Grab your telescopes, cuz you’re in for a celestial smackdown. It’s black holes vs. meteors! Comedian and writer Max Maliga goes to bat for black holes against improvisor, writer and meteor maven Anupa Otiv.

Which cosmic celebrity will take home the crown? Massive black holes, or magical meteors?

Vote below for the team YOU think won!

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Audio Transcript

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ANNOUNCER 1: From the brains behind Brains On!, it's Smash Boom Best.

ANNOUNCER 2: The show for people with big opinions.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hi, I'm Molly Bloom. And this is Smash Boom Best, the show where we take two things-- smash them together and ask you to decide which one is best. Today's debate is a cosmic throwdown. We're featuring a rolling stone whipping through the void and a hole so fascinating it got Albert Einstein out of bed in the morning. It's black holes versus meteors. In one corner, we've got comedian and writer Max [INAUDIBLE], defending black holes.

MAX: I just want to say right off the bat, spaghettification is a real science term, OK? Black holes, black holes, black holes, black holes, black holes, black holes.

MOLLY BLOOM: And in the other, we've got improviser and writer Anupa [INAUDIBLE], ready to fight for team meteors.

ANUPA: Ready to shoot for the stars, baby?

MOLLY BLOOM: And here to judge it all, we've got Adam from Philadelphia. He's an avid baker and a biker. When he isn't in school or at home baking, Adam can be found taking long rides in his grandfather's bulldozer. Hi, Adam.

ADAM: Hello.

MOLLY BLOOM: So, Adam, I got to know the bulldozer. What's the most difficult thing about riding it?

ADAM: Most difficult thing, it's not as much like a car as more of a plane with like throttles. So there's one throttle to move it. One throttle to turn it left and right. And then one for the arm, which is kind of cool.

MOLLY BLOOM: So can I ask why your grandfather has a bulldozer?

ADAM: Well, he has a farm. And he lives in Florida. And that about should tell you everything.

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] Fun. Now, to baking-- another word that begins with B. What is your favorite thing to bake?

ADAM: Probably cakes. They take a while and have a-- require a decent amount of skill. But I just like decorating them in the outcome, and it's just great.

MOLLY BLOOM: Favorite cake flavor?

ADAM: Well, I'm a chocolate guy. My family is Puerto Rican. I'm half Puerto Rican, and my mom's Puerto Rican. My dad's Italian. And chocolates just-- it's part of me. I feel like I am chocolate. So chocolate's definitely the best.

MOLLY BLOOM: I love chocolate. So will Adam be blown away by meteors, or will he be drawn in by black holes? Only he can tell. Adam, are you ready to judge this thing?

ADAM: Very.

MAX: You got nothing to fear, Adam. I just want to point that out. There's just nothing to worry about from black holes. I'm meteor stalker. I can't speak for meteors.

MOLLY BLOOM: Before we get into this debate, it's time to review the rules of the game. Round 1 is the Declaration of Greatness, where our debaters present fact-filled arguments in favor of their side. And they each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. Then we've got the Micro Round, where each team will present a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. Round 3 is the Sneak Attack, where our debaters will have to respond to an improv challenge on the spot.

And to wrap it all up, we've got the Final 6, where each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Our judge, Adam, will award two points in the first round. One for his favorite rebuttal, the other for the Declaration he liked best. Then he'll award one point in each round after that, but he'll keep his decisions top secret until the end of the debate. Listeners, we want you to judge, too. Mark down your points as you listen. At the end of the show, head to our website and vote for whichever team you think won. OK, Anupa, Max, and Adam, are you ready?

ADAM: Yeah.

MAX: Ready to be sucked into this thing.

ANUPA: Going to rock your world.


MOLLY BLOOM: Then it's time for the--

ANNOUNCER 1: Declaration of Greatness.

MOLLY BLOOM: We flipped the coin. And, Max, you're up first. Tell us why black holes bring us together.

MAX: What you're about to hear is based on possible events in real science.

MEG: Oh, Ed, I can't believe we're going on a road trip without the kids.

