Child Genius Recap: Silicon Valley Is All About Taking Risks


child genius


Based on the title, I can only hope it is a spoiler for Drake, the kid with the most obnoxious parents, to go home. Last week on Child Genius,  the tennis player kid, Drake, didn’t perform well in the competition. His mother performed even worse in the audience chattering away to whomever had the misfortune of sitting next to her about all the time, money and energy she has put into her spawn only to have him be a disappointment.  I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it from my perspective. I should consider saying allegedly a lot as I was sent a link to a blog where the mother of Drake was mentioned as an example of someone who buys followers on Twitter. The blogger was sent a cease and desist  threat by someone on her staff. It was kind of funny because apparently someone on “her team” threatened to send a cease and desist. Which I guess is some sort of pre-warning, warning. I print my cease and desist letters out and hang them next to my subpoenas. Anyway, Drake’s mom is clearly rather touchy.  She’s probably hungry. I don’t think they eat much in California. They are probably very dehydrated out there what with the water shortage. Um, moving on.

It’s Spelling and Geography night! These are two of my favorite subjects!

Speaking of my favorites, my homeboy Adrian, age 12,  gets the first heartwarming package. Adrian is a high school student and is also jointly enrolled in college at Point University at the Peachtree City location.  He meets up with his older high school pals and shares that while he is younger than all of them he is going to graduate first.  He says he is not “boasty or arroganty”. He does seem a bit “arroganty” though.

Child Genius Adrian

Selah is preparing for the spelling competition. Her parents are pretty laid back, but she almost went home last week so they are feeling the pressure. Selah wants to be a brain surgeon has a brain surgery game she likes to play.  Her parents reward her with candy. It appears she gets a lot of answers right.

Jaden’s mother Sarah, who feeds her kid only organic raw vegetables blessed by one armed monks in Tibet, is horrified by the  sugar reward system Selah’s parents employ.  I hope Selah outlasts her kid. Jaden lives in Chico, California. This means they could have won last night’s Powerball. That would be tragic. Jaden is unschooled. You know like Jaden Smith and his sister Willow.  And well they are turning out all right. Mostly. If you are down with boys unschooling in very pretty dresses.

Drake’s mother Deborah takes him to a library in Silcon Valley. Deborah tells us, the viewers,  that “it is better to have failed and tried than never to have failed at all.” And that philosophy is something the tries to “subscribe” to her kids. Perhaps she means instill in her kids?  I’m reminded once again about that blog I read. It also discussed how some of the most unlikely books get on the NYT Bestseller List because the authors themselves purchase them in massive quantities. Did I mention Deborah was on the NYT BestSeller List? Let’s keep a special eye on her way with words.  Or drink every time she says Silicon Valley. Or Both. I’ll have to participate with water, because 2016 is my year.  And by my year, I mean I am only eating crap that Jaden’s mother would approve of and drinking water.

Back to Drake. Is he the same kid who could not add two digit figures in his head last week? Because this week, he thinks entrepreneur starts with an A.  I wonder how much it costs to have your mediocre kid certified as a genius for a TV show? I’m just wondering aloud for no reason. Allegedly.  Dino, is Drake’s dad and he has arrived to shield his son from Deborah. Dino needs to take Drake and flee the country. Brazil might be nice. He could find a hot mamacita and settle down.

There is a guy on this show call Dr. Timothy Gunn.  AKA TIM GUNN y’all!  Which reminds me Project Runway Jr. is next! More kids crying! Only those kids seem quite composed. Perhaps because there parents are not there. Where are their parents?

Spelling Round

Jaden the unschooled kid who survives solely on food on the Paleo Diet is first. Jaden has never heard of the word ‘sojourn.’  I suppose there is no speech teacher when unschooling. Somehow Jaden gets 8/10



Chancellor, everyone’s favorite phone hacker is adorbs.  Chancellor had some hard words and got 8/10.

Arnav is not here to play. His mother’s biggest issue with him is that he will not stop reading for pleasure.  His words were easy. VERY easy. And he missed defendant. 9/10. His mother is pissed.

Selah has something to prove this week. She only got a 5/10. Damn it, man!

Claire is cute and likes to have fun. She got a 10/10.

