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Chicago Starts Getting Real. Really Bank.

By Margaret Lyons in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 4, 2004 9:54PM to be on a reality show? Chicagoist is tempted to criticize you, and yet, without folks who want to be reality ‘stars,’ what would we watch on TV? NBC is launching The Hilton Project,, starring Paris and Nicky’s madre Kathy, and it looks promising.

[Producers are] looking for deserving men and women to take part in an uplifting unscripted drama for NBC. Hilton will play "Henry Higgins" to these candidates and help transform their lives by exposing them to a glamorous new life. Hilton will gather renowned cultural experts who will guide and enlighten the candidates along the way. After a series of competitions, Hilton will choose a winner who will receive an extravagant prize package including a residence at one of New York City's most exclusive addresses, and a wealth of experience.

So it’s like The Swan but without the ankle liposuction. If you think you need exposure to a glamorous new life, head to the White Star Lounge. According to Metromix, there’s a pre-casting party tonight. If you can’t make the evening festivities, there’s the open call tomorrow. Dress ugly, though, and don’t take a shower—you want to seem like you really need this makeover.

Don’t want to be made over, but you do want reality cred? Head over to Virgin Megastore on Saturday to audition for The Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best, Fox’s version of The Apprentice.

Sir Richard Branson, global adventurer, entrepreneur and Founder/Chairman of the Virgin group of companies, is searching for an extraordinary individual who has the right stuff to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps. Branson will be sending a group of young would-be billionaires on a whirlwind tour of the world. Along the way, they will relive some of Branson's own colorful business and personal adventures -- and be tested on the same sort of business and personal dilemmas that Branson faced on his path to becoming one of the world's most successful businessmen.

Chicagoist doesn’t really want to be on these shows (maybe a teeny bit), but we are seriously looking forward to watching them.
Oh yeah, there's a book fair this weekend, too. Snooze.