Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ep 209: Hugh Davidson, Dave Gray (October 26, 2016; originally aired May 19, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

It's the important fourth night for Hugh Davidson, and Richard asks about technique.  Specifically, he comments that Hugh's selections have led to some of the most spectacular number play that he thinks has been had on the show (I'm not sure about that, but it has certainly led to some challenging targets), and enquires what Hugh's strategy is.  Hugh demurs, saying that 'strategy' is probably the wrong word for it, and that he has been pretty reckless.  Also, he is likely to continue being so.

Tonight's challenger is Dave Gray, but not the one that I thought of when I heard the name.  This Dave Gray is the head gardener at the historic Vaucluse House in Sydney, and has been for twenty-two years.  He adds that he is actually the head gardener for the Historic Houses Trust (they changed their name to Sydney Living Museums in 2013), so he looks after a number of gardeners associated with historic properties throughout Sydney, and even one down in Nowra called Meroogal.

Dave agrees with Richard's next statement that the beautiful gardens are certainly an important part of the historic houses, because they reflect the period of which the house is set.  For instance, at Vaucluse House they are trying to encapsulate the 19th century in the garden there.

Richard reminds us that one of Dave's colleagues from Vaucluse House was on the show a while back; that was Susan Bee, back in episode 132.

Dave took the early lead with a good word, but Hugh rallied in the second round to reduce the deficit to a single point.  Hugh's usual choice of six small numbers stumped everyone, including Lily, who very unusually had nothing to say.  The points were shared in the next round, then Dave chanced an invalid word in round five; that allowed Hugh to take the lead.  Dave took it right back again with the numbers, and when he solved the final numbers round also he was safe going into the conundrum.  Dave did very well to solve that conundrum quickly, and finished a comfortable winner, 51 to 26.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Ep 208: Hugh Davidson, Amrit Singh (October 25, 2016; originally aired May 18, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

Hugh Davidson returns for his third night, and Richard returns to the topic of Hugh's radio work, asking him how many programs he is putting to air at the moment.  Hugh responds that he is doing two shows a week at the moment -- a live performance show on Tuesdays, and the piano show on Saturdays.  Hugh would love to work in radio in the future, and particularly for one of the national broadcasters like the ABC or SBS.

Facing Hugh tonight is Amrit Singh, an IT professional who describes his greatest achievement as bungee jumping off the Auckland bridge.  Richard asks Amrit whether he can describe what it is like to bungee jump.  Amrit says that it is a pretty scary experience, and to him personally it was quite fulfilling.  The worst moment was when he had to step out and just jump... they counted him down, and that was the scariest part.  After that it was great.

Hugh starts out with a pair of seven-letter words, while Amrit is unable to match him.  Neither could make headway on the first numbers round, but thereafter it all goes Hugh's way.  He picks up points in all the remaining rounds, including the conundrum, and Amrit was only able to get on the scoring board in the last numbers round.  It's a very one-sided affair, with Hugh winning 62 to 10.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Ep 207: Hugh Davidson, Gabrielle Abel (October 24, 2016; originally aired May 17, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

Hugh Davidson gets his turn in the champion's seat tonight, and we find out that Hugh used to play A-grade competition table tennis in Geelong, back when he was in high school.  Richard asks how one trains for table tennis, and Hugh goes bizarrely off on a tanget saying that it's a weird sport that attracts weird people.  Did part of the conversation get snipped?  That made no sense as a response.

Tonight's challenger is Gabrielle Abel, an award-winning mechanic.  Richard asks how that came about, and Gabrielle responds that it was during her apprenticeship (which she entered at what she describes as "quite an older age").  Her employer suggested that she enter for the award, so she did, and she says that it was mostly about being a good ambassador for the trade and the industry.  (I'm not sure if this is her downplaying her abilities or not; it originally came across to me that way, but on reflection I am rather less certain of that interpretation.)

Gabrielle's award, incidentally, was the 2006 WA Motor Apprentice of the Year.  I can also find a suggestion that she received an RAC Pre-Apprentice of the Year award, although I'm not able to track down more information on that.  Earlier this year, She Skills had a post about Gabrielle.

