It is almost the end of the 50th season of TVJ’s Schools’ Challenge Quiz and the semi-finals have been heated.
The week started with an entertainment quiz between Team Dahlia, captained by actress, television personality, public speaker, and film and theatre director Dahlia Harris, and Team Ity, led by comedian Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis. Team Dahlia won the toss and decided to go first. The Opening Challenge ended with Dahlia’s team in the lead, on seven points, and Team Ity on six points. The lead continued after the Speed Challenge, in which Team Dahlia scored approximately 28 points, while Team Ity was left on 25 points. The exciting buzzer section was next and Team Dahlia held on to the lead, ending the match on 34 points to Team Ity’s 29.
Later that night, the first semi-final match for the season was held live between St Jago High School and Old Harbour High. St Jago won the toss and decided to go first. The Opening Challenge saw Old Harbour High School leading by two points after the final bell for the round. The team had acquired eight points to St Jago’s six. Old Harbour High School then relinquished the lead to their opponents when the Speed Challenge ended with St Jago on 22 points and Old Harbour on 13 points. The Buzzer Challenge was much of the same, as St Jago ensured that they were absolutely sure of the answer before buzzing in. At the end of the match, Old Harbour High School ended on 15 points and St Jago High School had scored 26 points. St Jago will go on to the finals of the 2019 season. Dane Anthony Warren, coach of Old Harbour High School, stated that the loss will impact the team for the third-place play-off. “The team is disappointed and some of them may not want to play on Friday,” the coach said. Mark Clark, coach of St Jago High School, is grateful for the win and plans to continue taking it one game at a time. “I am proud of the team; they did well. We will keep working hard and hope for the best,” he said.
Viewers were treated to having the sponsors at the forefront for a change, a few days later, when they had a face-off with each other. Team Hall, named after Dennis Hall, a legendary Schools’ Challenge Quiz presenter, went up against Team Stewart, named after Hope Stewart, who started the Schools’ Challenge Quiz in 1969. The Opening Challenge ended with Team Stewart in the on seven points and Team Hall not far behind, with three points. This continued throughout the Speed Challenge, at the end of which Team Stewart had scored 31 points to Team Hall’s 18. Team Stewart held on to the lead and ended the match on 45 points to Team Hall’s 25 points.
Kingston College and Munro College then faced off at 8:30 p.m. and it was a battle to have witnessed. The teams sported their game faces from the beginning of the match, and if they were in any way nervous, it did not show. KC took an early lead, but Munro got on to the board in minute two of the round. The first section ended with KC on six points and Munro not far behind on four points. KC held on to the lead during the Speed Challenge, but Munro fought hard to ensure that the gap would not have been too wide. It was still anybody’s game as the teams went into the Buzzer Challenge with KC on 25 points and Munro College on 21 points. This led to a very heated final round during which, at one point, Munro College dominated and was even in the lead. The supporters of KC were visibly worried. However, it took one right answer for KC to regain its confidence and this led to a heated final minute in the match. The final was so close for Munro College but, in the end, it is KC who will get the chance to face St Jago for a 12th title. The second semi-final for the season ended with Kingston College on 35 points and Munro College on 33 points.
The Master’s Match of the season featured two six-time champions of Schools‘ Challenge Quiz – Ardenne High School and Munro College. It was a re-run of the quarter-final match between the same schools, only with more points. The Opening Challenge had both teams tied on 10 points, but Ardenne took the lead in the Speed Challenge, which ended 36 to 32. This only set Munro on a mission, and the team of past students was successful in taking the lead from its opponents and ending the match 10 points ahead. The very interesting match ended with Ardenne High School on 46 and Munro College on 54 points.