Baylor students "get real" on TV shows

December 9, 2003

Reality TV shows continue to pervade living rooms across the nation, enticing Americans to tune in to rant, rave and root for their favorite tribe, singer or potential couple. And Baylor students and graduates have not escaped the craze -- appearing on a slew of shows including ABC's All American Girl, CBS's Survivor and FOX's Mr. Personality.
Kristi Foster, BA '02, spent last spring on All American Girl, a competition for young women to showcase their skills in athletics, style, beauty and poise. "It was a really eclectic experience," she said. "There were so many things we had to do and be good at."
Foster earned the second highest number of viewer votes on the show, beating out 43 others. "Winning second place was a good position to end up in because it gives me the freedom to do what I want without being stuck in a certain contract," she said.
Although she said she was somewhat frustrated by not being truly portrayed as herself on the show, Foster came away from the experience with new friends and a new awareness of what Hollywood is like. "They're not all wolves out there, but they are not all wonderful people willing to help you either," she said. "I walked away having tasted a little of the success of being in showbiz, and it jump-started my desire to really want to be a musician."
Also dealing with intense competition was Jed Hildebrand, BS '99, who was given the boot in Thailand by his teammates on the fall 2002 installment of Survivor.
In his parting interview after the third episode, Hildebrand reflected on his actions and the relationships he had formed. "I went to Thailand to try and cooperate with 16 other individuals the best I could and to show Jesus Christ through my actions. Hopefully, some of that was shown and people will take it for what it's worth," he said. "It was an awesome experience, and I thank God for giving it to me."
While Foster and Hildebrand exhibited their talent and survival skills, Peyton Millinor, BBA '98, showcased his charm and character on Mr. Personality as the orange-masked suitor. The show featured 20 men whose faces never were revealed as they tried to woo the show's sweetheart, Hayley.
Millinor, who said he does not watch reality shows, advanced to the final four but was eliminated in the second-to-last episode. "Hayley is very smart, strong-willed and beautiful," he said. "She is a happy person, and we are still friends."
Taking time off from his 60- to 70-hour work week as a commercial real estate investment associate in Dallas to be in the reality TV show opened a window of opportunity for him, Millinor said. "It gave me a chance to see if I'm missing out on the dating scene because of my job," he said. "I walked away from the show with some good friends, and I was just overall in better shape after I got back -- physically and emotionally. Would I do it again? Without a doubt."