Idol Chatter

You may have never heard of “College Life,” MTV’s attempt at creating a real reality show by letting loose University of Wisconsin – Madison students with cameras, but it’s an interesting little gem tucked away at the 11:30 p.m. Monday night time slot. Monday, June 8, marks the finale as the students document the end of the school year, including all the stresses of finals and the bittersweet realization that an academic year can fly by far too quickly.
But graduation doesn’t come without Spring Break and “College Life” didn’t disappoint with this past week’s episode. Sure, the show is supposed to show real students living their real lives, but it’s clear that there was some hardcore casting done to find the right, reality-esque kids: Kevin, the freshman with beers and broads on his mind, Lindsay the U of W legacy with immense pressure on her to name just two.
But, my favorite has been Andrea, the 19-year-old devout Christian, who just the week before modeled in a lingerie fashion show (instead of going to church, as one of her friends pointed out).
This wonderful underclassman ball of contradictions headed down with a campus Christian group to share The Word in the sun and sand of Panama City Beach. Albeit not in bikinis, as they were given instruction to not wear anything too revealing and to have a girl friend stand on a chair above them when they were getting dressed in order to get a guy’s perspective of their cleavage, natch.
Once at the beach, the camera cut quickly from the clean cut kids singing worship songs to barely-bikini-clad gals gyrating with and groping each other. An interesting juxtaposition to be sure, but it was only when Andrea approached a group of gals to “share the truth with them” that Spring Break really collided with spirituality.

“Would you guys have a second to take a survey,” asks Andrea, just moments before one of girls proceeds to throw up and then slides into the surf to wash it off herself. Proselytization meets projectile vomiting.
But drunk co-eds weren’t the only obstacle Andrea had to navigate. Josh, another student featured on the show and an ex-boyfriend, has just been dumped by Lindsay and he, being rudderless in party city, turns to Andrea for comfort.
Andrea rebuffs him, saying that she is focusing on God during Spring Break and tells the camera that “Maybe, some other day, I’ll come share the Gospel with him.”
Josh thinks it’s annoying that she won’t even go to one concert with him and calls her a hypocrite, saying that he doesn’t want to see her at anymore parties when they get back to Wisconsin. Personally, I can imagine that being propositioned with unsolicited “truth” in the midst of a giant hedonistic party might be annoying, but it was Josh’s behavior I found really aggravating.
Sure, Andrea is complicated and full of contradictions, an evangelical Christian struggling with her own feminine powers (she did look good in that lingerie) but maybe Josh is just a little bit jealous that Andrea and her group of Christian kids seemed to be having a really good time going against the grain, without sacrificing brain cells.
I found the episode to be remarkable in the fact that MTV, since it started coverage of Spring Break, has focused on the attractive drunken masses as aspirational role models for viewers. But the producers have allowed “College Life” to be “real,” letting viewers experience an alternative model.

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