Like what you see? Look closer! All of these Swans are just Average Joes! From the creators of such shows as Is That Thing Loaded? and Turn Your Head and Cough, comes the next generation of reality TV. Sexier than Who Wants to Marry a Refrigerator?, crazier than Queer Eye for the Blind Guy, more shocking than Amish Boot Camp...this fall, get ready for The Hottie!
How far would a man go to make his dreams come true? Would he give up what makes him a man? To win the girl of his dreams would a man become the girl of his dreams?
"The problem with reality shows is that there is really nothing at stake," said producer Juan Venada, the mind behind such hits as My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Rabbi, and Bowling for Orphans. "After the show is over, the participants can just walk away. With The Hottie, the contestants know that even if they don't win, they won't be using the men's room for a year or so...if ever!
The premise is simple. Eight contestants spend a year living full time as women. Drag queens will not be tolerated: any man who judges feel has not achieved his potential as a woman gets the high heel boot. If any man is 'read' during proceedings (if an outsider realizes he is not really a woman), then he'll be put on the next bus home.
"These 'ladies' can drop out any time they like...no one's stopping them," says director G. Gordon Greyson (While You Were Out: Home Burglary Edition and Pimp My Wheelchair). Of course the entire country will have seen them chuck their Brut for Obsession and their Fruit of the Looms for Victoria's Secret! After we're done with them they may find they prefer being just one of the girls!"
The contestants were picked from a pool of thousands of men, aged 18 to 25. These men thought they were auditioning for the new American Eyesore, and were rather shocked to realize that, if accepted, they'd be shaving their legs for the next twelve months! One hundred men met the challenge to let the woman inside come out. After two months of intense training, only eight men remained.
The contestants will be divided into two teams, who will each live in a 'Sorority House.' No leaving the toilet seat up, men! They'll be expected to be in fem form twenty four/seven. House mothers Suzanne Danforth and Lupe Rodriguez will see to that.
"When they told me about The Hottie, I just had to get on board," says Suzanne Danforth, 40, a former actress, and professional makeup artist and stylist. "When I get through with those boys, their own sisters won't recognize them...or at least they'll think they're looking in a mirror!"
Lupe Rodriguez, 25, couldn't agree more. In addition to being a former Miss Chile, this South American model has appeared on several American reality shows, including Dirty Slobs and Nanny 555-1212.
The House Mothers will not be the only eyes on our hims turned fems. Each contestant will have a sponsor from home, a woman who can help them learn what it really means to be a female.
In addition to daily makeup, hair, fashion, and comportment lessons, each of our teams will have to pass the weekly Estrogen Challenge (televised each week, though may have actually occurred months apart). As for the losers...one of the girls will be given a ticket home, back to a pile of unpaid bills and clothes that no longer fit. Which man is macho enough to become a woman?
At the end of the year, any remaining TV TV stars will complete a final challenge. The girl left standing will forever be known as THE HOTTIE! (In addition, the winner will receive $1 million, tax free).
MEET THE LADIES
Job: Personal trainer
Hobbies: Baseball, guitar, basketball
Favorite football team: The Bears
"I know this is a crazy thing to do, but I tore my hamstring last season and lost my athletic scholarship. I figure with all expenses paid I can spend a year healing up and get back on the team in the fall. And if I win, I wouldn't even need the scholarship! Go Sox!"
Chris is sponsored by his friend Jenna, 19.
"Chris is a hell of a guy, but I don't think he takes female athletes too seriously. After a year in skirts I think he'll feel different."
Hometown: St. Louis
Hobbies: Reading, gaming, classical music
Favorite football team: The Rams
"What can I say? I was never much of a macho man. I'd always rather read than play sports. I'm going to graduate next year, and I cannot afford to stay in school full time. If I win this contest I can go on and get my doctorate in psychology."
Brian is sponsored by his mother, Leah, 44.
"Brian has never dated much, I think he's still a little nervous around girls. I bet if he were to spend a few months applying makeup, he'd be more confident."
Hometown: San Francisco
Hobbies: Backpacking, canoeing, hiking
Favorite football team: The Giants
"I knew I'd never finish college, and I can't see myself working a nine to five job, either. I entered the contest in hopes that I could earn enough money to take a few years off and travel. I think that would be worth spending a few months shaving my legs. Peace."
Carl is sponsored by his sister, Amy, 15.
"Carl's been a great older brother, but I always wished I had a sister. Now, for a year, that wish will come true!"
Hometown: Los Angeles
Hobbies: Theater, music
Favorite football team: The Raiders
"I've been trying to make it in Hollywood for almost five years. I figure with this show to my credit, I can at least get some auditions. Hey, acting is acting, right?"
David is sponsored by his wife, Rebecca, 25.
"David is going to have a star on the Walk of Fame one day. If he has to be my sister for a year to achieve that, then it's worth it."
Favorite football team: The Dolphins
"I ran up a lot of credit card debt in the past few years. One million big ones would pay that off! And a lot of brewskies! Woo!"
Nick is sponsored by his girlfriend, Kiah, 20.
"Nick is a fun guy, but sometimes I wonder where he's going in life. I think the discipline on this show will be good for him. Don't tell him I said this."
Job: None (recent high school graduate)
Hometown: Two Rivers, Nebraska
Hobbies: Basketball, hunting
Favorite football team: The Corkhuskers
"In all my life I've never left Nebraska. There's got to be more to the world than this. I don't want to join the army, but if I don't leave Two Rivers now, I never will. This is my only chance."
Timmy is sponsored by his friend, Sarah, 18
"Timmy has big dreams, but I don't think he's doing the right thing. Once this show airs, he won't be welcome back here. I pray that he wins."
Job: Migrant worker
Hometown: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Hobbies: Soccer, home repairs
Favorite football team: I'm Mexican, remember?
"I make ten dollars a day working the farms in California. I get deported when the growing season ends. The US won't accept me because I'm too poor. If I had that money I could build a better life for myself and my soon to be wife."
Rodrigo is sponsored by his fiancée, Pilar.
"Rodrigo is a good man, and we want to build a life together. I regret that he has to be on that silly American show to achieve this, but when it is over, we can get married and buy a house."
Job: Cook/musician (bass)
Hobbies: Music, travel
Favorite football team: The Patriots
"What can I say? I've been with three bands in two years and nothing ever happened. This gig might get me some recognition, or a least the money to buy some decent equipment."
Tyler is sponsored by his friend and bandmate, Jeff, 20. (Producer's note: Tyler was originally supposed to be sponsored by his sister, Tanya, but her job was relocated at the last minute).
"Hey, this is crazy, but what the hell. I don't know that I can tell Tyler much about makeup or clothes, but maybe I can help look out for him."
This week's episode started with our eight girls revealing the results of six months of intense training. Our audience, who had been informed that they were about to meet eight male contestants, were both delighted and confused when eight lovely young women paraded across the stage in evening gowns. The audience members were even more shocked when they realized that the beauties were actually men.
"The whole point of this show is we are not doing low comedy," says producer Juan Venada. "We didn't put the men through rigorous girl training just to laugh at them. We want our audience, as well as the rest of America, to realize that these boys have tried their hardest to become the girl next door."
The contestants certainly have changed during the six months since their audition. As each hopeful paraded down the runway in heels and slinky dress, his interview photo was projected on the screen behind him. Where once stood a stubble-chinned, scraggly haired slob, now stands a princess. You'd think only a real woman could achieve such long legs, such supple arms, such sooth skin. What's the secret?
"Well, I wish I could take all the credit," says Suzanne, one of our house mothers. "We certainly worked hard breaking the male mold. And to their credit, each of our contestants rose to the occasion. Almost none of them complain about shaving their legs or wearing their bras. Of course, the daily dose of estrogen certainly helped soften them up."
"Estrogen therapy is certainly a big step," says Lupe, the other house mother. "That's probably why there we only ended up with eight girls. But we made it clear: only those who were willing to do anything to become a woman would be eligible for the grand prize."
