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The $12 challenge

November 8, 2010

LINK FOR THE $12 CHALLENGE VIDEO
in 2009 I got picked to be on a webisode for food2, an alternative food network website. When I applied for the show all I knew was that it was a cooking competition where the winner went on a date with the judge. It was a little more complicated I later found out. It’s called the $12 challenge. what happens is that the competitors are given $12 and one hour in a Manhattan neighborhood and have to make a meal. what we did not get was a kitchen, we had to make do with anyone who would give us a hand. As someone who is not an actor it was an interesting look into what “reality TV” is. like when the camera guy is telling me what to say. example conversation:
Camera guy: are you confident that you are gonnna win?
me: I don’t even know what I’m going to make.
camera guy: just say you’re confident that you’re going to win.
me: I’m confident that I’m going to win.
camera guy: What does your competitor do?
me: he’s a grad student.
camera guy: are you gonna give him some lessons?
me: yeah, sure.
camera guy: can you say you’re going to give him a lesson.
me: I’m going to give him a lesson.

Who talks like that, really? It was silly, but all the peole involved were really cool and it was fun getting to work with them. I Remember Stefan prompting me to tell the camera that I was confident that I was going to win, but truly, without a kitchen or knowing what the judge wanted to eat, there was no way to know who would win.
We were also allowed one secret weapon that would help us in the competition. the only thing I could think of that would help me without knowing what I was going to be able to make was my knife. they said no, a knife is too easy. so I said I’d bring a wooden spoon. no, a wooded spoon is too boring. how about a fry pan? how about a fry pan? is there something special about the fry pan? I considered bringing a hot plate as my secret weapon, but it seemed like trying to get someone to let you use their kitchen was the most valuable part of the show, so I opted for a “secret weapon” that actually had no bearing on what I might cook, hence the harmonica.

I had fun running around and my time trying to explain to the chinese girls in the dumpling shop what i was doing should probably win an award for “most awkward moment of the summer.” They also wanted us, the competitors, to pretend like we hated each other and mock each other the whole time, but before the filming we were left to hang out together for an hour and a half while everything was organized. they even gave us one ice cream sandwich to split between us while we waited. One sandwich? it’s hard to hate a guy after you’ve shared ice cream and heard half his life story. All in all it was a fun time and this guy josh was a fun dude so the competition was all in jest. we ran around lower Manhattan for an hour in the last week of August. it was about ninety degrees and hot as hell but we did what we could. My biggest regret is that I waited until after the filming to cut off my hair. the mop on my head didn’t do me any favors. Check out the video, its only five minutes and its pretty funny.

LINK FOR THE $12 CHALLENGE VIDEO

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. pip permalink
    November 8, 2010 1:47 pm

    Heh, that was pretty funny. Nice work dude! Harmonica was an awesome choice!

    • learning life from scratch permalink*
      November 8, 2010 7:28 pm

      Thanks dude. it was a good time.

      • November 9, 2010 6:27 am

        Totally awesome. The win on “it’s spicy” is like winning iron chef because judge liked color of plate it was served on. You should’ve won. But you looked great and seemed natural in front of cam. No easy task.

  2. kate lynde permalink
    November 9, 2010 3:26 pm

    that was very entertaining, Alex!! IF YOU HAD CUT YOUR HAIR OFF, YOU WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE THE OTHER GUY…I LIKED THE HARMONICA IDEA AND IT CAME IN HANDY IN THE END..GAVE YOU MORE SOUL THAN THE DUDE WHO WON AND THE GIRL!! I ADMIRE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO PLAY!!

  3. November 13, 2010 8:49 pm

    ha. that was awesome.

  4. Julia permalink
    November 20, 2010 12:03 pm

    I thought she was gonna break her tooth on that guy’s sandwich. It was nice of you to not make her meal in an alley. She probably would’ve appreciated that, had she known the other guy’s secret ingredient was urine.

    • learning life from scratch permalink*
      November 20, 2010 12:05 pm

      HA!

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