Bikinis, beach balls and babes abounded Aug. 20 as 50 college students competed in the National Grand Finals of the “Baywatch” Search on Campus Contest. Held atop the Sunset Strip’s Hyatt Hotel — poolside, natch — the young men and women competed for their 15 minutes of fame with a guest role on the world’s most popular jiggle-fest.
For the past six months, “Baywatch” reps have scoured the nation’s bastions of higher learning in search of a babelicious duo worthy of joining Mitch’s star team of lifesavers. One male and one female were chosen from each school and flown to L.A. for the finals.
The competish, hosted by current “babes” Kelly Packard and Michael Bergin, consisted of three rounds: a hard-hitting question-and answer-session, a role-playing exercise of “Baywatch” scenarios and a reading of an official “Baywatch” scene by five finalists.
Oiled-up potentials were intro’d to the sounds of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and the judges wasted no time in getting down to business. Panel members included an agent, a soap actor, a plastic surgeon and an Olympic swimmer.
Highlights came as early as round one when contestants with such names as Courtney, Tiffany and Cabernet fired back responses to inquiries like “Why do you think you have what it takes to be a ‘Baywatch’ babe?” and a series of “which do you prefer”: “Espresso or cappuccino?” “Skiing or snowboarding,” “Silicone or the real thing,” “Beanie Babies or Tickle Me Elmo” and “Boxers or briefs?”
When asked if she preferred Leonardo DiCaprio to Matt Damon, one female contestant not riding high on the Titanic wave, chose Leo, because “I really liked him in “Gilbert Eats a Grape.”
By sunset, points had been tallied and two beach bunnies emerged victorious. Ty Mayberry of the U. of Houston and Delia Blecha of Portland State U. snagged the coveted guest slots on the show, although all finalists will make an appearance. Filming began the next day in L.A.