NEW YORK – Indian Americans Shivani Sahu, 11, of Paramus, New Jersey, and Apoorva Panidapu, 12, of San Jose, California, have advanced to the semi-finals of the NBC quiz show“Genius Junior.”
Sahu’s special skill is spelling and she is often called a ‘Talking Dictionary’ by her friends, according to a NorthJersey.com report, though she loves to sing and act and dreams of making it to Broadway someday.
Sahu told NorthJersey.com that she would not have been able to make it to the semi-finals without her two teammates on team ‘Dork Side,’ Rodrigo Medinilla and Ashley Headrick.
“I couldn’t picture myself losing, but I couldn’t picture myself winning at the same time. When we saw that we won, we were beyond happy. We won by a matter of one point,” she said.
Panidapu has been called as the ‘Human Calculator’ by a Bay Area News Group report as she can solve a math problem faster than a calculator and her team called ‘The Fast and the Curious’ include Treasure of Florida and Sebastian of New York.
According to a Bay Area News Group report, Panidapu loves to sketch and paint, plays violin in the San Jose Youth Symphony, practices kung fu and has sold her paintings to charity in the past.
Along with tutoring young students for local math competitions, Panidapu received two Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for her community service and plans on pursuing a PhD in either mathematics or science from Harvard University, Stanford University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
With Sunday’s win, Panidapu’s team doubled their prize money to $100,000 while Sahu’s team added $45,000 to theirs.
The semi-final episode of “Genius Junior” will most likely air on April 29 or May 6 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
The show is hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, who asks questions that involve spelling, math, geography and memorization.
Each of the kids is chosen from schools around the country and has a special skill that would be valuable to the team.