Child Genius Finale Recap: It’s a Tiebreaker!

Child Genius

I totally stole this photos this season from my favorite place. Thanks guys I hope you understand!


I have a lot of other things I should be doing but there is NO WAY I am going to miss recapping the Child Genius Finale live!  I can’t wait to see what Claire wears for the finale!  I won’t be disappointed with any of these kids winning.  The editing has set us up for a showdown between Claire and my homeboy, Adrian all season.  That seems to be what they both thought would happen. So I think Arnav blindsiding them both with the win would be fantastic. Whoever wins will certainly deserve it after all of their hard work.

Oh and if you have not been reading comments here in the other Child Genius posts, you have missed backstage secrets from Sam’s mom, Arnav’s dad, and Vivek’s dad! Go check them out!

Tonight’s competition is an “academic Olympiad” where they draw from all seventeen subjects. Arnav says he is the most consistent (well-rounded),  Adrian has the most perfect scores and Claire is the most unpredictable.  Adrian says it comes down where are not the winner will be the most perfect scores and first places? Is it the most stable?  Or is it….(long pause) just luck!  Oh that was some shade, homeslice. you better hope she doesn’t beat you now!  Arnav is the most “normal kid” of the kids. He’s just goofing around having fun.

There will be two rounds. After the first round, someone will be eliminated with a $5,000 scholarship. Then the final two will be head to head. The first round is 20 questions with a five minute time limit, so that is 15 seconds a question right? ( I hope I am right with the geniuses reading here. lol I don’t want to ponder, I’m dying to know the winner.
Child Genius Claire


Round One

Leland Melvin cracks me up. He never pronounces his name right. Tonight it sounded like, “Little Melvin.”

Adrian is up first.  He is having  a lot of trouble. He is missing very easy stuff. The capital of Switzerland, reducing a fraction to its simplest form, basic memory.  He got some of the more difficult ones quite quickly. This is not like him. At all.  He got a 12/20. It didn’t look like he ran out of time.

Arnav is up next. He asked Adrian if the elements question was using and actual chart of the periodic table. Adrian replied, “I won’t tell you.” I am worried that asking this question might disqualify Arnav. It seemed like asking for help, but since he didn’t get any, let’s hope he is good. He did great!  He got a 16/20. The staredown by Adrian is deadly . I am concerned Arnav will be eliminated though.

Claire is up next. Tonight’s ensemble is a giant blue sparkly ball gown.  If she can get more than 12 she can stay in the game. Going first is a big disadvantage in this round.   Claire only started off great and then sort of lost it toward the end and ran out of time. I kept yelling at the kids to skip that math questions with multiple processes and the memory one with the letters. Both took too much time.  She has tied Adrian with 12/20.

As soon as Adrian  got a low score, I would have been passing to be sure I got to choose from all 20 questions

I am not sure how they will break a tie at this point but I am really thinking they will decide to disqualify Arnav. They have wanted an Adrian and Claire final all along.  They tell Arnav he is through to the finals. But I am still nervous.



Nonetheless we go to a tiebreaker.  Here is how that will work. They will each answer the same 10 questions with their opponent out of the room. Whoever answers the most right wins. If they tie the one who answers fastest will win. I can still see where you might want to pass here.

We have a short break for the kids to get it together and do some interview. Claire is screaming at her dad saying he didn’t let her memorize the periodic table. Her mother says I told you to pass. Passing would not have mattered. She guess Radium, saying ‘pass’ would have taken the same amount of time. In her interview she pretends she knew it was radon.  The familial fight was in Korean, or you know whatever language they speak.

Adrian’s parents want to revisit the round he just lost. Both kids would have been better served it they had spent that time alone.  I can’t lie, I’m pulling for Adrian here now, just because of Claire’s behavior at the break.

Claire goes first. They don’t tell us how many Claire got right but she missed three that we was and passed on one so she couldn’t have done better than 6/10.  Her time was 2:16.

