The Scholar
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Imagine being accepted into the college of your dreams, but not having the funds to make that dream a reality. One high-school senior will no longer have to worry about that, as they win a full-ride scholarship.

Recaps by Eric Pierce, GSNN


Rob Nelson
Scholarship Committee: Shawn Abbott, Peter Johnson, Marquesa Lawrence
Creators: Jaye Pace & Shannon Meairs
EP: Jonathan Murray, Steve Martin, Joan Stein, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner
Packager: Bunim/Murray Productions, Martin/Stein Productions, The Carsey-Werner Co.
Airs: Mondays at 8pm ET on ABC

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No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Change Your Shoes... Change Your Life" - June 6

So is everyone ready for a piece of feel good television? Enter the Scholar.

Premise: 10 students from disadvantaged background compete for a scholarship valued up to $240,000. Of course, because this is a reality show, this won't be strictly an academic competition. As "The Scholar" says, learning is also about social awakening. For those of you in TV land, that means hook-ups and smack downs. Well, maybe not smack downs, as they would probably get somebody disqualified, but drama nonetheless.

Let's meet the competitors, our scholars to be.

Melissa, a sweet girl who recovered from scoliosis and now produces charity events.

Milana, a 4.6 GPA bilingual student who doubles as a Stem Cell assistant.

Davis, a cocky yet confident pretty boy poised to become president.

Liz, a happy go lucky math prodigy with a 4.0 average.

Scot, a home schooled but socially adept scholar with a 1580 SAT.

Max, a calm natured valedictorian, looking to escape the mean streets of Oakland.

Amari, a vibrant girl with a 1550 SAT to back up her quick wit.

Jeremy, hard working, noble guy who has mastered the academic decathlon.

Alyssa, a sharp tongued smarty pants who is a silver cup poet.

Gerald, an under the radar guy who lights up crowds as a varsity mascot

As for first impressions, everyone seems to be buddy-buddy, but many of the students are getting a bad vibe from Davis. This is fine with Davis though as he says he's the kind of guy people love or hate and whichever it is that's not his problem.

Walking into the library of the Sprawling USC campus the students are greeted by host Rob Nelson and the Scholarship committee:

Marquesa Lawrence - UC Berkeley admissions
Shawn Abbott - Ivy League admissions
Peter Johnson - Ivy League admissions

Now that the students know who will decide their fate it's time to learn how to play the game. Just because this is meant to be educational, let's keep this as easy as 1-2-3.

Round 1, The Captain's Quiz:
All of the students will take a timed test with the two students with the best scores becoming team captains for the second challenge. Ties will be broken by fastest time.

Round 2, The Team Challenge
After teams are picked schoolyard style, the teams will compete in challenge where the winning team's captain will get an automatic bid into round 3.

Round 3, The Admissions Showdown
The winning captain from the Team Challenge will face two other students selected by the Admissions Committee (based on overall performance and interviews) in a final challenge where the winner will be guaranteed a spot in the Final 5. Not to mention, every student in the Final 5 gets a guaranteed $50,000 scholarship, so now that we have our motivation…

Round 1: The Captain's Quiz

For the first captain's quiz the focus in Astronomy. The students were given 8 events and 16 years and asked to put the in order, hitting their buzzer to stop the clock when finished.

While we weren't given the full scores, the questions were quite fair ranging from Mir reentering the atmosphere to Man landing on the moon.

While Amari was over come with nerves, Davis was very confident as he had just finished reading a number of books on JFK. Of course confidence means nothing when there is a three way tie, except for the fact that Davis is in the tie.

Alyssa 2 min 14.3 sec
Jeremy 1 min 34.5 sec
Davis 1 min 34.1 sec

With Davis and Jeremy as our captains, it time to pick teams. Here are the picks in order...

Gold Team

Red Team

Poor Gerald was worried that this would be third grade dodgeball all over again and that he would be picked last. See, second to last isn't so bad (but then again, he was picked last on his team, sniff)

Round 2: Team Challenge

For the challenge, there are brain teasers and puzzles scattered throughout the USC campus. Given a map and laptop, the teams must solve as many puzzles as possible, email their answer in and return to the start at campus center. The team back with the most correct answers wins with the first team back winning a tie. And they're off!

Puzzle 1: Move two pieces in a stick puzzle to make the cow look to the right rather than to the left.

