‘I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t have a life before the show,’ says Alan.
Curtin student Alan Tse Ho Kwong is referring to his stint on the Channel 7’s reality television show Beauty and the Geek Australia.
Alan, 19, a first year actuarial science student was one of eight ‘geeks’ handpicked by the producers of the show.
Dubbed the ‘ultimate social experiment’ the show consists of a group of “Beauties” (young women who have relied on their looks rather than their intellect) and a group of “Geeks” (young men who have relied primarily on intellect rather than social aptitude or looks) who are paired up to compete as couples for a $100,000 prize.
Alan, like many of the other contestants, decided to be on the show for the learning experience rather than the money.
‘I decided to go on the show when my sister suggested it to me,’ he says.
‘I thought, well I don’t have much of a life now, I may as well do something with myself.’
Despite being eliminated last week Alan says his time on the show was an invaluable experience.
‘The world didn’t know who I was before the show, and I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer the world,’ he says.
‘Now, even if it sounds a little vain, I can say – ‘Hey I’m Alan from TV!’ and people all of a sudden do know me and are interested in talking to me.
‘It really gets me going, it’s a nice feeling.’
Indeed Alan has learned at lot in his time on the show. When asked which girl he was most fond of he skilfully answers:
‘I don’t think girls like being compared to each other, that’s one thing I’ve learned, so I’m not going to answer that!’
As for the other geeks on the show, Alan, the youngest geek, views them as mentors and friends.
‘I haven’t really been in contact with that many geeks before the show,’ he says.
‘It was really good for me to meet them because they represent how I would of ended up, had I not been on the show.
‘Because I’m only 19, I can make changes so I don’t end up in the same place.’
Alan, who excelled at high school, took up actuarial science because he felt the degree suited his personality.
‘I don’t like risk and actuaries learn how to control risk. I like things to be predictable, that keeps things safe.’
Alan admits being on the show has changed his perspective and that not everything in life can be reduced to a series of calculations.
‘Once before I did all these calculations to find that the odds of me going out with a girl was one in a thousand,’ he says.
‘And then I realised, wait, that means I get one girl every 300 years!’