10 Thoughts On… The Tester (Season 3, Episode 1)

Sony is back with a third season of The Tester. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of the show, a group of contestants compete in a series of challenges in order to win the ultimate prize of becoming a PlayStation tester. I’ve watched the first two seasons, and while I can’t call it must see television, I certainly get enough of a kick out of it to keep going. This is probably because at heart, I’m kind of a Sony fanboy.

Anyways, the first episode was put up on PSN on Tuesday, and here are my thoughts on it.

1. Once again, the contestants don’t use their real names. Instead, they use what I assume are their PSN handles, or just goofy names they came up with on the spot. This led to such inspiring names such as “Krysti Pryde, J-Tight, and SkyD1ddy”. I’d say the names are getting worse each season, but that would imply I bothered to remember any of the others.

2. “Ninjanomyx” seems to have been edited to be this year’s “Big Fazeek”. He comes off as an uber nerd, a sex fiend, and a huge loser. He admits to living with his mother and being an avid collector of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. While this may not be so bad in some people’s eyes, the show is clearly portraying him as a deadbeat. He is probably not long for this competition. He did have a valid point, though. The female members of the cast all appear to have been chosen to be used as eye candy.

3. The announced prize is awesome. There was something about a new car and a new TV, but that wasn’t what I was concerned with. I was concerned with the winner getting a job as a production assistant at Santa Monica Studios. The winner also gets to work on the “next big PS3 game”, which I can only assume is the next God of War title. Damn it! I wish I had applied to be on the show! Even if the job turns out bad, at least it would be a job in this economy, and there would be a chance of seeing God of War being made.

4. One of the many props of the show is an overgrown Sackboy doll that is all kinds of cute. One girl basically claimed it as her mascot, one of many things that made her quickly become the most hated member of the group. She was also talkative, lewd, and shameless. Still, she seemed to show more personality than most, which is a good thing.

5. The first thing the testers get to do is hang around the loft and claim all kinds of goodies. There were action figures, t-shirts, and some really awesome Sweet Tooth masks that I really wanted. Beyond that, they had plenty of game systems set up, as well as early access to the Vita. Again, I’m kicking myself for not applying to be on the show.

6. The judges from last season return. First we have Brent Gocke, who has an impressively long title and a straight man demeanor that makes him rather likeable. I’m under the assumption the real decisions are made by him. Next up is former America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Cury. She’s pretty much there to be extra eye candy, but she’s billed as a “fierce gamer” and seems to take the job seriously. I like her well enough. This week’s special guest is John Hight. He’s apparently a big wig at Santa Monica, and was there to make the contestants face the reality of the job they were competing for. It wasn’t a bad group overall.

7. The challenge this week leads me to believe that the show’s producer has been watching Fear Factor. Contestants had to answer interview questions while their head was inside of a clear box. The box was filled with Madagascar hissing cockroaches. They were huge, and I doubt I could be coaxed into letting them touch me. I’ve had a fear of the things since I lived down south, and these were much bigger.

8. OK. The prize for finishing first was a Vita. I’d jump into a whole vat of roaches to get one of those, so perhaps I would have managed. I’m not sure when they filmed this, or whether or not they’d get early access, but that’s a pretty cool prize. The winner ended up being Reality Bitez. He was extremely cocky, but able to back it up with a surreal knowledge of Sony developers and the heads for each one. The win got him the Vita and immunity from the first elimination.

9. All in all, the contestants did amazingly at the interviews. Very few of them really seemed bothered by the bugs. One poor girl even had one that seemed to have fallen in love with her lip, but she soldiered on. There were exceptions, of course. J-Tight was sweating like a madman and one girl developed Tourettes, which was funny. Another girl by the name of Kwajamonster (I told you the names were stupid) got so nervous that she went on for quite a while about silent farts and bathroom etiquette. The judges were less than impressed.

10. When it all came down to it, there were supposed to be two eliminations. The first to go was Ashican, who had the misfortune of going first. According to the judges, she didn’t leave an impression and thus was not fit for the job. I feel for her. Chances are the eleven other people that came after her are the only reason she was booted. I wonder if the position itself was doomed. The other person slated to leave was Egoraptor. He was apparently voted into the show by adoring fans, but admitted to being on the show mostly for the attention. This didn’t go well with the judges. However, he was pretty good at talking his way out of elimination. They decided to save him and not cut two people. He’ll apparently be on the couch though, as well as everyone’s shit list.

With a big prize at stake, this could be an interesting season. The next episode will feature and coincide with the release of Twisted Metal. With David Jaffe returning as a guest judge, it should be amusing, at least.

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