Press: I Wanna Be A Soapstar (21)

Gossip for the week of

Monday, November 15, 2004

Btw, I disagree in that talent manager Michael Bruno’s been pegged as the mean judge, aka Simon Cowell of American Idol, in the new SoapNet reality-TV competition, I Wanna Be A... I think actress Debbi Morgan fits that type better. She seems no-nonsense and provides most of the tough love in her estimations of the finalists as they vie for a three-month GH contract. However, Morgan likens herself somewhat to another, kinder American Idol judge – singer/dancer Paula Abdul, as the nurturer. Before taking on the role of one of the three I Wanna Be A... judges, Morgan assumed Abdul wasn’t discriminating enough. Now, she understands what Abdul went through, it wasn’t and isn’t easy for the judges to dole out constructive, sometimes harsh, criticism to the very sensitive finalists. Morgan has been busy herself, completing three indies, putting together one of them, and her own memoirs, entitled “I’ve Traveled Seven Miles And Seven Light Cities.”

For those living in caves, I Wanna Be A Soap Star just happens to be an original reality-TV series hosted by cable channel, SoapNet. It premiered earlier last month and is up for renewal for a second year, depending on fan feedback. Thousands of acting hopefuls waited for a chance to audition to make it into the final dozen, then that dozen went through their performing paces until, each week, the number is whittled down one by one, until only one actor remains, earning the coveted 13-week contract with GH. Three judges, talent manager Michael Bruno, GH casting director Mark Teschner and actress Debbi Morgan, decide who stays and who goes based on outstanding acting, ability to take direction and that soap look. The finalists live in a cramped dressing room on the GH set, sleeping in bunk beds, waking at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. and being faced with any number of last-minute changes. Right now, as of this writing, there are three finalists remaining: Mykel—the primping stud, Kelly—the soap look, and Maya—the angry diva. My boss Jeff thought Robyn, the 30-something with the hot body and the velvet voice, would’ve outlasted them all. But my bet’s on Kelly, even though she never learns her lines right and resembles AMC’s ex-Mia (actress Amelia Heinle) too much.

by Carol Banks Weber

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