Both teams take some time on this puzzle. The gold team struggle until Melissa suggest an abstract solution which Davis quickly backs saying that even if it isn't right eh can defend it. With the Gold emails their answer and moves on. The red team also struggles until Jeremy comes up with a different solution from the gold team. Well, we know at least on team is going to be wrong.

Puzzle 2: There are 3 light switches connected to 3 light bulbs on the opposite side of the wall, given only one look at the bulb side of the wall, determine which switches control which bulbs.

Neither team really figures out this one nor does it help the Gold team that Gerald is trying to stay away from the fray. Regardless, both teams give it the old college try and might just luck out.

[Solution: Turn on two switches but just before you go to the other side of the wall turn on switch off. One bulb will be on, the bulb connected to the switch you turned on then off will be warm, and the remaining bulb will be off and cool.]

Puzzle 3:
A Cryptogram:
Each number stands for a different letter of the alphabet. Crack the code to decipher the phrase.
16-2-26-18-6, 15-8-7

Have fun with that one. The answer is at the bottom of the recap. Both teams got this one rather easily, no pressure.

While both teams solved the cryptogram easily, the red team solved it a little faster allowing them to arrive back at start first.

However, it didn't matter as they missed the cow puzzle while the gold team swept all the puzzles. That means Davis has a guaranteed spot in the Admissions Showdown.

In an immediate post challenge Q&A, Davis gave credit to Melissa as being the strongest member of the team for pulling off the cow puzzle. As for the losing captain, Jeremy was asked who the weakest link was. Jeremy, either genuinely or strategically pointed the finger at himself absorbing the blame.

For now though, let's let the kids get some rest and a meal in their bellies. After all, their RA, Francine, told them to. She also told them that she will be the one posting the names of Davis' opponents for tomorrow.

Out at a fancy L.A. restaurant we get some insight into the competitors. Basically, most everyone can't stand Davis except for Liz who thinks he's dreamy. Fortunately for Liz, Davis seems to feel the same way. In fact, after a little couch tickling, I'm sure of it.

The only things left before the showdown are the interviews. Gerald stumbles heavily and is convinced the committee hates him. Jeremy however, is praised for "falling on the sword." Ironically, the admissions committee highly regards nearly everyone on the losing team, but only after giving a guaranteed nod to Melissa, who broke down in her interview, shocked at what aptitude was coming out of her. After deliberations were finished, Francine posted the names in the Scholar housing, letting Davis, Melissa and Jeremy know that they were competing for $50,000. The posting also told them that they would be quizzed on 19th and 20th century literature.

Jeremy and Melissa ran to the bookshelf to cram, while Alyssa noticed that Davis went to the kitchen to do some push-ups and work out his arms. Davis, in a phone call to his parents, said that he felt he was as full of literature as he could get. In fact, as far as studying goes, the closest Davis came to a book was asking, just before leaving for the showdown, if anyone wanted to read "Gone With the Wind" really quick.

Round 3: Admissions Showdown

At the showdown, we learn that it will be held spelling bee style with each student being answered questions individually in order with a wrong answer eliminating them from the competition. After one round of sophomoric Jeopardy questions, Jeremy gets confused between "White Fang" and "Call of the Wild" when asked which Jack London book features a dog named Buck. Worried that this may be his only chance at the scholarship, he goes with White Fang, and makes this his last chance for now.

With only Davis and Melissa remaining, it is Davis' turn and he is asked who wrote the novel, "Gone With the Wind?" Laughing at his previous comment, Davis blanks (Correct Answer: Margaret Mitchell) giving Melissa a chance to take the money with a correct answer.

The question: In what Ernest Hemingway novella does Santiago say "I have never seen or heard of such a fish, but I must kill him, I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars." Fortunately for Melissa, this is something that we saw her study and after a thoughtful pause, she gave the $50,000 answer, "The Old Man and the Sea."

In the postmortem, Melissa is ecstatic and Gerald is ecstatic that the money didn't go to Davis. Jeremy is saddened to have to call his parents and tell them that he was so close but missed out and Davis called his Mom only to find out she knew Margaret Mitchell and that she thought it was an easy one.

That's it for the premiere of The Scholar. Congratulations to Melissa on her $50,000 and making the final 5, and to the rest, there are still 4 spots left. So until next week, study hard, I'm sure Davis will.

Solution to Cryptogram: "Knowledge Comes, but Wisdom Lingers".

Note: Davis isn't a bad kid; his competitive streak may just be more suited to Survivor than The Scholar.

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