By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Turlock girl tests her memory as Brainsurge contestant
Denair Middle School student Lauryn Johnson was a contestant on the Nickelodeon television show “Brainsurge.” The episode will air sometime during the week of April 25-29. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

Denair Middle School student Lauryn Johnson was thrilled to slide down a slime-filled tunnel and land in a pit of foam. While the Turlock teen isn’t particularly a fan of getting dirty, she is a fan of the Nickelodeon television show “Brainsurge.”

Lauryn was able to live out every fan’s dream last spring when she was picked to be a contestant on the popular kids game show and go down the infamous “Brain Drain” slide of slime. And in just a few more weeks, everyone will get to see Lauryn get slimed when the program is aired sometime during the week of April 25-29.

“I thought it was kind of surreal to be on the show, because I used to play along at home all the time,” she said.

Lauryn’s mom Rachel Johnson was happy to drive her to Los Angeles last year for the show’s audition. Lauryn is an “exemplary student,” according to Rachel, and deserved to at least try getting a spot on the memory-themed game show. While Rachel was worried that her “ordinary” daughter wouldn’t have a chance against the many “showbiz kids” that auditioned for the show, her advice to “be yourself” must have paid off.

Lauryn said she was nervous at first during the taping, but it was also “a lot of fun.” Being a Denair Lions cheerleader and voted the eighth grade class’ “Most Spirited” probably also helped with the stage fright.

The game show consists of youth contestants competing for points by solving memory and concentration video puzzles. Lauryn’s excellence in academics probably gave her a leg up on the competition. She skipped first grade and is the only Denair eighth grader that goes to the high school to take geometry.

Lauryn is thrilled the show she taped a year ago will finally be aired. She was contractually unable to let friends and family members know how she did on the show.

“I kept telling everyone, ‘you have to wait,’” Lauryn said.

The waiting is almost over. The show that Lauryn competed on was a special celebrity “Brainsurge” and “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks was the guest host, which was one of the best parts of Lauryn’s game show experience, according to her.

“I got to meet Jordin Sparks and that was really cool,” she said.

To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.