This week was a pretty cool week, as far as challenges go. We focused on old-school tabletop games, hailing back to nerds of yore. We have our nerds assemble in the courtyard. Curtis and Robert tell them only that they’ll be focusing on old school games (tabletop only, no 8-bit allowed.) At some point, a mystery crate pulls up, one that Robert pointedly forgot to put air holes in.
I had but one expectation: For Shangela Laquifa Wadley to pop out and become a surprise contestant on King of the Nerds. Is that an out-there assumption? Maybe, but it’s happened twice before. TWICE.
I will say: Lily saying that Settlers of Catan is a party game to her should fit the show pretty well. I doubt they’d have our nerds play Sorry! or strip Twister. We all know the real magic happens in Dominion.
Also, it appears to me that not a lot of our contestants have ever really gotten their party on. So I’m glad that they at least have this show, which I feel like is giving them some kind of party. Kind of. There’s booze??
Our teams have two ways to tackle being in the dark in two different ways. The green team lists their nerdery blind spots so that they may better have each other’s backs in a time of crisis. The blue team says “eh, screw it,” and flies RV copters into retro video game machines.
You know how on some shows, the contestants have absolutely nothing to do, and go stir crazy, and destroy each other’s food leading to major fights because there is LITERALLY nothing else to do? This is not one of those shows. Our contestants are even allowed internet access, though I’m not sure if there’s blockers on it or not.
The Secret Six has a meeting, minus Raychelle, and plans out who’s going to vote in whom during the next elimination. Now that there’s only four people per team, one member of the alliance MUST go in during the elimination round. The problem is, everyone is avoiding saying “yes, we have to vote for each other,” during the meeting, instead saying it during the confessionals. I’m not saying this is going to fall apart by the end of the episode, but it does look pretty flimsy right now.
Also, before we start the party game challenge: how great would it be if they were just like ‘okay guys, you’re playing Monopoly,’ and then our poor nerds got stuck playing Monopoly for like, eight hours? Can they even legally do that to the contestants? I feel like that violates the Geneva Conventions, somehow.
A quick note, despite this being a non-electric gaming challenge, fellow writer Ari suggested a Mario Party 8 contest, aptly titled “The Hunger Games.” We wouldn’t even need a elimination round after that, because I think most of our contestants would be dead.
The guest judges, by the way, are Penn Jillette and Rachelle Lefevre. The mystery boxes can be assumed to be Shangela-free, but we might want to double check. WE CAN’T BE TOO CAREFUL.
First round: Name that Nerd. Ben absolutely nails it, even when he gets clues like “Male” and “Nipples.”
Colby, obviously, is the Green Team’s pick for team captain, and also does very well. His team members seem to find his intensity funny, but I actually think that the way he moves his hands helps with his thought process. I know a lot of people who work like that. Lighten up on that, guys. He’s doing a kickass job.
Round 2: Pic-So-Nerdy. Colby, while great at trivia, struggles to draw a bow-tie. Some people don’t think in pictures. I mainly do, so it was interesting to see how the teams worked it out.
Also, bonus points to Blue Team for again getting answers that would’ve made no sense to me if I had been given the same clues.
Round 3: Panto-nerd. Green team seems to guess films/tv shows with scary accuracy, and Heather gives us the term “loin product,” which even amuses the producers. Apparently, Amanda named one of her children after a character in The NeverEnding Story.
Unfortunately, as scary good as the green team was, blue team has the leading amount of points and are also unstoppable at this game. The clincher is, of course, My Little Pony, which gives us some slow motion footage of Lily pretending to be a horse, I think??
Jonathan gets to give some foreshadowing, or whatever he calls it, because tonight, the Secret Six must decide who to kick out of the alliance.
Also, it’s really heartwarming to see Kaitlin joining the group hug. Just a side note.
There’s also a group hug on the green team, but it’s kind of marred by the fact that everyone is crying. Which is nice. After seeing Todd express how uncomfortable women crying made him a few episodes ago, I’m glad that Jonathan and Colby were both unafraid to actually be like “hey, you know: we’re really sad.”
