All photos © 2009, Bullz-Eye.com, LLC
The heat index was 110 degrees in the shade. Doctors recommend no more than one or two minutes exposure in this mind numbing heat and humidity, yet the beaches and pools surrounding the spectacular Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, were packed, with well over 100 of the most stunning glamour girls anywhere on Earth. It was quite a scene as they were cavorting, tanning and modeling to their hearts’ content. This was the Mecca of a Hooters girl fantasy dream, like the perfect storm of the all-American dream girl: skimpy bikinis and a hot, wet, water environment for them to splash about in.
The scene was the official media day and calendar shoot finals for the 13th Annual Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant, and the models had been primped, lotioned, coifed and made over repeatedly for several days of calendar shoots, media appearances and numerous pageant promenades. They were now relaxed and catching some well deserved R & R. “I’m going to finally get some pizza and beer,” a Midwest contestant exclaimed as she headed towards the outdoor cafe area, finally released from the spotlight and her pre-pageant dieting rigors and demands. That flawless figure was a testament to not only her Hooters Girl dedication to the craft, but the discipline nearly every girl had for being chosen for this ultimate Hooters honor – representing your Hooters district or state in this pageant, now an international media phenomenon.
As broadcast viewership goes, the Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant is the number one rated broadcast each year on the hugely successful Fox’s Best Damn Sports Show Period. Millions globally watch this pageant, where viewers get to see a lavish stage show rivaling the production standards of the iconic Miss America or Miss Universe pageants. With far more sex appeal, “barely there” bikinis, no boring talent competitions and frolicking beach video out-takes, this is what all guys really want to see in a pageant!
The production went without a hitch, and our Media Relations contact, Alexis Aleshire, was most gracious and helpful in securing all the photo and interview ops requested for this exclusive Bullz-Eye.com coverage. Tracking down Hooters girls during the pageant weekend is a tough job, as the international media and Hooters photo teams are all there in force, but she did it remarkably well with calm under pressure. Aubrey Grey and the other behind-the-scene pageant coordinators were also amazing and the broadcast went smoothly and had great pace. None of this could have been possible without the stewardship of President, CEO, and top wingman of Hooters of America, Coby Brooks, who was also in attendance, and his remarkable super laid back leadership set a great tone for the corporate team. Kudos!
The now-famous Hooters restaurant concept was started in 1983 in Clearwater FL, with an arguably simple yet genius concept. Six guys had a plan…make a tavern restaurant that serves pub food into an all-American restaurant with broad family appeal but with wholesome sexual innocence thrown in for good measure. Finding the perfect balance of co-ed titillation, cheerleader sex appeal and gosh gee wiz Americana was the flash point the Hooters Six discovered, and they skillfully expanded and marketed the concept from Florida across the USA. Corporate and franchisee opportunities developed, and now the ‘neighborhood restaurants’ total a staggering 450 worldwide, in places as far flung as Asuncion, Paraguay and Chengdu, China. This, safe to say, makes Hooters the world’s #1 business globally where you can go see a pretty girl and have tasty pub food to boot. Think about that for a moment, this is an amazing accomplishment! And yes, it all started smack dab in the good ol’ USA in the Sunshine State. All girl-watching guys from around the globe owe a thumbs up and a hi-five to the Hooters Six, and the corporate and franchise geniuses who have kept it simple, real and focused on the original concept and continue to bring their “tacky, yet unrefined“ mantra to millions (billions) of girl-watchers worldwide!
Numerous celebrities had the enjoyable, yet seemingly impossible, task of judging the 133 beautiful contestants from evening gowns to swimsuits. The distinguished celebrity panel included NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin; Heisman Trophy winner and 1996 NFL Rookie of the Year Eddie George; former NSYNC star and "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Joey Fatone; four-time all pro linebacker Lance Briggs; TMZ’s producer Max Hodges; "Deal or No Deal" model Patricia Kara; 2005 Playboy Playmate Tiffany Fallon; career receiving yardage leader for the Miami Dolphins Mark ‘Super’ Duper; Atlanta Hawks talent coordinator Donni Frazier; and Top Fuel Dragster Brandon Bernstein.
When the finals were tabulated, Raechel Holtgrave, a Hooters Girl in Columbia, MO, will return to her hometown $50,000 richer after being crowned Miss Hooters International 2009. LeAngela Davis, representing Columbus, OH, was first runner-up and received $15,000 and was also recognized as Miss Congeniality; Vanessa Ferbeyre, Miss Miami, took home $10,000 as second runner-up; and in third place was Shannon Buckel, representing Schaumburg, IL, winning $8,000. Becki Haines, representing Hermitage, TN, was the fourth place runner-up and received $7,000. Finishing out the top 10 finalists and receiving $2,000 each, in no particular order, are Haley Voss from Jacksonville, FL; Natasha Horton, representing Cumberland Blvd in Atlanta, GA; Nicole Ciglar from Clearwater, FL; Rachel Mortenson from Chandler, AZ; and Lauren Kosier. Check out the video below for even more coverage of the event, including an interview with Miss Hooters International Raechel Holtgrave!
Congratulations to ALL and thank you Hooters for another amazing event! In the coming months, look for expanded galleries of exciting pageant coverage on Bullz-Eye.com, including behind-the-scenes photos and the sexy “make your own uniform” pre-pageant preview. Bullz-Eye also will be showcasing exclusive photo set profiles and interviews of four of the stunning top ten finalists -- Rachel Mortenson, Haley Voss, Natasha Horton and Nicole Ciglar -- shot on location on the sunny beaches of Hollywood, Florida. See a sneak peek of the photo shoots below and check back soon for the full layouts!