Next is Adrian. OMG. Remember the overlapping words challenge? It was really hard this time.  Here was the clue What two related five letter overlapping words are in the following clue OLIUNTECER ? I’ll post the answer* at the end if anyone is playing along. Claire quickly passed. Adrian took over TWO FULL MINUTES to look at the word. Then he passed. His parents are both devastated. Even though they have no idea how much time Claire took, because they were with Adrian, they know that is a deadly mistake.  I am not sure how many Adrian got correct. Maybe it was 9?  I was so discombobulated I forgot to pay attention after that 2:00 heart pounding situation. His time was nearly four minutes.

Adrian wins with the 9.  Claire goes home. She is sort of mortified. Guess who started the standing ovation for her?  Adrian’s dad. I thought that was touching. All the parents applauded for her very enthusiastically.  Arnav mom said some very nice things. I can’t type exactly because I am a bit misty eyed seeing Claire get her trophy. People, being rewarded for their accomplishments makes my um, allergies act up.  Claire’s little sister is adorable and so supportive. If I could, I’ve give Claire an award for “best dressed” although Sam was a close second there.

Child Genius

So here we are down to the finals and I have to come clean a little bit before I watch it. On all the competition shows, I like to pick my winner ahead of time, before I know the players. I usually just pick anyone from Atlanta or Georgia or the most southern one.  But this season, my homeslice has said some not so nice things about Claire.  I liked Claire as the only girl right up until the round that sent Vivek home. It totally should have been Claire then. If it was, I think it would have been a Vivek  and Arnav final.  I’m a little put off by Adrian’s …braggadocio. So I’ll be pulling for Arnav.  But will also be happy with an Adrian win.

The final round is 40 questions and the time limit is 10 minutes. So again, if I can do basic math, that about 15 seconds a question. Adrian has major issues with time limits. He needs to learn to pass if he wants to beat Arnav.  They have the same set of 40 questions just like the tiebreaker round. This will be good for Arnav even though he is going first, there is no disadvantage this time because they don’t know how the other person fared.

Arnav and Adrian shake hands.  Adrian says ( I assume about the handshake) “You are so weak!” Arnav just laughs and says “I know.” Oh homeslice, I hope you go down for that comment alone. He just beat you last round. You must be feeling insecure to be trash talking your opponent. The correct thing would be to say, “Good luck!”  I’m really not happy with Adrian’s lack of sportsmanship. Arnav on the other hand seems happy and confident without being a ….(watches mouth…deep breaths…) without being a poor sport.

Ut oh. Arnav is very nervous. Come on ARNAV!  Take some deep breaths! Meditate or something! His dad, Vijay, is where Arnav gets his sense of humor, he says, “I’m nervous as hell at this point!” Me too, Vijay! Me too!  Come on Arnav, YOU CAN DO IT!

Here we go with Arnav. PASS ON THIS DAMN MATH QUESTION! I hate these. It’s basically five math problems. Too much time. Too much room for error. He computes without listening to me and missed it by two. Okay there is a new very hard question I do not know how to describe. Arnav gasps. I don’t quite know how to solve it. Arnav gets it fairly quickly. Even if you do get it, you still have to know the capital of the country. I am just looking for four letter country because I have no idea how the math part works. Apparently the country was Cuba. I didn’t get it at all. I got stuck on Chad for some reason and the letters were not there. Arnav on the other hand says “Havana” in a short amount of time. This will probably be Adrian’s down fall.  Arnav is doing well. These questions are HARD.

This is so stressful just to watch let alone be a kid doing it. Arnav keeps gasping at the questions. They are STAGGERINGLY HARD QUESTIONS! He does very well.  They don’t let us know how he did. Arnav doesn’t know how many he got correct either. It was sooo intense!!!!

Child genius Adrian 2

Time for Adrian. Pronunciation apparently doesn’t matter in this round. I love how they are so random about that.  Adrian gets stuck on the easiest questions like what common word connects these three words:  super, fish, struck.   Adrian is so slow to answer any logic type question. I’m faster than Adrian on many questions. Why can’t I play the piano! lol.  If is mom would let him watch SNL he would shove his hands in his armpits sniff them and say STAR!  Alas, he is pondering for days once again, and these are the easy questions. He smartly passes on the Havana question I thought would throw him and another right after.

