Reality TV is extremely polarizing. You either get it or you don’t. Many negative things can be said about the types of “celebrities” these shows produce. It could be said that it’s scripted. If you are really watching closely however, you’ll see that although the obstacles and challenges are planned out, the response of the contestants are not. Ultimately the shows are not about what the people are doing, but how they respond emotionally and physically to their surroundings.
Season 3 of “The Tester” produced by 51 Minds has arrived. With it comes an all new cast of people determined to fulfill their dreams of working for Sony Computer Entertainment America. As the video game industry continues to rise to the top of mainstream consciousness the inevitable Documentaries and Reality TV shows are arriving. To me this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I like the fact that the prize gives an opportunity to experience working for one of the top companies within the industry, to a person who may not live anywhere near development studios and publishers, or to those of us who do not have connections. Lovely host Meredith Molinari returns as well as panel judges Brent Gocke the SR. Release Manager- First Party QA SCE, and the smoking hot Adrianne Curry. The rotating third judge spot of the gaming industry luminaries will reamain intact this season. On the first episode John Hight Director of Product Development Santa Monica Studio (The Boss) fills that spot.
The contestants for the third season are:
- Kwajamonster - Kaila Nemoto
- Skyd1ddy - Skyler Harper
- Asuukaa - Nicole Dormer
- J-Tight - Joel Alexander
- Krystipryde - Krysti Pruden
- Egoraptor - Arin Hanson
- BurnNibelheim - Shaunette DeTie
- RealityPalez - Charles Weichselbaum
- Ashichan - Ashphord Jacoway
- Ninjanomyx - Richard Lugo
- Suzkaiden - Lissarette Vazquez
- Akilleezmight - Wilson Santiago
Par for the course, season 3 starts off with the 12 contestants in a van traveling to their loft. As the cameras capture the moments leading up to their destination, there is a sense of their obvious nervousness and excitement. Who wouldn’t be though. Knowing that a chance at winning your dream job is literally right around the corner. Speaking into the confession cam reveals more about the characters. We learn about their motives for being there and get to see more of their personality.
Krystipryde seems like a kick a$$ take no prisoners type. J-Tight to me seems like an underdog. Personally, I root for the underdog, being one myself. J-Tight reminds me of a good friend of mine that can probably do his thing, but just needs a little bit of guidance and for someone to give him a shot. Skyd1ddy gives off a youthful exuberance. Ninjanomyx is definitely the comic relief. Straight from NY he tries to come across with hip hop swag, but is more of that goofy friend type. Akilleezmight is reserved and comes across as one of the more mature cast mates. That’s probably due to his military service. Suzkaiden is the loud and passionate Latina. She reminds me of members of my family. She seems to say what’s on her mind and demands a lot of attention. RealityPalez has a ton of Sony and PlayStation knowledge that will no doubt help him through the season. Kwajamonster, Asuukaa, and BurnNibelheim all seem to be down to earth people and hopefully after a few more episodes they will get their chance to shine. Egoraptor is this seasons “voted in” fan favorite. His story is one I am interested in. It seems that initially he went into the experience taking it as a joke, but by the end of the first episode he was humbled and may have had a shift in perspective.
The main challenge in this episode involved a job interview with the contestants. Which is already an extremely uncomfortable situation. What made it worse, was them having to do the entire thing with their heads trapped in a box filled with hissing cockroaches. You might be asking yourself as I did, “What does having your head in a box of roaches have to do with gaming or being in the industry”? After watching it and thinking about what they had done, it’s really about performing under pressure. Sure the producers could have found a different way of applying that, but we can’t forget that it’s a tv show. A few of the contestants kept their cool, a couple didn’t. The different reactions to the bugs crawling on their faces was priceless. Kwajamonster’s most embarrassing moment story definitely stood out, which ultimately saved her from elimination in comparison unfortunately to Ashichan, who the judges didn’t think stood out at all. Too me, by far the funniest moment of the episode came when Adrianne Curry asked Ninjanomyx if he still lived with his mother in which he replied “Yes, I do live with my mom”. Usually 2 contestants are voted off, but when Egoraptor was given a chance to make a final plea the realization of the opportunity he was given seemed to click and he made a heartfelt speech in an attempt to stay.
After seeing the episode for the first time the contestants are probably finding that a lot of the footage that was shot had been heavily edited. That’s the downside of creating 1/2 hour episodes from hundreds of hours of footage. I recently had the opportunity to ask Guinness World Record holder and contestant from season 1 of “The Tester”, Luge – Lauren Guiliano (@lugeyps3) a couple of questions regarding the editing and how she would have done during the roach challenge.
Beta- I know hours of footage are condensed down. Do you feel like the editing truly represented who you are and what happened during your shoot?
Luge- “During my season, I dont feel like they fully developed the personalities. I wish the episodes were longer. There were lots of stuff cut”.
Beta- Was a lot of the personal interactions between the cast mates cut?
Luge- “Yeah and I understand it had to be, but still wish more would have been shown”.
Beta- How would you have done during the roach challenge?
Luge- “I would have done terrible during the roach challenge. If I see a tiny bug, I scream bloody murder! Not my type of challenge. lol”
Next episode will see the incredibly talented game developer David Jaffe as the third judge and a challenge based around his upcoming title “Twisted Metal”. I want to thank Luge for taking her time out to answer a few of my questions and suggest either downloading the current episode from the PlayStation Store, or watching it in the theater in PS Home.