Episode 1 Recap
Ten high school seniors, all excellent students who simply cannot afford college, compete to win a full ride scholarship to the university of their choice.
What makes this reality show very different from others is that it is not just win the game, but how you play. The scholarship committee will be watching for the student to reveal their character and that will be factored into their decisions as much as winning challenges.
As the committee members say "Any question is fair", "we listen to everything you say and we remember.", "We are looking at things like creativity, intellectual depth and ethics". Ethics, now when was the last time that was considered for the winner of anything? This could be interesting.
Liz, 4.0 GPA, math prodigy
Scott, 4.0 GPA SAT 1580 Home Schooled
New Freedom, PA
Max, 4.0 GPA Valedictorian
Amari, 4.0 GPA, SAT 1550
St Charles, MO
Gerald, 3.91 GPA, Varsity Mascot
Jeremy, 4.6 GPA, Academic decathlon
Melissa, 4.2 GPA, Produces charity events
Milana 4.6 GPA, Stem cell research assistant
Fresh Meadows, NY
Alyssa 4.67 GPA, Poetry silver cup winner
Yuba City, CA
Davis, 4.6 GPA, political activist
The students all move into the Scholar Residence, find the laptops they each receive and meet each other for the first time. We get a quick overview of each student. Two things that stand out most. First, Melissa had scoliosis as a child and had surgery to correct this, she works with charity as a means of giving back and he mother told her "change your shoes, change your life." Second is Davis, who wants to be president someday and seems like the most cocky of the bunch.
They head to the USC campus to meet the host, Rob Nelson.
The structure of the competition is explained. Each week has three parts:
1. Captain's Quiz - all compete in this and the two with the most correct answers in the shortest time win.
2. Team Challenge - The two captainís choose teams by school yard pick and those teams compete. The winning teams captain wins a spot in the weekly showdown.
3. Admissions Showdown - The winning captain plus two others chosen by the Scholarship committee. These three face off and the winner of this wins one of the five spots for the final showdown. Winning one of these spots also gets you a 50,000 dollar scholarship from Wal-Mart which is yours whether you win the full ride or not.
They immediately have their first challenge. They must arrange years with events in space exploration. Eight events and sixteen years are presented to the students, they write down their answers and then press a button when they finish.
The events are things like Sputnik launched, Challenger disaster, Mir re-entering earth's atmosphere and the first manned lunar landing.
The three students with the most correct answers are Davis, Alyssa and Jeremy, but Davis had the best time followed by Jeremy. So Davis and Jeremy are the captains for this week.
Team Challenge - They are provided with a laptop and map. They must find places on campus and then solve problems once there. Jeremy leads the red team and Davis leads the gold team.
The fastest team with the most correct answers wins, the problems are logic problems. The gold team gets all the problems correct, thanks to Melissa and the red team misses one problem. So Davis wins a spot in the weekly showdown. When asked who the weakest person on his team was, Jeremy acts like a true leader and takes responsibility on himself.
So when the committee meets to choose the other two for the showdown, Jeremy has made points. So they end up choosing Jeremy and Melissa to compete with Davis in the weekly showdown.
They are told the topic for the showdown will be literature of the 19th and 20th century. The three students competing go back to the house to study and cram for this showdown. Just before leaving the house for the showdown, Davis jokingly grabs a copy of "Gone With the Wind" and asks who wants to read it quickly before they go, they all laugh.
At the showdown they are asked random questions in a predetermined order. The first one to miss is eliminated from the showdown. Then the final two keep answering questions until one misses. The one who has answered all their questions right wins the spot in the final five and the 50,000 dollar scholarship.
Jeremy misses on a question about a dog named Buck in a Jack London novel, which was "Call of the Wild" but he guessed "White Fang". The ironic part is that Davis is asked who wrote "Gone With the Wind" and he stands there straining his brain to remember, but sadly he cannot recall. Melissa answers her last question about Hemmingway correctly and wins the showdown.
The show is about the social interaction of the students with each other, their different personalities and such, but also about this competition. Melissa and Jeremy worked together to prepare, where Davis did pushups, Davis feels he is at the top of the food chain in the house. It really is interesting. Also all ten students stay for the whole competition, no one sent packing, so they get more than one shot at the final five. I think I will enjoy this show.