WOW That was a really hard round. If it comes down to a tie, the Arnav won for sure.  I really think Arnav probably got more questions right.

I can barely take it. I cannot imagine being a parent right now.

The score is 30-26. The winner is….Adrian.

Sigh. I really thought Arnav beat him. He was so good under pressure with some really hard challenges.  I think he would make a good doctor.

Arnav won $10,000. OMG his mom just reminded me he is only NINE YEARS OLD. What a fabulous job Arnav did.

And a huge shoutout to Adrian for bringing home the win to Atlanta!  Now I just hope you soak up some of the Atlanta sportsmanship and learn a bit of humility. Brains are not everything. Being kind is good too!  Um, unless you are me. Then kind is overrated. Way to go Adrian!

That said, I will not tolerate adults also showing poor sportsmanship here toward children. The parents all read here, so be kind.

Arnav’s mom says if you had one thing to say to Adrian, what would you say, he says, “Good job!”

I’m hoping they don’t ask Adrian that.

Congratulations Adrian!  And to all the Child Geniuses! You were all amazing and being on the show is quite the accomplishment! And a shout out to the parents who sent through so much stress on behalf of their child genius.  Thanks for reading and commenting here.

*The answer to the overlapping word question was… Ounce and Liter


Filed under Child Genius, Entertainment News

21 responses to “Child Genius Finale Recap: It’s a Tiebreaker!

  1. Margarett

    I couldn’t miss this show either. Like you, I wouldn’t have been disappointed with whomever won. Thanks, Tamara, for making me aware of such a positive show.

    What a joy it’s been to watch these beautiful, brilliant children! They, along with their loving and dedicated parents, must be so very proud.

    Well done!

  2. Spilledperfume

    I’ve never watched the show but I really liked your recaps.

  3. KidsRkids

    Intense for sure. I loved Claire’s little sister telling her big sis she counted all her answers and she got 18 right, I think she heard Arnav’s score or something but so cute with her little princess crown. Now they get to play and not study, she is most excited about that. Very good job Claire success lies ahead of you young lady, and your finale dress was absolutely beautiful, my favorite of all your dresses!

    I have never seen Arnav so nervous, so unlike him. So glad to see him in the final two, brilliant child with a very bright future. Those final scores were really close I appreciate his love of books and how his parents offset each other, I think his mom said in an earlier episode (good cop, bad cop) but I think they are both good cops in their own special way. Great job Arnav you will certainly go far.

    Adrian, you had me biting my fingernails and I don’t even have any. College bound with 100k on the books, I had to work my way through college so I think this is a great way to help out your parents. Your mom’s tears had me crying right along with her. I really think all the kids of Child Genius should receive a trip to Disneyland, what a great way to celebrate with each other. Congrats on your win and good luck with college do you know what your major will be?

    Anyways, Thursday nights will not be the same without the kids, will miss all of them even the ones we did not get to see alot of. Wouldn’t it be great if they would have a reunion show?

    Thanks again TT for your entertaining recaps, i always look forward to them, you deserve a trophy too!

    • Thaxton24

      KidsRkids, Claire’s sister was right. I think she was referring to overall. Because Claire got 12 answers right in the first round and 6 in the tiebreaker, ergo 18 questions total. Don’t let the princess crown fool you, the little sister got beauty and brains. But none of that matters now because it’s time to “just play. No study.”

  4. Nancy (the other one)

    The kids are all so bright and wonderful. I have really enjoyed the show and your fabulous recaps. I wish there was more money for second and third place. It is so grueling for the competitors that $50,000 for second place and $25,000 for third place seems more fair to me. I was stressed watching, so I can only imagine how it must have been for those competing and their families. I wish nothing but the best to all. I can’t help but wonder if Adrian was admitted to Harvard. Thanks TT for making this such a pleasure.

