Eleven women are chosen as contestants in the country’s newest reality modelling competition – Local Ambition. The cast thinks that posing is the only thing they have to worry about – but they’re wrong. Alliances will be formed; rivalries will develop; and the cast will have to question who they can trust. Last year’s winner, Nikki Serenity, has returned to Local Ambition to serve as the show’s host, but not everyone is happy to see her. Chelsi, her former cast mate, has come back and feels that she is “The Face of Local Ambition” and deserves to be the host more than Nikki – and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants.
While Local Ambition is gearing up to start casting for their 8th season in February, we spoke to the shows creator Kevin Edwards to get some info behind the innerworkings of the show…
What makes Local Ambition unique compared to other reality TV shows?
We feel that most audiences believe that reality shows are scripted. Because of this, we thought we’d have some fun with the genre and add elements of soap operas into our show. On reality shows, you’ll see cast members arguing and scheming against each other. On our show, you’ll see evil twins, kidnappings, and even murder. Local Ambition is unlike any reality show you’ve ever seen before.
What do you look for when casting for the show and has this changed as the seasons have progressed?
Every season, we learn more and more about what types of people work out best on our cast. We take this information into casting and try to make the best possible decisions on who gets in the door. The best traits that we look for are how cooperative someone is and a positive attitude.
How will season 8 differ from previous seasons?
We are looking to add more creativity into the characters and storylines. This means that viewers will get to see more over-the-top soap opera style storytelling. This has become a trademark of Local Ambition and it has brought the show a lot of success, so we’re doubling down on it. Viewers will also get to see a brand new cast of fresh faces. They will also see mainstays like Chelsi and Nikki return to the show as well.
How has the show evolved through the seasons?
Local Ambition is constantly evolving. We started the show back in the fall of 2012 and it has grown so much in six years. When the show first started, we had one camera and no microphones. Anyone who has anything to do with film probably cringed reading that. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I wanted the show to look and feel. It wasn’t until 2017 (our sixth season), that we really started to nail that stuff down. Now, the show looks and sounds better than it ever has. It’s more organized and entertaining. We’ve got a full film crew with a lot more equipment and the right people behind-the-scenes to help us pull it off.
What challenges did you face taking the show from unscripted to scripted?
The only challenge we faced was providing acting training for the cast. When you hear that you’re going to be on a reality show, you don’t think that you’re going to have to do any acting. To many, they think that you just show up someplace and talk to your cast mates while a film crew babysits you for several hours. That’s not the case on our show, so we went through some growing pains in 2017 getting everyone to adjust to how things were going to be from now on. Scripting everything has made filming Local Ambition much easier. I tell the cast every year, “It’s better to show up and pretend not to like someone than to show up and actually not like someone.” Other shows sometimes coach people into having arguments with each other – but not us. The backstage environment on the show is much more healthy and supportive when we’re all on the same page and following a script.