As this season of “King of the Nerds” progresses, so will this list. Think of it as a fine game that slowly gets better with age. By the end of the season, we’re going to have a fantastic body of work to talk about, but only a few contestants. On the flip side, right now we have a heap of contestants, but haven’t seen enough of everyone yet.
Note that these rankings are based on something very different from our Nerd Scale, which we used throughout our spotlight series to determine just how nerdy each contestant is. That was completely arbitrary and had no bearing whatsoever on the season, as proven further by the fact that one of the only two people with a perfect score in Kelsey is already out of the running. This is based more on TV edit, strategy, and performances in the various tasks bestowed upon these contestants. Since we’ve had so little opportunity to get to know this nerd herd (hooray for “Chuck” references!), think of this as the abridged, sort-of-Cliff-Notes version. (Update: You can read our review of tonight’s episode here.)
10. Chris Jackson – He’s coming out of the Nerd-Off, and everyone is terrified of how smart he is … and this is a room full of smart people. Eventually, his singular focus in engineering and not much else is going to hurt him.
9. Katie Correll – Seemed to at least be on the radar to be chosen last week, and has some specific weaknesses when it comes to video games and some television. Trivia competitions could be troublesome.
8. Josh Wittenkeller – The YouTube star and People’s Nerd did a great job of staying under the radar this past week, but Jessa also made a great point in our podcast last week: If the other nerds are worried about a twist where America could vote on the winner, and they know that he has an online following, they should target him.
7. Brian Davidson – A seriously smart guy, but his area of expertise in literature is probably not going to be touched on much in comparison to some other nerdy attributes. Like Chris and Katie, there are more obvious weaknesses here.
6. Kayla LaFrance – While she seems to be fairly well-rounded on some of the things needed to win, her big personality and her competitive edge probably make her a threat. Even if she’s capable of winning a few Nerd-Offs, she could be a contender for going in multiple times.
5. Zachary Storch – It remains to be seen how much that Team Captain position really matters, but sometimes early in the show you’re looking for a reason to send someone home. He’s a smart guy and a strong player, and he’ll probably be a target because of that.
4. Mary Kate Smith – Who is going to go after Mary Kate the next couple of weeks? We just have a hard time seeing her be a target, given that she is fairly well-rounded, but doesn’t really stand out too much in comparison to some of the other contestants.
3. Jack Hou – A very dangerous player in this season. He’s extremely smart, and has already shown himself to be somewhat of an asset just in the mathematical department. He could be a target over the next few weeks, but if he makes it pretty far, we would hate to face off against him in a Nerd-Off.
2. Nicole Evans – She survived a scary start in the premiere, but here on out she’s in a great spot. One of the most important rules in an alliance is to make sure that you are the member who is less targeted by others (ie, partner up with someone who’s a much bigger target then you are), and we feel like some of the other contestants could try to get Zachary out first. That could buy Nicole a few weeks at least, and she’s extremely dangerous if there’s anything related to science / science fiction.
1. Xander Jeanneret – Something that Xander said in the premiere about himself really stands out: He is really good at a lot of different things. Think of him like using Mario in “Super Smash Bros. Melee”: He’s got no huge weaknesses, and can take on a variety of different opponents. Also, he’s such a friendly, positive guy that we have no clue who is going to want to take him out. At least for the time being, no one in theory is in a better spot.
Want more news related to “King of the Nerds”? Then just click here, which is where you can find our review later tonight after the show airs. We will also have our podcast at this same link when it is posted by tomorrow afternoon (at the latest).
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