The Channel 4 show Child Genius has generated some unexpected controversy after one of the contestants was accused of cheating.
If Who Wants To Be A Millionaire taught us anything, cheating on a national TV show never ends well, but history has seemingly repeated itself and 12-year-old Olivia has come in for some strong criticism.
The controversy started on last night’s episode when presenter Richard Osmon, asked the North London youngster to complete the name of the bus stop that begins with ‘Kensal’.
Olivia appeared to be struggling for the answer and looked out to her parents in the audience.
Her mum, Susan – who also has son Fabio competing in the show – appeared to make a hand gesture just before Olivia gives the correct answer (Kensal Rise), and it was in this instance, those watching at home, shared their outrage on social media.
Eagle eyed viewers took to Twitter pointing out the incident, with some stating the 12-year-old should be disqualified:
Some blatant cheating going on there when Olivia was trying to guess Kensal Rise. #ChildGenius
— Squigs (@quigley81) August 15, 2017
Others noticed Olivia’s dad raised a banner saying ‘Good Luck Olivia’ the same time her mum raised her hand and some conspirators are linking it to the supposed cheating.
Olivia's dad blatantly cheating to help her with the Kensal Rise answer #ChildGenius
— ☣Stυ ツ (@thew00d) August 15, 2017
Ironically it seems Susan has been accusing the other contestants’ parents of cheating.
Channel 4 have used the scandal for promotion of the next episode – in the preview, we’re treated to Susan arguing with Child Genius bosses while stating other parents are subliminally helping their children.
The show has come to a brief halt with host Osmon telling the audience a full investigation is underway to find any truth to the accusation.
Susan is seen telling adjudicator Olivia van der Werff:
There was a few family members who were mouthing the answers.
I’m saying to you with two eyes, two glasses, that’s what I saw.
Van der Werff has said there will be ‘serious repercussions’ if the claims of cheating are found to be true.
Viewers pointed out the ‘pot-calling-kettle-black’ situation, saying Susan is in no position to call out other contestants while accusations hang over her own head:
— Kate B (@klm2407) August 15, 2017
Oh if anyone was going to make cheating accusations it would be her #ChildGenius
— Liz (@Lizsview) August 15, 2017
At this point, I think we should all take a step back and remember this is a children’s show – how do we get to the point, where despite the fact we’re meant to celebrating ‘child geniuses’ – we’re instead focusing on their pushy overzealous parents?
These kids are going to be scarred for life!