  5. Lawstangel

    I had no problem with any of them winning either. I have been supportive of Claire, my hometown girl since the beginning. I felt so awful for her, she was kinda devastated to come in third. I don’t think she is used to it…. I had to give some serious side eye to Adrian for his comments about her. But all in all they are just kids ! It was nice to see Claire’s mom give her some love in the end when she is so upset, I have only seen her be stern with her. Good show!

  6. Realityjunkie

    Claire’s mom is….interesting. I noticed last night that she swatted her husband’s hand away when he tried to comfort his daughter. Earlier she referred to him as “weak”. Knowing that Claire may possibly sit and watch these shows just made me uncomfortable. Then again, maybe it’s not a big deal.
    I was pulling for Arnav. Loved his parents Ying and yang. Also loved how badly he wanted to just be a kid sometimes. Congrats to Adrian!

  7. Sammie

    Great show and thanks for recaps. I cheated and read this before watching the finale and I’m hyperventilating from the anxiety. I’m stunned at the children’s accomplishments and would be happy with any of the 3 being the winner.
    May they all continue on lives with great success!

  8. Thanks Tamara for the final recap. Somehow thursday nights will not feel the same for a while, now that the show is over. Your final recap was as exciting as the competition itself. Thanks to you and all your readers for the kind words for Arnav.

    We are very proud of the young man – not because he came in 2nd, but because he fought hard till the end and even though the title eluded him, he composed himself and genuinely congratulated the winner. As you pointed out, he is just 9, so he definitely showed great spirit and character and as parents we can justifiably feel proud, I think.

    And despite the pressure, he also managed to be a kid and goof around through the process just like his buddies Sam, Chancellor and Vivek, even though by Round 20, he was mentally and physically exhausted with the multiple cross country travels, the 15+ hours of studying for a good 4 weeks and all the reality shooting (which he really didn’t care for at all, as is evident from the footage!)

    I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for him that day. He lost to a worthy competitor and he acknowledges that. At 9 and being in 4th grade, he was essentially a lightweight taking on a heavyweight who was 11 and in the 11th grade – so no shame there! Funny that you thought Arnav had won though – because when we came back in after both were finished, several members of the audience congratulated us because they thought so too…

    Thanks again for your recaps. And thanks to all the CG Season 2 families – it could have been much worse without you guys and your kids. Getting to know the other families and their incredibly talented kids was probably the biggest thing we walked away from.from this competition!

    • ninjapanda1

      Thank you Arnavs dad Vijay for coming here and posting! Above anything else YOU were so kind and supportive of your son as well as the other kids. I loved how you said it was your job to be Arnavs supporter whether it was a bathroom break or outdoor play or just a shoulder to cry on. I must say you and Viveks dad were so sweet and encouraging and I have the highest respect for you! I hope to see Arnav as a Nobel Prize Winner some day. Thank you!

    • amisteree

      Vijay, thank you so much for sharing your experience with TT and her readers. I hope that you will keep us all up to date with Arnav’s adventures. He is quite a special boy. I will miss watching him!

    • Jamie

      Vijay, please send a big congratulations to Arnav for me!!! He should be so proud of himself, just like I know you and his mother are! He has accomplished more at age 9 than most in a lifetime! and he’s just getting started!

  9. Antony (Vivek's Dad)


    Great recaps as usual. I am now addicted to your site and I am going to keep coming back here. You got very sweet readers who are so kind to comment on our kids.


    First of all, congratulations to Arnav, Avani, Seema and yourself! We are so proud of Arnav. He is such a consistent performer. He would go out there and knock it out of the park every single time. It was such a pleasure observing him and other Geniuses in person. Vivek misses him, Sam, Chance and other friend so dearly. Hope to able to catch up with your family whenever we in or around NYC.

    I too wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the all the support Tamara and her readers provided to Vivek. So thrilled to have been in your thoughts at some point! It is an excitement when Vivek and us get noticed in a museum or in an Airport but I am glad to report nothing about the show had gone into Vivek’s head. He is still a down to earth 10-year-old (turned 10 last August) trying to survive his first year in middle school (6th grade).

