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American Princess Returning For Second Season

May 31, 2007 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon

Once upon a time there were 12 American women who wanted to be part of
a fairy tale – their dream: to be transformed into proper ladies of
society.  And in season two of WE tv’s original series, AMERICAN
PRINCESS, one lucky winner will live happily ever after.  Beginning
Sunday, August 19th at 10 PM ET & PT/9C, WE tv will transport these
“diamonds in the rough” to merry old England for an intensive “princess
bootcamp” where they will be trained in all things royal by top experts
in etiquette, grooming, presentation and aristocratic style. Hosted by
Yugoslavian royal and actress Catherine Oxenberg, each hour-long
episode will challenge the participants to learn what it takes to
become royalty. The winner will claim a British title, a dance with a
real European prince and $50,000 cash. Currently in production, the
second season of AMERICAN PRINCESS will consist of eight, one-hour
episodes.

Assisting them in their crown-chasing efforts are Paul Burrell, author and former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales, and Jean Broke-Smith ("American Princess” — Season One), one of the UK’s leading etiquette and grooming experts.  According to Burrell:  “Becoming a princess is a process, one that requires hard work, the will to succeed and an ability to take direction and often times, intense criticism.”  He added: “This series gives us the chance to bring the My Fair Lady dream to life and make an immense contribution to these young women – one that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.” 

Assisting Paul and Jean each week will be a guest judge and expert in his/her field.  Judges include: renowned elocutionist Francis Wright; Provost Sergeant in the British Army, Tim Weston; noted Royal Correspondent James Whitaker; Deborah Bull, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet; and Jan Ward, head florist at Princess Anne’s wedding.

The participants will live in the lap of luxury at Debenham House, a private property in Holland Park, one of London’s premier residential neighborhoods.  The 22,000 square foot estate will be a small taste of things to come for these lucky ladies– approached by a carriage drive and surrounded by gardens laid out in formal Dutch style, the home is on the UK’s statutory list of buildings that have special architectural or historical significance. 

Each week, contestants will experience a rigorous, old-fashioned curriculum where they will be instructed in noble disciplines including posture, speech, dance, cricket, cooking, dining etiquette and media training. After each lesson, the participants will take part in an assortment of competitions that will most certainly test their newly-learned skills. The challenges, sure to unnerve even the most secure participants, include: hob-knobbing with foreign dignitaries and learning how to eat unfamiliar or difficult-to-eat foods; tackling a military-style obstacle course with a drill sergeant in tow; taking a ballet lesson in the Royal Opera House led by a former principal dancer; instruction in the art of cricket; a lesson in how to serve a formal English tea; and discovering how to entertain a room filled with blue-blooded aristocrats before sitting down to a formal dinner where their every move will be scrutinized.

The women will then be judged on how well they completed the tasks — winners are rewarded with the chance to attend royal functions, dine at top restaurants and tour London with some of Europe’s most eligible bachelors.  Losers will be pushed to their limits with tasks that include cleaning a kitchen so that it passes the white glove test; stuffing hundreds of envelopes for a charity mailing; and learning the art of French polishing, an exhaustive wood finishing technique that involves carefully applying countless thin coats of shellac using a rubbing pad.  At the end of each episode, one or more unlucky contestants will be sent home. In the finale, the remaining women will attend a glittering ball with all the pomp and circumstance associated with royalty.  It is at this event that the American Princess will be crowned.

The contestants, from all over the United States, include: Clarissa Santiago, an outgoing former beauty pageant contestant from Bronx, NY; Tara Zynel, an opera singer and introverted arts student from Pittsburgh, PA; Liz Rizza, a rapping college basketball player from Umpqua Valley, OR; Cassie Shea Watson, a theater major from Longview, TX; Danielle Sutterfield, a tree-hugging figure model from Arlington, TX; Crystal Rowe, a nanny and former foster child from Folsom, CA; Jasmine Espinal, a punk rocker from Orlando, FL; Kirsten Stiff, an energetic teacher who makes dog tutus in her spare time, from Sarasota, FL;  Yvonka DeRidder, a bi-sexual Psychology student from Tampa, FL; Letosha Joshua, a former military sergeant from Chief City, FL; Felicia Flick, a bikini-wearing boxer from Homer City, PA; and Nakia Vestal, a former stripper from Baytown, TX.

