TV hopefuls brave cold to see if they're 'Hot'
By Will Ryan
Special to The Denver Post
Sunday, January 19, 2003 - The line of scantily clad hard bodies stretching around the block from the front door of The Church dance club was not anything out of the ordinary, except for the time of day.
When many of the Denver dance club's patrons were likely sleeping off hangovers from the previous night, about 350 fame seekers shivered in the Saturday morning air to take a shot at being America's next sex symbol.
The self-proclaimed hotties sported platform shoes, super- short skirts, muscle shirts and multitudes of piercings to woo the producers of ABC's newest reality show "Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People."
"In the clubs I go to, people are always telling me I have it going on," said 23-year-old David Darling, a University of Denver psychology student wearing an orange vest and designer jeans.
Brandi Wolf, 19, stood in a thin black blouse and tight black pants, knees shaking. Lavender polish covered her toenails, which poked from platform sandals.
"Not trying to act like some ditsy girl is what's going to help me win," Wolf said.
Casting director Doron Ofir said the show, which premieres Feb. 13, is gathering a cross-section of America's sexiest and letting viewers call in to decide who will be crowned hottest of the hot.
"We're taking the power from the modeling agencies and giving it to the people," Ofir said.
The format, based on Fox's hit "American Idol," will feature judges firing comments at the contestants based on their sex appeal, or lack thereof. The hottest man and woman left standing at the end of the six-show series will each take home $50,000.
"I won't know what is going to make someone stand out until I see them on camera," Ofir said.
After standing outside for about an hour, contestants were thankful to be herded into the basement, where they mingled while waiting their turns to be judged.
In groups of 30, they were taken into a private taping room, where they strutted their stuff while answering questions like, "Why do you think you are sexy?" The judges eventually narrowed the group down to 20 men and 20 women who will be flown to Los Angeles to compete with other finalists from around the country.
Aaron Christensen was one of the first to be rejected. He said only two people from his group - both of them Denver Nuggets cheerleaders - made it through the initial selection process.
"They told them to do their signature move, and they shook their butts together," Christensen said. "Right then, I knew it was over, but I got their (phone) numbers and we're going to go out later."