Tag: 15 minutes of fame

Baltimore Bachelor Auditions: Who Wants to Be on National TV?

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I’m lingering awkwardly in the entryway to the Greene Turtle in Locust Point, listening to Jillian talk how she came down from Pennsylvania to be here, for the Baltimore casting call to find the next Bachelor/Bachelorette. She’s in full trashy TV show regalia:  silver spike heels, hot pink tank top, thick mascara, ostentatious cleavage. I ask her if she really thinks she’d find true love on a reality show. She looks confused. “I’m a model,” she tells me. “I’m just trying to further my career.”

And it’s not just Jillian, it seems — the sprawling restaurant/bar complex is full of reality TV hopefuls doing their best to seem real (but not too real), cute (but not trashy), interesting (but not histrionic). I keep waiting to hear someone say “I’m not here to make friends.”

Local Student on College Jeopardy!

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Last week, Goucher College senior Sarah Bart lived one of my life-long dreams:  appearing on Jeopardy!. The Philadelphia native was the first student from the school to make it to the show, after her third time auditioning.

To get on the show, Bart had to complete a 50-question online quiz, with only eight seconds to type each answer… that is, question. Thanks to a high score, she was invited to an in-studio test in New York this past summer, where she had to chat with producers, take another written test, and compete in a practice round using actual buzzers. Scariest of all, perhaps, Bart had to do that short “chat with the host” spot, which involved coming up with a brief but charming anecdote so viewers could get to know her better. No surprise, then, that Bart thinks that contestants are chosen for their personality just as much as their knowledge of trivia.

And while it takes up a full half-hour of TV time, the show’s taping happens over a speedy 13 minutes — yes, that’s including both regular and final Jeopardy.

Alas, the hours that Bart spent watching the show at her family’s dinner table wasn’t enough to get her to the quarterfinals. Despite getting the final jeopardy question correct (What are the Everglades?) and coming away with $18,600… she lost to Tyler Benedict of Columbia University. But Bart can take solace in the fact that she was one of only 15 candidates chosen from 12,000 competitors. Hats off to you, Sarah!

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