Make me a star
Speculation becomes reality: The Real Housewives of Houston cast finalists are revealed
Lucinda Loya is still in. Joyce Echols and Debbie Festari have bowed out. That's the current inside track on contenders for a Houston version of Real Housewives, but there's much more scoop on the players hoping to drop anchor in reality TV land.
Los Angeles-based producer Ron Muccianti, with dreams of a Real Housewives of Houston hit, has been back and forth from LA — wooing high-profile Houston women, auditioning and interviewing them and eliminating those who don't shimmer with the desired star power.
Apparently, it was quite a night of female egos at Mo's recently when Muccianti gave the women the opportunity to show him just how over-the-top/camera-ready they really are. Last week, the candidates did Skype interviews for the producer.
We can't tell you who was dismissed but we can tell you that Hugh Echols put his foot down, which is why his glamorous wife, Joyce, will not be exposing herself, as it were, to prying cameras. As she explained, "Whether you like it or not, you're going to be drawn into something stupid."
When it became apparent that the husbands were expected to have a role as well, Hugh firmly declined.
Jessica Meyer also turned it down and is opting to join forces with an Austin-based filmmaker for a different project. Debbie Festari thought better of it as well.
While Muccianti has asked the candidates to keep everything hush-hush and not give out his contact information, tidbits are emerging. Word is that the remaining contenders for the limited slots are Leslie Tyler Fink, founder of RSVPSocial.com; Patti Murphy, attractive social figure involved with Houston Ballet; Sharon Gaille, a regular at the Houston Symphony events;Crystal Wall, wife of rapper Paul Wall; divorcee Daphne Angelique;Jamie Kelley, wife of weight-loss guru Shaun Kelley; and Loya, an interior designer.
And, of course, the always-colorful, always-camera ready Cindi Rose with cameo appearances by her daughter, reality TV veteran Erica Rose.
The ladies are holding their breath as apparently only six will win the honor of small screen stardom.
Loya takes a cavalier attitude toward the project. 'It's a crazy thing to do and sometimes I'm a little crazy," she said via phone from Aspen. "I don't want to embarrass myself or my family . . . but I learned a long time ago that people are going to think what they want about you."
As long as the project feels right, she's on board. She's talked it over with her husband, movie-star-handsome Javier Loya, president and CEO of Choice Energy, and he is game if she is.
The reality show intrigue is heating up locally as Austin's Ashley Chiles jumps into the fray with her own potential project focusing on what she calls "larger than life Houston women." It sounds considerably tamer and classier than the so-called Real Housewives of Houston action, which despite the confusion, is in fact being considered for a pilot which would then be presented to Bravo for consideration for its copyrighted Real Housewives series.
Meyer signed on with Chiles as did Cindi Rose. It's as if two parallel universes are colliding and sending wannabe reality starlets into a frenzy. The cross-pollination and confusion between the two projects has been something to see.
Chiles separates her project from others, saying that her plan is for something "new and fresh and unique." She adds that it might even result in a collaboration between Meyer's Bullet Girl jewelry line and The Texas Huntress. That Web and DVD project was created by Chiles, a Houston native who happens to be the niece of actress Lois Chiles.
So now that we have the cast narrowed down, what do you think?