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University Challenge Final 2017: A Countdown Of The Ultimate Contestants

Legendary students with some incredible wardrobes.

10/04/2017 15:01 BST | Updated 10/04/2017 15:36 BST

This series of University Challenge has captured the nation’s attention in a way a quiz show never has before.

For the first time, contestants have become social media icons, gaining thousands of fans as they battle their way through the rounds of the programme. 

But who will go down in University Challenge history as this series’ ultimate contestant? We count down the top eight students to grace our screens: 

8. James Green 

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The cheeriest contestant to ever grace University Challenge? 

Who could forget James Green, probably the cheeriest contestant to ever appear on the show? 

“I’m not sure any University Challenge contestant has ever derived as much pure joy in participating as St Andrew’s Green,” one fan tweeted. 

7. St Anne’s College, Oxford alumni team 

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Absolute legends, the all-female alumni team from St Anne’s College

Okay, so they weren’t strictly part of the main University Challenge series. 

But when an all-female alumni team from St Anne’s College, Oxford appeared on a Christmas special episode in December, they killed it - and viewers were obsessed.

Not only did they destroy their competition from Manchester University 185 points to 55, but they had an absolute ball doing it.  

Dr Janina Ramirez also became one of the first contestants to ever stick her tongue out in celebration on University Challenge. 

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What would Paxman say? 

Awesome. 

6. Joey Goldman 

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Joey Goldman was brave enough to sass THE Paxman

Some contestants find fame because of their brains. Others get their 15 minutes in the spotlight for being rather eccentric. 

As you can imagine, viewers feared for the Balliol College, Oxford captain’s safety:   

Luckily he survived, and is set to take on Eric Monkman in tonight’s series finale. 

5. Luke Dale 

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Luke Dale took his UC wardrobe straight from Star Trek 

There have been some legendary outfits on University Challenge over the years. 

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A legendary look

University Challenge contestants aren’t typically known for their style choices. 

But when Jesus College, Cambridge’s Sam Fairbrother rocked up in a black sleeveless T-shirt and a nineties-inspired bowl cut, he became the hero viewers never knew they needed.  

With celebrity lookalikes including Demi Moore in Ghost, Will from The Inbetweeners and Nicholas Hoult in About A Boy, no-one will be forgetting Fairbrother any time soon. 

3. Sophie Rudd  

Some University Challenge contestants steal our hearts from the second they appear on screen. 

For other students on the show though, it’s a performance later in the series that cements them as a UC legend. 

Enter Sophie Rudd from Warwick University. In a nail-biting match against Bristol, Rudd claimed her place in quiz show history when she excitedly screamed an answer to take the lead and keep her team in the competition. 

Asked by Jeremy Paxman: “Which Austrian director’s first sound film was entitled M”, the computer science student shrieked “Fritz Lang”.  

 Amazing. 

2. Bobby Seagull 

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Bobby Seagull - the nicest man on TV? 

From his introduction on the show, it was immediately clear that Bobby Seagull was going to be a fan favourite. Seriously, his name is Bobby Seagull. 

But it was the Emmanuel College captain’s cheeky grin and sense of humour that led fans to completely fall in love with him.

“Golly, I’m a little bit in love with Emmanuel Seagull,” one fan tweeted. “Did he just do a happy wiggle?”

His adorable bromance with fellow contestant Eric Monkman (and their constant Twitter chats) is just another reason to become a Seagull super fan. 

1. Eric Monkman 

The man, the myth, the legend - the best contestant on University Challenge this series has undoubtedly been Eric Monkman. 

But will Paxo crown the genius that is Eric Monkman as the series winner after tonight’s finale? Only time will tell...