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King of the Nerds’ title is no longer irrelevant

King of the Nerds’ title is no longer irrelevant
King of the Nerds hosts and producers Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine (Photo by Trae Patton/TBS)

After two seasons of having a female winner and thereby making its title factually inaccurate, King of the Nerds has a male winner. The final two, Ben and Jonathan, were two male Ph.D.s, ensuring a male winner before the final challenge. As Amanda said, “I guess a guy finally had to win eventually, so I guess we gotta throw them a bone once in a while.”

The terrifically entertaining competition series (read my review) was even stronger this season, from its cross-team alliance to terrific challenges. The finale’s challenges final seven-part puzzle was, honestly, one of the least engaging all season. It did have the show’s usually editing flourishes, such as Lily narrating the crossword puzzle as if it was a golf game.

Ben went into the penultimate trivia challenge with zero eliminated contestants helping him; as he pointed out, had this season been a popularity contest like season one, he would have lost. As it was, he answered trivia questions–administered by two incredible animatronic creatures–without help, becoming the first to reach five points.

Jonathan and Ben faced played seven games to determine the winner: speed chess (Jonathan); the arcade game Tekken (Jonathan); a crossword puzzle (Ben); a logic puzzle (Ben); creating an equation out of numbers (Ben); Connect Four (Jonathan); and a puzzle (Jonathan). The last puzzle was the only individual game Jonathan won, since he’d won all of the head-to-head challenges but none of the individual ones, but it gave him $100,000 and the title.

The finale ended with this on-screen message:

From your nerd family, May the Force Be With You. We love you Bobby. Get well soon.

That’s because, on March 5, co-host and co-creator/executive producer Robert Carradine was in a major car accident. The car he was driving crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a semi; he was ticketed for careless driving. Police said he and his wife, Edith, survived because they were wearing seat belts. Here’s an image of their car:

Bobby tweeted before the finale that he was “healing up” and “overwhelmed and thankful” for support from fans.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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