Each of our faux females took to femininity in a different manner. From the time they moved into their sorority house, no male behavior was to be tolerated. Team Vixen was made up of Chris, Brianna, Carla, and Deena, under the supervision of Suzanne. During the show we were treated to in-depth interviews with the ladies and how they adapted to their change in gender.
Chris, who in her former life was a college baseball star, was upset at the implications for her sports career.
"I've never taken any steroids for fear of the side effects. But thanks to those hormones, it's happening anyway: I'm growing boobs, my penis is shrinking, and my muscles are going away. I can quit this show any time I like, and they swear none of the changes are permanent, but I worry that next spring training I'm not exactly going to fit in in the locker room.
"On the other hand, as long as I'm stuck on the DL, I might as well be doing something. Suzanne has been real good about letting me exercise, provided I don't lift weights. Every morning I do the treadmill, run an aerobics tape, or do yoga. Obviously not what I'm used to, but it does keep me thin. I'm allowed to go running, but Suzanne makes me do it wearing an athletic bra. The most embarrassing thing is, I don't think anyone suspects I'm a man, at least not when I'm going by so fast. Some guys even whistled at me the other day!"
Brianna, our resident bookworm, took a more philosophical outlook to his blooming womanhood. "Gender is nothing but a societal construct. I know I'm really a man, and will be, no matter how feminine I look. On the other hand, these heels are killing me. And being the shortest one here, I also feel the least manly. Maybe that will give me an advantage.
"Since I didn't have any really male hobbies to begin with, I'm not giving up a lot. Suzanne allowed me to get on the internet, provided I only did so in female persona. I usually was online for two or three hours a night, chatting and playing games. Now I'm on for maybe an hour a week. I can't stand all the guys who want to hit on me in cyberspace! Remember that, next time you try online flirting!"
Carla, our outdoorswoman, took issue with the skirts and heels she was required to wear.
"Suzanne insists that we dress like we're going to the prom, even when we're just going for a walk. She refused to allow me to go rock climbing at the gym or go for my weekly five-mile hike at the state park. I finally had to show her all the pictures of my women friends who can canoe, backpack, and mountain climb with any guy. Suzanne says she'll think about allowing me to do some of those things, but I'll have to be extra careful not to give myself away."
Perhaps Deena, our young starlet, took to femininity better than anyone in her house. "As an actor--sorry, an actress--I have to learn how to stay in character constantly. So long as I look at this as a role, then I'm comfortable. In the morning I make a game of seeing how long I can think of myself as Deena. It's not hard. I just worry about how I'm going to get male roles when all this is over."
Over at the other sorority house, team Kitten was also learning how to deal with the changes in their lives.
"I've obviously never done anything like this," says Tammi, our country girl. "Where I come from, anyone who's not 100% male is considered a fag. I always hated that. I just hope the people at home understand what I've done. I'm already an A cup, and if I lose, I don't know if it will be safe for me to move back home."
Tammi has become good friend with Ramona, our Mexican senorita. "I'm happy to have met Tammi. Like her, I come from a place where-come se dice?-cross dressing is not accepted. I only do this so I may build a better life for myself and my future wife. This is the first time in years I have many new clothes. They are dresses, but sometimes it is comfortable to wear something nice."
Tyler, our rock chick, tries to look for career advantages. "In the world of music, nothing is strange. I don't exactly like being the new Boy George, but, except for maybe that actress girl in the other house, I have the least to lose. It's not like anyone ever failed as a rock musician because they were too weird!"
Alas, Nikki, the house's party animal, was having a hard to adjusting. "Look at this shit! I've got tits! I used to be the biggest badass in the Kappa Delta house, now I have to dress in halter tops and do my hair! I hate this! If I didn't owe so much money I'd quit."
After six months of hormones, makeup, and intense training, we felt that these girls were ready to show themselves to the world. But before we put them in the spotlight, we decided they deserved to see a friendly face. We allowed each of our Janes to meet with their sponsor for a relaxing dinner. Here's how they reacted.
Chris' friend Jenna: To tell you the truth, I was all prepared to make fun of him. He's been teasing me for years about lesbian golfers and how bad female basketball stars are. But I couldn't do it. He'd obviously been through a lot and I could tell he was really trying to win. He looked so good. Less muscular, more curvy. And he wore that dress well. It wasn't awkward at all. It would be too much to say we were chatting like girlfriends, but I think this experience will help Chris be a better man.
Brianna's mother, Leah: Brian...Brianna has always been socially awkward. He'd only ever wear shorts and a t-shirt, he never asked girls out, and would spend his evening on the computer. I was a little taken aback when I saw what a graceful lady he'd become! His dress, his hair, his makeup...my child had never looked so good! Of course, this is only temporary, but I hope he'll remember how nice it feels to take care of your looks.
Carla's sister, Amy: Oh my God, he looked so cute! I can't believe my big brother's turning into a girl! I hope he wins, then maybe I can convince him to be my sister! I know it won't happen, but still. Next year I'll go to junior homecoming. It would be nice if Carla could help me get ready.
Deena's wife, Rebecca: My husband has breasts! I had no idea things were going to get that serious! I mean, I know things will go back to normal, but still! Wow! The craziest thing is, we're almost the same size! Maybe he'll let me have his new clothes afterwards.
It's funny, really. This isn't as upsetting to me as I expected. David's my best friend, and I guess that's even more important to me than a lover.
Nikki's girlfriend, Kiah: You know, I'd hoped this experience would make Nick grow up, but it hasn't. All he did was complain about the clothes, his so-called bitch house mother, and the 'fags' he has to live with. He's going to get himself kicked out and expect me to support him again.
Tammi's friend Sarah: I tried to keep a happy face. I mean, my God, Tim looked great. But I knew something I had to keep to myself. They found out what Tim's doing back at home. He's not popular. Even his father is calling him a queer. I hope to God he wins this, it's going to kill him if he comes back home as Tammi, and I'm not sure I mean that figuratively.
Ramona's fiancé, Pilar: (Pilar does not speak English. Her responses were translated). My fiancé is now my fiancée! He's gone from handsome to pretty! (translator's note: that sounded better in Spanish, but doesn't directly translate). It's strange, but I almost was embarrassed to eat with him. Not because of the way he was dressed, but the way I was. My clothes were so shabby compared to his.
Tyler's friend Jeff: He looked fine. I said he looked fine, OK! What do you want me to say? I'm sorry. It's just a bit weird. Yeah, he looks good. Really good.
So what's up for our contestants next week? Here's the estrogen challenge:
Accompanied by your sponsor, you must go a local beauty salon and get a makeover. You must talk intelligently about what you want, and stay en fem at all times. If anyone suspects that you are a man, then you will be dismissed from the show.
Our eight young ladies were nervous when they entered the beauty salon, to put it mildly. While our Team Hottie stylists had been warned ahead of time, none of the other patrons knew what secret our eight babes were hiding. And no red-blooded girl would cringe at the sight of a curling iron! What's more, our candidates found they would not only be getting makeup, but a full fashion makeover!
"You may think this is a challenge for me, but it's not," says Hottie fashion consultant Lori Perry. "Give me three hours and I can get your husband ready for bikini season. I turned Johnny Knoxville into Jessica Simpson, and I was more than ready to do the same for these guys."
Chris was our first candidate, along with his friend Jenna.
"Chris's problem is that her years of working out have left her with broad shoulders. As the tallest of our contestants, we needed to minimize her size. After much work, Jenna and I decided Chris would look darling in a cashmere sweater and matching skirt. It wasn't easy, convincing her to turn in her cleats for high heels, but after some practice, she got the hang of it.
"Chris has been letting her hair grow for six months now, and with a little treatment, it's as long and as smooth as Tyra Banks'. Chris was very reluctant when we gave her her first electrolysis treatment, but seemed to recover when Jenna told her that lots of women like a smoothfaced lover."
Our second candidate was Brianna, accompanied by her mother, Leah. As Chris waited for her nails to dry, she was able to watch Brianna's transformation.
