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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Two metro Atlantan kids appearing on NBC's 'Genius Junior'

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

I'm out of the country right now but left a few items behind while I'm gone. If you are seeking entertainment news, check out AJC Buzz or the AJC Music Scene

NBC, riding on the success of "Little Big Shots," recently debuted a game show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser MD") featuring super-smart young kids competing in intelligence tests for money called "Genius Junior."

Two of the kids competing are from metro Atlanta: Powder Springs 11-year-old Ugochi Obuba and 12-year-old Nile King from McDonough.

Ugochi will appear on the "Geeks on Fleek" three-person team Sunday, April 15 at 9 p.m. Nile will be on the following week with the team "Legen -wait for it! - dary!" (That's a reference to Harris' character on "How I Met Your Mother" Barney Stinson.)

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The competitions include a spelling bee where you have to spell words backwards ;"Human GPS," where they had to memorize maps and answer questions related to those maps; and increasingly difficult math equations. Harris provides amusing banter and the kids rarely wilt under pressure.

I met them both at the AJC building last week with their parents and siblings. Ugochi is super curious and super sweet. She brought a Rubik's Cube along for the trip and solved it while we were talking. She is already doing ninth-grade level math in the sixth grade. "I knew intelligence is genetic," said her dad Joseph, a physician who moved to United States 12 years ago from Nigeria.

Nile is a serious, low-key student and a vacuum for information, capable of consuming three books a day on average, mostly non-fiction history. (He especially likes reading African-American and World War II history.) He also wants to get in the NBA. Whether that works out or not, he'd also like to run a tech company.

"Genius is that passion you want to learn even more than the common standard students normally go," Nile said.

Nile King of McDonough will appear with "Genius Junior" April 22, 2018. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

Nile King with his mom Gloria (right) and sister Divine (left). CREDIT: Rodney Ho/
Ugochi at the AJC. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/


"Genius Junior," 9 p.m. Sundays, NBC

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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