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Monday, August 07, 2006

NBC's 'Treasure Hunters' Hits Philadelphia! 

I'm blogging during Monday night's Treasure Hunters on NBC, because the first stop is Philadelphia! And the first-place team, which goes by the name The Geniuses (all three have double majors at SMU), has a player who's a hometown guy!

Boy, does long-sideburned Francis Goldshmid (right) think his team has the edge. And literally it soon does, because blond Genius Charles is first one crawling out on a ledge 22 stories up, outside the historic Land Title Building at 100 S. Broad St. The fair-haired fellow seems scared, but, hey, he's attached to one of those reality-show-save-your-bacon tethers. Inching along, past window after window, soon he's leaning down to read a plaque on the ledge. It reads: "Founders Hall, Girard."

Philly Genius Goldschmid proclaims: "I know Philadelphia so well, that as soon as I hear the name Girard, I know it's Girard Avenue!"

Oh yeah, smarty-pants? Sure it's not Girard College?

The other teams are soon following to the ledge, leaning over, reading the clue. Wait, Team Air Force team doesn't even notice the word Girard!

As the Geniuses keep driving and driving down Broad Street hoping they didn't already pass Girard, big driving Genius Sam grouses: "Tell me when to stop Francis, Mr. I Love Philadelphia."

Team Three, the Southie Boys, gets the full clue, including Girard.

Wait, the Air Force's "Net monkey" searches and up comes Girard College!

Mr. Philly Genius, you could be blowing it! (Helpful fact: Girard College is indeed off Girard Avenue, but it's at 22d Street, not Broad.)

Team Four, ex-CIA, has its ledge hedger getting closing in on the clue.

Soon Air Force is at Girard College, and next the hyper-combative ("I'll kill you" ... "Shut up! Shut the f--- up!" ... "I'm going to off you!") the Southie Boys have figured it out, too.

Ex-CIA and the Geniuses arrive at the same time at the private boarding school, which serves kids from needy single-parent homes.

"For one team, the hunt will end here," Mr. Narrator Man calmly intones. Suspense!

Next clue has something to do with ships.

Mr. Philly Genius stops to check out a model ship in a case, but then leaves.

Team Air Force checks a record book, and finds a clue, "Liberty," whose letters help open a DaVinci Code-like cylinder puzzle called a cryptex. They've made the Final Three.

Southie Boys just guess: Let's try L-I-B-E-R-T-Y! Woo-Hoo!!! No death threats now!

Down to just two: Geniuses Vs. Ex-CIA.

Geniuses find a hidden doorway behind a painting, but Ex-CIA walks right by! Geniuses find a storage room, full of maps and documents and more model ships. They look for the name of a ship with 7 letters. Wait, Ex-CIA finds an old map. Suddenly both teams are simultaneously (at least on TV) trying to put the word L-I-B-E-R-T-Y into the cryptex! They both get it open!!!!! A phone rings. "Congratulations," Mr. Hockey Haircut Announcer says to ... the Geniuses! Our Mr. Sideburns made it by a whisker!!!

Ex-CIA, see ya!

Holy smokes, the Philly Genius is in the running for "the richest prize in television history"!

If you'd like to read more about Francis' exploits on the show, check out the SMU Genius Quest blog where his mother, Gale, writes up lots of episodes.

Seems like there's one more show next Monday at 9, with a live finale the following week. But I'll have to call NBC to be sure.

Go to: Early Word = Philadelphia Inquirer = = Lighter Side

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