Urbana native takes a shot at love and reality
By ANDREW McGINN, News-Sun Staff Writer http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/fe...6466.1642.html
Do all dates these days really end up in a hot tub?
Since most reality TV shows aren't on Cinemax, that's the way it certainly seems. Network TV can only show so much.
The co-eds who turn up the heat for the cash are anonymous hardbodies. Around here, anyway. Until Monday night.
A 25-year-old Urbana native is taking the plunge on NBC's “For Love or Money.” Melissa Wehrman is one of 15 “beautiful girls,” according to the network, who have to choose between a man or a million bucks beginning at 9 p.m.
But it's not until the end of the series that the ladies are forced to choose, yes, between love or money.
You see, the women think the money comes with the man. So they woo the man. And all roads lead to the hot tub.
“There was a hot tub,” Wehrman said recently. “But I'm a very modest girl. I didn't do anything to be ashamed of. Not that I know of.”
Wehrman, who's worked as a graphic designer in Boston for two years, wasn't serious about being cast on the show.
But now the University of Cincinnati grad and self-proclaimed ham is getting offers to be in TV commercials.
“It started as a joke with my friends,” she said. “My friend who's an actor got an e-mail from a casting agency. She's engaged, so she thought I'd be perfect. Apparently so did NBC. Next thing I know, I'm being flown out to L.A.”
According to Wehrman, the producers were hooked after she told them she grew up near her grandpa's dairy farm.
“When they heard farm girl, they were like, ‘Oh yeah, you're in,’ ” she said, cracking up.
The six-episode series, hosted by Jordan Murphy (“Boston Public”), was taped inside a Bel Air, Calif., mansion in March.
“I was flabbergasted,” said Sandy Wehrman, the proud mom.
“The only words I could get out were ‘Oh my God.’ But the more I thought about it, it's typical Melissa. She's the one who backpacks through Europe and bungee jumps.”
Melissa Wehrman can't tell us whether she won or not. There's that contract getting in the way.
“I could have been eliminated in the first round,” she said secretively. “Even my parents don't know. It's killing me.”
For the record, she makes it past the first round. The network made available the two-hour premiere to the press.
The bachelor, by the way, is Dallas attorney Rob Campos. He doesn't know about the cash prize. He thinks the ladies want him.
“I was like, ‘What if this was the man of my dreams?’ He had classic good looks, but he wasn't my type,” she said. “I looked at it as a 23-day slumber party. I'm expecting to find the man of my dreams, but not on a reality show.”
But some of the gals are serious about finding their dream man on TV.
And from a montage of clips at the beginning of the first episode, it looks like they'll turn up that heat to get him.
Or the money.
“Melissa assured us she didn't do anything to embarrass us,” Sandy Wehrman explained. “We won't have to move.”