Trivia is serious business. Therefore, we’re not surprised to see a former “Jeopardy!” champion on “King of the Nerds” in Colby Burnett. To have to cram all of that knowledge in your noggin is pretty darn tough, let alone having the quick reaction time to do well in front of those hot studio lights. Full disclosure: We were a contestant on the syndicated “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” while in college, so there’s a little bit of quiz-show kinship going on here. Still, we’ll say that his show is much harder. (Just for those curious, we found a video of him competing online, so check that out at the bottom of this article.)
While we do not doubt the man’s brainpower, entering Nerdvana is a very different sort of beast than staring down the real-life Emerald Weapon that is Alex Trebek. This is a social game, and at times even a creative game. Nobody really cares if you can name all of Henry VIII’s wives without hesitation. Colby can make it fairly far in this competition if dominoes fall just right, but leading off by saying you’re a “Jeopardy!” champ is basically saying “I’m really smart and you should fear me.”
Name – Colby Burnett
Age – 29
Location – Chicago, Illinois
Specialty – “Jeopardy champ.” We feel like you could hit repeat on everything that we said above. That “Jeopardy!” video below mentions that he also teaches kids about how to excel in trivia, and the words “quiz bowl” are mentioned. How come whenever we hear the words “quiz bowl,” we think about “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes”? (Also full disclosure: We were once part of a quiz bowl team named the Narf Squad.)
Nerd cred – Beyond trivia, he claims in his super-brief TBS video that he knows board games extensively, in addition to know a very specific range of “X-Men” comics. Not sure how well the latter will do for him, since there’s another guy in Todd who is claiming that his superpowers are more or less anything and everything related to comic books. We’d like this video more if he talked about how he loved “X-Men” movies … but specified a similar sort of time range on them to remind us of how “X-Men: The Last Stand” was a complete abomination that ruined the Dark Phoenix saga.
As for board games, is it too late to ask for a board game challenge? Since the show has already filmed, probably. Also, TBS probably wouldn’t let us see our dream challenge of a Cards Against Humanity showdown judged by Chris Hardwick and Ron Funches.
Weak points – The thing with quiz shows is that it’s good to be a little intimidating. There’s not necessarily a “make friends with others” component that goes into it. We have zero clue how this guy is going to thrive in this sort of setting, though the fact that he works in a very-social environment is a plus. We won’t do specific comparisons to past reality TV contestants this time (as the internet has told us they don’t like those much), but typically, people who burst on the scene and are great at something on such shows, or have strong leadership capabilities, become an early target. Colby’s got to find a way to be like Solid Snake and hide in a box for a little while; if he goes undetected in this game long enough, he could be an unstoppable force. Another option? Keep winning Nerd Wars. Another another option? Learn hypnosis to convince all of the other competitors to lose.
End assessment – We’re pumped up to see a quiz-show guy on “King of the Nerds,” but this show could easily be for him the equivalent of Trebek saying “I’m sorry” in a condescending tone after mispronouncing somebody’s name. If we were a contestant, there are a few people we’d be afraid of from the very first day; obviously, he’d be one of them, since this entire sentence would otherwise be pointless.
Today is day 3 of our “King of the Nerds” spotlight series. Tomorrow, we’re moving forward to see if neuroscientist Heather Wensler has the brainpower to conquer all. You can view all of our spotlights now at the link here!
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