My ‘Mastermind Australia’ journey – Part 4

Hello and welcome to part four of this very special PatentedHowToWinGameShowsBehind-The-ScenesReminiscence all about my preparation for – and appearance on – this particular episode of Mastermind Australia:

The shoot date for the episode was set for February 1st 2024, and what I’ve been doing so far is taking you through my journal / diary entries up to that point. And I don’t currently see any reason to change that format…



Watching more Celebrity Mastermind episodes, and learning / re-learning the following…

Again, please don’t assume that just because you LIKE something, you know loads about it.

Boasting about your knowledge of your Special Subject and how much you’ve been cramming (in an effort to intimidate your competitors) is NEVER a good idea. If you don’t go well in your Special Subject, you’ll embarrass yourself. If you DO go well in your Special Subject, you’ll look smug and/or insecure. Quietly confident – and playing your cards close to your chest – is always the way to go. But this is obvious, isn’t it?

Don’t gloat – it’s AWFUL to watch, for us here at home. Just AWFUL. If you do well in a particular round, be pleased, smile and be grateful. That’s all.

In the Slow Burn, when you don’t quite know the answer just yet, don’t squint and pull a series of uncomprehending, and increasingly uglier and uglier faces. Just Listen and Concentrate.


Continuing to watch episodes of Bottom and make notes / write questions. Last night, I read the first three scripts in the Bottom scripts book.

Interesting to see passages in the episodes Smells and Gas that didn’t make it into the broadcast shows (cut for time, by the look of things). Very quick and fun to read. Everything else in the shows is there in the script, which tells me that the writing – and their attitude to the writing – is very tight indeed.

Thought I’d ask AI to write me some Bottom quiz questions; some were good, logical meat-and-potatoes questions, others were completely erroneous and made up, based on episodes – and episode titles – that don’t even exist!!! Use any results from this tool with a grain of salt. I think it’s best to just keep writing my own questions, based on my repeated viewings of the source material. 

Turns out, the “Y-Fronts”, “Blouse” and “BB King” information in these questions all eventually ended up in the question that the ‘Mastermind’ question writers had written for me.

I’ll have a look at Celebrity Mastermind Australia Season 2 today, for further tips…

And now I have.

When answering questions, don’t ramble (obviously), and don’t stall for time (even MORE obviously). Stalling for time? When you have a clear-cut two minutes? Are you kidding me? Why would anyone do that? Unless they didn’t know – and hadn’t bothered to learn – what this show actually IS, or what it DOES.

Oh and definitely don’t sing, either. 

Dignity. Remember that dignity is a thing.

DO NOT ASK MARC TO CHOOSE A SLOW BURN SUBJECT FOR ME. Why would any contestant do that? It just demonstrates that they don’t know (or don’t care, or haven’t bothered to learn) anywhere near enough about the show they’ve agreed to appear on. I’ve now decided that my Slow Burn choices will be, in order of preference:

  1. FILM
  2. TV SHOW
  3. SONG
  6. BOOK

… Leaving Geography, Science and Sport lower down the list. Although bear in mind that this list may change. There may be other categories – in addition to these ones – that just haven’t bobbed up yet in the eps I’ve watched.

Remember that you can have a great Special Subject round… and then fall apart on the General Knowledge or the Slow Burn. There were a couple of examples of these in the celebrity episodes… so Keep My Game Face On, Bring My A-Game, and be IN THE ZONE all the way through. From start to finish.

Also remember that the game can flip right around in the second half. So employ my mantras: “I know the next one, I know the next one”… and “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” 


So as you can see, by this stage I’m feeling like I’m starting to know the Mastermind Australia format pretty well. It’s always useful to watch as many episodes of the show as possible – and as many formats of the show as possible – to stockpile a list of Things To Do when my turn comes. And, just as importantly, Things NOT To Do when my turn comes…

Obviously, my study of my Special Subject is continuing during all of this, but what about my study of my competitors? That’s what I’ll turn to in part five of this crazy ol’ saga, right here at, next Tuesday afternoon.

Until then, then!

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