by Gemma Horowitz, BA'10
Chloe Wilde, BSc’11, recently triumphed in what was, arguably, the most public job application process in the country. And the job itself – becoming a MuchMusic VJ – certainly wasn’t one that the McGill nursing student envisioned for herself. “Never in a million years,” she declares.
Wilde became MuchMusic’s newest on-air personality after winning its VJ Search. The contest began when 500 contestants submitted themselves for voting on a MuchMusic webpage. The top 20 entrants then advanced to the final stage of competition, which played out on—what else?—a reality show.
Wilde found herself touring the country with her rivals, competing in challenges, weathering eliminations and having every trial and tribulation documented for viewers across Canada.
“I had to remind myself I was there to win,” says Wilde, a self-described “mama bear” who was attracted to nursing because of its emphasis on patient care. “The most difficult part [of the competition] was putting myself first.”
The VJ hopefuls had to demonstrate their pop-culture savvy, on-screen charm and quick thinking through such un-straightforward challenges as creating a 30-second viral video, introducing a music video while tubing down a mountain and—Wilde’s least favourite—performing improv live and in character (in her case, as Kim Kardashian).
Most people would buckle under that kind of pressure (and many contestants did), but Wilde had a few things going for her. For one thing, her naturally sunny personality translates well to TV. For another, she wasn’t a complete neophyte. Wilde already had some experience in front of the cameras as a host on AskMen.com’s video channel.
Wilde thinks the psychology degree she earned at McGill came in handy too.
“For sure, I think my experience at McGill has helped me,” she says. “We learned so much about human interaction and why people act the way they do. We [the VJ Search contestants] were essentially 20 Canadians with very Type A personalities. So that can really lead to a lot of drama and tension.”
For Wilde, who says she had always approached life with a kind of “tunnel vision,” the contest—and her subsequent win—forced a change of tack. “VJ Search taught me that it’s okay to relinquish control and go with the flow. Take it day by day.” Her new motto, she says, is “the show must go on.”
In that spirit, the Quebec-born, Saint-Lazare-raised VJ is packing up her things, saying goodbye to Montreal and moving to Toronto. She’ll soon begin her full-time duties at MuchMusic, taking on guest-hosting duties on a variety of shows.
Though she’s put nursing on hold for now, she’d like to revisit what she calls the “beautiful profession” one day, and, ultimately, hopes to host a show that combines her lifelong passion for science with her natural aptitude for entertainment.
”If I could be the female version of Bill Nye [the Science Guy], I think I would be the happiest girl on the planet.”