‘King of the Nerds’ season 2 spotlight: Kayla LaFrance hopes to be out of this world

Kayla -Are you psyched to see “King of the Nerds” come on TV? The show is airing on TBS starting on Thursday, January 23, and after a pair of recent spotlight articles that we feel touched on some of the more controversial contestants this season (at least in our eyes since they are not being as nerdy as we’d hoped), we’re back now talking about someone who is exactly the sort of nerd that we’d want to see on the show: Someone who truly seems to grasp the nerd universe, has a love for all things we traditionally define in it, and could argue with us intensely about the best Batman movie for hours at a time.

Basically, Kayla LaFrance (viva la France!) is quite possibly the world’s biggest NASA fan and the world’s biggest Batman fan at the same time. If someone ever creates a Martian Batman, it may be the greatest moment of her entire life. There’s so much good stuff in here that we don’t want to waste any more time getting deep into it. Just a quick reminder: Click here if you want to see all of our qualifications for the Nerd Scale we created for these spotlights, which at the conclusion of this series we are considering making into our credo for how we live the rest of our lives.

Nerd pros – Kayla is unabashedly obsessed with space so much that she got a Masters Degree in it, and probably therefore puts whatever knowledge that we have as a “Mass Effect” nerd to shame. In terms of what space-related entertainment properties that she loves, think along the lines of “Star Trek,” and specific iterations of “Battlestar Galactica.” (The fact that she knows which parts are good and bad is like putting her nerd cred on warp speed.) This answer about her favorite “Mario Kart” character on her bio made us laugh out loud: “Bowser – closest character to a Klingon they have.”

Some other nerd qualifications that she meets include her immediate interest in starting up human-to-alien communication, referencing Dr. Wernher von Braun on more than one occasion, and giving elaborate answers on her bio to establish her viewpoint / occasionally have an argument with an imaginary person.

Nerd cons – Is playing women’s hockey particularly nerdy? Given that we deducted a point from Jack earlier just for him saying that he liked Tim Duncan (who, to Jack’s credit, is actually a pretty nerdy athlete), we have to consider many athletic pursuits to be a downside. Then again, the sport of women’s hockey in America is so obscure to many people that it may as well be an athletic, non-fictional version of Quidditch or Blitzball. If she was Canadian, it’d be a slightly different; but we feel like anyone who plays women’s hockey in the US is going against the grain, and that in itself is some of what makes nerds… well nerds. Maybe we’ll just settle this in hockey terms: It’s a draw. (Don’t make us make anymore hockey references, since that is all we know save for that there are goals, sticks, and that people fight.) Update / this just in: Kayla let us know online that she actually plays with boys … with probably makes what she does even more obscure.

Also, she DID list “Batman: Arkham Asylum” as one of her favorite video games … and we could nerd-rage over that. It’s a very good game, but no “Mass Effect 2, “Ocarina of Time,” “BioShock,” or any “Final Fantasy” between 6 and 10. We’d go for maybe Best Superhero Game Ever, since the majority of them are horrendous. We personally believe that “Superman 64” was secretly created by anti-video game lobbyists as some sort of repellent.

Nerd scale – 9 out of 10. The reason that we’re willing to go so high on the scale here with Kayla, and award her a score that ties her with Brian and Jack at the top of the leaderboard, is simple: Dedication. We think that she may actually want to go and live on Mars. Anyone who is willing to study something so specific as space (especially when you consider the current state of NASA) clearly is doing it out of love rather than a hope to make money, and who knows? Maybe if she wins she can invest the money into some program that eventually gets someone on the Red Planet someday. We may as well shoot for that; the less said about Newt Gingrich and his moon colony, the better.

You can read the rest of our “Kings of the Nerds” spotlights at the link here, and we’ll be back tomorrow to talk about Kelsey. (Here’s a teaser: Her audition video reminds us a ton of what we did to get on “Beauty and the Geek” years ago.) Also, sign up for our CarterMatt Newsletter to get some occasionally-nerdy updates straight from us!

Photo: TBS

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