The search is on! Could it be you?

Could it be you?My how the American dream has changed. It used to be that when you were young, you knew that when you grew up you could be anything you put your mind to. Of course, you knew that it might take a lot of hard work and preparation, but with a little bit of elbow grease you had a shot. But now that I'm a little older and a little, well I'm older, I now wonder, what the hell is elbow grease?

Now let's flash forward to the Internet-ready broadband reality of the 21st century. Today the young-ens also believe in the American dream, but it comes through reality television and contests, instead of hard work and what ever passes for elbow grease, that is if we knew what it meant in the first place. So it is that a new form of this fast track to stardom has reached Puerto Rico with the "Search for the CW Girl" contest. CW, is an abbreviation of CW Puerto Rico (WSJP-30), the CW network affiliate in Puerto Rico, owned and operated by Caribbean Broadcasting Network. The station can be seen on OneLink, Liberty, Choice Cable, DirectTV (channel 178) and Dish Network (Channel 17).

Still not sure what the CW is, hey I wasn't. That's why I looked it up. The CW Television Network is a television network in the United States launched during the 2006-07 television season. It features a mixture of programming from both UPN and The WB television networks, which ceased independent operations on September 15, 2006 and September 17, 2006 respectively. According to CW's President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff, the network's "shows are going to appeal to the 18- to 34-year-olds." The CW is a joint venture between CBS Corporation, owner of UPN, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, a subsidiary of Time Warner, majority owner of The WB. Its name derives from the first letter of the names of these two corporations (CBS and Warner).

Okay, I'm up to date. If you're playing along at home, the score is 0-1 in the category of pop culture and television (of course, it would help if I had cable, oh yeah, and I watched television, but that's another post). If you're still not straight, let me lay it down. Here we have an American television station affiliated here in Puerto Rico. They are sponsoring a contest only available for Puerto Rican women over the age of 18, where the online Internet community will choose the finalists. Text messaging will select the winner. The contest is open from March 6th, 2007 until March 26th, 2007, and is co-sponsored by Primera Hora. To participate, you must create a 30 second video and upload it to the web site, which is in English. And get this, besides being featured as the new CW girl, the winner will receive a $500 prize. Do you think you're the CW Girl they are looking for?

Additional details are available on the website. So far there are only two hopefuls, Debbie and Emily Rivera. However, it seems they were so, uh, mislead that they somehow were able to submit their entries before the contest started. Curious, well we'll keep an eye out for how the contest progresses. If I were involved in the planning for this contest, I'd have made sure to state my strongest case against the idea. I just don't think they are going to get the kind of reaction and participation that they are expecting. First, as the local police have expressed their outrage and insult by the Governor's recent proposal for a $100 bonus, I believe the prize for the contest is a little, uh, weak. Okay I think it sucks. Second, the whole idea of user generated content and participation has not caught on here in Puerto Rico. I'd say shelve this and try again in 3 to 5 years. I couldn't bring myself to read through all of the fine print in the contest rules, so I wonder what they will do if they don't get the response they expect.

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