Are Trump's Beauties at Home With the Camera? They'll Have to Be.

By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just days after saying he would transform Hyde-bound party girls into faux Hungarian princesses, a la "My Fair Lady," for a new Fox reality series, "Lady or a Tramp," Donald Trump announced that for a new MTV reality series he would put cameras in the Trump Place apartment where Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe shack up during their one-year reigns of photo opportunism.

The Donald has traditionally housed his pageant babes -- he co-owns the beauty pageants with NBC -- in the same apartment. And so, MTV programming chief Tony DiSanto noted, they're tapping into a "real" situation for the new "Pageant Place."

The first season will follow current Miss Universe Riyo Mori, Miss USA Rachel Smith and Miss Teen USA Katie Blair.

Here's something different: A chaperon character is being introduced into the show. And, just in case you didn't think Trump had a sense of humor, that role has been cast with former Miss USA Tara Conner.

Conner, you'll recall, nearly lost her crown last December when word got out she'd been partying at New York clubs (while still under the legal drinking age), sneaking men into the Trump Place digs and making out in public with Blair while both were doing a spot of underage boozing at one of those New York clubs.

Had Trump given her the old heave-ho, she would have been the first Miss USA to get the hook since Mary Leona Gage, who, pageant officials discovered after crowning her in 1957, was married and had children.

But Trump instead held a news conference in which he officially pardoned Conner, saying he's always been a believer in second chances.

Which is not to say Trump let her off scot-free. First, she had to enter a rehab facility. Then she had to give Matt Lauer an interview in which she detailed cocaine and antidepressant abuse. Hardest of all, she had to attend a World Wrestling Entertainment event in Detroit called Hair vs. Hair, in which Trump and WWE chief Vince McMahon went mano a mano. Conner came down to the ring as the attendant of Trump, according to news reports.

NBC recently signed on to broadcast three more years of Miss USA and Miss Universe.

In "Lady or a Tramp," hard-partying girls will be sent to a "charm" school where they will learn how to arrange flowers, pour tea and generally carry on like debutantes.

One tramp is eliminated each week, and the one left standing wins a sports car.

Trump is one of the executive producers and may have an on-air role, assessing each contestant's progress throughout the competition.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company