-team alliances. They should do it more on Big Brother like they did with season 9 by pairing up couples, season 12 by making teams in high school cliques and on season 14 with the coaches. It’s a whole new level of social game and it offers a lot of advantages because when they are 12 people in a game, or 11 people left, with six you have the numbers to get try to get rid of who you want. There is more left up to chance in Nerdvana, but it’s still a numbers game, socially.
OF COURSE, cross-team alliances are SHORT-TERM alliances. They get you to the Final Six and then it’s every man and woman for his or herself. OR, better yet, you have a sub, four person alliance and that is your next short-term alliance, which is what the girls have. When it’s down to four you shake hands, say good game, then growl “game on”.
#3: I doubt we’ll see any challenge-throwing in Nerdvana and the reason is this: No one wants to risk going to a Nerd Off because being nominated is so final: It’s a 50/50 shot. On either side, the girls will sacrifice either Ben or Jonathan and it’s not a big deal for their sub alliance. Ben or Jonathan are the only people who would stand to gain from throwing the Nerd War if it comes to that, but I think the girls have formed a tight enough bond that they would not allow that to happen. Unless Jonathan can use his charms! LOL JK – The boys don’t stand a chance if the Secret Six make it to the Final Six intact.
#4: You are absolutely right about Ben and Jonathan. They are on the bottom and this is NOT a good alliance for either of them, but you see… I am a little biased. I don’t want Ben to be shady because I want to see the Girl Power Alliance succeed. Ben SHOULD be shady if he wants to win, but I want one of the women to win. 😉 I think it would be really hilarious if another female took the title of KING of the Nerds. So, yes, strategically, the Secret Six is not a good alliance for Ben, but if he’s smart he’ll see it. I actually think Todd has a better chance of seeing it, especially now that Ben sees the beauty in the alliance. Todd is on the outside, though, and judging from the previews for next week… He may have figured something out so… As much as I love my girls… They could be in for some trouble next week if Todd figured something out. It certainly looks like chaos is about to descend upon Nerdvana.
#5: Yes, Colby and Kaitlin are huge threats, but since you can’t predict the Nerd Off, the only thing players can base their votes on is social game and their own speculations of what the Nerd Off challenge will entail. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Look how hard the people on BB14 tried to get rid of Frank and how many times they sent Zach to Nerd Offs last year – There is always an element of luck and the unknown. Even the Quack Pack had to sacrifice a member, but they were still a very successful BB alliance. If the Secret Six has to do the same, it doesn’t mean the remaining five can’t make it to the Final Five because it will be individual by then.
And Amanda knows Big Brother and Survivor well enough to know that cutting one of your own alliance members is something you have to do sometimes if you want to win the game. I can say this with confidence based on what I’ve seen and my interactions with her on Twitter. (Much love to Amanda if you’re reading this!)
In Conclusion: A six person alliance is always beneficial, but to make it successful you need a sub four person alliance. If there are 12 people in a game like this – You need to be in a tight six person alliance, but you better hope you’re in the sub four person alliance. And if people figure out what is going on – It’s all going to fall apart.
Thank you so much for your insightful and well-thought out comment, Jim! These are just MY opinions based on my many years of watching reality TV AND part of me is biased because all-woman alliances are rarely successful and I would LOVE to see one play out on King of the Nerds.