Ten aspiring models live together in a house in Miami's glamorous South Beach and compete for a prize of $25,000, a TV spokesmodel job and a modeling contract with a top agency.
That's the reality show theme and Las Crucen Brittany Peralta is one of the contestants for "Model Latina: South Beach."
The show's fifth season debuts with a special one-hour episode at 9 p.m. Memorial Day on nuvoTV (formerly Si TV), an English-language cable network that caters to the bicultural Latino population of the United States with programming that includes lifestyle, reality, comedy and more.
Peralta, 22, is the daughter of former Las Crucens Michael and Michelle Peralta.
"My parents live in Socorro now, but I was born and raised in Las Cruces," said Peralta, a 2007 Las Cruces High School graduate who also attended Tombaugh Elementary and Zia Middle School.
She's majoring in communication disorders at New Mexico State University, where she's also found time for some extracurricular activities that helped her in the modeling competition.
"I was a member of the Sundancers dance team at NMSU for three years and I'm now an assistant coach. I was third runner-up in the last Miss New Mexico pageant and I've also been modeling for a few years for magazines in El Paso. I applied online for 'Model Latina,'" said Peralta, who adds she was "kind of surprised and really pleased to be selected."
Both the show's locale and the experience were "beautiful," she said.
The show was filmed in February in Florida.
"I've been on dance teams the majority of my life and I'm usually good working with girls and making friends," but knowing that some reality shows can be contentious, she confessed that she went into the project a bit nervous.
"But I was pleasantly surprised. Getting to know the other girls was one of the best parts of the experience while I was in Miami, which has a huge mix of cultures and all kinds of diversity."
"Model Latina" judges include Puerto Rican actor Carlos Ponce (currently starring in the Nickelodeon series "Hollywood Heights," and featured in films such as "Couples Retreat"), Victoria's Secret supermodel Ines Rivero and fashion photographer Franco LaCosta. The series is hosted by Jocelyn Pierce.
The judges acted as mentors on a series of "challenges" involving things like runway presentations and photo shoots for the show.
"At least one of them was there to give us some feedback on each of the challenges," Peralta said.
Eventually, she plans to continue her education.
"I'd like to get a master's degree and certification to work with speech and language disorders which can include everything from autism to trauma victims," she said.
However, Peralta said the show boosted her prospects for modeling in bigger cities.
"I like modeling, TV and entertaining," she said. "This has been a great experience. I'd encourage everybody to put themselves out there and try for things and never let things keep holding them in because they're in a small town. There are nice things waiting out there."
Could that mean that Las Cruces has produced this year's "Model Latina" champion?
Peralta is offering no hints.
"People will have to tune in to see how I do and if I win," she said.
"Model Latina" will be broadcast for 10 weeks at 9 p.m. (Mountain Time) Mondays on nuvoTV, with a finale scheduled for July 23. Regionally, the show will be featured on Comcast channel 172 or DISH channel 167. Episodes will also be available at hulu.com, a day or two after each episode airs. For information about the show, visit mynuvotv.com and "Model Latina" on Facebook.
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