UM student heads to Hollywood

University of Miami student Alexander Osuna’s tic-tac-toe skills will be tested on Feb. 12 when he enrolls as a contestant on Hollywood Squares.
Osuna, a marine science and biology major, keeps busy by working for the Miami Seaquarium and at the College of Engineering.
To secure the spot, Osuna auditioned when scouts from the program visited UM in late 2001 as part of their annual national college contestant search.
The participating student contestants recently traveled to Hollywood’s CBS Television City to play the game, where each was paired off to compete against a student from a rival university.
“It was great to get that free trip to Hollywood,” Osuna said.
Osuna’s preparations for the contest included studying the show and past contestants.
“I watched the show and studied how the stars bluffed,” Osuna said.
This year, contestants representing 14 U.S. colleges and universities will go head-to-head. Among the universities represented will be the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland-Baltimore, the University of Denver, the University of Washington and the University of Southern California. Also participating are students from the University of Pittsburgh, Southern Methodist University, San Diego State University, the University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Southern Florida and Arizona State University.
During the first week of the tournament (Feb. 11-15), the college hopefuls will be testing their tic-tac-toe skills against a celebrity grid that includes audience favorite Jason Alexander, Marlee Matlin (The West Wing), Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Tracy Morgan (Saturday Night Live), Gena Lee Nolin (Sheena), and Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond). Others include Martin Mull (The Ellen Show) and Squares regular Brad Garrett (also from Everybody Loves Raymond).
For the final week of the tournament (Feb. 18-22), Center Square Whoopi Goldberg and Garrett will be joined by an entirely new team of celebrities, including Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean, musical superstar Patti LaBelle, model Tyson Beckford, Cedric “The Entertainer” (The Steve Harvey Show), the always-electric Carmen Electra and frequent Squares celebrity guest Kathy Griffin.
Hollywood Squares is aired every weekday at 7:30 p.m. on WFOR-TV (channel four), the local CBS affiliate.