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TV producers want people to let it all hang out at nudist resort

LAND O'LAKES — Horace Tidwell is so over Kmart. If walking around naked for an entire month will propel him to stardom, he'll do it.

"I lift boxes all day," said Tidwell, 23, who works at the discount chain's Ocala distribution center. "I can't do this for the rest of my life."

The chance to avoid a blue-collar future prompted Tidwell to strip to boxers and sing America the Beautiful Saturday for a panel of judges choosing cast members for The Nak'd Truth, a nude reality television show being filmed at the clothing-optional Caliente Resort & Spa. Each of the five judges gave people a "yes" or "no" vote, with brief explanations.

The show, which has yet to find a network home, features seven people, ages 20 to 35, who will work for a month at the resort. The catch is they must remain nude 24/7. Producers say private parts will be blurred.

During auditions at the resort's pool deck, about 125 potential cast members, clothed in swimsuits or underwear, had about five minutes to make their case.

"I'm everything you need," said Tidwell, who said the best thing that every happened to him was never having gone to jail. "This show's going to be No. 1. Everybody's going to be looking for me. I'm the main character. I'm the front-runner."

"Do you feel silly?" a judge asked him.

"No."

Another judge asked how he would feel about sharing a room with someone with a different sexual orientation.

"As long as I'm not sharing the same bed," said Tidwell, who described his romantic interests as "100 percent, maybe 110 percent, women."

He got five "yes" votes.

The interviews were streamed over Caliente's website, and viewers were able to vote for their favorites. Producers were expected to finish auditions today.

Contestants' backgrounds varied, from a cardiac nurse who moonlights as a stripper, a philosophy major, a married businessman with two young daughters, a cancer survivor, a salon owner and a man living as a woman. Most said they learned of the show from newspaper stories or radio deejays. Some got e-mails from friends.

They filled out forms with questions about personal habits, hangups and sex lives. "What makes you angry?" "What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?"

One woman responded that the worst thing was passing gas in high school detention. She also admitted to a three-way sexual encounter and picking her nose. Another man admitted to shaving the University of Georgia "G" in his pubic hair.

Some didn't fit the qualifications put out by the show's creators, who said they wanted young adults who were physically fit and had no experience being publicly nude. But they tried out anyway.

"I wanted to have a second life," said 47-year-old Bambi Somers, a dental office worker from Clermont who got divorced after 23 years and who brought her birth certificate to prove Bambi was her real name. She said her two teenagers didn't know the show involved nudity.

"They just know it's a reality show. That's all."

Matt Coles, 34, of Lutz, is a married father of two who wears suits to a sales manager job. He said he didn't mind if clients found out. "It is what it is."

He also said he's not concerned about any impact on his future.

"I'm not interested in running for president," he said.

Others had more flamboyant histories.

Helena Ehrlich, 25, said she works as a stripper after her day job at a hospital in northern California and traveled to Florida for the casting call.

"My family said I was the only one with (guts) … enough to do this," she said.

Julisa Abad, 26, of Tampa, wore a yellow bikini and black stilettos.

Abad, who was born a man but is living as a woman, said the toughest part of the show would be going barefoot. "I live in heels."

>>FAST FACTS

Still time to try out

The Nak'd Truth is produced by Los Angeles-based Atlantic Overseas Pictures. Auditions will continue today. A meet-and-greet party is set for 7:30 tonight at Caliente Resort & Spa, 21240 Grand Via Blvd., Land O'Lakes. Producers hope to air the show next year.

TV producers want people to let it all hang out at nudist resort 11/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 13, 2010 8:23pm]
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