Ataahua writes:

Tonight Channel One in New Zealand broadcast a televised IQ test, and the guest audience comprised seven groups: models, cricket supporters, people aged 60 and older, taxi drivers, real estate agents, celebrities, and Tolkien fans (including our own Delyth!). One Tolkien fan had his torso body-painted as an Elf warrior of the First Age, which took him four hours to prepare, while another had worked on all three films as an extra and stand-in.

Last year’s studio winner of the IQ test was a chap named Joel Bryan, who this year was seated in the Tolkien section. When asked what his strategy this year would be, he said: “Same as last year – flirt with the models and guess all the answers.”

There were five sections that comprised the IQ test: vocabulary (and when the correct answer to one question was revealed to be ‘pudency’, the host remarked, “There are some very happy Tolkien fans over there”), reasoning, memory, numbers and spatial. And let me say right now that the Tolkien fans kicked some serious intellectual heinie. At the end of the night the final scores were:

Models – an average of 85 IQ points.
Real estate agents and taxi drivers – 93 points
60+ and cricket supporters – 98 points
Celebrities – 99 points
Tolkien fans – 107 points!!!

Some highlights of the night:

* The host asked Tolkien fan Yvonne what the secret to their success was, and she said, “Enthusiasm”.

* When results of four of the five test sections had been announced and the Tolkien fans had been leading all the way, the cricket fans held up a sign that said, ‘We’re number one out of the humans’.

* About half way through the show one of the Tolkien fans took out her lap harp and started to play a Rohirric folk song – and a cricket fan called out, “How about Ten Guitars!”

* A member of another group said his party trick was being able to wiggle his ears – to which the host replied that his talent was making the Tolkien fans jealous. 😉

* Celebrity Rawiri Paratene (who played the grandfather in the movie Whale Rider) commented on how difficult it was in the studio. “It’s really hot in here and I can’t wait to get one of those Tolkien fans they’re advertising over there…”

* Of the hundreds of people who participated in the test online, the one with the highest IQ (of 135) was a chap in Dunedin. During a telephone interview on air he said: “I think there’s one other factor that helped me – I’m a total Tolkien fan as well.”

* They found that the more books there are in the home, the smarter the people in the home are. (That shouldn’t surprise anyone.)
* And when it was announced that the Tolkien fans had won the studio competition, the cheers from that side of the room were amazing, which prompted the host to say: “I believe there’s proof of the fine line between genius and madness.”

Sadly Tolkien geek Joel Bryan had to give up his crown of the smartest individual in the studio audience – this year it went to a former Mastermind semi-finalist.

So the Tolkien fans did us proud on the nationwide IQ test! Well done guys!! 🙂