Calling all nerds! Slap on those Union Jack t-shirts and break out your best British accents because it’s time for season one of King of the Nerds UK! Our favorite nerdy reality show in the States has traveled across the pond and it’s time to welcome some new additions to the Nerdvana family and our Nerd Army. Oh, and by the way, UK Nerdvana… Is in an effing castle because they’ve actually got them there… 😉
First up to be introduced is nineteen year old math nerd Curtis Reubens, a very energetic chap who knows that everything is mathematics because it’s all about the numbers, baby! He’s a nerd because that’s just how he rolls. Robyn Potter is, appropriately, a Potterhead who plays Quiddich, is a very proud Hufflepuff, (like me!), and wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling when she was little to request that Harry Potter have a long lost sister, Robyn, written into the books. Mark Hughes, twenty-eight, is a massive Trekkie who has seen all of the episodes, including the animated series, has a Kingon dictionary, has been to KAHNS… You get the idea – He loves the Trek. Trivia nerd, cruciverbalist, (which may or may not be a made up word since my spellchecker is telling me it’s not a word), and chaos inducer Matt Barr is ready to knuckle up and bring the mayhem. (A cruciverbalist is, according to Mr. Mayhem, a person who loves and/or is skilled at crossword puzzles, by the way).
After the first four players are introduced, host and lovely lady nerd Konnie Huq, (I can’t wait to make a “go Huq yourself” type joke), welcomes everyone to the competition aaand… I gotta say… I could do without the voice over narrative. If it was the dude that used to “narrate” Big Brother UK I would be all for it, but it’s a lady – said in my best “Moss” voice and if you have to ask who Moss is… *sigh* Turn yourself off and on again and watch the IT Crowd. It’s a British comedy and you don’t get to call yourself a true UK-lovin’ nerd like me until you do. Anyway… In the fashion of the first season of the American version, the first Nerd War is the picking of teams and one of the eleven nerds will be left out of this pick. Konnie “rummages in a purple drawstring bag”, which is a direct narrative quote, to pull out the name of the first team captain – Mr. Mayhem or Professor Chaos. I haven’t decided on a nickname for Matt yet and he’s not happy about being named team captain. He did NOT want Konnie pulling his name out of the bag.
Our second team captain is twenty-one year old Hannah Harle, a role playing enthusiast who hates describing herself, but loves dragons, phoenixes, eagles, dwarves, elves, you know, all that kind of stuff and has a name Stan Lee must have given her because it’s a great secret identity name for a super hero. I can just see her as a mild-mannered administrative assistant by day, whip-toting, mask-wearing femme fatale by night. After Hannah receives the news, Konnie releases them all into Nerdvana, which they all totally nerdgasm about, of course, because Nerdvana is nerd heaven, and then it’s time to meet the next nerd. Kenny Lam is a cosplayer, which he says is just fancy dress for nerds, who can turn almost anything into anything to complete a costume and loves super heroes. He is also awesome, which can be confirmed by his “I’m awesome” t-shirt, which the narrator does not fail to include in her assessment of what is happening visually.
Space nerd, Ryan MacDonald is an Oxford student who is on the list of candidates training to be included in the Mars mission set to leave in 2024. Kayla might have some company on the red planet then – Maybe Ryan can cure her of the space madness that drove her to insane while she up there! 😉 How awesome would it be if TWO King of the Nerds contestants went to Mars?! SOOO AWESOME – that’s how awesome. After more nerdy narration, Karen Dawson, self-employed costume maker introduces herself as a snake doctor – her P.H.D. is in the genetics of venomous snakes, but if you’ve got a sick snake, she’s not the one to call. I have a question about snakes for Karen, though… What would you do if your pet boa constrictor got a hold of your significant other’s pet Chihuahua and was in the process of swallowing it? I actually received an emergency call for a vet at the answering service I used to work for with that very issue – true story! I have no idea how the vet dealt with it, but I can imagine one pet did not make it out of that situation alive. Moving on!
