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Characters / King of the Nerds

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Curtis Armstrong

  • Large Ham
  • Mood Whiplash: Invoked in his pre-elimination speech every episode:
    Curtis Armstrong: "The winner will stay to compete for the crown, $100,000, and the right to sit atop The Throne of Games!"
    *Cue grandiose sequence of the Throne of Games shot from several angles*
    Curtis Armstrong (talking fast): "The loser goes home immediately."

Robert Carradine


    Season 1 Contestants 

Alana Smith-Brown

Age: 26
From: Corning, NY

A live-action roleplayer and comic book fan.

  • Informed Ability: In her bio video, she declares that her greatest strength is her ability to be flirtatious to get what she wants. We... don't really see much of that in the show.
  • Onomatopoeia: Likes to use them in the place of adjectives.

Brandon Moore

Age: 25
From: Nashville, TN

Aspiring neuroscience Ph.D. student with two college degrees.

Celeste Anderson

Age: 22
From: Orillia, Ontario

A professional gamer, who is just a handy with a Rubik's Cube as she is with a controller.

Danielle Mackey

Age: 23
From: Rome, NY

Video game vlogger and World of Warcraft enthusiast.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Makes several scathing comments about the other contestants in confessionals, often unprovoked. Joshua is the only one who receives these in person.
  • Break the Haughty: For all her snarks and large ego, she gets reduced to tears after losing the quiz challenge in the season finale.
  • Gasshole
  • Jerkass
  • My Fist Forgives You: Agrees to end the feud between her and Joshua by slapping him. Subverted when it becomes apparent that she still holds a grudge against him anyway.
  • You Gotta Have Pink Hair

Genevieve Pearson

Age: 27
From: Studio City, CA

A novelist and comic book expert.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's is friendly, courteous, and polite, but God help you if you get in her way. Even Genevieve describes herself as "sweet on the outside, Machiavellian on the inside."
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Loves to sing, and this annoys Danielle.
  • Determinator: Goes as far as winning three Nerd-Offs, making it all the way to the Final Two.
  • Genki Girl
  • Hypocrite: Somewhat. She goes along with Danielle's idea to send Celeste to the Nerd Off, even though herself and Celeste were allied. Later, when Celeste turns against Genevieve, she gets mad at Celeste for "betraying" her when she did the same to her.

Hendrik Lentferink

Age: 26
From: Somerville, MA

An MIT graduate who specializes in geophysics.

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Once you hear that he loves to forage for and eat wild mushrooms, and see him wandering about Nerdvana in the early hours of the morning wearing a space helmet, hiding in bushes and climbing trees... it's difficult not to get this impression of him.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Subverted. His picture shows him having a snake, though he himself isn't a villain at all.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye

Ivan Van Norman

Age: 27
From: Torrance, CA

Developer of Tabletop RPGs and a fire dancer.

  • Catchphrase: "They/You have awoken the dragon."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Shows hints of it, especially when he does his Chicken Panda routine in the third episode.
  • Fighting Your Friend: He ends up defeating Joshua in a Nerd Off, just after they had made an alliance.
  • Large Ham
  • The Leader: Fulfills this role for the Servants of the Forsaken Orb, as a Type II with a bit of Type IV mixed in.

Jon Paprocki

Age: 22
From: Atlanta, GA

A mathematician and theoretical physicist who loves Heavy Metal.

  • Metalhead: Loves to throw up the horns and do his best heavy metal roar.

Joshua Ovenshire

Age: 24
From: Los Angeles, CA

Host/producer of a geek-themed web show, and all-around nerd culture enthusiast.

  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Of all the competitors, he's one of the most well-rounded, having dabbled in many different areas of geek culture.
  • Satellite Character: He's practically invisible until the third episode, when Danielle becomes agitated with his behavior. Apart from that, he's only defined by his friendship with Ivan.

Moogega Cooper

Age: 26
From: Pasadena, CA

A planetary protection engineer at NASA with a bachelor degree in physics and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

Virgil Griffith

Age: 28
From: Pasadena, CA

An accomplished computer hacker and Ph.D. student who enjoys the study of brains.