Of course, everyone gets pretty drunk, which just sort of adds to the drama of everything. Heather and Amanda both say that Jonathan could for sure beat Colby in a Nerd-Off. Is this a vote of confidence, or a way to save their own skin? A super-buzzed Jonathan views it as the latter, and pulls Kaitlin off to the side in order to tell her all about the secret six.
He’s literally so wasted. Poor thing.
Also, how big is Nerdvana? Because watching Kaitlin and Jonathan walk from the common area to the bunk area actually seemed like a pretty spaced-out distance. Are they allowed to go outside?
My two faves decide to solve this elimination issue as a complex math problem. This is actually hilarious, because I know someone who also loves to do math when he’s drunk. Maybe it’s just a math person thing? I wouldn’t know. Jonathan, in order to protect his own interests, breaks the Secret Six and forms and alliance with Caitlin. As he points out, he, Kaitlin, Colby and Raychelle have just as much power as the other 4 members of the house, all of whom are in the secret six.
I like that all of the rooms in this place have whiteboards.
We get to the Nerd-Off, and it is decided: Jonathan placed his vote for Colby, but convinced the entire blue team to vote for Heather.
Oh, how the turntables.
Now, strategically, it’s actually a very smart move for the blue team to vote for Heather. She’s been a go-getter in all of the challenges, and her competitive nature usually gives her a leg up. But considering this is a Secret Six thing, I guess we can call this a betrayal.
Ned’s dead, baby.
Meanwhile, Kaitlin pretends to be sabotaging Colby at sudoku, but is actually teaching him the best possible way to win. Because let’s not forget that Kaitlin was left out of the alliance, too. Non Secret Six members can be just as dangerous as an alliance when there’s so few people left.
“You know what’s the most boring thing on television to watch?” Ben asks. “Somebody doing a sudoku puzzle.”
We’re introduced to our challenge course, a futuristic toxic waste dump. Colby and Heather will compete to solve a word jumble by digging the 28 letters and symbols out of the green goo.
Side question. Was the toxic goo made out of the same stuff the Nickelodeon slime is made of, or is it a different formula? I heard once that the slime formula was top secret, but that was the late 90s. Things have changed. People just don’t get slimed like they used to.
Heather, apparently having heard my begrudging slime rant, at one point decides to jump in the vat to dig out more letters. I probably would’ve done the same thing. First, I’m super curious as to what it feels like to jump in a vat of slime, and second, my arms are very short and I probably would not be able to reach the bottom of the vat.
Actually, I’d probably just knock the barrel over. Unless that’s a disqualifier, in which case we’re back to plan jump in the goo.
Oh God it got in her sneakers. Ugh.
Everyone begins to root for Heather over Colby, which kind of makes me root for Colby. Also, he knocked one of his letters out of the vat, and now can’t find it, which is the first time I’ve ever actually yelled at the screen while watching King of the Nerds. It was FRUSTRATING, okay?
Colby finds the letter, and manages to quickly create the word ‘Manhattan’ from the jumble, as in the Manhattan Project. Learning! Unfortunately, in his rush, he’s spelled out “Maanhttan’ instead of ‘Manhattan,’ thus leading to more FRUSTRATION ON MY PART.
Unfortunately for Heather, not even a 30 second penalty is enough to finish the entire puzzle. When the time is up, Colby is able to quickly correct himself and win the challenge.
Everyone hugs Heather goodbye, despite the fact that she’s covered in slime. Amanda vows vengence on Colby for being so good at the challenges, and also vows to win the challenges. Jonathan feels quite a bit of guilt for being the one to sell Heather out, which is something I think drunk Jonathan would be just fine with. How this Jekyll/Hyde dynamic will be resolved remains to be seen.
Rejoin us for episode 6, titled “Murder at Nerdvana?!” Whether or not this means they tried Mario Party 8 idea remains to be seen. Until next time!