“America’s Smartest Family” Semi-Finals Kick-Off
The New Game Show Series is the First-Ever English-Language Quiz Show of its Kind
On this week’s episode of “America’s Smartest Family,” the Somani family and the Bhagania family met again to kick-off the first round of semi-finals. The new television game show series, airing exclusively on ZEE TV, is the first-ever English-language quiz show of its kind, putting some of the brightest South Asian families from across the globe on stage for a chance at the title and a$10,000 cash prize.
After receiving hundreds of submissions from hopeful contestants, 16 families scored high enough to surpass initial eliminations and compete on television. On the first four episodes of “America’s Smartest Family,” eight teams were eliminated, and eight teams advanced to the semi-finals, including episode 1 winners – the Bhagania family of Quincy, Massachusetts; and the Somani family, also of Monroe, New Jersey; who kicked-off the first round of the show’s semi-finals.
After winning the dice roll, the Somani family commenced round 1. Unlike the first four episodes, where four families were on stage, each of the two semi-finalists was given two questions instead of one during rounds 1 and 2. The Somanis were off to a promising start, easing through their science and math questions without hesitation, earning 200 points from the get-go. The pressure was on for the Bhagnia family, who selected the history and geography categories. But unlike their competitors across the stage, the Bhagnias folded under pressure, failing to answer either question correctly and giving the Somanis an early lead.
The Bhagnia family made a small comeback in round 2, answering their second question from the history category correctly after a gentle nudge from host Zaid Ali, who cautioned the team to go with their first instinct. The Somanis matched the Bhagania family’s performance, also answering one of two questions correctly. Their performance in round 2 was enough for the Somanis to maintain a modest 200-point lead as they entered into the buzzer rounds.
In rounds three and four – the buzzer rounds – each correct answer is worth 200 points, and an incorrect answer docks 100 points from the team score. The Somani family jumped into first of two buzzer rounds with what appeared to be an early advantage, but started to lose their widening lead as it came to a close. Holding a steady 200-point lead to the Bhagania family’s 700 points, the Somani family began round 4 with 900 points. Despite some back and forth for both teams in round 4, the Somanis eventually grew their lead to a comfortable 800 points, earning 1,300 on the scoreboard. The Bhaginias trailed behind with 500 points, putting them at a major disadvantage as they entered into the fifth and final round.
The Somanis entered the final round confident that their 800 point lead would be enough to thrust the team into the next round of semi-finals. By contrast, the Bhaganias had their work cut out for them. In order to beat their opponents, the Bhaganias not only needed the Somanis to answer incorrectly – they also needed to answer their question correctly without any hints. They did not crack under pressure, gliding through their final question with ease, earning the maximum of 1,500 points.
Now down by 200 points, the ball was in the hands of the Somani family, who needed to give Zaid Ali the right answer in order to beat out the underdogs and advance to the next level. Much to the disappointment of the Bhagania family, the Somanis answered their question correctly after just one hint. While the Bhaganias put up a good fight, ultimately, only the Somanis would advance to the next round of semi-finals.
One step closer to the $10,000 cash prize, the Bhaganias will compete against next week’s winning team on episode 9, which will air on Saturday, April 21.
In the meantime, tune in next week on Saturday, March 31, to see the Jaffery family and the Kumar family compete in the next semi-finals episode. “America’s Smartest Family” airs exclusively on ZEE TV at 9:00 p.m. EST; 9:30 p.m. PST; and 9:00 p.m. AST.