From a Canadian who staged a musical on a snowy city street to an Australian who showed off his best asset in a thong, 50 lucky people are now on a short list to become caretaker of a tropical Australian island dubbed the "Best Job in the World."
Officials with the tourism department of Australia's Queensland state on Tuesday revealed the 50 finalists from a pool of nearly 35,000 applicants for the job a 150,000 Australian dollar ($96,000) contract to relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months while writing a blog to promote the area. The finalists hail from 22 countries, including the United States, Germany, Greece and India. Applicants include an actor, a chef and a scientist.
The public can view their video applications on the job ad's Web site and vote for a favorite. The top vote getter and 10 other people chosen by the tourism board will be flown to Hamilton Island for interviews. The winner will be announced May 6, and the job begins July 1.
In one video, a man from Ontario, Canada, performs an original musical on a city street, with around two dozen of his friends serving as his chorus. In another, a man from Queensland is seen scuba diving, swimming with dolphins and riding a horse along a beach. He ends his video with the line, "You'd be out of your mind not to give the job to an Aussie bum" and with that, walks away from the camera in a thong.
Queensland Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said staffers had a tough time sifting through the 34,684 entries and selecting the best of the best.
"I understand it was a robust discussion, but what it boiled down to was the motivation and professionalism of the applicants and their fit with the job and Tourism Queensland," Boyle said. The job is part of a AU$1.7 million campaign to publicize the charms of northeastern Queensland state, and tourism officials say it has already generated more than AU$70 million worth of publicity for the region.
The public has until March 24 to vote for their favorite applicant.