U student competes on syndicated Weakest Link game show

Courtney Lewis

It’s not Anne Robinson, and there’s no catch phrase, but University student Alisa Walters tried not to be the “weakest link” on the syndicated version of the popular primetime show.

Walters, a College of Liberal Arts sophomore, competed against three men and three women from universities around the country to be on an episode during the show’s college week.

Walters’ episode should air Tuesday at 4 p.m. on KARE-TV, station officials said. But until it’s aired, Walters is sworn to silence regarding how she placed.

Walters said she tried out for the NBC show – which mirrors the network’s prime time show hosted by Robinson – after she saw an advertisement in a local newspaper.

After filling out an application, Walters said, participants were selected based on intelligence and personality.

She said she and other applicants in the downtown Minneapolis hotel where she auditioned were allowed 15 seconds to “wow” producers for the final decision.

Most of the applicants were middle-aged, Walters said.

“They called me back for the college show,” she said.

Questions on the application covered popular media trivia and recognizable historical facts. Knowing who invented the cotton gin could get you on the show, Walters said.

George Gray, who hosts the show that airs weekdays at 3 p.m., said the show is one for underachievers.

“‘Weakest Link’ isn’t about being a brainiac. This is the show of the ‘C’ student,” said Gray in a written statement. “They have to know just enough stuff to fly under the radar but not appear too smart.”

Gray formerly hosted “Junkyard Wars” before joining “The Weakest Link” team for it’s premiere Jan. 7.

Walters competed against students from the University of Texas, Cornell University, the University of Southern California, Cleveland State University and Purdue University.

Producers flew Walters and her five competitors to Los Angeles for the show, where they spent a night in a hotel before taping.

Contestants were able to spend the day together before playing. Walters said there were no rules against alliances, and the producers encouraged time spent together to promote competition.

Even if Walters doesn’t win, she said the trip was worth it. “It was beautiful there,” she said.

“It’s a damn interesting show. It was probably one of most interesting days of my life,” Walters said.

Courtney Lewis welcomes comments at [email protected]