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Let's haul out old Dobbin again and add the following. Suppose Bob does not get on the show, because the producers think he is too handsome, or he reminds Regis in some perverse way of Kathie Lee, or any other arbitrary reason. Are the expenses Bob has already incurred deductible?

My feeling is that the answer ought to be Yes. But, it's not self-employment income, since it's hard to be a professional game show contestant. And it isn't unreimbursed employee business expenses, since Bob is not an employee of the producers. Nor is it gambling losses, since what Bob might be doing is clearly not gambling, it is a test of his mental acuity.
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