5 finalists selected for soap opera competition


The end is in sight for the five finalists of the student soap opera contest.

In January, Soapnet.com started a contest for student producers to creat their own soap operas in hopes of winning the grand prize – a $20,000 budget for production of their soap to air on the broadband channel Soapnetic, after a pitch meeting with executives.

The contest started with entries from across the country, was narrowed down to 10, and recently five finalists have been hand-picked by voters, via an online poll, on Soapnet.com.

According to the Soapnet.com press release, the finalists are David Barillari, Columbia University; Eric Kahn Gale, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Tiffany Jackman, New York University; Gladys Silvera and Emma Mankey Hidem, New York University; and Stacy Ann Strang, University of Southern Maine.

Jori Peterson, spokesperson for Soapnet.com, said now that the five finalists have been selected, their next task is to create a brand new five-minute clip, which is centered around pop culture and celebrities, due April 3. A committee will select a winner from those clips later this spring.

The finalists’ clips will be available for viewing on Soapnet.com and will be judged again on these three components: originality, “soapiness” and overall quality. A camera crew has been sent to the finalists’ schools to capture some behind-the-scenes footage of the students filming.

Peterson also said he hopes the contest will be held again in the future.

“It was so successful this year that we hope to do it again,” she said. “It’s great to see the passion that college students have for creating their own soaps.”

Jenna Rader, sophomore in pre-professional business administration, had not heard about the contest, but she said she thought it was a good idea for those who are really into soap operas and production.

“I probably wouldn’t enter the contest,” she said. “Soaps aren’t really my thing now, but I used to make soap operas with my friends when we were in middle school, so maybe if I had more time to prepare.”