  • Broken Record: "I was thinking... oh, sorry. I was, I was, I was thinking relative. I was thinking relative again. Yeah, I was thinking relative. Yeah, I was thinking relative."
  • Character Development: You can tell from his elimination speech that Virgil grew tremendously due to his time at Nerdvana. Perhaps the most obvious sign of this: by the time he was eliminated, he had almost completely lost the stutter he had at the beginning.
  • Heel–Face Turn
  • Hidden Depths: He is rather proficient at dance video games.

    Season 2 Contestants 

Brian Davidson

Age: 27
From: Denver, CO

A library science scholar and trivia expert.

Chris Jackson

Age: 27
From: Waco, TX

A structural engineer and MENSA member.

  • The Ace
  • Black and Nerdy
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He believes that his attempts to play mind games with Zack and Jack just motivated their team to finally win after a long losing streak. He gets eliminated in the Nerd-Off later, with his mind games being a big part of why they nominated him.
  • Jerkass: In "Nerds To the Rescue," he tries to play mind games with the other team, trying to convince Jack he's angry at him for picking him to be electrocuted in the previous Nerd-Off and constantly trying to annoy or otherwise set off Zack's Hair-Trigger Temper
  • The Leader
  • The Stoic
  • The Strategist
  • Trekkie

Jack Hou

Age: 24
From: Urbana, IL

An M.D./Ph.D. student who specializes in bioengineering.

  • Asian and Nerdy
  • Bald of Awesome: After he shaved his head for the LARP challenge. Subverted, though, in that he clearly did it to impress the judges... who had no prior knowledge of whether he was bald or not.
  • Nice Guy: Seems to be the only person that is generally nice to Zack.
  • Karma Houdini: Well, he didn't really deserve much karma for dropping the ring during the challenge and thus preventing "lava" from coming out of their volcano, but with the way the rest of the team acted, you'd think he was bound to go to the Nerd-Off. Instead, he only got one vote (that was shown, at least), and everyone seemed to forget about it.
    • To be fair, nobody tried to help him find the ring, and his mistake was overshadowed by Zack's obnoxious behavior.
  • Morality Pet: Develops into this for Zack in later episodes.
  • Self-Deprecation: On Zack's bad go-karting skills: "An Asian just told you to drive better!"

Josh Wittenkeller

Age: 23
From: Grayslake, IL

Video game vlogger and Pokémon enthusiast.

  • Deadpan Snarker: Zack cuts him off, and his response is just "That's fine, I didn't want to finish anyway..."
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with Joshua from the first season.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To the Purple Team. The Purple Team sent Josh to the Nerd-Off in the hopes that he would lose against Zack, as Zack himself was a detriment to his own team. Josh lost.

Katie Correll

Age: 24
From: Pittsburgh, PA

A roboticist and puppeteer whose claim includes best-dressed.

Kayla Lafrance

Age: 28
From: Greenacres, WA

Aspiring space explorer whose sight is set on Mars.

  • Ambiguously Gay: Essentially states it in the third episode, saying the pirate ship has something for everyone including "tons of cute guys... for Xander".
    • She also says in the semifinal episode that she's used to being around guys, but isn't used to the guys paying attention to her, referring to how she's the only girl left in the house.
  • For the Evulz: She has first place in the "Nerdio Kart" race, outlapping other people, and still proceeds to crash into them to hinder their progress. Zack fiercely believes she did it on purpose, since after she crashed into him and drove off, she laughed. It's not unlikely.
  • Lesbian Jock: Hinted at.
  • Never Bareheaded: Almost always seen with her trademark backwards baseball cap. In "Nerdio Kart", she trades it in for a Tron-like racing helmet.
  • Trekkie: Is a HUGE Star Trek fan, to the point where she does not have a high opinion of Star Wars.

Kelsey Syers

Age: 23
From: Canton, GA

A quad-lingual Japanophile and graduate student.

