By Robert Lucke
Talk radio is alive and well at KNMC, 90.1 on your FM dial. Or sort of. Really, it is a combination of talk, music and a "Survivor" show. It's called Survivor Radio, where people who want to test their deejay skills can do so on live radio.
Its standard introduction tells what it is all about.
"We're back. That's right, ladies and gents! A new and improved version of Survivor Radio. Our job is to provide you with entertaining music and personalities. Your job: listen carefully, and if you don't like it, vote them off."
They call it their jungle. Krista Morley, a student at Montana State University-Northern, is the executive director.
"The survivor series was started the end of September. I had been a contestant and was there talking to them about something else and before I knew it, I was the host of the series," Morley said.
The show starts on Nov. 21 at 11 a.m.
"This is a seven-part series," Morley said. "People apply and we call them back and get their music suggestions. It becomes a good way for them to get on the radio without being afraid.
"People listen to their radio personalities and their music suggestions and each week there will be one winner from all the contestants that appear. That winner will go on to (compete for) the grand prize at the end of the contest and a grand prize winner will be voted on by people listening to the radio."
That is the gist of it but there are lots of curves between appearing and winning the grand prize.
"We have immunity challenges, prize challenges, and lots of fun. The immunity challenges are based on the ones used on TV. The last time we had a jar of spinach-and-potatoes baby food that was used. The prize challenges generally consist of the use of trivia questions and stupid human tricks. We ask the audience to vote off their least-favorite contestant, based on radio personality and choice of music," Morley continued.
Morley stressed that the show is live and that some events become beyond their control. That is what makes each episode unique and different from any other episode.
"The shows start on the 24th of this month. And each one runs for several hours starting at 11a.m.," Morley said. "There are going to be from five to seven contestants for each show and the eighth show will determine the grand prize winner. We will try to keep some time at the end of each show so the person whose music won will have some time to play it for the audience."
And, what do you win if you are the ultimate survivor of Survivor Radio? Well, that is a secret.
"The grand prize is a huge surprise," she said. "You have to apply to find out what you get."
There is more than one prize, Morley confided. And while she wouldn't say just what they are, she did say they are worth the time and effort.
Not only that but folks coming in right off the street with their Eddy Arnold collections or their Bach preludes have a chance of winning it all. All they have to be armed with are their sterling personalities.
Meanwhile, KNMC's radio audience gets to practice its own brand of road rage and vote the louts off the air on a weekly basis.
Applications for Survivor Radio are available at the SUB Information Desk, the Student Support Services Tutoring Lab, the bowling alley or from the Educational Opportunity Center.
Morley and the other members of Survivor Radio have just one more parting challenge.
"Have you always wanted to play on the radio? Are you too chicken? We want you to come check us out and learn the tools of the trade. We'll teach ya."