Jezebel Olympics Day 8: Gawker Media Employees Try to Draw a Palm Tree

Illustration by Sam Woolley.

“I’m never agreeing to do this again,” said Gawker Media Art Director Jim Cooke after spending a grueling half-hour painstakingly judging the most recent Olympic event.

At the suggestion of Team Gawker’s Ashley Feinberg, teams were tasked with submitting the best physical drawing—no photographs or digital tools allowed—of a palm tree, a tree that can be found in the 2016 Olympics’ host city, Rio de Janeiro.


The finished pieces were judged by an expert panel—Cooke and staff illustrator Sam Woolley—who took so long because “they are all terrible.”

Here’s what they finally settled upon.

Team Celebrity

Artist: Anna Merlan

Materials: Colored pencil on notepad

Judges’ notes: “Why is that leaf coming out from that other leaf?”

Award: Silver

“I’m number two,” said Merlan, “I’m number two.”

Team Sex


Artist: Clover Hope

Materials: Pen on paper

Judges’ Notes: “The coconuts are like balls,” (laughs).

Award: Bronze

“The dick didn’t win??” asked Emma Carmichael. “The man has no standards.”

Team Fashion


Artist: Madeleine Davies

Materials: Pen on Post-It

Judges’ Notes: This “took the contest seriously” but the “perspective is wrong.”

Award: Failed to place

“This ‘competition’ has pushed me over the edge into pure feud territory,” said Kate Dries.


Team Deadmodo


Artist: Samer Kalaf

Materials: Marker on Post-It

Judges’ Notes: “Charming... Could be in Pokémon.”

Award: Failed to place.

“I’m mad my palm tree wasn’t even considered,” said Kalaf, who felt better after he learned that the judges were charmed.


Team Gawker


Artist: Ashley Feinberg

Materials: Pen on paper

Judges’ Notes: “Objectively... the best drawn and looks most like a palm tree.”

Award: Gold

“This is the best day of my life,” said Feinberg.

“You all got played,” said Gawker editor Alex Pareene. “Drawing palm trees is her ‘thing.’”


Current Standings:

Team Celebrity: 3 Silver medals, 1 Bronze medal

Team Sex: 3 Gold medals, 1 Silver medal, 1 Bronze medal

Team Fashion: 1 Silver medal, 3 Bronze medals

Team Deadmodo: 2 Gold medals, 1 Silver medal, 1 Bronze medal

Team Gawker: 2 Gold medal, 1 Silver medal, 2 Bronze medals

Post Script

Team Sex’s Ellie Shechet wanted everyone to know she also drew a penis tree, but it was not selected for official competition. Here it is:

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