Hugh started off by overreaching, trying an invalid nine in the first round.  That gave Gabrielle a good lead, but Hugh won the next two rounds (aided by an invalid answer from Gabrielle to the first numbers round) to take a slender lead into the first break.  The contestants shared the points in the following three rounds, and the match had the makings of a close game.  But Hugh found the better answer in round seven, and then solved the target in round eight to give him a winning margin going into the conundrum.  He did well to solve that, too, winning with 51 points to 22.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ep 206: James Morris, Hugh Davidson (October 23, 2016; originally aired May 16, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

It's the third night for James Morris, and we hear that he helps out at sports camps, trying to encourage kids under thirteen to get out and run and enjoy playing sport, to get outdoors into the fresh air and try to get fit.  It's something that he would like to continue to do when he retires from construction.

Tonight's challenger is Hugh Davidson, a freelance sound recordist who also hosts and produces his own community radio show.  That show aired on Radio 3MBS in Melbourne.  He mostly plays old recordings of piano music from the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

It's yet another close game tonight, with the contestants finding equal results in the first two letters rounds.  James gained a small lead from the first numbers round, but a tough letters round that followed saw Hugh equalise.  An invalid word from Hugh let James take the lead once more, then Hugh rallied in the second numbers round to take the lead for the first time in the game.  He extended it in the final letters round, only for James to narrow the margin with the numbers.  Hugh was very slightly ahead going into the conundrum, but that margin was enough to give him victory as neither was able to solve it, leaving the final scoreline as 32 to 30 in his favour.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Weekly summary: Episodes 201 to 205

I had a fairly shaky restart to the game, finishing ten points behind on the solo totals in an unusual way, missing out on all three numbers rounds.  Things picked up thereafter, and I even managed to get a solo win over David and Lily on Thursday.  I was not able to play Tuesday's game since SBS did not make it available on their website for some reason.

David + Lily72797476
Me (solo)62757574

Andre got to a fifth game before falling to James, who saw out the week with a pair of identical winning scores.

Andre Sardone4247695140249
James Morris*5252104
Des Mullen4545
Tony Moran4141
Jenny Lee2929

It was an uneventful week, with no full monties on offer and all numbers rounds solved by Lily.

Full Monties0
Missed Full Monties0
Tough Numbers0
Impossible Numbers0

I was consistent on my letters performance this week, dropping only one maximum in each game.  The numbers started out somewhat shakily, as I failed to hit any maximum on Monday and still missed one on Wednesday.  The week finished strongly as I finally hit my stride on the numbers, and I solved all of the conundrums presented to me.

Maximums: L4444

Contestants sorted by average score:

James Morris*104252.00
Andre Sardone249549.80
Des Mullen45145.00
Tony Moran41141.00
Jenny Lee29129.00

Weekly summary: Episodes 191 to 193

Looks like I forgot to put up the weekly summary from the end of the previous series.  I don't remember much about it, but I have the statistics.  It looks like I had a particularly good game on Tuesday, anyway.

David + Lily769574
Me (solo)749664

Andre Sardone won the last game before the finals, becoming the carryover champion for the next series.  The leaderboard for the finals is unchanged.

Tony Loui528344624952342
Tamara McMahon546463525448335
Barry Harridge755145543959323
Matthew Thomason466449445265310
Victor Tung442951434742256
Oli Bryant714660555432318
Richard Hartley565357424232282
Jack Dell5973405036258

Tuesday offered two full monties, which was nice.  Tuesday and Wednesday also each had an impossible numbers round, making it a difficult set of numbers for the week.

Full Monties22
Missed Full Monties0
Tough Numbers0
Impossible Numbers112

I managed to get optimal results on the numbers in these three games, which is very pleasing.  I also had optimal results on the letters in the last two games, and Tuesday's game was completely optimal.  I also managed to outscore David and Lily on that one, which was nice.