Adrian is very confident. He flew through all the words with a perfect score. 10/10

Giana  has a strict mom who is really into this and a free spirit dad that just wants her to be a kid. They live in different cities.  She has strict rules with her mom and none with her dad. I have no notes on her from last week. She is very nervous with her parents there. She passes a lot and got only 1/10. She is SUNK unless she gets a 10 in geography. And maybe even then.

Drake is up attempting to fail as directed. I think he has a hearing problem. He is doing terrible and started to spell heuristic with a Q. If he went to school like normal people, a teacher would have noticed this. Drake spelled zero words correctly. All Giana has to do is beat Drake and she will be fine. Drakes mother was rendered speechless the entire time. 0/10


This time there is little public shaming. But Arnav is beating himself up because he missed a question. Seleh is crashing from her sugar high just like Jaden’s mom predicted.  Drake wants to quit. His dad says no.

Geography Round

Claire  got a 10/10 and got the Libya question right! Go Claire!

Adrian was gunning for Claire after they both got perfect scores in round 1.  He got 7/10 (and missed his North Africa question)

Iris (who?) got a 1/10 if Iris lets Drake stay….grrr…

Sam got 5/10 but his questions were hard.

child genius 3


Vivek had hard questions and scored a 9/10. Very impressive.

Chancellor only got 4/10. Not his subject.

Arnav is in a bad headspace because he missed a spelling word that was easy. The astronaut guy doesn’t know how to pronounce Qatar. He got 8/10.

Drake passed on nearly everything. He just got 1/10.  So all it takes is 2/20 to stay. YAY!  Selah is in and Giana only needs to get one right!

Selah only got one right (and it was a flag question) but I didn’t know many more of her questions they seemed hard.

Giana, come on girl, you just need one right to stay! After giving me a heart attack  she gets a 4/10.

Three tied for second highest, Adrian (who is pissed to be in a three way tie for second and makes excuses), Arnav and VivekClaire is all alone in first with two perfect scores.  This is killing my homeboy.

Drake is sent packing. If you are playing the Silicon Valley game you need to kick back some shots.


Filed under Child Genius, News

33 responses to “Child Genius Recap: Silicon Valley Is All About Taking Risks

  1. Your homeboy Adrian is indeed a bit “boasty,” but incredibly cute. Lunch with his high school friends was awkward; they didn’t seem to know him. Claire is adorable, clearly having fun. I liked Selah last week, this week not so much…I can’t do whining. There was something very Honey Boo Boo about her, and mom using candy as a study bribe made it worse. I’m not entirely okay with commenting on kids; it’s hard to believe parents signed them up for the show, knowing what they surely must know about “reality tv.” I’m glad Drake went home; he was miserable there, and his mom is so annoying.

    • tamaratattles

      P.S. I made the mistake of reading the post and saw all the typos and errors. So I fixed Silly Con for ya! :)

    • I agree with you about Adrian’s little social outing with his high school “friends.” I have a feeling it was arranged by the show’s producers and that, as you said, these kids hardly know Adrian. They kept looking at him like he was an alien being.

  2. Deb in SF

    TT, not sure if you’re taking a jab at California, which you do from time to time, by calling out “Silicone” Valley as opposed to Silicon Valley…or maybe you just have Yolanda’s explants on your mind! I both love and cringe at this show, True reality TV!

    • tamaratattles

      I’m always taking jabs at California it’s my way of dealing with the fact you are all going to fall into the ocean. I almost went with Silly Con Valley. :)

  3. KidsRkids

    Yeah Drake’s mom is gone!
    I also read up on her twitter BS and her threat of cease and assist … she needs mental help.

    Poor Jaden, has anyone informed his mom that injecting ink into her skin probably doesn’t go along with her Paleo diet, i dont think the ink is organic!

    Anyways, love your recaps … oh BTW can i still drink even though we won’t be hearing Silicone Valley anymore, lol?

  4. KidsRkids

    Yeah Drake’s mom has been booted from the game … now she can get busy on her next useless book.

    Does Jayden’s mom know the ink in her tattoo is probably NOT organic?

    Love your recaps …

  5. DutchTulip

    Will have to watch rerun. I was like a kid in a candy store… switching between Project Runway and American Idol. I am very youthful on Thursday nights.
    Remote control in hand!!

