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Toronto Star | June 7, 2011

phil pallen
MIT grad, Phil Pallen, BA'10, ditches Charlie Sheen for Ryan Seacrest

Sorry Charlie Sheen, it looks like you’ve lost one of your Tiger Blood internship candidates.

Phil Pallen, one of two Canadians left vying for the Sheen internship, has decided to forgo Sheen for an opportunity with Ryan Seacrest.

The 22-year-old Belleville native is currently attending Full Sail University in Florida, where he’s working toward his masters in entertainment business.

Pallen made the announcement today — almost a week after the intern candidates were expecting to hear back from Sheen.

In an interview with the Star, Pallen said he was offered the internship with the digital team at Ryan Seacrest Productions after they saw his website.

“Anyone who knows me knows that Ryan Seacrest is like my idol in Hollywood, based on his career (and) what he does — radio, television (and) hosting,” he said. “Anyone knows that he’s the one person that inspires me the most.”

He leaves for L.A. on June 30.

He also received an offer from NBC in New York, which he applied for before the Sheen internship and has since turned down.

Pallen’s not shutting any doors though.

“I would still be open to an opportunity with Charlie Sheen if they offered me something, but I have made the decision to move forward with the Ryan Seacrest opportunity. It's an obvious choice, given my career aspirations.”

It’s been two months since the Sheen internship process began.

In March, Sheen tweeted he was looking to hire a social media intern for the summer. Close to 75,000 people applied for the gig on Those 75,000 were eventually whittled down to 200 and then to the final 50.

Nothing was required from the candidates for the fifth, and final, round.

“Some of the people that made it to Round 4 started to do some of the things I did in Round 3, which is essentially run a campaign,” Pallen said.

“You saw an attempt by people to get noticed now that they had been narrowed down to the last 50 people.”

At the end of March, Pallen created a special website and Facebook page, as well as used his existing Twitter account to build followers throughout the process. He added blog posts and videos updating his followers about his process and his goings-on.

He saw his Twitter followers balloon from just over 280 to nearly 2,000, got more than 700 “likes” on his Facebook fan page and participated in 70 media interviews since making the Round 3 cut.

“I knew I had enough insight to know that this was going to be big. So I had to make a choice, it was enter this competition and get the support of a few friends, or go big or go home. Do it big, or not do it all,” he said.

Pallen said he has been home to Belleville since the start of the internship process and that he was treated as “sort-of” celebrity, but he hasn’t let it go to his head.

“It’s cute and it’s fun, but I still stay grounded and humble because if you lose that, it’s kind of lame.”

The other Canadian still in the running for the Sheen internship is Sepy Bazzazi from Vancouver.

Read the complete story: Toronto Star

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