Episode 116 - Recap

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For the first time in Smarter history, two contestants are being allowed to compete as one. After the students’ initial confusion is replaced by cheers and whoos, twins Cory and Chad Baumgartner trot into the classroom. They select Kyle for their first classmate and the proceedings are officially underway.

Cory and Chad go for 1st Grade Spelling as the opening subject and are asked, “The names of how many days of the week do not start with either the letter T or S?” Kyle quickly locks in his answer and the twins eventually arrive to the correct conclusion of three. $1,000 on the board.

Next is 1st Grade U.S. Geography. “True or false? Including Alaska and Hawaii, there are more U.S. states that border the Pacific Ocean than the Atlantic Ocean.” This is patently false, as Kyle immediately realizes. As the twins work up a mental picture of a U.S. map, Mr. Foxworthy walks them through their various cheating options. The twins select false and now they have $2,000 to their names.

Kyle is excused from class, so Cory and Chad select Alana as their next classmate. 2nd Grade Vocabulary is the subject now, with a query of “What word can mean both an instrument used to draw circles and also a device used for determining direction?” Alana very quickly locks in her answer and after a protracted pause, the twins realize the word is compass. $5,000. The entire class got this right, although Marki and Kyle spelled it as compus. Hey, they’re just kids!

2nd Grade Animal Science is the next subject as the twins work their way up the board. The question is, “Cows exists in herds while ants live in groups called what? A. Colonies B. Communities C. Clusters”. Alana, a good little worker ant, locks in her answer and the twins are right behind her with the correct answer, colonies. Mr. Foxworthy tries to needle the boys a bit, but that doesn’t stop them from moving up to $10,000.

Mr. Foxworthy then helpfully points out that if Chad and Cory get this next question right, the least they’ll leave school with today is $25,000. So which new classmate is going to help them with this monumental step? The correct answer is…Spencer. But what’s the correct answer to the 3rd Grade Math question, “An isosceles triangle has how many equal sides?” Two, which Spencer locked in before Mr. Foxworthy could even finish the question. Cory thinks it’s two sides, Chad thinks it’s three sides and now they both think it’s time for a cheat. They peek at Spencer’s answer of two. Wait. Hold on….Spencer actually answered one. Now, how any shape can have one equal side is beyond this simple man, so now we have to wait and see what happens. One equal side? Equal to what? Mr. Foxworthy points out that if the boys guess incorrectly and Spencer is right, they can still use their save. After one last confab, the twins lock in two as their answer. So in this hotly debated question, what’s right? Two. $25,000 in the bank.

Keeping their pattern alive, the twins tackle 3rd Grade Life Science. “Russet and Yukon Gold are varieties of what vegetable?” These boys have clearly eaten a few tubers in their day, so they should know the answer is potato. Or “patoeateos” as Marki spelled it. In her defense, she may have been using ancient Gallic to write it out. They do, Spencer does, everybody does and now they have $50,000.

Spencer is sent back to his desk and Cory and Chad pick Jacob as their next helper. Jacob informs us that he’d go with geography, so the twins take 4th Grade World Geography with a question of “Mount Everest is located in what mountain range? A. Andes B. Alps C. Himalayas”. Jacob quickly locks in his answer as Cory and Chad wonder if maybe it’s the Alps. Hearing this, Mr. Foxworthy helpfully points out that they still have their copy cheat left. Working through their options, Chad thinks it’s either A or B. Cory thinks it’s B. In other words, they have no chance here unless Jacob is right. They lock in Alps as their answer, Mr. Foxworthy breaks the bad news and now it’s up to Jacob. Jacob? He got it. The twins have $100,000, which apparently is the first level worth screaming about.

The next subject is 4th Grade Social Studies. “According to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, what government official in the Executive Branch also serves as President of the U.S. Senate?” A good hint to this question would be Dick Cheney, but perhaps that’s a giveaway. Jacob locks in his answer as the twins realize they have absolutely no clue what the answer is. They use their copy cheat and Jacob’s answer, Vice President, is now their own. And…he’s right. $175,000 in the bank. The twins are done with Jacob and done with their cheats with two subjects remaining. Now on their own, they choose 5th Grade History.

“What former U.S. President was the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize?” It’s probably not Harry Truman, as the Nobel committee seems to frown on atomic bomb usage. With absolutely no idea that the correct answer is Theodore Roosevelt, Cory and Chad decide to drop out of school with $175,000. Or $87,500 each. Cory and Chad turn to the camera and inform America that they are not smarter than a 5th grader.

So now it’s time for a new contestant. Jennifer Luckett. She opts for Marki as her first classmate and it’s total girl power and stuff. The first subject of 3rd Grade Grammar comes with a query of “The sentence ‘Alana always ate anchovies’ is an example of which of the following? A. Alliteration B. Future tense C. Compound sentence”. A simpler subject is seldom seen and Jennifer works her way to the correct answer, alliteration. $1,000.

Jennifer chooses 2nd Grade Measurements next and is asked, “If Jacob stands on Spencer’s shoulders, they are two and a half yards high. How many feet is that?” Jennifer looks stunned. Marki reluctantly locks in her answer as Jennifer struggles to remember how many feet in a yard. 5? 5289? It could take her 7½ minutes to figure out the answer is 7½ feet. Jennifer is somewhat perturbed as she laments that she learned the feet to yards conversion in chemistry class, which…that’s not chemistry. Unless you have a 3-yard long beaker or something. Jennifer decides to peek. Marki answered 78 feet high. Jennifer has an epiphany and screams out that there are 352 feet in a yard. If Marki was right, Spencer would be about 40 feet tall and if Jennifer was right, a football field would be almost 3/4ths of a mile long. They are not right. Jennifer decides to go with Marki’s answer and that’s the end of that. Jennifer leaves with $0. On the positive side, she will remember for the rest of her life that there are three feet in one yard. Jennifer is clearly not smarter than a 5th grader. Technically, not even smarter than a 2nd grader.