And the winner is....

Wed 06 May 2009

Today at the Best Job in the World, we have the finale of the selection process. This morning the final 16 have to endure a panel interview with senior members of the Queensland Tourism crew and then enjoy some on-island activities. At 3pm today, the winning applicant will be announced and the world will find out who will be the Island Caretaker for the Great Barrier Reef for 6 months starting July 1.

It will be interesting to see if Tourism Queensland will act in line with their marketing agenda, which has bewildered all but 16 of the original 35,000 odd applicants. With some very talented people discounted along the way, we have been left with representation from each target market for TQ at this round. From a marketing viewpoint they got exactly the result they wanted, interest from media in target countries... with the applicants sending back the good news via daily or more frequent interviews. One can only hope that the media following the non-selected candidates are not too scathing about the selection, with the potential to damage the TQ stated AU$100 M +  media coverage generated by this tiny AU$1.7M campaign. Nothing will stop the campaign from being heralded as brilliant with the ultimate complement - copy cats appearing in New Zealand and Canada already.

The stand out candidate, supported by visible action and backroom chatter is clearly Anjaan from India. The walking, talking, personality machine from India has never been short of a word. Anjaan is easily the most genuine, happy and confident of the group also. His playful, larrikin nature will endear him to anyone that comes into his blast radius, while it will also connect him with the Australian audience, who would otherwise be critical of a non-Australian Island Caretaker. To be knocked out of the top spot, one would suggest that gaff in the technical area with poor photography or “blogging” might have his horse finish first with the rider laying back on the track somewhere.

Clear runners up include the other radio man, Juweon from Korea and Cali, the online video specialist from the USA.

Juweon is another fellow that is never short of a word, very genuine and has excellent English skills. His diverse activities in the lead up have educated him about our big country, secured tourism contracts for Australia and put some polish on his Aussie “lingo”.

Cali on the other hand is very approachable and likely the best candidate in terms of the technology. Her online TV business with hubbie herald the future of online media in the same way as The leading edge online video technology would be a huge asset to Tourism Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef during the 6 month posting. Her cute-as-buttons, girl next door aura and sparkling eyes get over the line if the process where a beauty pageant too.... which will no harm her chances.

Being the betting favourite, Clare from Taiwan leads the rest of the pack. Getting voted onto the island means she has huge support, she is very friendly and has already committed to Australia with a working holiday visa. She also wants to bring other people into the IC house to share the experience which shows an excellent attitude toward people.

The rest of the guys are great, approachable, friendly, active, but somehow lack what TQ may call the X factor. George is funny, Erik brilliant with his words, etc, but don’t have the exuberance of Anjaan.

The Australians, James and Hailey are back in the pack also. They will benefit greatly from the experience of the “Best Job In The World” but have been out-gunned by international talent in the confidence and media engagement stakes. “BJITW final 16” will look great on their resume as they no doubt have bright futures regardless of today’s decision.

Coverage concludes with:
- Posting the name of the winner on at the instant of the announcement, 3pm AEST.
- Video interview with the winner and others ASAP after the announcement.

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