ED: It's a space trip, Meg. We're in a spaceship. [LAUGHS]

MEG: You say potato. I say avocado. Hey, what's that up ahead? It looks like a giant space donut but evil somehow.

ED: Eh, it's probably nothing.

MEG: Let me check the guide. [PAPER SHUFFLING] Oh, yup, that's a black hole. It says here not to get too close, or we'll get sucked in and spaghettified.

ED: Oh, I am not eating Italian again. It gives me too much gas.

MEG: No, hun. Spaghettification happens when really strong gravity stretches objects into long thin shapes like spaghetti.

ED: Oh, meatballs would be good though. Oh, like a meatball sub, ooh.

MEG: Ed, I'm serious. The last thing we need is to get spaghettified. So just stay back. Ed, why aren't you staying back?

ED: We're making great time, Meg.

MEG: Aah! Ed, we're crossing the event horizon.

ED: Oh, for Pete's sake, the ship is a [GARBLED]

MAX: And freeze. Hi, I'm Max [INAUDIBLE] And what you just heard was what it might be like to fly into a real black hole. But what are black holes, and why are they so awesome? And what will happen to Meg and Ed? Let me take you on a journey.

Imagine a big star-- like the Sun, only bigger. And it's reaching the end of its life cycle. It's about to explode and become a supernova. [EXPLOSION] This is how most black holes are born. From an explosion so big that it breaks through the fabric of space time, ripping a hole in the universe that has extreme gravitational force.

BLACK HOLE: Extreme!

MAX: Black holes are the bathtub drains of the universe. Anything that flies too close gets sucked in-- spaceships, stars, bath toys, light, even meteors. And there's no way to escape.

BLACK HOLE: Get in my belly!

MAX: Black holes are big. In fact, they are the largest and densest objects in existence. Let me put it this way. The Sun, which is a pretty average-sized star could fit more than one million Earths inside of it. But that's practically nothing compared to a black hole. Black holes are so big.

VOICES: How big are they?

MAX: They're so big that Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, can fit 4 trillion earths inside of it.

SPEAKER 1: Mega extreme!

MAX: Black holes are at the center of all galaxies and many are way bigger than good old Sag A. The biggest we know of is called TON 618, and it's so ginormous that it can fit 66,000 trillion earths inside of it. That's the equivalent of 40 squajillion ham sandwiches.

SPEAKER 1: Sure, that's a lot. But I make at least that many for our annual family reunion.

MAX: Black holes are rebels. Our universe has physical laws but black holes break them. They push the boundaries of what we think is possible.

SPEAKER 1: Model extreme!

MAX: So what's inside of them? Scientists don't know for sure. But one major theory says that they're actually portals to other worlds, which brings us back to Meg and Ed. Let's see how they're doing post spaghettification. Unfreeze!

MEG: Uff da. I feel like a soccer mom after one of those weekend long tournaments.

ED: Where in the heck are we?

MEG: I think we're in a whole other universe.

ED: Look, Meg, my feet are hard shell tacos. That's my dream come true!

MEG: And, Ed, look! It's a chickle corn. Half chapstick, half pickle, half unicorn.

ED: Well, slap my knee and call me Flumbar.

MEG: Well, there you go, Flumbar.

ED: Thanks, hon.

MEG: Hmm, your taco feet are delicious.

ED: Now, this is what I call a vacation.

ED AND MEG: Thanks, black holes! You're the best.

MAX: I guess it all worked out. With black holes, it always does in theory.

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] A super magnetic Declaration of Greatness there for black holes. Adam, what stood out to you there about Max's argument?

ADAM: The start was very nice because I like the explanation, the kind of build up. And then the theory that scientists have about taking you to a whole other universe is interesting to think about. So--

MOLLY BLOOM: Very good.

ADAM: It painted them as less scary and more interesting.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. All right, Anupa, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to prove that black holes are the dumpsters of the stars. And your time starts now.

ANUPA: Well, I couldn't have said it better myself. Black holes, all they do is consume everything in their path. Nothing can stop them. I can't think of anything more selfish than that. And honestly, being spaghetti sounds super lame. It's the most basic of all the pastas. I could understand rotini or maybe even linguine. But spaghetti? Please. Also, you cannot-- they're so far away. You can't even see them from a close distance. You need expensive telescopes--

MOLLY BLOOM: --and time.