Actress Catherine Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.  Through her grandmother, Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, Ms. Oxenberg is also descended from Kings and Queens of Greece, England, Scandinavia and Czars of Russia. As an Ivy League educated model, Oxenberg’s face graced the covers of Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Interview. Best known for her role as “Dynasty’s” Amanda Carrington, Oxenberg currently stars in the MyNetwork TV series, “Watch Over Me.”  Oxenberg is married to actor Casper Van Dien and lives in Malibu with their five children.

Paul Burrell is best known for his position as Royal Butler to Diana, Princess of Wales.  Today, he is a regular contributor to a daytime UK TV show and is author of the book, In the Royal Manner.  He recently created a line of “affordable luxury” wines called the Royal Butler collection, and is involved in several charities including raising funds for the landmines charity, a cause that was closest to Princess Diana’s heart.

Jean Broke-Smith is the queen of deportment, etiquette and posture. She was the principal of Lucie Clayton Finishing School in London for 30 years.  She has trained many an “IT” girl in traditional etiquette and dealing with fame.

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16 Comments »

16 Responses to “American Princess Returning For Second Season”

  1. Wijdan Says:
    May 31st, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Absolutely fantastic, even though I might not be able to watch it because it might just be aired in USA but it’s great to see Paul on TV again he’s such a genuine, kind, loyal, honorable man. Keep up the good work Paul mwah!

    Wijdan
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  13. Linda Fannon Says:
    September 16th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    The “American Princess” reality show is nothing more than a chance for the British to poke fun of un-educated and un-sophisticated American girls. They are looking simply for the bottom of the barrel, calling it entertainment and showing the American girls in a very bad light. (there are a few exceptions to this). It is also considered watchable or good TV (by the Brits anyway) because you never know what outrageous things the girls will do in their “cat-fight” to win the simplest compliment from their judges. I can just see the British every week in front of their TV’s bored to death with their dour lives, laughing their butts off while watching what they think is the “average” American girl. What they don’t realize is that the really average American girl is too smart to appear in this degrading spectable. The contestants give them (the Brits) a laughable show while literally “fighting” for some worthless title. What they don’t understand is that the average “American girl” is a great deal more polished, though maybe a little rough at the edges due to their ability to compete in the workplace with men. I wonder what surprised looks they would get if they featured 12 average American girls with manners and good upbringing, none of which is apparent in this series. But then would an “average” American girl really consent to appearing in a show like this? Probably not, she would have more sense and better things to do.

  14. American girls need CLASS Says:
    October 10th, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Why do you have a problem with girls learning manners and class? I think most American girls could use it considering the F-bombs that come out of their mouths, the disgusting burping, farting and slutty clothes I see them parading around in. In fact, Britney Spears could be the ultimate challenge for them! Just imagine trying to get that slut to wear panties.

  15. Deb Easterling Says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    By the final episode, I was equally ready to say goodbye to Clarissa. You can only take that fakey voice so long. However, for a nation that boasts about their culture and manners, it was downright tacky and just plain wrong to dismiss her the way they did. I don’t care who it was, they humiliated the poor girl. How disgusting to allow her to dress and prepare for the ball, only to be slapped in the face. How heartbreaking! The manner in which they made that girl walk home from the gate of the palace where the phoney ball was to take place was shameful. She earned the right to go. They could have still allowed only one girl to win. Tacky, cruel, and cheap.

    While we’re at it, why is the show called American Princess when the girls are required to bow to British customs? If they are to be American princesses, why not have them train to hold their own in American upper society?

  16. Terry Says:
    October 25th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Thank God Letosha did not win with her fake laughs.

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