    The best thing about the show for us was the time we spend with all other families. Many of us felt like one extended family, together in it. I remember Arnav’s little sister Avani was the best companion for our daughter baby Aradhya. When the baby cries uncontrollably during our trip to and from the show (while stuck in LA traffic most of the time), nobody but Avani can console and calm her down. It was such a blessing for me and my wife (and I am sure for rest of the poor souls stuck with us in the van hearing the “music”). Also, Clair’s sweet sister and adorable Avani was so excited to play with and cheer the baby up during study time and breaks.

    We truly miss all of the friends. Miss our shared moments of joy and sorrow and great time overall. Glad that many of us are in regular contact and that we are planning to stay that way!

    Wish all the Child Geniuses great success. Make all of us and our Nation proud!

    – Vivek’s family

    • Cat

      Thanks for continuing to share with us here. I’m glad you are all keeping in touch with those you met on the show.

      I’m hoping, too, that this can be a learning experience for everyone, not only for the kids and the parents, but for anyone who comes here reading about “reality” TV. We, well at the very least, I, have appreciated learning from your comments here.

      When Tamara first recapped this show, I was against it. I thought it would be too stressful (and potentially harmful) for the kids. And I was not too happy with the parents, either.

      Thankfully, your comments changed my opinion of shows like this. You sound like great parents. And the kids? Amazing.

      Thanks again for setting skeptics, like me, straight. And welcome to the TT family!

    • Jamie

      Vivek’s dad,
      Thank you so much for keeping us posted on Vivek, as well as letting us know more about the other geniuses and their families. It was not lost on the audience that all of your children were good sports with big hearts for each other. And no disrespect to the other geniuses, but Vivek stole my heart immediately! I especially loved how you hugged him after his memory round in episode one as he ran out. He’s lucky to have a dad like you! He will go far in life knowing he has the unwavering love and support of his family. Please tell him that me and my friend Nicole are big Vivek fans! Best of luck to him and all the other cuties!

  10. Cheychey

    I’m a little late watching. Had to wait till the weekend when I had some time. I think the real winners here were the kids who showed friendship, love of a good competition and were humble. Let’s face it they are all brilliant children but the best lesson they can take away from this experience is that allthough there are many other smart people to compete with you in life you will always be a winner if you work hard try your best and be respectful of those around you. Great job kids and parents who put in a lot of time and love with those beautiful geniuses.

  11. Kay

    Now that the show is over I’m going to miss my Thursday fix of Adrian. While I liked all of the kids and would have been happy for Claire or Arnav, Adrian stole my heart the first episode and I was so happy to see him win. Here’s hoping someone signs that kid up for his own reality show! While some of the kids seemed a little apprehensive around the cameras, Adrian & Claire were born to be in front of them. Best of luck to all the kids and families in the future!

  12. Cliff O

    Seriously though can someone explain the how the “Havana” question worked?

    • tamaratattles

      Yes maybe, I am in the midst of happy hour but essentially first you had to know that Havana was the capital of Cuba (geography) then you had to add up the letters in CUBA (math) to get to the right number. I can explain it more later if you need me too. I am just a bit sidetracked at the moment. Thanks for watching the show and commenting here.

  13. Cliff O…it was more involved. The series shown was 32-36-45-24. The code was essentially the multiplication of the numbers above and below the letters. So one had to understand how to break that code first i.e. 32 = 8 X 4 which corresponded to the letter C on the chart and 36 was 9×4 that was U on the chart and so on. The word from 32-36-45-24 was Cuba. Havana is the capital of Cuba. And this had to be spelled out as H-A-V-A-N-A to complete the task.

    Fun when there is no time or competitive pressure to perform, but was interesting to see how quickly Arnav figured it out in that pressure situation!

  14. Wallace

    Oh, how did I miss the original posting of this last week?

    Vijay and Antony, you are rock star parents who are raising incredible kids. Vivek and Arnav were not only brilliant, but gracious and kind. Vijay, you had me rolling when you announced you were handing the genius back over to your wife. Antony, I was ready to adopt Vivek. He has a beautiful spirit that just radiates from inside him.

    Congratulations to every one of the contestants. They have much to be proud of.

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