Public Radio Talent Quest is underway. For this round, the 7 remaining contestants were asked to conduct an interview with... pretty much anybody. And also to be interviewed by a public radio host in their home towns.
The participants interviewed everyone from an 11 year old African American who sings Chinese opera music to a guy who writes popular, geeky web comics. All 7 contestants produced engaging, well produced interviews. You can tell they haven't read from the book of NPR announcer style, (figuratively, I'm not sure there is such a book), because while the questions are well thought out and executed there are a lot of basic mistakes. For example, one interviewer regularly says "mm hmm," essentially speaking over his interview subject. But while the radio producer in me sees that as a mistake, perhaps less biased listeners will hear that as something that makes the interview more conversational.
As an interesting side note, one of my favorite contestants was voted off the island in the last round. But that didn't stop Carrie Kaufman from following through with her planned interview with Brooke Gladstone. She's posted her unofficial entry on PRX, but you'll need to sign up for an account to listen to the streaming audio. You can also download it from the Internet Archive.
Mostly I'm just excited to see that the talent quest has inspired folks to continue producing random acts of radio even if they don't have the chance to win a pile of money and produce a public radio pilot.
Anyway, the polls are open, so go leave comments and vote for your favorite now.