MAX: OK, OK. Look, they're not dangerous. They're stationary. I just got to point that out. You're not going to go in a black hole, unless you fly into one. This is so key. There is nothing to be-- no black holes coming into our galaxy to eat us, y'all. Just let that one go. And being spaghettified--

ANUPA: How frivolous.

MAX: Oh, shut it. [CHUCKLES] That means you're pulled out, stretched fully, like stretched Armstrong. And then smashed into a small point and possibly transferred to a new universe. I don't know. I don't know about that rebuttal.

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] Well, Anupa, it's time to hear some awesome stuff about meteors. Please tell us why they are the original rock stars.

ANUPA: To make my case, let me tell you about a thing that happened on my way to brunch.


Thanks for inviting me to brunch, Rohan.

ROHAN: Of course, Anupa.


ANNOUNCER 3: Attention, all park visitors. A meteor was spotted heading directly for this very park. Please prepare for impact in 5--

ANUPA: We're doomed!

ROHAN: We'll never make our brunch reservation now.




ANUPA: Did it-- did it happen? [GASPS] A meteorite.

URANIA: Make way. Astronomer coming through. Excuse me.

ANUPA: Astronomer?

URANIA: Yeah, I study space. Now we have to find that meteorite. It's important for science.

ROHAN: Did you say meteorite? I thought it was meteor.

URANIA: Eh, they're all kind of the same thing. Meteorites begin their journey as meteoroids or floating rocks in space. These are fragments of larger rocks like asteroids, comets, and even planets.

ANUPA: Comets? Planets? Cool!

URANIA: Very cool. Once a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteor. And finally, after it hits the Earth, it's called a meteorite. Ha, aha, like this one here.

ROHAN: It's only the size of a tennis ball?

URANIA: Actually, it's bigger than most. Over 25 million meteoroids and other bits of space debris enter our atmosphere every day. Most of them are no bigger than a grain of sand, and they burn up in the sky before landing.

ANUPA: Oh, I guess that's interesting.

URANIA: Interesting? It's fascinating. Meteorites give us clues to help us understand our own planet.

ROHAN: How so?

URANIA: Think of it this way. Imagine Earth is a muffin. But we don't know what kind of muffin or what ingredients it's made out of.

ANUPA: Oh, so like is it blueberry or banana nut, or is it made from whole wheat flour or white, or is it gluten free?

URANIA: Exactly. But in our case, we want to know what elements went into baking our Earth muffin. Luckily, meteorites can show us. You see, everything in our galaxy is made up of the same raw ingredients. Over time, those ingredients were mixed up to make planets and moons. But out in space, there are meteoroids from the very early days of our galaxy. And they haven't changed at all.

ANUPA: Oh, so it's like they're just raw flour and sugar floating in space.

URANIA: Yeah. So if one of those early meteoroids lands on our planet, we can study it and get a good sense of what the raw ingredients for Earth were. And when the ingredients, you can start to figure out how it was all put together.

ANUPA: Delicious! I mean, fascinating.

URANIA: Plus, some meteorites come from other planets like Mars, which lets us study a sample of that planet without having to go there.

ANUPA: But I always thought meteors were big rocks destined to wipe out mankind like what happened to the dinosaurs.

URANIA: That was probably an asteroid. They're much bigger than meteors. NASA tracks those. And luckily, there are none headed to Earth in the foreseeable future. Plus, NASA recently launched a mission to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid to see if it could change its path. And--

ANUPA: And? And what?

URANIA: It was a smashing success! The asteroid moved. So in the future, we might be able to move asteroids so they don't hit our planet.

ROHAN AND ANUPA: [SIGHS] That's a relief.

URANIA: But let's focus on what meteorites have given us. Research suggests most of our planet's water came from meteorites full of ice crashing here long ago. And some scientists think meteorites brought the building blocks of life to Earth.

ANUPA: Meaning?

