TV'S JILL OF ALL TRADES
By BRAD HUNTER NY Post.com
March 2, 2003 --
She may be about to be billed as a regular Miss Lonelyheart, but one of the five contestants in TV's newest reality show is no stranger to fame.
Long Islander Jill Nicolini, 25, who will debut in "Married by America" tomorrow night, has already posed for Playboy, been a TV weather girl, starred in commercials and is a local personality as a hostess for the New York Islanders hockey team.
"She's absolutely hell-bent on being a celebrity," said one source who knows Nicolini. "Jill really wants to be famous."
Fox's latest reality offering will feature five contestants who allow family and friends to pick them a fiancÚ - with a TV wedding date scheduled for the end of the series.
But even before its first episode airs, rumors are swirling that "Married by America" contestants are more interested in finding TV careers than a long-term mate.
None of the cast of three women and two men appears to need a lot of help in the dating department.
While less flashy than Nicolini, the Big Apple's other representatives are slinky blonde Billie Jean Houle, 28 - described by friends as a "go-getter," and slick restaurateur Stephen Savona, 35.
Savona said he's looking for someone "ambitious," while Houle, who describes herself as a bartender, says she's doing the show for fun.
"This is something spontaneous and wild, and it fits my personality perfectly," she said, adding that if she didn't think there was a possibility of getting married she "wouldn't be here."
The two other candidates, both from Atlanta, are equally as unlikely to have a problem finding love in real life. Realtor Jennifer Jaynes, 28, claims she's looking for a "nice guy." But with looks and legs like hers, this seems like an inconceivable problem.
TV producer Matt Arden, 27, also doesn't appear to need help in the female department as an executive with TBS who is already an occasional on-air personality.
But it's likely Nicolini will be the one to steal the limelight.
The native of Farmingville, L.I., has had stars in her eyes since she was a teenager attending North Sachem HS, say pals.
Currently a hostess at Islanders' home games at Nassau Coliseum, the bosomy brunette also shocked the good burghers of the Miss Long Island Pageant by appearing in the Fall 2001 College Girls issue of Playboy.
As a result, she had to return her crown.
Nicolini has done commercials, photo shoots, a brief stint as a weather girl on Long Island cable Channel 12 and was even a finalist for the role of sultry comic bloodsucker Vampirella.
Sources said she had been dating an Islander hockey player as recently as last week and had a long-term beau before that.
Currently she lives with her sister and brother-in-law but has already packed herself off to Los Angeles for the next two months to promote "Married."