Next up is twenty year old raging gamer Kerry Allingham who has 2500 games in her collection – yes, Kerry, gaming is definitely an obsession with you! How many consoles do you have though? Betcha my brother and I have more! We still have our original Nintendo and it still works. Special effects student and Star Wars nerd, Emily Jones is next on the list and she definitely knows her stuff – I wouldn’t want to go up against her in a trivia contest because she’s seen all the movies hundreds of times. Actually, though, I wouldn’t want to get into a trivia battle with anyone about anything nerdy because… Most of ya’ll would kick my ass in a battle like that. I have all kinds of stuff stored away in this brain of mine, but I’m now quiz champ. And our final contestant is Yasmeen Ojeleye, a manga nerd obsessed with manga and anime who can speak Japanese and is basically pretty awesome. So… now that we know everyone, everyone is still getting to know each other in Nerdvana, then Mr. Mayhem takes control of the group to have an official sit down circle so he can get to know everyone he hasn’t talked to yet – sizing up the competition! Everyone impressed him in different ways, but everyone is pretty much impressed with everyone so he’s going to focus on gathering all the extroverted nerds to be on his team. He wants meat shields.
Soon enough, Konnie is calling everyone out to the courtyard for the schoolyard pick. No one wants to be the not picked nerd, but they don’t know what we all know! We all know that the not picked nerd is going to be safe from elimination, will get to choose the winning team and in the UK version – jumping forward a bit – this person will also get to bump a member off the winning team so that they can join that team. So, everyone is really nervous going into this Nerd War. After the team captains take their positions on the “purple material spread out on the ground”… Konnie dumps a goblet of paint over Matt and Hannah’s heads indicating that Hannah is on the blue team and Matt is on the red team. A round of Rock Paper Scissors gives Matt the first pick and a relieved Hannah is glad he chooses Robyn instead of Mark – that’s who she wanted to choose and she does. We all know how this works! Robyn chooses Kerry, Mark chooses Curtis, Kerry chooses Kenny, Curtis chooses Emily, Kenny chooses Karen and then we’re down to two people left: Ryan and Yasmeen. For REAL? The man training to go to Mars could get picked last?! REALLY??? lol You UK nerds sure are quirky! 😉
So… the fate of Ryan and Yasmeen rests in the hands of Emily aaand… She chooses the astronaut – because obviously, on King of the Nerds, you want someone who knows a thing or two about rocket fuel and physics and spacey, sciencey stuff like that on your team! This leaves Yasmeen with all the power and suddenly, Ryan kind of wishes he HAD been the not picked nerd. Both teams are given a chance to sway Yasmeen to pick them as the winners and despite the red team bending their knees to, as Kerry puts it, grovel, she chooses the blue team. After Konnie explains the process of Nerd Offing, my new favorite compound verb, Yasmeen must make the difficult decision of which blue team member she’s sending over to the reds. (And I love love love that this is Red vs. Blue… Makes me want to watch that series…). Luckily, the chosen person, Curtis, doesn’t mind a bit! He kind of wanted to go over to that team anyway so no bad blood there! Let’s not forget that there is a team reward for winning this Nerd War. The blues will be enjoying cocktails of the molecular gastronomy variety that evening.
While sipping their gin and juice, and other alcoholic delights laced with dry ice from beakers and test tubes, the blues begin to discuss who they should vote into the Nerd Off. Matt comes to mind first because he is the captain of the team, the heart of it, but then Ryan asks the question – Isn’t Robyn really the heart of the team? He feels absolutely evil mentioning it. Everyone agrees that super friendly and energetic, well-rounded Robyn is definitely the heart of the team, but Matt is a good target too. While the blues are hatching plans, the reds are discussing the Nerd Off as well. Matt is pretty sure that he will be voted in by the other team since he’s the captain so all that’s left to discuss is who among them will face him. Curtis and Robyn both want to stay and help the team as best they can; Karen wants everyone to pick a number so she can roll the dice and just choose that way – it’s the fairest way to do it. Matt finds this terrifying. He doesn’t want to go into the Nerd Off against some random schmo – He can manipulate people, but he can’t manipulate dice. And they flash the evil eyes on him then we’re whisked away to the Throne Room.