URANIA: Meaning, life might have started. Thanks to meteorites.


URANIA: Whoop, look at the time. I'm late for the shooting star soiree. I always do this accost a group of total strangers to talk about astronomy and then completely lose track of time.

ANUPA: Wait, is she wearing a sundial wristwatch?

URANIA: What that? You want to know about shooting stars? They're the bright tail of meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speeds. When there's a lot of them, they're called meteor showers. People love watching them. In Greek mythology, it's said that meteor showers are the Gods way of communicating with mere mortals.

ANUPA: You don't say.

URANIA: Now, I must bid you farewell.

ANUPA: Wait, what's your name? We still have so many questions.

URANIA: Goodbye, Rohan. Goodbye, Anupa. Mount Olympus awaits!


ROHAN: Was that--

ANUPA: Urania? Greek goddess of astronomy?

ROHAN: Yeah, that was so--

ROHAN AND ANUPA: Totally awesome!

ANUPA: Want to get brunch now?

ROHAN: Yeah. Oh, I'm really craving muffins.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] A mighty and meaty Declaration of Greatness there for meteors. Adam, what stood out to you about Anupa's argument?

ADAM: The argument was rock solid, if I can say.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, very good. [LAUGHS]

ADAM: I like the cartoon sound effects at the start. That was really nice. Just love a good cartoon sound effect. And it also painted meteors as helpful and useful, which is nice.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Well, Max, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to show why meteors are just angsty asteroids. And your time starts now.

MAX: OK. First off, I don't buy that whole meteors aren't asteroids. I think they're part of asteroids. They killed the dinosaurs, OK? We're over here sitting with Anupa, who thinks that extinction is cool. Exterminating living species is cool. I don't believe in that, OK? I don't believe in that. Meteors are evil, in my opinion. I wish we could have co-existed with the dinosaurs. Maybe have a dinosaur versus human World Cup or something like that. I just want to say that, OK? And then also, shooting stars? Sure. What are meteors really? They're just rocks. Have you ever looked at one? Touched one? It's just like a shiny misshapen-- oh it's--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.



ANUPA: You want to live with dinosaurs? You and I wouldn't last a day with a dinosaur, an hour with a dinosaur.

MAX: I don't know about you. I'm good. I'll be fine. I'll make friends with dinosaurs.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Adam, It is time to award some points. So please give one point to the Declaration of Greatness that you liked best and one point to the raddest rebuttal. You get to decide what makes a winning argument. Did you like the jokes more, or where you won over with the winning logic? Both points could go to the same person. Award them, but please don't tell us who they're going to. Have you made your decision?

ADAM: Yes, I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Anupa and Max, how are you two feeling so far?

ANUPA: I'm feeling totally stellar myself. [CHUCKLES]

MAX: Yeah, I feel good. But I'm not sure I fully understand the gravity of the situation.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. [LAUGHS] Very, very good. All right, Houston, we have no problems because this debate is a ball of rock hurtling towards Earth. No, it's not all right. Stretch your legs and reach for the stars.

ANNOUNCER 2: And we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.

ANNOUNCER 1: You're watching a State of Debate, home to rage in rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Hello, debate friends. Taylor Lincoln here with my favorite debate connoisseur, Todd Douglas.


TAYLOR LINCOLN: Todd, we're on the air.

TODD DOUGLAS: Oh, gosh. So sorry. This muffin is so tasty, it almost made me forget about debate for a second.


TODD DOUGLAS: I said almost.


TODD DOUGLAS: I found this muffin as I was hunting down a logical fallacy.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Logical fallacies make me lose my appetite. They don't stand up to scrutiny and make your arguments weaker. Ugh.

TODD DOUGLAS: Well, I stumbled upon two muffins engaging in the correlation, not causation fallacy. That's when you give a coincidence way too much credit.


TODD DOUGLAS: Let's listen in.

MUFFIN 1: Oh, it sure is getting hot in this oven.

MUFFIN 2: Well, what do you know? A talking muffin.

MUFFIN 1: Hey, you're a talking muffin, too. Any other talking muffins in here? Anyone?

