In a surplus of Oxbridge competitions, University Challenge must count for one of the most anticipated and eagerly watched events on the academic calendar. The battle between the two Universities in this show of intellectual stimulation and obscure questioning surmounted in the recent head-to-head competition and did not disappoint… well maybe not for Cambridge.
In the awaited pre-quarter-final, Oxford’s St. Hilda’s and Cambridge’s Trinity College took to the well-known University Challenge seats to try and out-smart the opposing team. While off to a promising start, Oxford demonstrated their terminological knowledge in the first round gaining 10 points for their team. Contestant Chilvers held the front in the Oxford team, securing the first bonus round to go to Oxford. Having won an extra 10 points in the round, it was not surprising that many had high hopes for the St. Hilda’s Oxford team to continue this winning trajectory, but alas, Cambridge had to nip them at their height of success and dominate the rest of the rounds.
Cambridge put on an impressive run throughout the episode which aired on the 22nd November 2021; winning the majority of rounds as Oxford’s team sat there with gritted teeth watching on. Faith reappeared in the last couple of rounds when Oxford won bonus rounds in Biology and Kings of England, but unfortunately, precedence prevailed, and the two rounds failed to see an increase in Oxford’s scores.
In a unfortunate series of events for Oxford, the all too familiar words of presenter Jeremy Paxman ‘anyone want to buzz from St. Hida’s’ resonated throughout the episode. In a rollercoaster of an episode, Cambridge’s win was cemented as early as 20 minutes in with a score reading 200-0 to Trinity College Cambridge. This score greatly contrasted the previous Oxbridge University Challenge episode that aired a few days prior to this one, where the Universities drew with 120 points to each college (St. Catherine’s College Cambridge and University College Oxford).
The British television quiz, that has been on our screens for nearly over 60 years, has produced many a dramatic contest between Oxbridge in the past, and although this one did not quite live up to the usual close calls (this episode saw Cambridge take the overwhelming win of 235-45 points) we’re nonetheless immensely proud of our Oxford team – we’ll get them next time!