Friday, 2 November 2012

Another Mastermind Application...

Long time readers will know that I had an audition for this years series of Mastermind and was quite disappointed not to get on. I felt the audition had went well, certainly in scoring 17/20 I did well in the GK test they gave, and they "seemed" keen on my subjects. But it came to nothing but a rejection letter. So this week I have decided to apply again for the next series which I probably won't hear back from until next year.

I figured that my GK round was sufficient so it was either a dislike of my personality or my subjects that let me down. There is nothing much I can do about my personality, so I have re thought my subjects and taken a different strategy this year.

Eurovision is top of the list again. Last year I tried to take the subject as Eurovision from 1990 which I thought was reasonable but in the audition they asked me to expand it to the full history of the contest. Now, this is a fair request but this year some subjects have been very narrow. One contestant has already had Epsom Derby Since Eurovision suggestion was much wider than that! So this year I have tried again and went for Eurovision since 1980. At the depth I would like to prepare for a Mastermind show I don't think expanding my choice to the full contest history would be a wise move but if I have to then I guess I will.

I have chosen something "topical" and what has been in the news more than James Bond recently. So, rather predictably, I have decided to try the James Bond Films.Although I am a huge Bond fan and would make a good go of a SS round on the subject tomorrow, I have kind of chosen this one as a SS I hope will get me on the show. If I could pick the subjects after an audition I probably would not chose Bond but if it gets me on Mastermind...

I decided after my last failed audition and watching this series I would also fling in a Monarch so have chosen The Life of Henry III. No real reason other than the fact its a period I am interested in and I don't recall it being done recently.

My fourth and final subject I wondered over for some time. They seem to like TV shows (funnily enough I was not allowed to do a Tv Show last year with over 100 episodes yet this year Fawlty Towers at a whopping 12 episodes was allowed!) but there is not one that appealed so I went down the music route again. I am trying for the Stereophonics again which was on my form last year too.

Fingers crossed.....


  1. Hi Daniel
    First of all, good luck with the application. For what it's worth I would doubt very much that it was about personality , since I haven't really got one, yet I got on. But seriously, I think that you were just unlucky last time, and I really wouldn't go reading too much into it. Look at it this way - the fact that you're applying again shows persistence and determination, and that may well count for something.

    As regards your choice of specialists - I agree that you're probably better off to widen the subject of Eurovision to include the 80s. I would have thought that this subject would appeal. As for the James Bond films - well, look, this is just my opinion so don't take it too much to heart - but I think that this might be one where they ask you to think again. Yes, popular subject , and I worry that it might be too popular, and that someone else may be lined up for it. But then again, maybe not. I like the subject of Henry III - considering that he reigned for over 50 years, and his reign saw civil war against de Montford and the barons, he is something of an anonymous king as far as history is concerned. Have you got enough sources for research for him ?

    Stereophonics - yep - good choice, I'd say.

    In all honesty, I wish you the very best of luck, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  2. For what it's worth, I applied to be on last season with the specialist subjects, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Felix Eboue, and Terrorism 1945-2001.

    They asked about sourcing for Eboue and thought they might not be able to get decent questions with most of the non-wikipedia sources being in French. They asked me to make the terrorism subject more specific and, during discussion they suggested, "The Troubles in Northern Ireland - 1969-1998" It wasn't really what interested me but I let it go.

    For Buffy they just said no and asked for another subject. I suggested Alice Cooper.

    I didn't get on last time but they said I was close and they would write to invite me for an audition for this season without having to apply again. THey did so and again asked for my specialist subjects. This time I said British Spiders, Alice Cooper and Dune. They rejected Dune on the grounds there were already too many SF related questions so I changed this to the Baader-Meinhof Gang. They were happy with this and said I was in.

    Then, after the series had begun on TV, they said the Question setters had decided too many of the answers on British Spiders were in Latin. I couldn't think of a third subject but eventually picked a random book from my shelf, opened it at random and chose the Jagiellon Dynasty as my third subject. Actually, I think there may have been other rejected subjects between first application and my final appearance but those are the ones I can remember.

    So... my GK was no better than yours (although a lot faster in the audition than on the program). I'm convinced I was picked this year because my hair is so long and I have such a strong physical resemblance to Santa Claus.