"Brianna's always been the quiet one in the house. It didn't surprise me when she really didn't say anything about her makeover. Her mother and Lori made all the decisions. Quite frankly, I was a little surprised that they chose such a racy outfit. The off-the-shoulder sweater, the sassy pony tail, the dangly earrings-yes, we've all had our ears pierced-Brianna looks likes she's straight out of an 80's music video. But for some reason, it works for her. I dunno, Brianna's probably been so used to being the brain, she might find it nice to be a ditzy valley girl for once."
As Brianna's mother arranged for her daughter's bikini wax, Carla arrived for her turn.
"Carla is the most slender of our girls," says Lori. "I just had to show off that flat stomach. And since she's such an outdoorswoman, I couldn't resist putting her in some Daisy Duke cut-offs and sandals. Those tan legs are to die for!"
Carla's little sister Amy couldn't agree more. "My brother-sorry, my sister-sure turned out cute! They even got him to get a belly button ring! Now maybe Mom will let me get one!"
While Amy chatted with the three older ladies, Deena, our rising starlet, put herself at Lori's mercy.
"Deena was the easiest to handle," says Lori. "As an aspiring actress, she's used to long sessions being made over. With that attitude, it wouldn't surprise me if she walked away with first prize. I chose a sleeveless black dress for her, just the thing for those fancy Hollywood cocktail parties she'll be attending. As we finished early, I also made over her wife Rebecca, for free. They could almost pass for twins now."
Housemother Suzanne soon arrived to take Team Vixen out for a champagne brunch while team Kitten was ready to release the women within.
Nikki was the first undergo Venus therapy, and she did not like it one bit.
"Nikki whined so much I was sure some of my other customers would be suspicious," says Lori. "I was almost ready to kick her out, when her girlfriend Kiah reminded her of her massive debts and how this was the only solution. Nikki pouted the whole time. I'm afraid that tiny halter top and cherry red lip gloss wasn't totally necessary, but that's what you get for having a tantrum."
Tammi, our youngest contestant, had a much more open mind. "While I could tell she wasn't really enjoying herself, she was a good sport about it," says her friend Sarah. "She rather liked the gingham dress they picked out for her, as well as the braided pigtails she settled on. Me, I would never dress like that, and I'm from Nebraska! Still, Tammi looked cute. I just wish the people back home-it's not important."
Ramona accepted her fate without complaint. "I didn't care for all the waxing, and, the, what do you call it, electrolysis, but being Hispanic I have more hair than most. This flashy red dress-I wish I could buy something like this for my fiancée. She didn't seem to mind. She giggled the whole time."
Tyler, our punk-rock chick, was the last to visit the salon.
"I have to say I had the most fun with Tyler," says Lori. "Due to her wild lifestyle, she was willing to try things her companions would never dream of. Fishnet stockings, leather mini, grungy T-shirt, denim jacket-I never thought I'd send one of my customers home that way! She did look great, though. I had to draw the line at the mohawk, but the pink hair is kind of cute.
"Of course her friend Jeff was next to useless. I didn't expect him to have any fashion advice, but I thought the boy's head was going to explode. We finally had to send him off to the hardware store next door. I wonder what was upsetting him?"
After bidding a sad farewell to their sponsors, the ladies set out for a day on the town.
"Those poor girls have been cooped up the sorority houses for months now, with only supervised trips outside," says Lupe.
"It was time they had a day to themselves."
Carla and Chris decided to spend an afternoon at the gym, playing basketball and getting back into training.
"We played a little one on one," says Carla. "It was fun, but kind of distracting to play with an athletic bra. In fact, we didn't bother with tops. By the time we were finished, there were like twenty guys watching us! They acted like they were watching the game, but lord!"
Carla agrees. "Afterwards, we enjoyed a leisurely session in the sauna. We wore towels, of course, but not all the ladies there did! The only tricky part was using the showers without being noticed."
Brianna spent the day at a local coffee shop, catching up on her reading.
"I had fun, but every guy thinks that if a girl is there by herself, she wants to be hit on. Of course, I never had to pay for my own coffee."
Deena decided to work on her California tan at a local salon.
"I should have left my bra off, but my nipples are still sensitive. I guess I have a bikini tan now!"
Tyler treated Tammi and Ramona to drinks and a show at a local club. Both Tammi and Ramona enjoyed a chance to experience a side of life not available in their hometowns.
"Both those girls were really tossing back the drinks," grins Tyler. "It's a good thing I was watching their backs, a lot of guys were giving them the eye."
Out of all the girls, Nikki was the only one who did not enjoy her day of freedom. "This f***ing sucks! All I wanted to do is go have a beer, and some guy comes on to me. I ain't no fag! F***!"
That evening, worn out from their day in the city, our eight ladies returned to their homes. They were in for a surprise.
Meeting in the common room of the Kitten house, our half-dozen cuties were introduced to Dr. Walter Freeman, and informed of what the next estrogen challenge will be.
"Ladies, thanks to estrogen, all of you have rounded out nicely. Unfortunately, none of you have progressed past an A cup. Therefore, you all have appointments at my office two days from now. I have a large selection of implants for you to chose from, though nothing below a C cup. Any of you ladies who do not want to participate may leave now."
(note: episode three was filmed one month after episode two, in order for the ladies to heal from their surgery)
"I couldn't be happier with the young ladies," says Dr. Freeman, our official surgeon. "I thought for sure we'd lose half the contestants, especially when they were informed that the implants could only be removed at their own expense. Every one of them accepted the challenge. Every woman opted for C cups, with the exception of Chris, who we allowed to get B cups for the sake of her sports career, and Deena, who asked for D cups.
"Remember, all you ladies, breast implants are surprisingly cheap and affordable. Come see me at my office. Mention 'The Hottie' and get four implants for the price of two. Why shouldn't your husband join in the fun?"
Now that our eight young ladies have passed the point of no return, we thought it would be nice to reintroduce them to our studio audience. And what better way for our young temptresses to show off their goods than a song and dance number? Coached by their sponsors, each contestant performed a musical act. Afterwards, the audience voted on their favorite girl. The girl from each house with the lowest score would be eliminated from the show.
Chris started our show with a rendition of 'Be True to Your School.' Fittingly, she wore the cheerleading uniform of her favorite football team, the Chicago Bears. Chris didn't miss a detail, during some of her cheers it was obvious that even her panties were team colors! With those long legs and pert breasts, it wouldn't surprise us if the real Bears' cheerleaders offered her a berth next season.
"I've always thought of cheerleaders as just that: someone to cheer for the men," says Chris. "I had no idea the amount of practice, skill, and physical fitness this takes. Jenna was sweet to help me with everything, from choosing the music to selecting my skirt."
If Dr. Freeman skimped on Chris' implants, he must have given the extras to Deena. Audience members could barely keep their eyes off Deena's cleavage as she sang a husky rendition of 'Black Velvet,' wearing, what else? a strapless, black velvet evening gown. Are you watching, Tinseltown?
"In Hollywood, you have to be willing to go the distance to make it big," gushes Deena. "That's why I went for the larger cup size. Producers have to know I'm willing to do anything to land a part. Well, not anything, but you get the point. Plus, my wife Rebecca has the same size bra, so I guess we can share."
The audience barely had time to scrape their jaws off the floor when Brianna took the stage. Unwilling to abandon her bookish personality, Brianna treated us to a Beethoven concerto on piano. Her conservative backless evening gown was quite a departure from her friends' more risque outfits, but sometimes the prettiest woman is the one who leaves you wondering.
Brianna is unapologetic about her performance. "I had originally planned to get decked out in spandex and sing 'Whip it into Shape.' But in the end, I decided to go with the piano piece. I've been playing for years, and it's what I'm good at. If the audience doesn't like it, well, you can't say I didn't do my best. Heck, I can't even look at the keys anymore, not with these two girls in front of me!"
If Brianna felt she had to be conservative, it certainly didn't rub off on the last member of team Vixen. Carla brought down the house with the classic 'If You're Going to San Francisco.' And yes, she did wear flowers in her hair. Her fringed halter-top showed off Dr. Freeman's work nicely, but the smooth legs in those short shorts belonged only to Carla.
"Everyone says I'm a hippie at heart, so why fight it?" says Carla. "Of course, I did shave my legs and pits."
