CH 1 | Seeing Stars
"Welcome viewers! We're live in Republic City and this is Seeing Stars! The Boulder is your host, thank you for joining us this evening. Tonight's contestants are an exceptionally special group of bachelors and bachelorettes who need no introduction."
"Let's go over the rules! That means YOU live audience." The Boulder made a pseudo-threatening muscle flex towards the studio stands where the viewers laughed and whooped. Someone yelled, "I love you, The Boulder!" followed by gales of louder laughter.
"The Boulder loves you too." Responded The Boulder, to the entertainment of the crowd.
"Rule Number One: This is a celebrity dating game. That means the lucky interviewer is asking questions and eliminating players to figure out which famous face they're landing a date with! It's SUPPOSED to be a surprise, people. Do NOT yell out the names of the contestants. Or The Boulder will be forced to...(The Boulder flexed dramatically)...pulverize you..."
"Rule Number Two: This is just a game—if the interviewer doesn't pick your favorite, there will be NO throwing of cabbages. The Boulder cannot believe this needs to be said."
"Rule Number Three: The interviewer must answer all the same questions they ask of the contestants. Our interviewer provided her responses when she came on set this afternoon, so The Boulder can provide in-depth analysis on the interviewer's compatibility with each contestant."
The idea of The Boulder doing any type of "analysis" left the crowd in stitches.
Katara's could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She'd only been on stage a handful of times in her life, and every single one involved an academic paper and a whole lot less bearing her soul to the general public. Why, oh why had she let Mai talk her into this?!
Still, part of her was thrilled at the prospect of meeting someone accomplished in their field—she was fond of people who were ambitious like herself. Plus, maybe she'd make friends with a couple cool celebrities!
The idea that whomever she won a date with could be anything more than a fun story and a unique evening out was beyond her contemplation. Come what may, Katara was resolved to accomplishing three things only: have some fun, make some memories, and work in a shameless plug for the new public hospital in Republic City.
"So, without further ado—again, NO. NAMES., let's welcome our connnnnteeeessssstaaaaaaants!"
Contestant 1! The audience roared their support. There was a giant divider in the middle of the stage which separated Katara and the contestants so that she couldn't see them. She judged that Contestant 1 must be very well-known based on their reception.
Contestant 2! The audience exploded. Katara couldn't help but try to figure out who was who. Many of the loud screamers in the audience were wearing Fire Nation colors. Perhaps he was a big-shot actor from Caldera City.
Contestant 3! The applause was less, but with quite a few "ooooos!" and a handful of wolf-whistles. Contestant 3 is sexy, she guessed.
Contestant 4! They must have come out doing something funny because the audience immediately erupted into laughter. Interesting! Katara found herself getting excited to start the show.
Contestant 5! The cheers from the audience were markedly different and included a standing ovation. There were screams, but she could see more faces that were awed and respectful rather than giddy and animated. Some of the faces in the crowd were even somber. A war hero, perhaps?
And finally, Contestant 6! Apparently, Contestant 5 was a difficult act to follow, because the applause was remarkably quieter and the live audience was mostly moving to sit back down in their seats.
Katara's handler gave her a once over and flipped her mic on, motioning with a thumbs up.
"Now, our lucky interviewer is no undiscovered talent herself. She's considered one the greatest Water Bending healers of our age, she's the youngest Chief of Medicine ever from South Pole General, she's the new Director of our very own Republic City Memorial Hospital. But most importantly, she's SINGLE and ready to MINGLE. Please welcome Dr. Katara Sanaaq!"
The applause and shouts were more polite and less vigorous than those rewarded to the celebrities, which was to be expected. The audience did earn some of her blush however when she walked out, and the cheers morphed into a series of cat-calls and whistles.
Dr. Sanaaq was many things—a workaholic (in fact, she had been answering emails even up to the ten-minute curtain call), a slob who always forgot to clean out her car, and oftentimes an unwashed, sleep-deprived ball of stress after working for days and forgetting to go home.
One thing Katara was not, was a fashion Luddite. She came out in a dark blue velvet dress that hugged her sculpted form from hip to chest. One side was slit to display a set of tan, athletic legs capped in creamy white heels. Her make-up was minimal, as was her preference, using only basic products to accentuate a set of intense cerulean eyes, strikingly high cheekbones, and enviable pouting lips. She left her wavy chocolate hair down to float like a halo around her elbows. She had also opted to wear a traditional water tribe choker necklace to highlight her heritage. She was as gorgeous as a model, apparently something the audience had not expected for a doctor.
"Welcome to Seeing Stars, Dr. Sanaaq!" The Boulder began.
"Please, call me Katara" she smiled nervously and waved to the audience.
"Viewers, all guests on Seeing Stars fill out extensive personality profiling tests. Today, we've paired the lovely Katara with our celebrities who are her most compatible matches. Because we aren't here to just get you a date, we're shooting for soulmate, isn't that right audience?"
The crowded stands cheered and clapped again as The Boulder performed a series of muscle flexes that didn't seem to have anything to do with soulmates.
"Okay, alright. Down to business. Katara, here is how the game is played. You are the interviewer, and you get the ultimate say on who you're going home with tonight (this elicited some whoops from the crowd). But figuring out the one you want is the journey you get to share with us, yes?"
Katara laughed softly, still nervous. "Yes", she agreed.
Right, so you'll get to ask three questions per round that every contestant must answer. The Boulder will also ask you to read the answers you wrote earlier. Then we all get to see how your potential matches line up!"
There were more catcalls and a few unintelligible shouts from the audience.
"After each round, you are required to eliminate a contestant until you make your final choice. Then we're going to figure out where you and your celebrity date will be letting the sparks fly! Katara, are you ready?"
"Let's do this!" Katara said enthusiastically, giving a thumbs up to the audience before walking back to the stool situated on her side of the partition.