Mary Kate Smith

Age: 23
From: Starkville, MS

An aerospace engineering student who gets fired up by rockets.

Nicole Evans

Age: 28
From: Milwaukee, WI

A chemist and roller derbier who is passionate about vanadium compounds.

  • Hypocritical Humor: Her stated reason for helping Kayla over Jack is that latter's argument's for why the former "shouldn't" be the King of Nerds annoyed her since she doesn't like people proclaiming others "shouldn't" be anything for arbitrary, trivial reasons. Undermining her sentiment was that in a previous confession cam the former also argued that the latter shouldn't be King of Nerds because of a lack of pop culture knowledge.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Knows that psychological warfare is the way to win and isn't afraid to prod Zack's ego to get him to do what she wants, as seen in Episode 3.
  • Morality Pet: Was this for Zack.
  • Team Mom: Was the only member of Midas Touch Attack that was trying to bring the team back together after Zack's outbursts.
  • The Starscream: Because of Zack's ego, and the fact that he destroyed the alliance between him and Nicole by revealing her chemistry background, motivated her to send him to the Nerd-Off.
    • She's also the only member of Midas Touch Attack to aid Kayla in the finale and that proves to be crucial to the end result.

Xander Jeanneret

Age: 27
From: Los Angeles, CA

A live-action roleplayer and gamer whose personal motto is "be an open book".

  • Camp Gay: A minor example of this.
  • Catchphrase: "Glitterfit"
  • The Dandy: Wears multiple costumes throughout the show, especially in the finale
  • Gay Best Friend: Is friends with almost everyone on the show, and provides commentary throughout
  • Gentle Giant: 6'2"
  • Greek Chorus: Gives running commentary on multiple episodes
  • Large Ham: Especially during his team's presentation during the challenge in Episode 2.
  • Lovable Nerd: Generally loved by the other contestants and fans
  • Nice Guy: He's probably the nicest guy on the show.
    • Subverted temporarily in his threatening proposal to Kayla to try and remain safe from elimination; he basically tells her that if she votes for him, he'll see to it that something bad happens to her. Though as it turns out, he's not very good at being threatening, because as soon as Kayla points out what he's doing he suddenly gets sheepish and mutters "Awkward..." before proceeding to worry about what might happen.

Zachary "Zack" Storch

Age: 21
From: Minneapolis, MN

A fantasy writer and World of Warcraft enthusiast who loves swords and belts.

  • Annoying Laugh
  • Break the Haughty: In the robot dodgeball challenge, Midas Touch Attack seems ready to possibly win, with the challenge being close...and then Zack accidentally drives the robot backwards a bit, getting it stuck on a bar and making it an easy target. Instead of getting angry at the controller or something like a sore loser, he gets mad at himself for screwing up so badly despite being a gamer and his team assuring him for a while beforehand that he could do it. Even the other team acknowledges this, saying to themselves not to rub salt in the wound and staying quiet rather than celebrating like the winning team normally does after these challenges.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: His team accused him of this during the Volcano task, as he would meditate, then nap to help their team.
  • The Caligula: As he is the leader, he's pretty much shaping up to be this.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Titans of Rigel have this feeling towards him; they want him gone as much as Midas Touch Attack does, but they also know the most strategic move is to keep him in the game to cause chaos for Midas Touch Attack, and so force themselves to vote weaker players to face against him to ensure he wins.
  • Catchphrase: "Victory for Sylvanas!"
  • The Dog Bites Back: In his eyes, this is what he's doing; getting back at his team for not "appreciating" him.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In Nicole's eyes, he pulled one when he revealed her chemistry background, destroying their alliance. To the rest of his team, he pulled one when he didn't seem to help much in the challenge, then had a bit of a rant when he was sent to the Nerd Off.
    • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He was nice in the first episode, and in the second until after the challenge. Then he became a jerk, but a dangerous jerk, even to the others on his team, until the preparation for the Nerd Off in the third episode. He made a speech to everyone else (on both teams) and seemed ready to change his ways, but he was still blurring the line between "good" and "bad" until episode 4, where - while still an Insufferable Genius - he seemed to get along with everyone again. But seeing as they still sent him to the Nerd Off that episode, the rest of his team don't believe the change has stuck.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: What triggers some of his more Jerkass moments. He has a tendency to go from happy and calm to RAAAAAAAAAGE within a few seconds of something not going his way or him feeling disrespected or unappreciated.
  • Insufferable Genius: While he seems to have no idea how to interact with others, his intelligence gives him a legitimate chance at winning.
  • Jerkass
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He seems like he genuinely wants to be friends with the people there, but from his perspective, the other people don't appreciate him. And he did hate going against Nicole, saying he really doesn't want to send her home.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: His bragging (and berating) of Josh before the Nerd-Off in Episode 2 certainly did not go over well with his team.
  • Sweet Tooth: Zack is often seen with a lollipop in his mouth.
  • Token Evil Teammate

