NBC's 'The Apprentice 3' to feature former 'Murder In Small Town X' contestant
By Reality TV World staff, 12/30/2004
Reality TV World has learned that the cast of NBC's upcoming third The Apprentice season will feature a face familiar to sharp-eyed diehard reality television viewers -- a recycled former contestant of Fox's Murder In Small Town X series that aired in Summer 2001.
Kristen, listed as a 31-year-old Los Angeles real estate financier and identified by only her first name in NBC's initial The Apprentice 3 cast announcement, is former Murder In Small Town X contestant Kristen Kirchner. Kristen was identified as a 28-year-old Los Angeles mortgage banker in Fox's 2001 Small Town X press materials and is listed as a Fairfax, Virginia native in the media materials for both series.
Somewhat similar to ABC's The Mole series, Murder In Small Town X was a reality whodunit series that aired in Summer 2001 and featured ten contestants attempting to solve a fictional murder set in the remote coastal town of Sunrise, Maine.
Kristen appeared as a blonde on the Fox program (she now appears in The Apprentice as a brunette), where (shades of Omarosa) she frequently clashed with her fellow contestants. As a result of her unpopularity, the cast repeatedly voted to select Kristen as one the two contestants that were nominated for each episode's elimination assignment, however the crafty investigator managed to survive several elimination attempts before finally becoming the sixth contestant to fall "victim" to the show's "killer."
Reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon, NBC spokesperson Jim Dowd wouldn't confirm Kristen's surname nor deny her previous appearance on Small Town X, stating only that "Kristen was cast because she is an incredibly successful real estate broker who, potentially, could contribute a lot to The Trump Organization." Contestant security was cited as the reason for identifying Apprentice contestants by first name only (Apprentice 2 featured the same policy, although full names were released for The Apprentice 1's original cast.)
According to Dowd, NBC doesn't have any policies that would prohibit someone who has previously appeared on another reality show from appearing on The Apprentice. NBC's currently available The Apprentice 4 application states that applicants can not have appeared in any reality programs during that the past twelve months and no more than two programs in the last five years.
A ratings disappointment, Murder In Small Town X is probably best remembered for the fact that only a week after its finale aired, its winner, 35-year-old New York City firefighter Angel Juarbe, Jr, perished in the September 11 terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center. A member of the NYFD's 12th Ladder Company, Angel had been one of the first firefighters to respond to the call. His body was recovered from the ruins of the Marriott hotel nearly ten weeks later on November 28, 2001.
As Murder In Small Town X's winner, Angel had won $250,000 and a new Jeep. Although unpopular with several of her castmembers, Kristen was said to be quite close to Angel.