VT student calls reality show 'experience of a lifetime' - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

VT student calls reality show 'experience of lifetime'

Posted: Updated:

After eight weeks of keeping the outcome of reality show The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius secret, the finale is now out.

Amy Elliott suffered a disappointing blow when her winning bridge design failed to fully deploy but she's not letting it get her down. "I don't feel bad because if you go after something inspiring and fail, it's better than going after something easy and failing," she said.

The Virginia Tech Ph. D. student spent seven weeks in California, away from her husband and delaying her graduation to compete on the reality show looking for "America's next great innovator." She's back without the $50,000 prize and dream job that went to the winner but returns with more confidence than ever. "I don't fear trying something new, that's the biggest thing I learned was try something new, do some crazy idea," she said. "If you fail that means your doing something innovative. You're bringing something new to the world that no one else has tried."

Amy had many victories during the eight week series. Her blueprints won judge's pick five times. She was team captain four times and won every team she led. Amy says the coolest moment of her life came after her opponent was named the winner and Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a guest judge on the finale, approached her after the show. "Buzz Aldrin came up to me and took me by the shoulders and said, 'I know what it's like to live in the shadow of another.' He was like the second one on the moon, Neil Armstrong was the first and he really wanted to be first. And so he took me by the shoulders and said that and I was like oh my gosh, Buzz Aldrin equated me to himself and gave me a hug. You can't beat that. It's priceless.

Surprising, Amy once considered backing out of doing the show. She says she was packing for California when she worried she would do poorly and make women engineers look bad. Amy said her advisor told her "the guys weren't holding their entire gender on the shoulders so neither should she." Amy went on to participate, representing herself.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:07 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:16 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:16:28 GMT
    ROANOKE (WSLS) - Part of Interstate 581 in Roanoke was shut down early this morning following what police say was a DUI crash.The accident happened around 3:10 a.m. Police say a man was driving a truck when he lost control and flipped.He was arrested for driving under the influence.All northbound lanes will be reopened to traffic momentarily.
    ROANOKE (WSLS) - Part of Interstate 581 in Roanoke was shut down early this morning following what police say was a DUI crash.The accident happened around 3:10 a.m. Police say a man was driving a truck when he lost control and flipped.He was arrested for driving under the influence.All northbound lanes will be reopened to traffic momentarily.
  • Former Va. governor's corruption trial begins

    Former Va. governor's corruption trial begins

    Jury selection is on the agenda for opening day in the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife in Richmond.
    Jury selection is on the agenda for opening day in the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife in Richmond.
  • Be ready for 'prolonged' Gaza war, Netanyahu says

    Be ready for 'prolonged' Gaza war, Netanyahu says

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:26 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:26:43 GMT
    Israel and Hamas have lowered the pace of the fighting in the three-week-old Gaza war as international efforts intensify to end the conflict that has already killed 1,030 Palestinians and 43 Israeli soldiers.
    Signaling an escalation of Israel's Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a "prolonged" war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to leave...
  • US: Russia violated 1987 nuclear missile treaty

    US: Russia violated 1987 nuclear missile treaty

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:25:36 GMT
    The Obama administration is accusing Russia of violating a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach a, quote, 'very serious matter.'
    In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on Monday of conducting tests in violation of a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach "a very serious matter" and going public with...
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.