MUFFIN 2: Guess not. Why can't we talk? And those other muffins over there can't.

MUFFIN 1: Oh, look! We both have six raisins on top. The others-- 1, 2, 3-- they only have three. That must be the reason we're so chatty.

MUFFIN 2: Are you sure it's not because of the spell that witch put on only the two of us?

MUFFIN 1: What? Preposterous! It's obviously because of the number of raisins we have on top.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Yuck! That talking muffin made the bogus assumption that it was the number of raisins that gave them the gift of gab. Its closed its mind to other better ideas. That's a fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Yeah, no wonder these muffins are so delicious. They're enchanted. Do you want one?

MUFFIN 1: Please don't eat me.


TODD DOUGLAS: What, is it because they talk?

TAYLOR LINCOLN: No, it's because food that uses logical fallacies has no place in this tummy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Fair. Well, that's it for today debate, dudes. We'll see you next time on--

TAYLOR AND TODD: State of Debate!


ANNOUNCER 3: Smash Boom Best.

MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to Smash Boom Best. I'm your host, Molly Bloom.

ADAM: And I'm your judge, Adam.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Check out this chirpy idea from Jude.

JUDE: My Smash Boom Best idea is cicadas versus crickets.

ADAM: I like the sound of that debate.

MOLLY BLOOM: We'll check back with Jude at the end of this episode to see which side he thinks should win.

ADAM: And now it's back to today's debate, black holes versus meteors.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round two, the Micro Round. Today's Micro Round challenge is called Superhero Saves the Day. Anupa and Max must imagine their side is a superhero and describe a moment where they saved the day. Max went first last time. So, Anupa, you're up. What impact would a meteoric magician have on a world in peril?

ANUPA: Have you ever wanted a sold-out Harry Styles concert tickets?


ANUPA: Had your car break down with no extra tire?


ANUPA: What about an intense taco craving with no taqueria in sight?


ANUPA: At times like these, there's only one celestial being to call-- the meteoric magician. Wherever you are, whatever you need, the meteoric magician soars across the sky looking for wishes to grant. Just look for the magician with hair made of fire and fingers made of stardust lighting up the night sky, there to save you at your darkest hour.


ANUPA: In a hurry, the meteoric magician will be there in a flash.

METEORIC MAGICIAN: Less than that. I can fly up to 44 miles per second.

SPEAKER 2: Wow, how does she do it?

METEORIC MAGICIAN: By harnessing all of the energy in the cosmic universe, I am able to materialize any physical thing you could possibly desire.

SPEAKER 2: So selfless.

ANUPA: And when the meteoric magician isn't granting your deepest wish?

METEORIC MAGICIAN: I'm lighting up the night sky with a fireball blaze that shines brighter than the entire planet of Venus.

ANUPA: Sorry, Venus.

SPEAKER 2: Wow, meteoric magician? I feel so safe now that you're here.

METEORIC MAGICIAN: Now that's the magic of meteors.


MOLLY BLOOM: I love it. I would love to be saved by the meteoric magician. All right, Max, your turn. How does a black hole behave as a caped crusader?


STAN DANCEHANDS: Hi, I'm newsman Stan Dancehands. And I'm just receiving word that a meteor is headed straight for Earth. I guess this is goodbye. This is Stan Dancehands, signing off with one last hand dance. Hold on, I'm being told that the meteor is gone. We're saved! But coming to us live is the hero of the hour, a black hole named Mass Eater.

MASS EATER BLACK HOLE: Hey, Stan. Big fan.

STAN DANCEHANDS: So what happened?

MASS EATER BLACK HOLE: I eat meteors like that one for breakfast. I spaghettified it, sucked it from the sky, and spat it out as radioactive dust.

STAN DANCEHANDS: Incredible. What would you say to other meteors out there?

MASS EATER BLACK HOLE: Know this. There's nowhere you can hide. My black hole buddies and I are at the center of every galaxy. And to us, the universe is a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet.

STAN DANCEHANDS: Do humans have anything to fear from you?