Team Kitten certainly had a rough act to follow, though each and every one of them rose to the challenge. Tammi started us off with an soulful version of 'Strawberry Wine.' With that half shirt and those cutoff jeans, I imagine every country boy out there would like to take Tammi up into the hayloft!
"I'd never performed in front of an audience before. I wanted to try out for my high school musical, but Dad said it was too sissy. Well, no point in worrying about that now!"
The audience's howls turned to groans of disappointment when Ramona took the stage. She was dressed in full mariachi gear, including sombrero and false mustache. The groans quickly faded, however, when the band struck up 'The Mexican Hat Dance,' and Ramona's clothes seemed to fall off. Her spangled shirt flew open to reveal a sequined bikini top. Her hat was tossed to the audience, letting lose a mane of raven-black hair. Finally, she removed the stache, showing us the face of a senorita that any man would be happy to watch shake her maracas.
"A year ago I was picking fruit in California for ten dollars a day. Now I'm doing a striptease for a group of men on television. Only in America."
If the males in the audience needed a cold shower after Ramona's number, they needed a blast with a firehose when Nikki walked on stage. Clad in nothing but gold boxers and tassels, Nikki proceeded to torture network censors and judges alike with an erotic fan dance. Unfortunately, it was evident that she had not practiced very much. What she had gained in curves, she lacked in enthusiasm.
"I kept telling her she needed to work on her act," says Nikki's girlfriend, Kiah. "But after that surgery, she kind of started moping. Well, it's her problem. I certainly won't pay to have those implants removed. Maybe Nikki'll stop obsessing over my boobs now that she has a pair."
If Tyler though she'd have to work to impress the audience after the previous seven acts, she certainly didn't show any nervousness. Accompanied by her friend Jeff, Tyler belted out a hard core version of 'She's a Lady' on her bass guitar. Halfway through the first verse, her skimpy bikini top somehow 'came off.' While she managed to cover everything with her instrument, it was clear the audience liked what they saw.
"I'm going to win this. Period," boasts Tyler. "It was hard enough getting these stupid implants, I might as well show them off. I guess I should have warned Jeff, though. He might have cost me points when he dropped his guitar like that."
In order to give the two losing ladies an extra week in the sorority houses, we decided not to inform them until the end of the week. Unfortunately, the week got off to a rather tragic start. Tammi received an unexpected visit from her father.
"Tammi and I were sunbathing in front of our house," says Tyler. "I had just complimented Tammi on how good she looked in her bikini when I realized there was this big angry hillbilly glowering at her. It was Tammi's father and I think he heard me."
"Dad didn't lose any time," recalls Tammi. "I didn't have time to pull on a T-shirt before he'd called me a sissy-ass faggot and a homo queer. My own father."
Taking a second to pull herself together, Tammi continues. "He said everyone back home was ashamed of me. He said he was embarrassed to have me for a son. I tried to tell him that I was eighteen and I had to make my own choices. I thought he was going to punch me. He told me we were going home and get my tits cut off. He said after that, I was going to join the army. That would make a f---ing man out of me."
Tammi refused to leave, and things almost got ugly when her father tried to drag her to his truck. Luckily, Tyler had apparently learned a thing or two in her music career and was able to fend off the violent attack.
"Damn, was that guy steamed," says Tyler. "I don't think he appreciated me dropping him like that, but, hell, he was attacking my sorority sister. He was practically frothing when he drove off. He told Tammi that he was out of the family, not to come home. And some much meaner things. Tammi was crying. Ramona took her inside and comforted her while I called her friend Sarah. We all sat in Ramona's room trying to comfort her. Well, the three of us. As usual, Nikki was moping in her room."
Sarah was at the house in under an hour. "Tammi was no longer crying, but she looked like she'd never smile again. I wish I could say I didn't see this coming. Ever since the first episode, everyone back in Two Rivers was laughing at her, or worse. I kept telling everyone we ought to admire Tammi for her courage, but they just laughed at me. Said she was a fag and they'd beat her up if she ever came back to town. To hell with it. I start school at the University of Nebraska this fall. I'm never going back to Two Rivers."
After a tearful night, many group hugs, and a gallon of rocky road, Tammi was ready to face another day. "No one in my family, and none of my friends except Sarah would have stood by me. But these girls did. They're my real sisters."
(producer's note: While all the girls signed contracts allowing us to air anything that happens in the sorority house, we volunteered to edit out the episode between Tammi and her father. Tammi declined, saying she had nothing to be ashamed of).
Friday came sooner than later, and all eight of our girls gathered in the Kitten house living room to hear who'd been eliminated.
"I don't know what was worse," says Deena. "The fear that I'd be cut, or the fear one of my sisters would be. This isn't like reality TV at all. I don't want anyone to lose."
The audience had voted, and seven of the girls had received high marks. It was Nikki, predictably, who came in a distant eighth.
"Nikki is pretty, but she really does not try," says Ramona. "With her curves and pretty face she could have easily stayed another week, but it was like she wanted to lose. I can't say I'll miss her."
Nikki packed up and left without a goodbye to her sisters.
"She just showed up in my hotel room with nothing but a suitcase full of dresses," says girlfriend Kiah. "He honestly expected me to help him buy new clothes, get his implants removed, and get back home. And I'll probably end up doing it. Unless...hmm."
While the first cut was the easiest, no one could fault any member of Team Vixen for a lack of effort. House Mother Suzanne delivered the bad news.
"I'm sorry, Carla. It was very close, but you were edged out."
Carla's three sisters teared up, and it was hard not to notice the tears in the eyes of Team Kitten as well. Only Carla managed to stay composed.
"I can't say I'm not disappointed. I kinda wish they'd cut me before I got these hooters. Still, no regrets. I've got to be on TV, made some good friends, and I'm much closer to my sister Amy. In fact, Amy and I are going to take a month-long road trip as sisters. When we get back to San Francisco I'll borrow a little money to get back to being Carl. Good luck, ladies, I'll be watching!"
The women had very little time to mourn their lost teammates. The next estrogen challenge was about to be revealed.
"Girls," announced Lupe, "we're going on a little trip tomorrow. To a tattoo parlor. Tonight, you must decide what tattoo you'd like and where. Hearts, flowers, butterflies, the choice is up to you."
"Yes, it will hurt," says Mark Delacroix, 'The Hottie's' official tattoo artist. "But just be brave, and you'll have a design that will last a lifetime."
Mark was kind and gentle with our contestants, helping them decide which girly art they would like permanently etched onto their flesh. Of course, Mark had no idea that these ladies all had a little secret! We told them it was part of a reality show, but didn't go into detail.
Chris, our firm and toned athlete, was the first to go under the needle. "I can take it. The ink wouldn't show up well on my dark skin, so I opted for a chain of flowers around one bicep, and another around my ankle. I certainly hope I win this. Tattoo removal is expensive, and this will be a little hard to explain in the locker room."
Brianna, however, was not so eager to become a work of art. "I've always been afraid of needles. Just a sissy, I guess."
With Chris and Deena each holding their sister's hand, Brianna allowed Mark to put a Celtic design on her lower back, and a butterfly on her ankle.
"That'll look great with a cropped shirt," says Mark. "Brianna was a real trooper. I tried to convince her to get her nose or navel pierced, but she said that will have to wait until later."
Deena, our starlet, was worried about what a tattoo would do to her chances at an audition. "Sometimes it will make you stand out, others it'll hurt your chances. I chose a long-stemmed red rose on my shoulder. Sexy, but not too out there."
As Team Vixen left to let their wounds heal, Team Kitten presented their own bodies as blank easels. Tammi was the first to be decorated.
"If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this right. If everyone back home thinks I'm no longer a man, who am I to argue." That's how she explains the three-inch-tall letters spelling PRINCESS across her shoulder blades.
Ramona was demure, as usual. "They said a feminine tattoo. Eyeliner is feminine, right?"
Tattooist Mark agrees. "While I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, it looks good on Ramona. She'll never have to worry about eye makeup again. It really brings out those dark, haunting eyes."
Finally, Tyler took her turn in the chair. Without pause, she ordered a pink Valentine heart on her arm, with space left over for a name. Who's name?