Konnie goes over the Nerd Off rules one more time then reveals the Throne of Games aaand… What? No wind blowing into the face of our nerds? Do you not have fans over there in the UK or something? I really enjoy that part of the Nerd Off sequence and, Konnie does a great job, but I miss Curtis saying “the loser goes home immediately” because the look on his face is just the icing on the cake. I know, I know. I’m being super critical of production, but seriously – You gotta have wind for that throne scene. Anyway… Everyone is nervocited – nervous and excited – well, mostly everyone. Matt is straight up nervous because he’s convinced he’s going to be voted into the Nerd Off. Konnie will reveal the blue teams vote first and she takes her sweet ass time too because Kenny, to the camera, is super anxious for her to flip that tablet she looking at around to face them. When she does, Matt is surprised to see that the blues have taken aim at Robyn, who takes the nomination as a compliment – they must think she’s a threat. Matt is glad he’s not competing, but he’s not happy that his inflatable wavy arms distraction move is getting played this early. He doesn’t want Robyn to go home… Yet.
After some more fun narration and a commercial break, the red team’s vote is revealed – Karen! She’s not quite sure what to think about this and Matt steps in to provide her with his reasoning – he really didn’t like that whole “let’s risk it and roll the dice” idea since it takes all the responsibility for the vote off of her. Interesting! There is a little bit of an awkward moment between Karen and Matt then Konnie asks the girls to come forward and kneel before throne. This first Nerd Off will be an all around nerd quiz. The first round will be a “wild card” round in which the subject matter could be anything involving nerd culture and the second will be a “quick fire” round in which each lady nerd will answer questions about a subject chosen by their competitor. The possible subjects are board games, periodic table, music theory and capital cities. Robyn choose music theory for Karen; Karen chooses capital cities for Robyn. Each nerd will have two hours to study and can choose one person from either team to help them prepare. Matt steps up to volunteer for help Robyn and she gladly accepts. Yasmeen and Curtis speak up about their music knowledge, but Kenny doesn’t! His dad’s a music teacher and he’s all kind of musical, but he’s keeping it to himself. DIABOLICAL! And Matt thinks he’s so devious!
Moving on and speeding things up… Karen chooses Curtis and Konnie dismisses the nerds. While the foursome studies, the rest of the nerds are discussing the subjects the girls had to choose from and Kenny reveals his musical background. Mark cannot believe he didn’t step up to the plate to help his team member, but Kenny explains that he views Karen as competition since she does costumes. Dark horse, indeed! When it’s time for the Nerd Off, the nerds are led into the challenge area and suddenly it gets very real. Konnie’s looking all official, there are screens and podiums – this is no joke! Everyone is nervous, Robyn still feels honored to be a threat then it’s time for the Wild Card round and it will be based on acronyms – Neither lady is excited for this. All of the ‘nyms will be movie titles though, so that should help them out. First round is back and forth, back and forth and at the end of it, the scores are tied at five points each.
Karen is up first for the Quick Fire round and damn girl! At the end of her 90 seconds, she has 14 points! Mark is super impressed and if Yasmeen were in Robyn’s boots, she would be shaking in them. Robyn’s round starts and it’s a little rocky at first, but then she picks it up a bit – but then she passes on three and gets another wrong and soon enough, the buzzer buzzes and Robyn is still three points behind Karen. Hashtag sad face! I was looking forward to fun antics from Robyn. Matt is also disappointed – one of his meat shields is gone and his plan is exactly going according to… plan. Back in Nerdvana, everyone is pretty bummed, but they better get used to it! Someone is leaving every week until the end. And based on the quick previews of the season – We’re in for a lot of fun this summer.
Thus ends my first recap of King of the Nerds UK season one! You can relive the fun of my blogs for seasons 2 and 3 of the US version or check out my Survivor blogs if you wish. And if you’re watching BB17 – you’re in the right place to feed your addiction. There’s a lot of stuff here to feed your additions to reality TV so… Surf around. 🙂
ALSO! I am currently looking for artists to draw my graphic novel for me and there is more about that HERE if anyone is interested in reading it. I will be posting some sections of the book soon, along with some other things I’ve written, and hopefully I will be launching a Kickstarter within a month or so. Gotta find those artists first! All my love to the UK cast – You guys are awesome and I am so excited for the rest of the season.
Update! Here is a link to Xander’s Top 3 Moments from King of the Nerds UK season one. 🙂