Led by Mr. Blackwell, the Imperial College London team walloped the competition, winning each round, including the grand final against a team from Cambridge, by an average of 150 points.
Mr. Blackwell says he was simply being himself and joking with teammates.
His mannerisms were picked apart.
Very often Mr. Blackwell knew the answer, but he deferred and collaborated when he didn’t. He praises his teammates: Caleb Rich was “the best physics player in the tournament,” yet somehow “a normal dude,” not a quiz-obsessive. “He just shows up and knows stuff.”
Mr. Blackwell, by contrast, trained under “Jeopardy!” all-timer Roger Craig to learn “how to solve game shows and optimize studying.”
Right before the final aired, the Daily Mail reported that Mr. Blackwell had already won more than $450,000 in prize money from three game shows, including “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Everybody knows Americans sometimes succumb to an English accent, mistaking it for Old World sophistication and intelligence.
Mr. Blackwell is a pro and a showman.
Mr. Kaufman is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal.