Episode 7 - September 2
After seven matches (including one that will more than
likely never see the light of day), we have our final
seven winners of $77,000. In 60 minutes, one of them
will be richer by $777,000. Here are the final seven,
and how they got here.
Week One: Amadou Doumbia, 18, New York City.
Jesse Lai fell apart in his shootout to seven, giving
Amadou the money.
Week Two: Craig Phillips, 22, Los Angeles. Again,
another fallout from a challenger that just couldn't
match his time.
Week Three: George Jarroush, 21, Butler, NJ. His
match came down to a photo finish, as George narrowly
defeated his opponent to earn a spot in tonight's grand
Week Four: Sheila Shaigany; 21; Bethesda, MD.
Having the benefit of Pat's lightning-fast reading
skills is what got Sheila to tonight's show.
Week Five: JC Cary; 22; Washington, DC. Another
photo finish, another ticket to the grown-ups' table.
Week Six: Nicole Cutrufello; 22; Roselle Park,
NJ. Last week, her opponent set the bar at :57. She set
the bar higher at :42.
Week Seven: Francesca; 18; Boca Raton, FL. Her
match was original scheduled for this week, but lack of
public interest forced early cancellation before her
match went to air. What we do know of her: she got her
first question wrong.
A note to my fair readers, if the question was answered
correctly, the pertinent information is underlined. If
answered incorrectly, you'll see both the wrong answer,
and the correct one.
ROUND ONE: The Last 4 1/2 Years
2, George: In June 2001, the first federal execution in
38 years took place when Timothy McVeigh was put
to death for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
3, Francesca: In 2001, former child star Rick Schroder
was replaced by former child star Mark-Paul Gosselaar on
5, Nicole: In 2000, MasterCard tried to sue Ralph
Nader for parodying its "Priceless" ads in commercials
in his presidential campaign. It's called fair use.
4, Amadou: In 2002, Porsche introduced its first
sport utility vehicle, the Cayenne.
1, Sheila: In 2000, 71 years of rules by the
Institutional Revolutionary Party ended when Vicente Fox
was elected president of what country? Sheila's answer:
Portugal. Correct: Mexico.
6, JC: In March 2002,
Paula Jones, who had previously accused Bill Clinton
of sexual harassment, fought Tonya Harding in a
televised boxing match
7, Craig: A tragic 2002
shooting took the life of Jam Master Jay, the DJ of
George: In May 2003,
what man was named the presidential envoy to Iraq? No
clue, so he's going to ask his drinking buddy JC for
help. "George, you're deadly. I'm going to give you a
hint. Around the office, we call him by his initials,
LPB. And he JUST left." Don't ask for more, that's all
he's giving you. So he goes to plan B, ask Pat if he
accepts initials. One way ticket to the Block, my
friend. Tell Sheila that the Newsnetters say "what up?"
George's wrong answer: Brown. Correct answer: L. Paul
Time to vote. Is it the
bigger threat (George) or the weaker player (Sheila)?
So the only one who made
it to the end of his Memorization Challenge has indeed
made it to the end. George leaves with $77,000.
And then there were six.
ROUND TWO: The Last Eight Months.
Single elimination. Nice of them to tell us now.
Craig: On May 25, what
87-year-old news legend co-hosted the MTV special
Choose or Lose: Work It with Gideon Yago? He tosses
his ring into the pool, asking Francesca for some help.
She comes up with Tom Brokaw, saying she doesn't know
(and initially thinking about Peter Jennings. Peter
Jennings?!). He goes for it... and he's going. It was
"Walter Cronkite". And that's the way it is, as Craig
lasts all but two rounds.
ROUND THREE: The Last 30 Days.
Nicole: On the July 18
ESPY awards, actor Tom Cruise presented a tribute to
what former NFL star turned soldier who was killed in
April in Afghanistan? Blanking out on her notes, she
rings up JC, who delivers the right answer, Pat Tillman.
Sheila: On July 27, the
keynote address on the second night of the Democratic
National Convention was given by Barack Obama.
Francesca: July 31,
marked the 50th anniversary of the first successful
ascent to the top of what mountain, the second-tallest
in the world? Francesca tries asking Nicole for help.
Nicole has about as much of an idea as Francesca does,
going to Kilimanjaro. Wrong. Correct: K2. The Block is
JC: On July 16, it was
reported that, after their merger is complete, BMG and
what other music company plan to cut about 2000 jobs
from their workforce? JC hopes Nicole remembers their
deal from earlier. After a fakeout (devious?), she
Amadou: On July 18, mud
slides engulfed at least three vehicles and temporarily
closed the eastern entrance of what popular national
park? Amadou still has the ring... and he'll use it on
Francesca, who says either Yosemite or Yellowstone. He
goes with Yellowstone... and he's still in it.
Nicole: A Senate report
published July 15 accused Riggs Bank of illegally
helping to hide millions of dollars for which former
Chilean dictator? Nicole knows no dictators. She knows
no Chileans. She's going to the Block. Correct: Augusto
Pinochet. Will that come back to hurt her?
Sheila (crying... then not): FRANCESCA
Oh, Francesca, we hardly
ROUND FOUR: The Last Specialized Subject. Yale
University's Secret Society, the Skull & Bones.
JC is the one who'll
foul this one up. His question: At Skull & Bones
meetings, there is an activity in which members are
assessed fines for misbehavior like forgetting the
lyrics to their traditional songs or sing Bones
nicknames in public. What is this activity called? JC's
answer: The Stating of Excuses. Correct answer: The
Hearing of Excuses.
ROUND FIVE: The Last Memorization Assignment.
The 100 Best-selling Children's Paperback books as of
2001. Title, author(s), date published. 300 elements.
(C-Note: Chances are if you say "Stan & Jan Berenstain",
you'll be right, but this being a championship show...)
Nicole: 74/300. "1976" instead of "1978".
Amadou: 95/300. "1977" instead of
Sheila: 226/300 (Wow!). "Beverly Clearly" instead of
Sheila shames all she
surveys as Nicole heads out. Now it's Sheila versus
Amadou with $777K on the line in...
ROUND SIX: The Last Seven Days.
Both Sheila and Amadou agree that in the best versus the
best, it'll all come down to luck of the questions.
Sheila goes first, calling the final "a pretty hellish
Sheila's road to seven
runs through Porter Goss, Rick James, Muqtada Al-Sadr, a
cave in Croatia, "The Wall", Mike Wallace, and a cloned
cat in 1:07.07.
Amadou is up next. For
$777,000, here is your first question... GO! Amadou gets
questions right on Porter Goss, Rick James, Greenpeace,
a cave in Croatia, Mike Wallace...
(bell rings) "Sheila,
you're the winner."
Bet she's glad she made
it to the final now. Sheila Shaigany, the first - and
only - champion of "Studio 7", leaves with $854,000, as
well as her boyfriend in tow. The rest of the players
think that her victory reaffirms that there is order in
And that's it. The show
that looked like it could've been for the most part,
wasn't. And it's a shame too. I mean, it's not great,
but it's not terrible. Oh well. Such is life in the
world of the primetime game show. Big thanks to Travis
for covering this. For Travis and the entire GSNN team,
I'm Chico Alexander, saying, as always... "Thank you for