    Season 3 Contestants 

Amanda Liston

Age: 25
From: Gilbert, Arizona


Ben Tully

Age: 29
From: Los Angeles, California

Marine biologist.

Colby Burnett

Age: 29
From: Chicago, Illinois

Jeopardy! champion.

  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Trivia-wise, Colby has a very vast knowledge base and for what he doesn't know, he knows how to study and retain information.
  • The Stoic

Heather Wensler

Age: 24
From: Denver, Colorado


Jacob Rubin

Age: 25
From: Oakland, California


  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Lost the nerd-off in episode 1.
    • Averted a little in the season finale, where he's maybe the most prominent nerd who isn't actually one of the finalists.

Jonathon Adler

Age: 28
From: Tempe, Arizona


Kaitlin Spak

Age: 26
From: Redwood City, California

NASA engineer.

Lily Rutledge-Ellison

Age: 21
From: Denver, Colorado

Competitive cosplayer.

Ori Perl

Age: 22
From: Silver Spring, Maryland

LAR Per.

  • Butt-Monkey: Nobody on his team seems to like him very much.
  • The Ditz: His clumsiness messes them up while putting together their Rube-Goldberg Machine, he takes a long time making oars for a boating challenge (and said oars end up falling apart), and in general he doesn't seem too bright.
    • Genius Ditz: When he gets voted into the first Nerd-Off, it's about anime. He gets every question right and outright decimates his opponent.
  • The Load: Though subverted as, in the episodes where this comes across most apparently and causes him to get ragged on the most, his team still wins.
    • He also proves valuable in the cosplay skit challenge thanks to his ability to choreograph fights.
  • Nice Guy

Raychelle Keeling

Age: 26
From: Springfield, Missouri


Thomas Vollum

Age: 21
From: Huntington Beach, California


Todd Landree

Age: 26
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Comic book nerd.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: He was a Nice Guy in episodes one and two. Then in the third, he learns that he's being unanimously voted into the Nerd Off, even though he had done his job to a tee and Lily was slacking off in favour of flirting with Ben, making her a better one to send home. He held it in as Tranquil Fury until he exploded on Lily in a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which everyone from both teams had to intervene in. Whether this was a Face–Heel Turn or Jerkass Has a Point is up to the viewers, but everyone on both teams seemed to see it as the former.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In episode three, as seen under Beware the Nice Ones above. Much like Zack from season two, he went from a Nice Guy to a Token Evil Teammate. Unlike Zack, though, he didn't stick around long enough to really follow through.
    • Heel–Face Turn: In the season finale, he atones for his previous actions by choosing to support Lily in the second-to-last Nerd-Off.

    Season 1 UK Contestants 

Curtis Reubens

Maths nerd

Emily Jones

Star Wars nerd

Hannah Harle

Role-play nerd

Karen Dawson

Doctor nerd

Kenny Lam

Cosplay nerd

Kerry Allingham

Gamer nerd

Mark Hughes

Trekkie nerd

Matt Barr

Trivia nerd

Robyn Potter

Potter nerd

Ryan Macdonald

Space nerd

Yasmeen Ojeleye

Manga nerd


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