Simpson student to appear on national TV

Simpson student to appear on national TV

by Sara Sonderman

One Simpson College student found her 15 minutes of fame while in New Orleans last October for the national college media convention.

Junior Courtney Stiles was shopping with fellow junior Betsey White when a television crew from the hit show “Street Smarts” approached them.

“We were literally just walking down the street with our bags in our hands when one of the assistants for the show came up to us and asked if we would like to try out,” Stiles said.

“Street Smarts” host Frank Nicotero travels the streets of major cities throughout the United States testing people’s common sense and their street smarts.

After Nicotero interviews people on pop culture questions, the crew returns to their studio where two contestants face off and watch the videos. The contestants try to determine who answered the questions correctly.

After passing the preliminary round, Stiles was then asked more questions by the executive producer. The questions dealt with spelling, vocabulary and fill in the blank answers.

“The only rules they gave us was that we had to answer the question with an answer and they told us to be really outgoing,” White said. “Courtney was perfect for the part. She was out of control and had a lot of non-verbal communication.”

Stiles had the advantage of being a fairly regular viewer of the show.

“My roommates and I are big fans of the show and we always used to make fun of the people who would miss the easy questions,” Stiles said. “Then when I was there I missed some easy ones and felt pretty dumb.”

Stiles said that Nicotero made her feel comfortable at the taping.

“He was so down-to-Earth and cooperative,” Stiles said. “When Betsey asked him for an autograph he ran around looking for a pen and even wrote his email address on it for her.”

Nicotero’s road to stardom began after dropping out of college to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a comedian. He began his career by appearing in shows with Drew Carey, Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider before getting his big break in 1999 as the host of “Street Smarts.”

When in New Orleans, the producers originally told Stiles that she would be aired sometime in December. Though the actual air date for this particular show has not yet been set, the producers recently confirmed that Stiles’ episode will be used.

Stiles, originally from Colorado, is still in shock that something like this could happen to her.

“I never imagined that coming from a small school in Iowa that I would ever get the chance to be on a nationally televised program,” Stiles said. “This is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.”