Despite a minor controversy over possible child-labor violations, CBS's awesome new reality show Kid Nation (premise: 40 kids are left to fend for themselves in a New Mexican ghost town without adult supervision) is set to premiere, as planned, on September 19.
In each episode, the children — if they can avoid drinking bleach by mistake — will cook, clean, and earn their own money working fourteen-hour days, all in the hopes of pocketing a weekly $20,000 cash prize, which is awarded by a pint-size, kid-elected city council. Really, though, when 10-year-olds are cleaning outhouses and burning their faces "with hot grease" just for the sake of hilarious reality television, everyone's a winner. But who will take home the cheddar? Vulture's looked over the bios on the KN Website and, after the jump, we make our predictions.
Brown's pick: Nathan
Eleven-year-old Republican and all-around little shit Nathan, from Mount Prospect, Illinois, seems like a strong contender: He's smart ("The earth has been getting warmer and colder for thousands of years. [Global warming] is a natural cycle caused by the sun"), economical ("Let the kids directly receive their education money from the government to spend on their own education. The schools would have to compete for students, just like businesses competing for customers"), and he doesn't suffer fools, like FDR ("He started Social Security and other policies that interfere with an individual's right to use his own money as he wishes"). Should he manage to avoid having his ass kicked, we see big things for Nathan.
Catucci's pick: Jimmy
An 8-year-old from Salem, New Hampshire, Jimmy is the total package: He's a whiz at math (a “math master,” in his own words), he can sing with his feet behind his head, and he's cute as a button. (We hate to say it, but there are some ugly little kids on this show.) But what makes him a potential leader of his fellow small humans? His opinions are bold and unconventional, but he also grasps the complex and contradictory nature of political thought: While he professes a deep admiration for President Bush, he also believes that we should immediately pull out of Iraq (“No wars! Only in games!”). We're rooting for you, kid.