Local model competes on reality TV show
GLEN CARBON - "Big Brother" will be watching SIUE student and model Monet Stunson, 24, this season as she joins the cast of the hit reality TV show in its 12th edition.
Stunson, a 2004 graduate of Metro-East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville, was first runner-up for Miss Illinois USA 2009. She began modeling when she was just 11 years old, said her proud father, Bonjour Stunson, appearing on the runway for both Saks Fifth Avenue and Nieman-Marcus.
Through her agent, Monet Stunson appeared recently on the long-running TV soap opera "The Young and the Restless." She was cast as a tutor for one of the character's children.
"We are so excited for her," her father said. "She got the call, and everything happened so quickly that we didn't have time to celebrate."
Her father said the show cast her because they saw her portfolio.
Under the terms of her contract, Stunson's family is prohibited from talking about her involvement with CBS-TV's "Big Brother," which will begin airing at 8 p.m. Thursday.
The reality series sequesters a group of strangers, referred to as houseguests, inside a home for the summer, while they are constantly monitored by more than 50 video cameras and 95 microphones.
The twist this season, according to executive producer Allison Grodner, is that there will be a mole among the houseguests who will do viewers' bidding. The identity of the saboteur will be revealed to viewers on the July 15 episode. He or she will not be eligible to win the $500,000 grand prize, but if the person lasts long enough on the show, the saboteur can win a separate cash prize.
In an interview with CBS, Stunson said she thought the most difficult part about appearing on the show will be the lack of privacy.
For her father, he said that he's finding it difficult to not have the opportunity to talk with his daughter.
"We miss her," he said. "We watch the show all the time anyway, but we'll record this season."
Bonjour Stunson said he thought his daughter would do well on the show.
"Monet has a real nice personality," he said. "She's very easygoing."
The goal is to be the last houseguest left, avoiding eviction throughout the series.
"I find it hard to say up-front how I would play," Monet Stunson said in the CBS interview. "I need to meet the other contestants and get into the house to decide if I would play nice or dirty."