South Middle Schooler On New NBC Game Show

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Great Neck South Middle schooler Sebastian Lennox is flanked by teammates Treasure Stein and Apoorva Panidapu in NBC’s new game show Genius Junior, which will air on April 22. (Photo by Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)

Sebastian Lennox, a seventh grader at Great Neck South Middle School, will be appearing on an episode of Neil Patrick Harris’s new game show, Genius Junior, which will air on NBC this Sunday, April 22, at 9 p.m.

Hosted by Harris, who got his start playing a child genius on the 1989–’93 TV show Doogie Howser, MD, the one-hour competition celebrates the brightest children in America. Twelve teams of the most incredible 8 to 12 year olds compete in a series of increasingly complex quizzes with the goal of being crowned Genius Junior.

Sebastian Lennox (right) is with Genius Junior teammates Treasure Stein and Apoorva Panidapu.

While most adults rely on Google Maps, calculators and autocorrect, Genius Junior cast members tackle challenging scenarios without the help of electronics. Over four increasingly challenging rounds, teams of three work together to beat the competition. Each episode’s winning team will take on The Cortex—the toughest test of smarts on the planet—to build their prize fund, with the winning team taking home a Genius Junior grant that will set the stage for a big and bright future.

Lennox, a 12 year old from New Hyde Park, has a passion for architecture. He can look at any building and immediately see the structural way it’s built, and then replicate it with building blocks at home. He is also an avid violist and was recently accepted into programs at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes School of Music. When he’s not studying or playing viola, the seventh grader loves to watch soccer on TV and recently taught himself Spanish so he could follow some of his favorite teams and understand the commentary.

Sebastian Lennox received the casting notice because he does a little modeling with Wilhelmina in NYC.

The Great Neck South Middle schooler also models with Wilhelmina in New York City, which is how he wound up on the game show.

“This came in as a casting, similar to any other casting,” explained Lennox. “I was submitted and then moved through the process, which was very long.”

Lennox truly enjoyed being one of The Fast & The Curious on national television.

“It was a lot of fun and very exciting—pretty much like how I expected,” he said. “There were a lot of cameras, a lot of people and a lot of lights.”

But, he’s not being treated any differently at South Middle School.

“Oh, ha ha, no,” Lennox laughed about his celebrity status. “I haven’t really spread the news or talked about it much. Some of my friends know I do a little modeling and they know about this experience that I had in LA as well.”

So, what was his favorite part about being in the “Craniums and Braniums” episode?

“All of it,” Lennox beamed. “My teammates and I bonded a lot. We worked well together and had a lot of fun. I enjoyed going to LA and meeting Neil Patrick Harris, too. He was really nice and funny.”

But, when he’s not on national television, Lennox is a pretty typical kid.

“I like sports a lot,” he said. “I also enjoy playing my viola and spending time with my friends. I’m a regular kid—and I hope everyone will watch my team’s episode on April 22.”

Find out when the semifinals with Lennox air here.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brings more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also writes decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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