Well, that was underwhelming. I have to admit, I was averse to recapping “King of the Nerds” when my editor first assigned it to me, but over the past eight weeks I came to kind of care who will win the show title. And if you do too but haven’t watched the finale, stop now because, uh, spoilers abound.
Okay, I warned ya.
It was a bit confusing at first how there could be four contestants in the season finale, but we quickly learn that the remaining nerds will go through quickfire rounds of challenges to narrow down two finalists. The first is a Segway race in the “Maze of Terror,” a bare grid-like pathway with no walls or obstacles. Ivan quickly points out the maze isn’t scary at all, hardeeharhar oh, now he gets the joke. Danielle, who says she would like to win this challenge because she isn’t athletic at all (like Segways take athleticism), leads the remaining nerds by tenfold and makes it through to the second challenge. Ivan makes a crucial mistake by stopping to look over the rest of the maze and gets cut off by Celeste. When he realizes Celeste has taken his lead, he hurries his way to the finish line, only to bump on the side of the pathway and fall over. Classic Segway experience. Our bearded hero gets eliminated for coming in last.
In the second challenge, the girls once again try their hand at trivia. This time, the categories include things like comic books, math, video games, and memory, and contain levels one to five, each incrementing number increasing in difficulty. Danielle picks first and wants to know how devastatingly hard level five is, so she goes with that number for video games. The question? Who invented the game Pong. She gets the question wrong while Celeste and Genevieve take the lead. But don’t feel bad, Danielle! Genevieve goes next and, of course, picks comic books and manages to answer her question wrong while Celeste and Danielle get it right. This is why it’s better not to boast expertise. Just look at Celeste. She says she used to be decent at physics in high school, but answered incorrectly for “What is the fraction 7/8 in decimal form?” Girrrrrl.
The last question comes down to “What newspaper does Peter Parker work for?” – a question so easy it made me want to scratch my nerd eyes out. All three girls answered correctly, thank god, but Celeste and Genevieve reach five points first so they make it through to the next round. Danielle gets super sore loser about it and cries immediately. But hey! You’re not going home yet. Instead, you and all the other eliminated nerds will decide who will take the winning title. What??
So, here comes the anti-climatic last 15 minutes of the show. Genevieve and Celeste have to make a speech to their banished nerd friends to convince them for their votes. What the fuck is this, student government elections? I wanted a battle to the death! The ultimate nerd war! Segway Mario Kart while solving Rubik’s cubes, answering trivia questions, and dodging sumo wrestlers with Nerf guns! But alas, speeches. Genevieve talks about how much she’s learned from everyone and how she beat three elimination challenges to earn her place here. Celeste, who’s never been to an elimination and screwed up a few challenges, says the “King of the Nerds” experience has helped her manifest confidence. Although the show makes it seem like it all came down to Virgil, who casted his vote last, it was really up to Danielle. The votes were one in favor of Celeste, and Danielle had already said she refused to vote for Genevieve due to the major ass kick, so it was sort of clear Celeste was going to win by a small margin. And she does.
So congrats, Celeste. For not doing a damn thing and still winning the title, beating out a neuroscientist, a NASA engineer, a geophysicist, a hacker, and a game developer, among others. Perhaps the word nerd truly has nothing to do with intelligence or obsession, but just your ability to stay under the radar long enough to win the likes of actual dorks. Enjoy your seat on the Throne of Games.
Oh! TBS has announced that the show will be renewed for 2014, so apply here if you want me to recap you next year.