Ten-year-old Rhea was crowned Channel 4’s ‘Child Genius 2016’ last night after her mom managed to overturn a previous decision which allowed her the winning extra point.
Rhea, from West London, beat nine-year-old Saffy in the final.
She successfully spelt out the word ‘eleemosynary’, meaning charitable, although many fans of the show on Social media were less than charitable about her mother’s intervention, accusing mom Sonal of being “pushy”.
The controversy arose in an earlier round after Rhea was asked “To which medical officer did Florence Nightingale report to in the Crimea?”.
“Dr Duncan Menzies”, was her answer which was deemed incorrect. Sonal however, objected claiming the question was worded too “generally” – Dr Menzies was the man medical officer at the hospital Nightingale served during the Crimean War but not her ultimate superior.
The TV show’s independent adjudicator then upheld Sonal’s objection, saying Rhea’s answer was technically correct.
Some fans of the show were critical of Sonal with one, Rishi Patel, saying on Twitter: “Rhea’s mum is mental. IT’S A GAME. SHE IS A TEN-YEAR-OLD. THIS IS NOT GOING TO DEFINE HER LIFE”.
Others however, sprang to Sonal’s defence.
@TheLondonBird tweeted: “Amount of people putting down the parents of Rhea. Child Genius is typical of the non-aspirational Brits! They were all amazing including Saffy”.
Sonal had given up her job as an obstetrician to help educate Rhea.
And it’s all been worth it.
‘It has really been worth getting up early, going to sleep late, studying,” Rhea said after her victory.
“It just feels really, really great.”