Baylor Students To Appear On National, International TV
Last week, Baylor University spirit squad members were prominently featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." This week, a current Baylor student and a 2004 Baylor graduate will "fling their green and gold afar" on two other blockbuster television programs, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Nuevas Voces de América," the Spanish-language version of "American Idol" that airs on the Telemundo Network.
Ashley Dubose, a junior from Magnolia, Texas, competed in April as a contestant during "Wheel of Fortune Big 12 College Week" in Kansas City. She is scheduled to appear, along with students from Oklahoma and Iowa State, in the May 19 episode of the wildly popular syndicated game show. (The show runs locally at 6:30 p.m. on KCEN-TV. Check local listings and times for other areas of the country.)
Dubose auditioned for "Wheel of Fortune" in Austin with more than 100 other students from Baylor, the University of Texas and Texas A&M. Over Easter weekend, she received a call from a "Wheel of Fortune" official that she had made the show. From that point until she taped her episode, Dubose's roommates helped her "train" for the program.
"We bought the PlayStation 2 'Wheel of Fortune' game, and we played it all the time," Dubose said in an interview available on the "Wheel" website. "They loved helping me try to prepare. We played online. They quizzed me a lot. It was really fun."
Dubose is majoring in French and international studies. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree in Middle East studies.
On Sunday, May 22, Baylor graduate Gerardo "Jerry" Arturo López Jr., 23, will compete as one of the final three contestants in "Nuevas Voces de América" on the Telemundo Network. Lopez, who earned his bachelor's degree in studio arts from Baylor, was one of 20 performers selected out of the more that 9,000 who auditioned across the United States.
Telemundo will air the final episode of "Nuevas Voces" during which people can call in and vote for the candidate of their choice. If López wins, he will receive $250,000, plus a recording contract with Emilio Estefan, a top Latin music producer who has made stars out of his wife, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Shakira and other performers.
"Some of the candidates have thousands from other universities voting for them, and we hope Baylor will be able to support one of their own as well," said Darrell A. Rodriguez, a recent Baylor graduate from McKinney.
Rodriguez said the number to call to vote for López is (800) 854-5556.
"People can vote now, and they will also have another opportunity to vote this Sunday by watching Telemundo at 7 central time and waiting for the number at the end of the show to vote," he said.
López was born in Piedras Negras, Mexico, and grew up in Eagle Pass. While going to school at Baylor, he performed with a local mariachi band and worked his senior year as an illustrator with Baylor's public relations office. A talented creative artist, López was instrumental in creating the new logo for the under-construction Mayborn Museum Complex.
"We hired Jerry because of his interest in graphic design, and he showed talent as an illustrator," said Eric Yarbrough, art director in Baylor's division of creative services.
Yarbrough said López talked about moving to Monterey, Mexico, after graduation to work with his uncle in a similar university environment.
"He hoped he could get involved in the music industry through graphic design and wanted to pursue a singing career with the idea of producing his own CD," Yarbrough said.