"That special someone, of course," tittered the young musician.
As Mark bandaged Tyler's arm, we let him in on the girls' secret. He was not amused.
"I would never have done their ink if I'd known that. Tattoos are permanent, and if they're doing this to win some stupid contest, they're going to regret this."
When informed that each woman had already submitted to breast implants, Mark grew calmer. "So they're all actually dudes? Even Brianna? Jesus, I never would have guessed."
If the ladies thought becoming works of art was going to be the hardest part of the week, they were 'sorely' mistaken.
"The tattoos were just to get them to believe the worst was over," laughs housemother Lupe. "Actually, the real challenge was about to begin."
Friday night, girls from both houses were ordered to make themselves pretty for a night on the town. Nothing too fancy, but not casual either. Soon, the bathrooms of both houses were filled with women showering, doing each other's hair, and putting on makeup.
"We're probably going to be judged on our makeup and such," says Deena. "We can't skimp. Oh, Chris, can I borrow your hoop earrings?"
Sitting in the parlor of their sorority house, each lady waited in giddy anticipation to find out where they'd be showing off. A dance club? A fancy restaurant? No, something much more exciting.
"Ladies," Suzanne addressed Tyler, Ramona, and Tammi. "It's Friday night. Girls as pretty as you shouldn't be sitting home alone."
Tammi gasped at that point. She knew what was coming.
"And so, we've arranged a gentleman to take each one of you out. In fact, here comes one now. Remember, none of them know how you achieved womanhood, so don't let the cat out of the bag. And remember, a proper lady only kisses on the first date, nothing more-or less."
"Of course, the guys really knew the girls' secret," says producer Juan Venada. "We'd be opening ourselves up to a lawsuit, otherwise. But our contestants thought they were expected to be ladies–and you'd be surprised how far they'd go to play the part."
"My man was the first one to show up," laments Chris. "Barely ten seconds after we find out that I've been set up with a date! To make matters worse, the guy, Darnel, was a college baseball player, and I faced him on the field once! Thank goodness he didn't recognize the new Chris."
Darnel suggested a bite to eat, and Chris recommended a local sports bar. "Too manly? Maybe. But I tell you this: if a girl I took out ever wanted to go to 'The End Zone' on a first date, I'd marry her."
Darnel and Chris hit it off well, not only having a love of baseball in common, but many other hobbies as well.
"Chris and I got along great," said John in a private interview. "I wonder if he remembers tagging me out at second base last year. He did the same thing to me in the car tonight."
Chris apparently did not mind Darnel's attempt to steal second, and allowed him a brief kiss at the door.
"A nice guy, but let's face it, so am I. I did my duty and it's over."
Brianna shrieked in recognition when her date arrived. It was Mark, the tattooist from earlier in the day.
"It was my first date," relates Brianna. "I know, how pathetic is that? Twenty one and never asked anyone out. I was afraid they'd set me up with some hulk for laughs, but Mark was really nice. And smart. I really enjoyed listening to him, but he also insisted I talk. What a nice guy."
When asked if Mark was handsome, Brianna was non-evasive.
Mark took Brianna to a university concert performance of one of her favorite symphonies. Afterwards they walked through the quad, hand in hand. Ran, more like it. While our cameraman was adjusting his lighting, our young couple gave him the slip, and did not return to the sorority house until well past midnight. Mark then gave Brianna a chaste kiss. A little too chaste, perhaps.
"Mark is a nice guy. I think he felt a little guilty about convincing me to get tattooed and wanted to make it up to me. I'd never had anyone treat me so special. He was so funny, so sweet, so gentle..."
Mark was even more closed-mouthed. "This show stops filming in a couple of months right? I mean, after that, Brianna's free to do whatever she wants, right?"
When asked about Brianna's new back tattoo, Mark was quick to stick his foot in his mouth.
"Oh, it was still bandaged...I mean...um, that's what she told me."
Deena was the last Vixen to entertain a gentleman caller. "I haven't been on a first date since I married Rebecca three years ago. I hope she's okay with this. I mean, I'm doing this to win, nothing more."
George, a twenty-three year old bartender and part-time actor, showed Deena a swinging good time.
"We went dancing," says George. "She was a little awkward, at first, she kept trying to lead. After a while, she just put her arms around my neck and let me hold her. It felt like prom night, but without the soul-crushing awkwardness and frustration. She'll make a great leading lady someday."
George kissed Deena as she exited the car, and again at the doorstep. They kissed for some time, actually.
"I kissed him because I had to. I mean, for the show. It's not like it was unpleasant. Not that I enjoyed it! But to kiss someone new after three years...It was acting! That's all it was!"
While Team Vixen was painting the town pink, the girls in Team Kitten certainly weren't slacking. Tammi giggles when she talks about her date with Terrance, an intern for a local newspaper.
"He took me to a screening of an independent film, then out for coffee. I kept thinking of excuses I could use to leave, but never did. It was nice to talk to a guy about something other than killing animals or car racing. I guess that's a side of the world I never experienced in Nebraska."
The attraction seemed only mental, however, as Tammi only allowed Terrance the briefest of kisses at the end of the night.
"Tammi was a beautiful girl," says Terrance. "But I could tell she wasn't that in to me. I wish her luck in the contest."
Ramona was the second one out of the gate, but certainly not the first one back home. Her date, Cuban-American photographer Antonio, took her for a moonlight paddleboat ride in the park. While out cameraman couldn't tag along, his telephoto lens did manage to catch Antonio and Ramona holding hands.
"It's not cheating, is it?" asks Ramona. "My love is Pilar. I did let him kiss me in the little boat, but he's a man, so it doesn't count, no?"
Of course, not every girl could be expected to go on a blind date. We figured at least one of our contestants should have a night on the town with a friend. When Tyler's date showed up, she shrieked with surprise.
"They told me Tyler was in the lead, but she'd be kicked out if I didn't go on a date with her. Christ, we both dated sisters once. And now he's...pretty."
Jeff was more awkward than a thirteen-year-old on his first date as he escorted his friend and band mate out for the night.
"Jeff was so awkward, I thought he was going to fall down," laughs Tyler. "It was so cute. He had no idea what we were supposed to do, so I took him to a club and made him have a few drinks. He wouldn't dance with me, and he almost got into a fight when some guy wouldn't leave me alone. What a gentleman!"
Jeff stood frozen like a deer in the headlights when he dropped Tyler off at her door. Then, very slowly, he made his move.
"It wasn't like kissing my old friend," he relates. "It was-soft. And nice."
For hours afterwards, two groups of girls stayed up, giggling, exchanging stories and describing kisses. Saturday morning dawned, however, with a sense of foreboding. One woman from each house would be eliminated today.
"I think it's going to be me," sighs Brianna. "I've been playing little miss bookworm. It's not what they want."
Brianna's prediction did not come true.
"I'm sorry, Chris," said a grim-faced Suzanne. "You've tried harder than anyone. But the judges felt you were too manly on your date."
Chris took the news with just a bit of anger.
"I talked sports, went to a bar, and held my own in the conversation. If a woman did that, she'd be considered independent and strong. I do it and I get kicked out. So this is what sexism feels like. It sucks. I'll never make fun of a woman again."
After announcing plans to move in with her friend Jenna to decide what to do next, Chris exchanged hugs with her two remaining sisters and left. Over at the Kitten house, another tearful goodbye was taking place.
"Not Tammi," said Ramona, not hiding her tears. "Where will she go? She has no home! Her father is a terrible man. What will happen to her?"
Both Tyler and Ramona offered to leave in Tammi's place, but she would have none of it.
"They both said they'd give up everything...the tattoos, the implants, the hormones would all be for nothing...so that I wouldn't have to face what's waiting for me back home. That's true friendship. But I couldn't let them do it. Of course, I have no idea what's going to happen to me. My dad says I'm out of the family, and Sarah is moving into the dorms in a month. I guess I'll be the prettiest homeless guy out there."
Tammi burst into tears and refused to answer any more questions.
Now that the group had been reduced by half, the housemothers dropped another bombshell on their girls.
