The final round of the competition has the most difficult questions so far, but because Melody has studied so much, and because she listened to so much music with her mother, father, and Mrs. V, she’s able to answer questions in many subjects. Towards the end of the round, Melody’s team is behind 78 to 81. The next question is about synesthesia, which Melody easily answers because she has the condition. Leading into the final question, Melody’s team is tied 82–82. Even though the final question is about time and math, Melody, and everyone else on her team, gets it right and wins the competition.
Melody’s support network of her parents, Mrs. V, and Catherine has helped her study hard and memorize answers to many of the questions. She’s able to get most of the questions right because of the studying she’s done, but her synesthesia, a special ability she has, helps her score the winning point and lead her team to victory. In the end, what helps Melody win is that she is different from her teammates.
Melody is so excited she loses control of her body. This embarrasses her teammates, especially Claire, but the crowd is yelling so loudly no one can hear Melody’s happy noises. Melody’s family rushes to congratulate her, and she’s surrounded by photographers and journalists who want to take her picture and interview her.
This is an example of Melody losing control of her body because of a positive emotion. Luckily, because she’ so happy at her win, and because her family immediately surrounds and congratulates her, she doesn’t have a chance to be embarrassed or to feel like she’s not fully a member of her Whiz Kids team.
Melody and her team are arranged on the stage for a television interview with Channel Six News. The other students are briefly interviewed, but the reporter is most interested in Melody, who answers questions with Elvira. The reporter wonders how winning the competition will change Melody’s life at school, and Melody admits she hopes other students will talk to her more. Claire shocks Melody by stealing the spotlight and insisting she does talk to Melody all the time, and lies that she and Melody are close friends who eat lunch together every day. Claire even tells the interviewer “Melody is a lot smarter than she looks.”
Melody’s cerebral palsy has been a source of tension and anxiety for much of the novel, but here, for the first time, her disability is what makes her unique, and is what makes the reporter interested in her. Claire, who has shunned Melody because her disability makes her different, changes her behavior when she realizes that Melody’s differences can be seen in a positive way, and that by cozying up to Melody she can be in the news, too.