Two weeks ago, Ellen DeGeneres challenged a teenager on her show to use some obsolete tools: a road map, a phone book and a rotary phone. When the teen failed to complete even one of those three challenges, hilarity ensued, and the "Millennial Challenge" was born.
This week, DeGeneres offered 22-year-old graduate student Ariana Whitmarsh a chance to redeem her generation by successfully using a boombox, a typewriter and a 35 mm film camera. And even though they were labeled as "millennials" by DeGeneres, many people have pointed out that both contestants actually belong to Generation Z.
Regardless of the generational label, this week's challenge got off to a rocky start when it took Whitmarsh three times to correctly identify the boombox.
"This is what we used to listen to music on, and we would make everyone within a mile radius listen to the same thing, because it was very loud," DeGeneres joked, before revealing the typewriter — which Whitmarsh said she recognized from "classic" movies — and a 35 mm camera with a roll of film.
DeGeneres gave Whitmarsh the challenge: find the National Public Radio station on the boombox, load the typewriter with paper and type the lyric "I like big butts and I cannot lie," and put the film in the camera and take a selfie.
"I'm going to time you, and if you win, nothing happens," DeGeneres said, while Whitmarsh and the rest of the audience laughed. "You're not going to win. Mainly, this is just entertainment for us. No good will come of this for you."
When it came to the first task, Whitmarsh was almost foiled before she started — it took her over 30 seconds to even turn the boombox on, while ominous music played overhead.
"Wow, you just push any button," remarked DeGeneres as Whitmarsh struggled with the device. Finally, she managed to turn on the radio, but DeGeneres had to remind the grad student to put up the antenna to get a signal.
"I don't know," admitted Whitmarsh as she searched for the station, but DeGeneres quickly moved her along to the next task.
"Oh my gosh, this moves," Whitmarsh said, as she tried to load the typewriter. "I'm supposed to do that, right?"
The typewriter had a better start, with Whitmarsh successfully loading it, but then getting the letter keys stuck together and briefly forgetting the phrase DeGeneres had assigned.
In the end, though, she succeeded, even though one of the words was cut off by typing too close to the edge of the page.
Finally, she moved onto the final task: loading the camera.
"This is going to be fun," remarked DeGeneres, as Whitmarsh immediately tore the film, much to the audience's amusement.
"Am I not supposed to do that?" asked Whitmarsh.
"Whatever you want!" DeGeneres replied.
For a moment, Whitmarsh thought she had it figured out, but DeGeneres wasn't so sure. Whitmarsh was still trying to load the camera with the damaged film while the audience and DeGeneres laughed.
"This is really embarrassing," Whitmarsh admitted, before the challenge wrapped.
Despite the promise that there wouldn't be a prize to win, Whitmarsh still walked away with a reward: a VCR... and an iPad.