Perfect! Flawless! Impeccable! Debra Turner, the winner of our third annual Oscar competition, is the first Insider contestant to have ever submitted an entry with no wrong answers. That puts her ahead of the professional prognosticators in the film and media industries.
Debra, a freelance writer and blogger, is modest regarding her gifts as a movie clairvoyant. “I don’t think I really have any special expertise,” she says. “I have watched the Academy Awards each year, and of course, when the nominations come out, I see the same press that everybody else sees and watch a lot of news and current events.”
Debra originally hails from Louisville, Ky. She got a summa cum laude BA in history and political science from Bellarmine University, then made the northward trek to New York City, The differences between her hometown and the Big Apple were immediately obvious: “What was weird to me was that people would shoot you a question and continue walking and sometimes get into the elevator before you had a chance to answer it.”
How did ruder-than-rude native New Yorkers react to her Southern twang? “I may have been too naïve at that time to pick up that people were making fun of me,” admits Debra. “I was super nice and didn’t always pick up on cattiness until I had been here for a couple of years.”
Debra has now lived four decades in New York City, where she has been everywhere professionally and done everything. For over 20 years, she worked in the editorial departments of Time, Fortune, Money, People and Real Simple, plus did a stint at Warner Bros. Inc, in the film publicity department, as well as at Warner Bros., Atlantic and Electra Records.
Fourteen years ago, Debra started The Savvy Shopper, a popular lifestyle blog. “We tend to cover six topics: beauty, health, fashion, food, home and entertainment. It’s about smart decision-making. There are items we have to buy, even if we believe ourselves to be minimalists.”
Here at The Insider, we are actually best described as hardcore materialists. In that spirit, we are thrilled to award Debra a $100 Amazon gift card. But we can’t help but think that she would have been smarter (and richer) if she had submitted her Academy Award predictions to a bookie. Maybe she should take her fortune-telling skills to Louisville's own Kentucky Derby on May 6th!