POP CULTURE - Maine Model shrinks

Maine Model, the local UPN reality show which was easily one of the most cringingly enjoyable spectacles on Wednesday nights last fall, will hold an open casting call on March 4 at the Maine Mall for its second season set to air in April. And this time you don't have to be 5'7" or taller to qualify, which, according to creator and host John Marshall, means a lot more fine women are in the running. This is Maine, after all, and most of us are pretty damn short.

Last time around, a handful of disinterested hot girls gathered for four episodes to compete for nothing much in particular with nothing much really to lose. One girl was so beyond it she slept through half of a day's shoot and arrived apparently hungover. (She made it to the semi-finals.) The winner, a brunette named Erica Commeau, who was also Miss Maine, was awarded a sleek photo shoot and a professional video to submit to the national show "America's Top Model." So far, Marshall believes Commeau's still in Maine, not Hollywood.

Though the show entertained with random, thrown-together challenges like the classic "pose with this disgusting ugly fish," it didn't manage to get to some of the good catty dirt that is the lifeblood of its national counterpart. Marshall's been racking his brains to come up with ways to record the backstabbing he swears he heard in the background during the last filming but hasn't come up with much beyond sticking all the girls in one house, which he doesn't have the budget for.

"This time around we're going to make them actually have to do things, " says Marshall. "We're hoping to get them to interact more to bring out their personalities. We're hoping to get more, well, fights."

"The Maine Man," the male version of the show, has so far been nixed in development due to a perceived lack of sponsor interest but could become a reality if enough of us call UPN to nominate our brothers.


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