'Other Quiz Shows Are Rubbish': The Hilarious Shaun Micallef Tests Australia's Best Young Minds In Brain Eisteddfod

Get your score cards ready because the brand-new quiz show Brain Eisteddfod is coming to 10, and you might learn a thing or two.

It's the fun family show that sees a range of year 11 students compete for their school’s reputation of ‘smartest school in Australia’.

With Shaun Micallef as host, it promises to be entertaining as well as informative, covering a variety of topics such as mathematics, French, English and more.

While chatting with 10 play, Shaun shared his excitement about seeing how the audience will respond to Brain Eisteddfod.

“It's never real until it actually goes out in front of an audience so, up until now, it's been perfect because it exists in a bubble that only the people involved are privy to. You never know how things are going to land, and I think that's the most exciting thing about any performance – doing it. Or, if you paint a picture, showing it to people to see their reaction. So, I'm looking forward to it very much.”

Read More: Shaun Micallef's Brain Eisteddfod Proves The Future Is Hopeful

Brain Eisteddfod isn’t like your regular quiz show, it celebrates the intelligence of youth and recognises the hours they spend learning about their chosen school topics.

“Other quiz shows are rubbish, they’re nonsense,” he joked. “You know, Hard Quiz has a bunch of freaks on that answer questions that no one knows anything about. I don't know whether the answers are correct or not,” Shaun said.

“These year 11 students had to make decisions about what they're going to do with their life, and they choose particular subjects to reflect that. We're dealing with an interesting period where it's absolutely essential they know the answers to various questions, otherwise, their life may be very different.”

Before filming for the show commenced, they threw around the idea of having a studio audience, but because of COVID restrictions decided against it.

“I think that was a good idea because it made it more conversational with the students and they didn’t need to feel like they had to play to a crowd, or that they were being judged by a crowd. It's just like an exam, like a substitute teacher came in who didn’t quite know the subject.”

While hosting the show, Shaun found it to be an interesting and fun process, being able to fire questions at teenagers and having them not only answer correctly (most of the time) but also see them joke back.

“They were not only smart, but they were also pretty funny. So that's the thing that makes it different, I suppose. There have been shows where you're quizzing students, but this is a bit of a conversation as well, you really do get to know that age group,” he said.

“It's only been a few years since my kids were at that age and going through this period of life with what's expected of them at school, so I was very comfortable with that, and I think the students had a good time.”

Brain Eisteddfod is an accurate representation of students in their natural domain, with the show being the ultimate test of knowledge.

“I think that's refreshing for an audience. You don't get to see 17-year-olds on television. You might watch a soap opera or a drama, but that age group is usually played by 25-year-olds, so you don't really get to see the actual age at all on television.”

While Shaun is hopeful that audiences will tune in to watch him, that isn’t the only reason he believes people will watch.

“I think people will watch it because they've got students at school, or they've got kids who are students, or because they are students themselves. It's refreshing, it's a celebration of smartness and that’s what it offers that no other program on television offers right now. Everything else is escapism and rubbish. This show is about something important.”

Brain Eisteddfod provides an opportunity for the audience to learn a thing or two about the various topics our teenagers are learning at school, or they can test their own knowledge from back in the day.

“We forget everything. It's important when we're studying and then you use so little of it in a direct way as you get older, so I’m in the same boat -- if it wasn't for the fact that I was holding the cards with the answers on them, I would have had no hope at all.”

While Shaun is the host now, looking back to his own school years, he shared that he would have watched the show even though he may not have had the knowledge to compete in it.

“I was a C plus student, I suppose. I wouldn't have made the cut. I would have watched it, but I probably wouldn't have gotten too many of the answers right. I didn't really pull my finger out and study until my very last year so, by year 11, I was still coasting.”

Don’t miss the premiere of the brilliant first season of Brain Eisteddfod on Wednesday 20 July on 10 and 10 play on demand.