Kid Nation
I'm Trying To Be A Leader Here

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Mild, Mild West

Michael stands up and makes another speech, suggesting the Council members get to know everyone better so they can lead more effectively. Despite a bit of sophomore slump, his speech gets applause, because everyone loves Michael. Laurel promises to try and do better, and gets even more applause.

Time to move on. Jonathan asks if anyone wants to go home. He turns to Taylor first, and Taylor announces that she's decided to stay. "This is my family; this is where I need to be for the rest of the thirty-six days," she says. Except this family won't be entering her in beauty pageants all the time. Everyone claps and cheers, and Greg in the back row even gives her a standing ovation. It's tough to make up my mind about that kid. Jonathan asks if anyone else wants to go home. After a short pause, Jimmy's hand shoots up. Jonathan asks him why, and Jimmy says he's homesick and too young for this. "I think he's more mature than a lot of other kids," someone says. There's a murmur from the kids who are more mature than Jimmy. Needless to say, it's a soft murmur. Jonathan asks Jimmy if he's sure. Other kids encourage him to stay, but Jimmy's made up his mind. He interviews, "I thought it would be like a big fun adventure and I would last the whole time, but I miss my family a lot." Up front, Jonathan tells Jimmy that he's brave, and gets everyone to say how much they'll miss Jimmy. Jimmy leaves the barn, with everyone calling goodbye to him on his way out. I hope he actually does get to go home now instead of having to be sequestered somewhere like on other reality shows. On the plus side, now we only have thirty-nine kids to keep track of. How hard could that be?

The last item on the agenda is, of course, the Gold Star. Jonathan holds it up for everyone's admiration, and doesn't tell them anything about it, other than that it's a trophy for the kid who's done the best job so far. Jonathan gives the Council a few seconds to confer, and after a moment, Laurel stands up and presents it to...Sophia. I thought she might have blown it with her complaining earlier, but I guess the Council members are more mature than I gave them credit for. Either that or they were told that Sophia was going to get a good edit this week and they didn't want to look like idiots. Jonathan calls Sophia up to the front of the room to make her speech, and she thanks the Council and promises to try to be less bossy. Everyone cheers. And then Jonathan tells Sophia that the trophy represents twenty thousand dollars that's all hers. Sophia's jaw hits the dirt floor, and all the other kids are amazed as well, as anyone would be. She interviews that this is the most exciting thing that's ever happened to her in her life. Okay...thinking back to age fourteen...yes, that sounds about right. Jonathan asks Sophia what she thinks her parents will say, and it turns out not to be just an idle question, because now she gets to go call them. Jonathan hands her a key to the one building in Bonanza City that has a phone, and she rushes out of a room full of her peers, like "smell you later, losers," so she can go call her parents. Which is the first time that has ever happened in the history of teenagers. When she's gone, Jonathan tells the remaining kids that any one of them can win a Gold Star, and it's going to be worth twenty grand each time. He dismisses the kids, grandiosely reminding them, "You're building a world!" They're totally building it from a kit, but whatever.

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