By DANA HELSTROM
Every mother thinks that her child is perfect, but Punta Gorda resident Martha McKenzie is hoping that CBS television feels the same way about her son Tim.
McKenzie's 25-year-old son, Tim Bell, is a contestant on the reality TV show "Wickedly Perfect" a "Martha Stuart"-like contest that challenges creative people to go above and beyond their limits of homemaking craftiness.
"There are 12 contestants," said Bell's manager, Dick Miller. "Tim was the last to be chosen."
Over 10,000 people auditioned for the show.
McKenzie watched the second episode of the show Thursday with anticipation.
"I enjoyed it immensely," she said after the show. "It's (been) two weeks, and so far they (her son's team) are on top."
Every week a cast member gets voted off the show. With 10 people left, Bell's dream is slowly becoming a reality.
Bell is a budding actor -- a Charlotte High School alumnus who developed a passion early on for acting.
Although "Wickedly Perfect" is a reality show, it may very well be Bell's ticket to stardom.
McKenzie and Bell's family sat with Miller and his wife at his home in Gulf Cove, watching Bell's team dominate their assignment -- party planning -- for Thursday's episode.
"He is going to give them a run for their money," McKenzie said, boasting of her son's talents. "He is very serious about his work."
Bell is well-rounded for the show, his family says. Being a carpenter by profession and having been educated in many crafts growing up, he fit the requirements.
If Bell keeps winning the hearts of CBS judges, who pick winning teams, he could end up with six appearances on "The Early Show," a development deal for a "lifestyle-oriented" TV show and a publishing deal with Atria Books.
Although Bell has already finished taping the show, McKenzie, Miller and Bell's other family members and friends have to anxiously wait until the end of the season to see what is in store for his future, as Bell is contractually bound not to reveal the winner.
Bell will always be perfect in McKenzie's eyes. Whether or not CBS agrees, McKenzie believes her son has done more than appear on TV -- he has encouraged youth in Charlotte County to pursue their dreams.
"A lot of kids here in Charlotte County look up to him," she said. "(This) encourages them to make their dreams to come true."
You can follow Bell's progress every week as he tackles new tasks, and proves how wickedly perfect his skills are, at 8 p.m. on CBS.