“King of the Nerds” started off this week with quite a science challenge (sort of), and it also had a few strategic blunders that led up to the Nerd-Off. We’ll have some more on that later … along with how we want Bill Nye to enter and exit rooms of our geekcave with the same passion that he did Nerdvana tonight.
Nerd War – It’s a science fair! Based on some of what we saw, we felt especially bad for Brian and Katie, who were seeing most of their creative ideas completely shut down by Kayla. (Katie may also be the first contestant reduced to tears.) More then that though our issue with this “science project” was just that we have people on this cast that are real life scientists and watching them do a 7th grade science experiment is kind of lame.
Regardless of whose team you were on, the real war here was between the creative people and the scientists. (Except for Zack, who was waging a war against staying awake at times.) We get it. The scientists want to completely own this show what can be done, while everyone else wants to do something that they are good at. There’s nothing more nerdy than being EXTREMELY STUBBORN, so in that regard, pretty much everyone showed off the most honest side of themselves.
The Midas Touch Attack (a.k.a. the Gold Team) had a pretty fun idea to make their entire presentation “Lord of the Rings”-themed. Also, they decided to have Jack impersonate Bill Nye … only to realize during the actual challenge that Bill Nye was a judge. We were totally sold on voting for this one at first … but the volcano was total weak-sauce thanks to a ring snafu.
As for the Titans of Rigel (a.k.a. the purple team), their presentation varied at times from theatrical to hilarious “Sound of Music Live” levels. Xander needs a Tony, though, for this performance, and the volcano was infinitely more awesome. And since Curtis said that this challenge was going to be based on both science and presentation, we concluded that the presentation was really going to be the clincher since the “science” in these projects is grade school level stuff.
In the end here, our esteemed panel, which also included a teen genius and Mayim Bialik from “The Big Bang Theory,” did the right thing. The Titans of Rigel emerged victorious with their far-superior volcano, and Chris’ quote that he is going to put Bill Nye voting for him on his resume may be the best line of the entire (first half of) the episode. Then, the reward was just as awesome: Getting to spend time with Bill Nye. We nerds don’t need money or other rewards; just give us the Science Guy!
The decision – While we’ve been very impressed online with Zack’s knowledge and we identify with him as a fellow writer, we’re pretty sure that he became the Joker tonight to every else’s Batman. First, he blew up Nicole’s secret of being a chemist, but at the same time when they entered the war room and everyone started melting down over the fact that they didn’t have a chemist we were shocked that Nicole didn’t out herself. What exactly was she going to do? Let the team go down in flames to continue to hide that she’s a chemist? Zack didn’t come across well during the preparation in the Nerd War, and tried way too hard to protect himself after he knew members of their team were going up and while we get that not everyone got along with Zack, it is interesting that Jack wasn’t even on the radar after his dropping the ring had them lose the challenge.
The Titans of Rigel were smart to pick up on the discord that Zack had with the rest of his team, and wanted to make sure he went up against someone he may be able to beat … with the theory that this was a science-themed task. They chose Josh (who was, as stated in our rankings earlier today, weak in science), while Zack’s completely over-the-top, maniacally arrogant reaction to his own team voting to send him in was priceless. It was glorious entertainment, but to be perfectly honest, it may not be as horrible of a strategy as our emotional reaction / swearing at the TV first suggested. Every single time that the Titans of Rigel win, they are going to try to keep him in the competition to further detonate his team. Then, if his team wins, he’s safe!
The Nerd-Off – This was all about alien autopsies and was completely cool, especially since it was the first challenge that was actually challenging.. The real highlight was just the emotion that was coming out of this as Zack seemed a few seconds away from caving in. True nerds are often lacking in social skills, and judging from his struggles tonight, maybe he is the truest nerd of all.
From the standpoint of entertainment, we were rooting for Zack to win the Nerd-Off, but Josh came across so much better here, and his team seemed to like him. We gave JWittz a really hard time during the preseason for the whole People’s Nerd thing, and how it was such a crazy advantage that he had to just get on the show; but, we were really impressed with him tonight. He just got dealt a bad hand in having such a glaring weakness this early in the game. Episode Grade: A-.
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