"Next week's estrogen challenge will be a little different. We're all so proud of the women you've become, we feel it's time to show you off...at home. Next week we'll be sending you all back to your hometowns, to meet with your families, your friends, and your coworkers. You have to tell them you became a woman out of your own free will."
With dresses packed and airplane tickets in hand, our four young ladies set out for home in what was probably their most daunting challenge yet: introducing the women they've become to their old friends.
"It's one thing to become a woman if everyone thinks you did it to be on TV," says producer Juan Venada. It's quite another when they think you did it because you wanted to be girly!"
Brianna stands in the quad at St. Louis University. With her cropped Tshirt and butterfly tattoo, she draws appreciative glances from passing college men.
"It's weird to be back," says the co-ed cutie. "I told people I was taking a year off to travel. This is going to be a shock for everyone."
Brianna's first stop was The Cheshire Cat, a local gaming store.
"I can't count the number of Saturday nights I spent here, just playing Dungeons and Dragons, not a woman in sight. Well, for the first time in history, a girl is going to sit in on a game."
When Brianna walked into the back room, the jaws of the six gamers hit the floor in awe. It took a second for Brianna to realize that her friends were not shocked over her transformation, but merely by the presence of an attractive woman. When Brianna informed them that she was actually their old dragon-slaying partner, her buddies could not stop talking.
"You look amazing!"
"Are those things real?"
"So you live with other women? I know they're actually guys, but you've seen them naked, right?"
"Did you see the new Stargate DVD?"
Brianna patiently answered her friends' questions, and then joined them in few rounds of role playing.
"A year ago, I couldn't think of a better way to spend a weekend. Now, all I can wonder is don't these guys ever date? They'd be cute if they'd just clean up a little. When I get back, I'm going to help them pick out some new clothes, and teach them how to talk to girls. I can serve as a warning as to what might happen otherwise."
Brianna made her excuses, and laughingly declined to set up a webcam. Her next stop was the psychology department at her university. While her colleagues knew she was taking a year off for personal development, they did not expect just how much Brian had developed.
"To be honest, I expected Brian had gone off to do research at NYU or some other college," says Dr. Peter Franks, the assistant head of the psychology department. "This is a most amazing transformation. I'd love to study her. Her psyche! To do a psychological study...oh, grow up."
Fellow students of Brianna's were more blunt. "Brian was getting so pale, I thought he lived in a mushroom cave," says one anonymous grad student. "I don't care that he's turned into a girl, I'm just happy he's getting out of the house. Nice legs, though."
Brianna spent the rest of the weekend visiting with her mother, and shopping for clothes.
"It's odd being back in the old neighborhood. When I first signed up for The Hottie, the only things I noticed around here were the libraries and gaming shops. I had no idea there were so many fun things to do here! It's going to be hard getting back to my studies."
Brianna's mother winks at the camera. "I told her that all through high school. I'm just glad she's finally realizing it."
While Brianna was charming the pants off academia, Deena and her wife Rebecca were enjoying Tinseltown.
"Deena's really been working hard these past months," says proud wife Rebecca. "I figured before we met up with her friends, we'd do a little shopping."
The two women hit Rodeo drive, and didn't spare the charge card (The Hottie gave Rebecca a bit of a clothing allowance, so she could show her wife a good time). Soon the ladies had purchased everything from matching evening gowns to skimpy bikini tops.
"More than once, a saleslady asked if we were sisters," says Deena. Obviously we couldn't say we were husband and wife. We denied it at first, but eventually we just played along. It's sad, but during this whole weekend, I had a lot of alone time with Rebecca. We did each other's hair. That's all."
But Deena had other things on her mind when she crashed a party given by Zach, a fellow actor.
"I had just landed a speaking part in new movie Austin Powers goes to Pittsburgh. I was having some friends over to celebrate when I notice that Rebecca had shown up. I went over to see how she was doing, when I realized that the girl in the tube top was DAVID!
Zach's successes were momentarily forgotten, as a dozen out of work actors grilled Deena on her new life.
"You you're doing television now? Do you think you'll still try for films after all this?"
"National exposure? Damn, you get all the breaks."
"Is plastic surgery that expensive?"
"Are they looking for other contestants?"
"Everyone in Hollywood is so desperate for exposure, I don't think anyone really thought what I'd done was that desperate," says Deena. "Weird, maybe, but not desperate."
Everett Evers, Deena's old agent, seemed especially happy at this turn of events. "All this TV (pardon the pun) exposure is great! I think we could find some good parts for Deena when she comes back. David who?"
A thousand miles to the east, Ramona was preparing for a reunion with some of her family. There was some concern that if she crossed the Mexican border, she would not be allowed back to the U.S. on 'Rodrigo's' visa. Instead, she met with some cousins and old friends who were doing some seasonal farm labor in El Paso, Texas.
Ramona stands in the blazing southern heat, her backless sundress billowing in the dry Texas wind. By her side is her fiancée, Pilar, more modestly garbed in jeans and a T-shirt.
"I am very worried about how my friends will...what is the word?...react. In Mexico, well, it's the land of macho. Homosexuals are not accepted. How will people react when they learn I became a mujer?"
Ramona and Pilar approach the group of laborers with trepidation. They are having their noontime meal, after a morning of grueling work at a truck ranch. The half dozen or so men recognize Pilar and shout greetings in Spanish. They look on expectantly, waiting for her amiga to introduce herself.
"Guys," says Ramona, in Spanish. "It's me. I...I used to be Rodrigo. Please call me Ramona now. I moved to the United States and am trying to become a television star."
For a few minutes, no one says anything. Eventually, someone laughs.
"Ramona, I don't blame you. I guess you were willing to do anything to give up this life. Looks like you'll never have to pick any fruit for the rest of your life. Do what you have to. Just don't forget us."
Ramona bursts into tears and is hugged by her friends. It is not until she gets back to the motel that she lets her true feelings show.
"I feel such shame. Not because of my dress, or because of my breasts. It is because everything thinks I became a girl so I wouldn't have to be one of them anymore. So I wouldn't have to cross the border every year, and come back just as poor. The worst part is, I think they may be right."
Ramona sits mutely on the motel bed, as Pilar rubs the shoulders of the woman who used to be her man.
Finally, up in chilly Boston, Tyler gets back together with her old bandmates.
"They guys are playing a gig over at Drink to Forget. I think I'll surprise 'em."
Tyler pulls on some ragged army pats, some ratty sneakers, a stained Tshirt, and a black leather jacket. Her pink hair hangs tangled down her shoulders and she's not wearing any makeup. As she waits in line to enter the dank club, the other rockers can't keep their eyes off her. She gorgeous and she doesn't have to prove it to anyone.
Tired of waiting, Tyler barges her way to the head of the line. No one stops her, and the bouncer waves her through without paying the cover. Inside, Tyler's old band is playing a slower number. Her friend Jeff nearly drops his guitar when he recognizes the sexy rock chick in the audience. He whispers something to the keyboarder, who relays the message to the drummer, and then to the singer. The song screeches to a halt.
"Ladies and gentlemen," announces Jeff to the annoyed crowd, "our old bassist, Tyler, has joined us tonight. Wanna come up on stage, beautiful?"
The crowd cheers as Tyler picks up a borrowed instrument and finishes the set with her friends. Afterwards, backstage, her buddies ply her with questions.
"I ain't telling why I did this. But I look f***ing sexy, don't I?"
Tired of the barrage of questions, Tyler grabs Jeff by the hand and drags him into the band's van.
"We're going for a ride. Be back tomorrow."
When our cameraman informs them that she is required to finish the interview, she flips him off and disappears into the alley, a surprised, but not unhappy Jeff in tow.
Two days and four plane trips later, the girls are sitting in the living room of the Kitten house. It's tense; everyone knows there's a fiftypercent chance that they won't survive this cut. Even carefree Tyler seems high strung.
"Ladies," announces Mr. Venada. "All four of you...actually, all eight of you, performed above and beyond our expectations. If I had known you were going to try so hard, I would have arranged for every one of you to win a prize. But rule are rules, and two of you must go.
Suzanne looked to be holding back tears when she broke the news to her young charge.
