Host of ex treme dating
We promise them any number of three things: They will make new friends, they will boost their self-confidence and strengthen their self-esteem, and they will have a new experience.And that really does happen.” For example, he cited the personal interview, when girls from one of four age groups (7-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 16-19) answer questions from a panel of local industry professionals: photographers, cosmetologists, casting directors or pageant veterans like Miss Arab USA or Miss Black Arizona. ’ When they go into a job interview when they’re in their twenties, they will remember that predicament, and it will help them,” says Slemmer.
Given how inclined he is to make fun of anything, his earnestness about teen beauty pageants is disarming.After the stage setup and a tech run-through, the doors opened and 107 contestants and their families took their seats.Slemmer led them through everything they’d need to know for the day: where to go and when, how they would move on stage, how the top ten round (for finalists) works, and more.After grabbing coffee, they went to the “theater”—a high school where the bathrooms have old-school cloth towels on a circuit, and where the auditorium curtains stop four inches from the floor.The stage had an extra lip that extended out into the audience; this meant he could put the girls’ masking tape “marks” there, essentially directing the contestants to do their spins in the middle of the audience.“She said to me after the top ten round”—here he affected a girlish voice—“‘You had to keep saying my name all night! ’” * * * Before I go to interview Slemmer at his East Harlem apartment, he warns me it is crammed full of furniture—leftovers from a cousin who just unloaded his storage locker.
’ And I was thinking, ‘Well, I’ll have to say your name one more time, and you don’t know it.’ So I said her name one more time. When I arrive, stuff is overflowing out into the hall, and Slemmer asks me if I’d like a dining table or a desk.
“As soon as we registered her yesterday, Jen turned to me and said, ‘She’s going to make it all the way through, and you’re just going to have to keep saying her name over and over and over.’ And she won the division,” he said, “and I had to keep saying her name over and over and over—in the casual wear, the top ten pageant, the awards.” When I asked him what her name was, he paused for four seconds, and finally said, “It’s the Hawaiian/Fijian name.” Which was?
He paused for seven seconds, and then uttered, “Mehrae…Mereaore,” he said finally, like there was a big ice cube in his mouth. “If I said, ‘Mereaore,’ to her, she’d say, ‘Eh, that’s close.’” He laughed.
“The truth is that I enjoy having fun with them, and I want them to know that if they trip on stage—no, that’s too cliché—if they don’t do the full turn on the third X in their modeling routine, they can be embarrassed if they want to, but we don’t care. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, ashamed about, frustrated about, regretful about.” Younger contestants often ask Slemmer how old he is and if he’s married.
That day in Salt Lake City, one of youngest girls asked him, “Zak, if you had to date any of the girls here, who would it be?
Welcome to the life of a teenage beauty pageant host.