One of the girls of ‘Momma’s Boys’
Monday, Dec. 22, 2008
Between bites of calzone last Thursday night, Mindy Finney realized just how much her life has changed.
She was enjoying a meal with a friend at The Brick restaurant in Milledgeville. A man approached her table. He said he recognized her from somewhere.
He was right.
A few nights earlier, about 6 million viewers had watched Mindy and 31 other women contestants on the premiere of the reality show “Momma’s Boys” on NBC. One of the show’s producers told her she got more air time than any of the others.
For Mindy, it was her biggest stage since the sixth-grade Christmas play at Macon’s First Presbyterian Day School back in 1997.
So we must forgive Mindy if she keeps pinching herself during tonight’s second episode at 9 p.m.
It has been a whirlwind eight months since she was selected from the more than 30,000 single women who auditioned for the new dating series. The premise behind the show has the 32 finalists competing for the attention of three “eligible” bachelors, whose mothers live with them during the six-week series.
Mindy returned from shooting the show in California just in time for fall semester at Georgia Southern, where she did her student teaching in a kindergarten class at Brooklet Elementary School near Statesboro.
During the production, she signed a contract and took an oath of silence not to reveal the final outcome or any other details of the series.
“I can’t even tell my momma,” she said, laughing. “I do have some friends who have been trying to pry it out of me.”
Mindy graduated from FPD in 2004, where she was a cheerleader. Megan Broom, a sorority sister in Zeta Tau Alpha at Georgia Southern, got her started on this great adventure.
Megan was doing some promotional work with NBC and was involved with the casting auditions in Atlanta for the new show.
“They’re looking for a Southern belle, and you’re the first person I thought of,” she told Mindy.
Mindy is a sweet Southern girl, complete with a sweet Southern accent. She has strong morals and beliefs. She is a lifetime member at Clear Creek Baptist Church in Gordon. She is polite, enjoys the outdoors and is family-oriented. Right now, the love of her life is Charlie, her 10-month-old, spoiled-rotten shiatsu.
However, she didn’t have a lot of confidence in her chances.
“I thought it was pointless to even go to the audition,” she said.
Her mother, Laurie Wood, gave her a pep talk. Laurie convinced Mindy it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She also “bribed” her with a shopping trip while they were in Atlanta.
Mindy sailed through the Atlanta audition and was summoned to the finals in Los Angeles.
She was instructed to pack her bags as if she was going to be in California for a month.
There, she was confined to her hotel room and not allowed to talk to any of the other contestants.
“I ordered room service and watched TV for a week,” she said.
After several rounds of interviews, she was whisked away with the others who made the final cut.
Their cell phones were confiscated for a month, although they were allowed to call home to tell family members they were OK after an earthquake rocked California.
Mindy was thrilled with every minute of her experience, even though it now is kind of nice not to have cameras recording her every move and being wired for sound around the clock.
“I felt like a robot,” she said. “They came around changing my battery.”
Where will it all lead? Her lips are sealed.