"I'm sorry, Brianna. God, I'm sorry. You're a woman anyone could be proud of. You've become such a beautiful young lady. But the judges feel that Deena is just a little more feminine. Good luck."
Surprisingly, Brianna is the only one who doesn't look miserable. She hugs Deena, whose tears are causing her mascara to run.
"Please don't feel bad. These past few months, I've done more living than I have in my whole life. Strange as it seems, I'm glad I did this. School doesn't start for a few more months, and there's still a lot I want to do. All I ask is that we all keep in touch. You're my best friends."
Brianna left the house with a smile on her face. We last saw her climbing into a car that looked suspiciously like Mark's, the man who took her our on her first date.
But speculation about Brianna ended, when Lupe announced the cruelest cut of all.
"Ramona, it was almost a tie. But Tyler was more of an audience favorite."
Ramona was unable to speak, and quietly left the room to back. Tyler joined her soon after.
"I feel sick," said Tyler, later. "Ramona never once made me feel guilty, but where will she go? She's supposed to get married soon, for Christ sakes! There's no way she can be a groom now."
Ramona left silently, and the two remaining girls were given a few minutes to compose themselves. Finally, Mr. Venada offered the final challenge.
"Ladies, this year, you've allowed us to alter your wardrobes, your bodies, and even your minds. Now it's your turn. For the final challenge, for the million dollars and the title of 'The Hottie,' you must convince us that you want to win more than anything. You have one week to decide how to prove that you're the best woman for the job. All our resources are at your disposal."
The show opens with a montage of clips from the past several months: eight guys arriving at the sorority houses; their first makeover, their first time in public; the laughter, the tears, the smooth skin and curves. The screen fades to a group photo of the original eight girls, then switches to a shot of Deena and Tyler, the two finalists.
"It's been a crazy year," says Juan Venada. "I never would have thought all the girls would try so hard and turn out so beautiful. Before we see the results of our final challenge, let's see what our housemothers have to say.
"I couldn't be more proud of my girls," says Suzanne, Team Vixen housemother. "All four of them tried their hardest. I'm not surprised Deena made it to the finals, though it could have gone either way. Out of the girls, I think it was Chris who had to change her body the most. I think it was Brianna whose personality changed the most."
And was Suzanne surprised at how well her young ladies turned out?
"Not in the least," says the forty-year-old starlet, still looking sexy and glamorous in her low-cut evening gown.
"Everyone changes. Before I was a beautician, I was an actress. Before I was an actress, I was a model. And before I was a model, I was a nightclub singer. Before that I was a marine."
The audience laughs until Suzanne lowers the shoulder of her dress, revealing a faded USMC tattoo. On the screen behind her is a photo of her at age 19: crew cut, in dress uniform, and every inch a man.
"This was not the life I'd have chosen for myself. But I was wounded during the invasion of Somalia...let's just say I lost something that no prosthetic could replace. Rather than be half a man for the rest of my life, I decided to become a complete woman."
The audience is only stunned for a moment, this is not the most shocking thing they've seen on this show. Soon they are on their feet, cheering the boy who lost his manhood to war, and the lovely woman he turned out to be.
Later, Juan interviewed Lupe, housemother of Team Kitten.
"I knew being housemother would be fun, but I had no idea it would be so heartbreaking. Tammi's problems with her family, Ramona's poverty, and Nikki's poor attitude. If it weren't for Tyler cheering us all up, I don't think we would have survived. I'm pleased she's winning, though my money was on Tammi.
Juan asks the twenty-five-year-old model if she can take credit for the success of her girls, the former Miss Chile shakes her head.
"I couldn't have made these girls do a single thing against their will. Well, maybe Nikki. The point is, they achieved everything on their own."
When asked if she has any interesting secret she wants to reveal, Lupe winks at the camera.
"I've had a bit of plastic surgery myself. This isn't my real nose."
The audience groans, at least one of the pretty women on stage is real.
Lupe continues. "I had to have surgery. Back when I was a featherweight boxer, I broke it at least three times."
After the commercial break, we're ready for our final two contestants to present themselves. Their final estrogen challenge was up to them. They had to convince the judges how far they were willing to go in order to win.
The first lady on stage is Deena. The audience waits expectantly, wondering what over-the-top stunt she could pull in order to achieve victory (she's a two-to-one favorite in Vegas). But when the gorgeous woman walks out on the runway, it's not Deena, but her wife Rebecca!
The audience claps, but confused. Rebecca is lovely in her simple, onepiece swimsuit, but she's not a contestant. Then, just as the audience is beginning to mumble. Another woman walks out on stage. Rebecca!
An absolute mirror image of the first woman, Rebecca II prances down the runway, and joins her twin. The crowd goes wild.
"Deena and Rebecca approached me right after the last challenge," says Dr. Freeman. "They wanted me to turn Deena into a clone of Rebecca. It was quite a challenge, and I ended up having to do a little work on Rebecca just to even things out. But you'll have to admit that they're sisters now! You can't tell who the real Rebecca is without looking in her panties. I'm not even sure anymore."
After the two Rebeccas clear the stage, the judges wonder what Tyler can do to top becoming your wife's twin sister. Not even Lupe knows what her girl has in store when she walks out on stage. She is dressed unusually conservative, simply a skirt, sweater, and heels. Her hair has been dyed a more realistic brown.
Then, with no preamble, no music, no warning, she begins to strip. And this is no striptease. Everything goes. Soon Tyler stands in front of the audience wearing nothing but nipple rings and her valentine tattoo. And while our television audience is not allowed the full spectacle, our judges realize that Tyler is now missing some very important parts!
Dr. Freeman acknowledges his role in the transformation. "All Tyler's idea. I wasn't qualified to do the surgery, but I have a colleague in California who was more than happy to do the procedure. Tyler left more than her heart in San Francisco."
After the network's censors forced Tyler to replace her clothes, we polled audience members on who deserved to win. There were many different opinions, and the audience seemed fairly divided. Many thought that Tyler had sacrificed the most; others thought that Deena's marriage was an even bigger sacrifice than the rocker's family jewels. Finally, all votes were collected. Half an hour later, Tyler, and the two Rebeccas stand on stage, all holding hands. The twins seem nervous, but Tyler doesn't appear worried at all.
"Ladies, you're all amazing. And it came down to a half dozen votes. Congratulations, Deena!"
Deena and Rebecca begin to scream and embrace. Suzanne rushes forth to crown the winner, but realizes she's not sure who's who. She finally crowns one girl and hands a bouquet to the other.
Tyler seems strangely calm. She kisses and congratulates both girls and walks back stage.
After the singing, the champagne, and the tears, we interview our ladies one last time.
Rebecca and Deena cannot wipe the smiles off their faces.
"I'm so glad we won, but that's not even the best part. We're now even closer than husband and wife! We're sisters!"
The other girl nods in agreement. "We can share clothes, beauty tips, and do each other's makeup! And think of the roles we can land!"
Our interviewer is unable to resist, and asks who the real Deena is.
"She is," they say in unison.
Backstage, Tyler is more subdued. When ask how she feels about coming so close to victory, she shrugs.
"I could care less about winning. All the girls did great, but the whole contest was ridiculous."
Sour grapes? Hardly. Tyler turns to Jeff, who is watching from the back of the room.
"Jeff, I can't believe I'm about to tell you this. I love you. I've loved you since we met in high school." Tyler's voice cracks, this is hard to say. "I know you'd never love me like I used to be. So I joined this silly show. It's was the only way you'd ever see me as someone who could make you happy. And I can make you happy. If you..."
Tyler's entreaties are muffled by Jeff's lips, and she never gets the opportunity to finish her speech. Our crew discretely leaves. After eight months on TV, everyone was ready for some privacy.
It's been a year since the final episode of The Hottie, which proved to be one of the most successful shows in the history of reality TV. However, the network was plagued with calls demanding to know what happened to the ladies after the cameras were turned off. Did Tammi ever reconcile with her family? Did Ramona go back to Mexico? How are things between Tyler and Jeff? And did any of the girls stay girls?
