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SEEKING A DOSE OF REALITY? TRY THE MARINA For several dozen young San Franciscans who showed up at Cozmo’s Corner Grill in the Marina on Tuesday to watch the premiere of “The Rebel Billionaire” — Fox’s new reality show starring famed entrepreneur Richard Branson — reality TV is more real than it is for the rest of us. The pashmina-district crowd was there for Nicole Harvat, a tall and gregarious Marina resident and former Lerch Sturmer employment lawyer competing on the show against several other attractive and business-minded contestants. The winner, as Harvat learned when the show was done filming, will supposedly usurp Branson as president of Virgin Companies. While the crowd was certainly excited for Harvat, the situation was hardly novel. “I know a couple of people on other shows,” said Sujay Jaswa, who serves with Harvat on a nonprofit board and has acquaintances who’ve been on “Survivor” and “The Bachelor.” And he’s not alone: Friends Ralph Drybrough and Beth Bueker know former contestants from “The Bachelorette” and “Joe Millionaire.” “I know people on ‘The Bachelor’ and Jennifer Massey,” said Harvat, referring to the Clifford Chance associate and “Apprentice” contestant (see Apprentice Watch, page 5). Apparently, the Marina is a hotbed of reality show contestants. Harvat auditioned for the show last spring with her friend and her boyfriend — and, as of last week, fiance. “This looked fun, and I loved Richard Branson. I’d followed his career for a long time,” she said. After several callbacks, Harvat was told in July that she was selected to be a contestant. She dropped everything — including, she says, a job offer from Seyfarth Shaw — and took off for nearly two months, traveling around the world and doing crazy things like donning a hockey helmet to walk a balance beam strung between two hot air balloons. Harvat’s crowd did not seem jaded by their intimate familiarity with reality; they cheered each time she appeared, and they stood in tense silence as Branson prepared to jettison the unworthy. “It definitely raises the stakes of reality TV when you know someone who stars on the show,” said Heather Dowling, a public relations specialist for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a friend of Harvat. (Dowling only knows one other reality show contestant.) Harvat, who is not currently employed, is forbidden to divulge who won the contest before the show ends, she said, and the penalties for breaking that rule are severe. “Being a lawyer, you can really imagine when I got the 60-page contract to sign, I read it very carefully,” she said. But her friends, experienced in the reality world, were happy to handicap the show. “Nicole’s a spin instructor, so she’s very athletic,” said Jaswa, speculating that she’d have an edge in the physical contests. Said Drybrough: “Anyone can win it.” — Justin Scheck FLU SHOTS REVISITED In the end, Hasting College of the Law students happily relinquished their flu shots. Back in October, Hastings inquired about the possibility of making the school’s vaccine supply available to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. But unbeknownst to the school, the proposal got some early publicity in a press conference by Mayor Gavin Newsom. The difficulty was, Hastings hadn’t had a chance to ask the students. As it turned out, Hastings did offer back to students the 300 doses of vaccine purchased from manufacturer Aventis-Pasteur with funds from student fees. A staff committee that had planned to offer 40 doses to staff and faculty decided to return its allotment to the school. Students were provided with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on groups that should receive priority vaccination. In the end, 20 of Hastings’ 1,200 students received flu shots. The result: Thanks to Hastings students and staff, 280 doses of flu vaccine were made available at cost to the city’s health department. — Marie-Anne Hogarth JENNIFER WATCH: WEEK 10 Well, well, well. Her competitors, not to mention The Donald, have fallen out of love with Clifford Chance associate Jennifer Massey. Oh, Jen. Guess the honeymoon’s over, huh? Speaking of honeymoons, Jen’s team, Apex Corp., was at a clear disadvantage this week in slapping together a makeshift bridal shoppe. The other team had a ringer: Contestant Sandy is a bridal salon owner in real life. Needless to say, Jen’s team got clobbered like a dyed-to-match slingback after a wedding reception. But what came next was surprising. Though the four people on Jen’s team appeared to have contributed equally on this task, Apex’s project manager, Chris, exempted Jen from the boardroom. That’s 10 boardroom-free weeks for our Jen, a rarity in this game. And Mr. Trump was none too happy with Chris’ decision. The Donald: “Chris, why did you send Jen up[stairs]? She’s just as guilty as these two [pointing to Kevin and Ivana], wouldn’t you say? � Frankly, I might have fired Jennifer, if you didn’t let her go. � She continues to slip under the radar.” Ouch. Stay tuned this week when Ivana asserts that Jen casts a “hypnotic, fembot spell.” Oh, silly, silly Ivana. A fembot has an occasional bad hair day. Fired this week: Chris. — Candice McFarland

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