After a tight semi-finals round, the Blair team made it to the competition's final round
On April 23, the Blair Quiz Bowl club members Henry Merrill, Will Lankenau and Jacen Li made it to the final round of the It’s Academic Quiz Show. After a competitive semi-finals against Whitman and Richard Montgomery, the Blazers played to win and successfully made it to the last round of competition. After the 2019-2020 competition went virtual, this year's show returned to the studio for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The It’s Academic Quiz Show is the longest running television quiz show in history. Hosted in Washington DC, the tournament includes ninety high schools across the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. The competition is composed of five rounds: the theme round, where all questions revolve around one subject, the freebie round, where each team is asked five questions individually, the visual round, with questions on a picture or art piece, a sponsorship round, and a final quick-fire round.
Li, who has participated in Quiz Bowl since middle school, says that the difficulty in the competition is that it is a buzzer race. “If you buzz too early there’s not enough information to answer the question… but if you buzz too late then one of the other teams might buzz and get all the points,” he says.
Li mentions an instance in the competition when this balance was especially important. “There was a painting by Thomas Cole called Oxbow. The problem is that we buzzed before [the hosts] read the question, so even though we knew what the painting was, we didn’t know what they were asking for,” he says. Unfortunately, this caused the team to get the question wrong.
While this makes the competition difficult, Li also says it’s one of the most thrilling parts. “The most exciting part is buzzing early and making a good guess and getting it correct,” he says.
It’s Academic is a team effort. Li believes that the most important part of the competition is trusting in your team members. “While you might not really know the answer, you might know that one of your teammates does, and it’s always important to trust your team,” he says.
The semi-finals will air on June 10 and the finals will air on June 17 on WETA.
Lillian Paterson. Hey, I'm Lillian (she/her) and I'm a co-sports and co-op-ed editor for SCO. When I'm not being totally consumed by school work I like to play guitar and read! More »