MASS EATER BLACK HOLE: No way, Jose. I love humans. I want to hold you like a baby and rock you to sleep. I'm the daddy of every galaxy. So you're like my great, great, great tens infinity grandbabies. I just want to spoil you rotten. I want to let you watch TV all day when I feed you grapes. Meteors are just so little flying pebbles. They'll never hurt my sweet, sweet grandbabies.

STAN DANCEHANDS: Powerful stuff. You heard it here first, people. Meteors stink. Now it's time for me to dance my hands out of here.


MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, I get to imagine a hand dance and a grandpappy black hole. Oh, very good. All right, Adam, what stood out to you there about Anupa and Max's Micro Rounds?

ADAM: Well, sort of the Max's, the end of music was wonderful. I love the music. I also liked the way the black hole superhero sounded. He sounded a bit like the older movie superhero. Kind of like The Terminator. I don't know. And just a good movie. I like that one. Yeah, it was more fun. Anupa did a really good job. She made meteors sound more magic and a bit more fun. And actually feels like the meteor was a superhero or maybe more of just like a goddess. But a little bit superhero-ish.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. All right, Adam, it's time to award a point. Again, the criteria is up to you. Did one superhero sound like they could really save the day? Did one make you laugh? Did one make you think? Whatever it is, the criteria is up to you. Have you made your decision?

ADAM: It was a hard decision, but I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. It's time for our third around, the Super Stealthy--

ANNOUNCER 3: Ha-ha, Hoo-ha!

MOLLY BLOOM: Sneak Attack. Your Sneak Attack is called Idiom City. Idioms are sayings that don't necessarily make sense, unless you've heard them used a lot like it's raining cats and dogs or break a leg. You don't really want someone to break a leg when they perform. You want them to do a great job. And if it was actually raining cats and dogs, that would be a pretty fluffy situation.

So idioms are a little nonsensical. Max and Anupa, it's your job to come up with an idiom for your side and one for your opponent and to tell us what they mean. For example, if I was team elevator, I might say my idiom is, they're flying like an elevator, which means they're shooting to the top of their field. And if my opponent was team snake, I might say their idiom is, you're as honest as a snake, which means you're a liar. Does this make sense?

ANUPA: Sure it does.

MAX: Yes.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. All right, Adam, it's going to be your job to decide which side contributed the best idioms. Got it, Adam?

ADAM: Yep.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Anupa went first last time. So, Max, you're going to start. Please give us two sayings that are out of this world.

MAX: OK, here we go. For black holes, this is the idiom. It's simple. I mean, it's obvious, right? You suck like a black hole. But it actually means, you're really cool, you're amazing, you're mind bending, you're out of this world, you're changing. It's kind of like saying bad like Michael Jackson's Bad. But that means good, right? Sucking, but in a good way. So you suck like a black hole. Boom, got it.

OK, then meteors over here-- yeah. So what we want to say for a meteor is, oh, you're interesting like a meteor, intriguing like a meteor, which actually means kind of boring and just kind of rock-ish, kind of just sitting still and not really doing anything. Just looking for a place to land, maybe come on a planet. It has a lot of deep meaning. So it's like, oh, hey, look at you, you are interesting like a meteor. And so that'd be something you could say to someone who is really boring you. Just really just tiring you out and just making you up, you could fall asleep in front of.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Very good work. OK, Anupa, you're up. Can we hear your two idioms that will last for light years?

ANUPA: Yeah, for sure. So for meteors, I would say that you would shoot like a star, which obviously means that you are not only as fast as a shooting star, but you're just as gorgeous and stunning and ever present as a shooting star. And you're somebody that radiates beauty and positivity and knowledge and intelligence everywhere you go. And--

MAX: --and mimics stars.

ANUPA: --when people see you--


When people see you, shooting across the sky, shooting like a star, they're like, wow, that person is just winning at life in every possible way. For black holes, I would say that you're bright like a black hole in the sense that you can't see one. And you just kind of blend into the background. And no one can-- no one can see you. Your presence isn't felt. You're so far away, both physically and emotionally that it's like you're not even here. It's like, who's that? Who cares? You're so far away, who cares?