  6. Regarding Arnav and his spelling “mistake” — did you actually notice that he spelled the word “Defended”? And he spelled it correctly. I think that is what he heard them say — instead of “Defendant” he heard “Defended” and that is why he looked so shocked when they said it was wrong. Because it was actually right! I am shocked that no one noticed this, and that it wasn’t protested by the parents!

    Re Drake — he does go to school. He is not one of the home-schooled kids — he attends some super fancy private school, which his mother loves to brag obnoxiously about. I actually started thinking, after the spelling round, that he might have some kind of learning disability, on the dyslexic scale. Something is definitely wrong there. And I agree that it is possible his parents got some bullshit “outside testing” that basically let them buy an IQ score.

    Re Selah — her parents are, in a sense, abusing her by stuffing her with all that candy as a “reward”, giving her Diet Cokes for energy, etc. She is a type 2 diabetes case waiting to happen, and obesity in childhood often translates to the same (and a lot of health problems) as an adult. The comment that compared them to a Honey Boo Boo family seems right on.

    Finally, I am thinking — with both seasons of this show, are these kids REALLY the smartest ones they could find in all of America? Seriously?! Or do the truly smart kids choose to eschew reality TV altogether?

    • tamaratattles

      If I was a teacher at that big fancy school, I’d rule out a hearing problem before jumping straight to learning disability. On the other hand IIRC he did struggle with two digit mental math. I am not buying his high IQ either way.

      • Likely a “bought” high IQ, as was noted elsewhere. That kid is exceedingly average. Which, by the way, is just fine — he should not be pushed to compete in academic games, where he is way, way, way out of his league.

  7. iloveearlgrey

    Poor kids.

  8. LovingMom

    Curious why they don’t cover Vivek’s parents or his background. He seems to be very bright and finally getting out of his nervousness. I am cheering for him. But I have not seen his or his parents interview. What is going on? Are they hiding something?

  9. yomomma

    Drake’s school. I know the school he attends…. yearly tuition for the K-5 is 30K a year, 6-8 38K and 9-12 41k

    very academically driven however a little too pricey for my kids.

    • KidsRkids

      If Drake’s performance on Child Genius is any indication of this school’s credentials on teaching the simplest suhjects, you should be happy that your child (ren) have a greater chance at success without their influence.

      Drake’s parents can spend all the money they have on schools, Tudors and coaches, it will never change the fact that their child is average. It was very apparent that Drake was not comfortable in a contest regarding knowledge, his biggest fear is disappointing his delusional mother. Hopefully the child will recover, later on in his life, from his abusive childhood.


      • Agreed 100%. By the way, most of us are “average.” Nothing wrong with Blake being average. What IS f’d up is that his parents like to perpetuate this myth about him having a 155 IQ (uh, noooooo, he doesn’t) and they try to push him into being the gifted child that he clearly is not. The kid can hardly add 2+2, and he spells like a first grader. Don’t put him on the national stage so that his privileged schoolmates have the opportunity to mock him.

        Also, the show should really do a better job of vetting of all these kids. I’d say it is likely that none of them actually fit the bill of true “genius.” But of course that this is just entertainment, not reality.

  10. Lawstangel

    I’m not willing to give up on Drake yet! I do not think he give 2 sh@ts about being paraded on tv. I think he self sabatoged to go home. He likes tennis, not spelling, he was extremely anxious and probably loathes his mother. They do not hand out Mensa cards for free, you have to test.

    I have to root for my hometown girl Claire….she did well this week and actually seems to be enjoying herself. Love Chancellor, but his mom not so much.

    Let’s not be so hard on Silicon Valley, where else can smart kids make a 100k+ per year straight out of college? :-)

    • KidsRkids

      Mensa is not a fool proof system as not all kids are tested directly by Mensa, you can have a third party submit “test scores”. This flaw in testing does open the gate for an individual to “cheat” to obtain membership. Since unethical practices have been explored regarding Drake’s mother in combination with the absence of any bragging towards this “accomplishment” it is highly unlikely that this child achieved Mensa status without help. Keep in mind that these children are given study guides for all of the questions they may be asked in the competition, Drake’s scores in the competition (math=2, memory=16, spelling=0, geography=1) speak for themselves and living in Silicon Valley appears to be of no benefit for him. I look forward to Drake serving Jaden a McDonald’s hamburger in the near future, fermented of course!