We open our show with an interior shot of a church. It's gaily decorated with wedding bells, ribbons, and other signs of an impending marriage. Who's the lucky couple?
The guests begin to arrive. Is that a familiar face? It's Carla, the freedom-loving hippie chick who was eliminated early on in the competition. She's dolled up in a skirt and blouse, her long hair cascading down her back. We're quick to ask her what she's been doing.
"Well, after I lost my place on the show," she pauses to stick her tongue out at the camera "my sister Amy and I decided to take a long road trip back home to California. When we reached Arizona, we found this neat old house that someone was selling. I got a business loan and opened a bed and breakfast/ cycle rental. I actually handle the cycling part of the business. My partner is in charge of the hospitality end of things."
And who is her partner? Here she is now, staggering under the weight of a large gift. It's Tammi, the country girl whose fight with her father broke hearts all across America. She's cut her hair shorter since our last episode, but is still the same feminine, leggy woman we know.
"I had just walked out of town when Carla and her sister pulled up in their van. Someone at the sorority house had called them. Carla said she wasn't about to let a sister go homeless. When she found that house in Arizona, we decided to go into business together. She takes out customers out on bike excursions, while I clean and cook supper. The business is really taken off. Amy works there in the summers, but I think we may have to hire some additional help. Some nights we can barely crawl into our bed."
Our bed? Carla and Tammi don't elaborate, but it's hard to miss Carla's arm draped around Tammi's waist. Seems they are partners in more ways than one.
The girls squeal with delight when another former sister walks in. Chris is still tall and muscular, but still just as graceful and slender as we remember. She stops to hug her old friends.
"I honestly meant to go back to manhood when I got back to Chicago. Unfortunately, I managed to break my ankle during a pickup basketball game with Jenna. That pretty much ended my dreams of professional sports. Jenna felt so bad she got me a job as an assistant coach for her softball team. Soon I was co-manager. I also coach women's basketball and give motivational talks to high school girls. This season I'm going to be an honorary cheerleader at a Bears game. This is certainly not how I pictured my future, but I'm enjoying the heck out of myself."
Chris cuts her interview short when she spies two old friends. Ramona, the Mexican senorita who touched our hearts, along with Pilar, her fiancée.
"You mean wife," chastises Ramona. "After I lost on the show, I offered Pilar her freedom. She refused to accept."
"Ramona asked me to marry her," says Pilar, in halting English. "I no care if she is man or woman. She is my wife. I am her wife. We are happy."
Ramona shows us pictures of their wedding. Both brides wore matching gowns, and it would be a foolish man who speculated on which girl was prettier.
"I didn't know what to do when I lost," recalls Ramona. "But then a Los Angeles agent asked me if I'd be willing to be hostess of a Spanish language talk show. Of course I said yes. After several months, Pilar and I got married. I still earn enough to send money home and to help out local Mexican immigrants."
Pilar grins. "Be sure and to watch Ramona, weekdays at two."
But Ramona isn't the only star. When Deena and Rebecca sashay in, all the guests turn and stare. Flashbulbs click. It's not every day one sees two Hollywood divas.
The twins are too busy catching up with their friends to speak to us, but why bother? Everyone knows their story. It seems Tinseltown can't get enough of the identical eye candy. From the romantic thriller YooHoo Chthulhu to the comedy Brokeback Traction, these two beauties barely have time to sleep. Of course, many of Hollywood's leading men have attempted to take them to bed...if we can believe the tabloids.
"Don't believe what you read," says either Deena or Rebecca. "At least, don't believe most of what you read."
Uh-oh, looks like someone isn't as happy to be at this wedding as everyone else. Nikki, the buxom contestant best known for her sour attitude, shuns her former housemates and sits alone in a pew. Her arms crossed over her ample chest, her crimson lips folded in a pout, one wonders why she bothered coming.
"Don't mind her," says Nikki's ex-girlfriend, Kiah. "She didn't want to come, but I insisted. You see, she pretty much has to do what I say. She's so in debt that if she doesn't want to get in legal trouble, she has to obey me.
"I keep her on a pretty tight leash. Weekdays she spends in class. She'll graduate this time if she knows what's good for her. At night she studies or helps me with the household work. On the weekends we go out together. Not as lovers anymore, I'm afraid I can't date a woman. Just as friends. I've got a new boyfriend now. It would be nice if Nikki could meet someone, but she just whines. Well, she won't have worked off her debt for another two or three years. Until then, she'll be nice and obedient."
Last to arrive are Tyler and Jeff, our rock stars. Tyler has made an effort to be feminine, but you have to admit, the girl would look more natural in leather than silk. Her sleeveless dress reveals her valentine tattoo, now complete with Jeff's name. Jeff admits he now has 'Tyler' tattooed across his chest.
"We've just cut an album, and have another in the works," says Tyler "We're going to be touring this summer, and I hope all the girls can make a couple of concerts. I've never been so happy."
Jeff smiles and kisses his girlfriend. He leaves the women alone and takes his place with the organist, who is also the keyboard player for their band. He and Jeff will be providing music for the ceremony.
The music starts and the guests take their seats. The groom arrives with his best man and ushers. Then, as the wedding march plays, the bride enters from the rear of the church.
Long flowing hair, a strapless wedding dress, a face like a flower...and thick, horn-rimmed glasses. You can make a girl out of a bookworm, but as Brianna has shown us, you can't take the bookworm out of the girl.
Brianna's mother sheds tears as she watches her child march down the aisle. "She's so gorgeous. All I wanted was for my son to get out more. Instead, I gained a son-in-law. I couldn't be more proud of Brianna."
Mark, who long ago escorted Brianna on her first ever date, stares at his bride in rapture. Though he's far too busy to comment, he was kind enough to give us a brief interview after the rehearsal dinner.
"I sort of went out with Brianna as a joke," he admits. "I felt bad about tattooing her. I never expected to fall this hard, but to tell you the truth, I was happy when she was eliminated. I picked her up that night, and we've barely been apart since.
"Brianna's everything I want in a woman: smart, funny, and so gorgeous. She's going to finish her doctorate while I work at the shop. Hopefully she won't be too much of a distraction!"
As the couple says their vows, every Hottie contestant is in tears (well, maybe not Nikki). After the couple is pelted with rice, our camera crew joins them at the reception. Cake is cut, speeches are made, and dinner is served.
"It's so good to see all the girls together again," says Brianna. "Next month we're all going to do a spread for J. Crew swimwear. Pilar and Rebecca too, and maybe Amy, if we can convince her mother. And Lupe wants to us to put out a cheesecake calendar for charity. I'd never hear the end of that at the university!"
As the night wears on, couples begin to slow dance. Mark and Brianna. Rebecca and Deena. Tammi and Carla. Ramona and Pilar. Jeff and Tyler. Even Nikki allows Chris to lead her in a dance.
The time has come to bid the newlyweds goodbye. Brianna throws her bouquet and Tyler grabs it (though a rather miffed looking Carla is rubbing her ribs afterwards). And so we must say goodbye to you, gentle viewer. Be sure and catch some of our great new shows for next season:
The Hottie Two-America's Sweethearts: Ramona and Pilar will serve as housemothers on the next generation of The Hottie. Twenty contestants! Wilder challenges! Sexier outfits! Can you handle it?
Beauty is the Beast: We take the geekiest guys in high school and turn them into the most popular girls! Will the president of the chess team be elected prom queen? Can a member of the computer club make the cheerleading squad? Will a boy who's never have a date get asked out by the football quarterback? Chris and Brianna will help turn these sad sacks into sweet sixteens!
The Biggest Loser II: We take ten extremely overweight men and give them the opportunity to shed several hundred pounds. The catch? Dr. Freeman is in charge of their weight loss, and he doesn't have time for dieting. Watch as these ten guys get ready for bikini season!
A Mile in my Heels: We take five men whose wives have left them, and give them another chance at marriage. Only this time, they'll be the wives! Join Kiah and Nikki as we explore what happens when a man goes from husband to housewife!
A Change of Venue: What happens when the web master of a TG comics site, a TG artist, and the writer of TG stories get a chance to live out their fantasies? Join the trio as they become the heroines of their own creations!
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