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] All right, Adam, it's time to award another point. Who had the best phrases? Again, the criteria is totally up to you. Have you made your decision?

ADAM: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Perfect. Then it's time for our final around--

ANNOUNCER 1: The Final Six.

MOLLY BLOOM: Anupa, you're up first. Shoot your shot for shooting stars.

ANUPA: Meteors, so stunning. Black holes, where?

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] Very good work. OK, Max, it's your turn. Prove to us why black holes are superstars.

MAX: Black holes eat meteors for breakfast.



All right, Adam, time to award a point for our final round here. Again, up to you, completely subjective. Award that final point and then tally them up. Have you tallied?

ADAM: Almost. All right, I have tallied.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, are you ready to crown one team to Smash Boom Best?

ADAM: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, drum roll, please. And the winner is--

ADAM: Meteors.


ANUPA: Yeah!

MAX: [INAUDIBLE] sucked into a black hole.


MOLLY BLOOM: Well done, everybody. All right. So, Adam, was there a moment that decided things for you?

ADAM: Well, until round 4, it was completely a tie. But in the last round, I really like the polar opposites Anupa or the meteor team made. And I just thought that Max's here, I said it, and he was a little bit repetitive.


ANUPA: Max, we might have gotten off to a rocky start.


But you won me over with Stan Dancehands.

MAX: Anupa, I just love your energy and all you brought to meteors. I have to admit, I was swayed a bit. I never-- I never thought they could beat black holes, but here we are.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. [CHUCKLES] That's it for today's debate battle. Adam crown the meteors as Smash Boom Best, but what about you?

ADAM: Head to and vote to tell us who you think won.

MOLLY BLOOM: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On! and APM Studios.

ANUPA: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie DuPont, Ruby Guthrie, and Aron Woldeslassie.

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from Gary O'Keefe, Paul [INAUDIBLE], Josh [INAUDIBLE], and Colin [INAUDIBLE]. And we had sound design help from Rachel Brees.

MAX: Our editors are Shahla Farzan and Sanden Totten.

ANUPA: And we had production help from Anna Goldfield, Marc Sanchez, Anna Weggel, and Nico Gonzalez Wisler.

MOLLY BLOOM: Our executive producer is Beth Pearlman. And the APM Studios executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert, and Joanne Griffith. Our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker-Otto. And we want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross and Taylor Coffman. Max, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to today?

MAX: Yeah. First off, my two super fans, Arlo and Luna. I love you. I hope you love the episode. And then to my incredible partner, Flora. And to Dahlia, my three-year-old daughter. Oh, Dahlia, I love you!

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] And how about you, Anupa, any special shout outs?

ANUPA: Yes. To my dog, Luna. And then to Urania, Greek goddess of astronomy, for agreeing to collaborate with me on this. It was an honor.

MOLLY BLOOM: She is really hard to get. Do you want to give any special thanks, Adam?

ADAM: I would like to thank Nico, because they emailed me about this and gave me this wonderful opportunity, which was great. I would like to thank my family, because they drove me here, they communicate with you, and they just helped make this possible. I want to thank all of you for making this wonderful.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, Adam. And we want to thank you. All right, before we go, let's check in with Jude and see who he thinks should win this Crickets versus Cicadas debate.

JUDE: I think that cicadas would win because if I were the judge, I would think that they have a lot more interesting facts.

MOLLY BLOOM: Do you have an idea for a knockdown drag-out debate? Head to and tell us about it. We'll be back with a new debate battle next week. Ta-ta!




(SINGING) Ooh, you're the smash boom best. Ooh, put you through the test. Ooh, you're the smash boom best. Ooh, better than the rest. It's the Smash Boom Best. You're the smash boom best.

MAX: I had to assume you didn't see the picture of the black hole that scientists sent out recently. Sure, yeah, maybe you haven't seen it.

ANUPA: It was blurry?

MAX: Yeah.

ANUPA: It was a blurry photo. It could have been anything. That could have been made in Photoshop.

MAX: I think maybe you need to update your screen because mine was beautiful. Mine just looked amazing.

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