    • KidsRkids

      Unfortunately not all testing for Mensa is administrated by the club. You can submit third party testing which certainly can be purchased for a price. Drake’s own mother is under scrutiny for her twitter account so unethical practices may seem to be the norm for that family.

      Living in Silicon Valley does not equate to a high annual income as demonstrated by Drake’s own father as he was featured on a show regarding unemployed parents.

      I look forward to Drake serving Jaden a McDonald’s hamburger in the near future, fermented of course!

      • That’s a little harsh. Sure, Drake appears to be no genius — and he may even have some learning difficulties — but how many among us are actually geniuses? He’ll probably do OK in the world, just as most of us average or slightly above/slightly below average folk do. He’ll have a decent job, he’ll live an unremarkable but intermittently fulfilling life and he’ll die a quiet death, just like the rest of us.

        True genius is very rare; I’d say it’s likely that none of these kids actually has it.

      • Lawstangel

        Re: the Silicon Vally comment, it was mostly a joke. That is why I put a smile at the end of the sentance Living in California I am aware that there are no guarantees. With that said In 2013 Jones Lang LaSalle a real estate company here crunched some numbers from its own property purchase transactions and determined that the average software developer in Silicon Valley earned $195,815 a year with new grads coming in at $60,00 to $120,000 per year.

      • tamaratattles

        Lawst, please do mention me to any of your single software developer friends nearing retirement with private jets and a burning passion to travel. I can be very accommodating in the right situation. :)

    • tamaratattles

      I just like picking on my liberal Californian friends. :) It’s a hobby.

      • Drake’s mom seems to be far from liberal — apparently she has done a lot of work for conservative politicians in the past.

      • Lawstangel

        TT- will do! There is an urban legend that a lot of the younger ” software set” work so much and are a little odd in the personality side. As a result they have a hard time finding women. Kinda like the scenario on Big Bank Theory. :-)

    • Drake didn’t throw this — he was so obviously devastated at his poor performance that it’s unlikely he didn’t give a shit, unless he’s an incredibly gifted actor. He was just pushed into doing something he had absolutely no capacity for.

    • Claire and Adrian are the only kids who seem to be wholly enjoying themselves. The rest are rather miserable wretches.

      • Lawstangel

        Wow, to me calling children ” miserable wretches” is a little harsh. Chancellor doesn’t seem all that miserable and neither does Giana. Her anxiety is parent driven not competition driven.

    • Well, I was kind of being facetious there. :) But you are right that Chance seems pretty cool. I don’t think he cares much about the competition.

  11. Sarah

    Hopefully Gianna’s divorced parents will watch themselves on TV and realize how toxic their bickering relationship is to their daughter’s wellbeing. They need to change before their daughter becomes a teenager and begins to despise both of them.

  12. Faith

    Master Adrian is in for a very lonely life if he does not change that “better than Thou” attitude soon. I do not find him adorable or cute but rather a conceited little twerp who looks down his nose constantly at others. Yes, maybe he is smart but that just does not cut it in the game of life.He lives on this planet with billions of other mortal souls and he had better get used to the idea that there will always be someone who is smarter,wealthier,and better looking than he is. The mother is the driving force behind this and “allowing ” him 1 day off a year to do what he wants is totally crazy. ONE DAY? He is 10 years old. he should be enjoying his youth which will soon be gone and never to return but she has him practicing the piano 8 HOURS a day? This is squeezed in between studies,some food ,and a little sleep. Maybe the Old lady should lighten up a bit and allow him one day off a week to be a kid. He is an only child,as so am I, so he is used to being alone,but he also needs an outlet of some sort whether it be a little tv, or games, casual reading or just plain kicking back to relax. There is no harm in that. This kid will end up having a breakdown by the time he is 18. I saw the child in him come out when he put on the wolf’s head and ran around and there he was ! A 10 year old CHILD who is being exploited by the mother. Forget about getting a girl friend, or married or a family Adrian. Or even a pet. You are your own personal universe! And, that my child, is not a good thing!

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