Maximums: L255

Contestants sorted by average score:

Tony Loui342657.00
Tamara McMahon335655.83
Barry Harridge323653.83
Oli Bryant318653.00
Peter Kougi52152.00
Matthew Thomason310651.67
Jack Dell258551.60
Rohan Long153351.00
Jason Dunn102251.00
Colwyn Buckland51151.00
Brian Morgan151350.33
Luke Brattoni149349.67
Mel Cox149349.67
Rob Hunt99249.50
Raf Goodens98249.00
Gary Beer49149.00
Ryan Turk48148.00
Jeremy Rosen95247.50
Richard Hartley282647.00
Samuel Hastings186446.50
Daniel Drumm92246.00
Tom Fooks133344.33
Jonathan Goodman44144.00
Robyn Lee86243.00
Victor Tung256642.67
Greg Beers211542.20
Kannan Sethuraman210542.00
Andre Sardone*42142.00
Kathryn James123341.00
Kylie Thompson123341.00
Jodi Knight82241.00
Avi Chanales163440.75
Margaret Frangos79239.50
Peter Stephenson78239.00
Paula Messer77238.50
Brett Chaiyawat188537.60
Janine Huan37137.00
Had Thomas37137.00
Aram Kalyanasundaram36136.00
Luke Warden72236.00
Pat Sincock71235.50
David Waddell71235.50
Damien Chua35135.00
Ralph Lurie35135.00
Helen Hewitt34134.00
Jayden Spudvilas-Powell34134.00
Michael Bakker66233.00
Nathan Boadle33133.00
Alison Crowe33133.00
Chris Cincotta32132.00
Everson Kandare32132.00
Cameron Ling32132.00
Neil McInnes32132.00
Ben Ripley32132.00
Felix Johnson95331.67
Mike Vitale63231.50
Howard Smith62231.00
John Marsiglio31131.00
Gillian Stevens31131.00
Alex Ford30130.00
Bryce Lawrence30130.00
Jon Avotins29129.00
Matt Pitcher29129.00
Kapil Chauhan28128.00
Tim Shiel28128.00
Graham Smith55227.50
Phillip Gao27127.00
Anna Gunn27127.00
David Gunn27127.00
James Couti53226.50
Glen Chandler26126.00
Steve Simmons25125.00
Nicky Henderson24124.00
Preeti Goel23123.00
Louise Kuchmar23123.00
Vikas Ahuja22122.00
Daniel Goff21121.00
Laurence Guttman21121.00
Richard King21121.00
Mark Povey21121.00
Rob Carter20120.00
Rosemary Stafford20120.00
Nicky Betts19119.00
Liam Murphy18118.00
Basil Theophilos18118.00
Jenni Bradford17117.00
Seb Dworkin17117.00
Frank Rice15115.00
Vanessa Rule15115.00
Dane Watkins15115.00
Dan Boxshall14114.00
Cathy Henry14114.00
Susan Bee13113.00
Mali Konda13113.00
Rhys McCaig13113.00
Matthew Ball12112.00
Matt Bolton12112.00
Kym Logan616.00
Lexi Wright010.00

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Ep 205: James Morris, Des Mullen (October 20, 2016; originally aired May 13, 2011)

Rounds: Here.

Disclaimer: I watched this episode when it first aired, and although I did not recall any of it I cannot rule out memory being a factor.

James Morris gets his turn in the champion's seat, after defeating Andre last night.  In addition to his sporting prowess, James is also very into playing pool competitively; he says that he is captain of a pub in Melbourne, but I assume he means captain of some pool team associated with that pub.  It was his girlfriend who really got him into the game, because she has played pool at the world level.  Impressive!

Tonight's challenger is Des Mullen, a musician who played the part of the motorcycle cop in the Australian Village People.  They toured around the country for about four years from the late '90s up to around 2002, performing specifically as "the Australian Village People" to avoid legal trouble.  They did go to New Zealand once, and were asked to stay hidden as the organisers were trying to pass them off as the real Village People (oh, dear), and apart from the beard there was very little resemblance.

James took the lead with the best answer in the first round, but lost most of it on the first numbers round due to an invalid answer.  He managed to extend his lead in round five, but for the most part the contestants found equal results with a series of rounds that did not hold out much potential for swing.  Des was behind going into the conundrum but still in with a chance.  It ended up proving to be too difficult for both contestants, however, so James held on for the win, 52 to 45.