There is nothing subtle about the models. They stand out in the casino like two pushed-up-about-to-pop-out D cups framed by long platinum hair.
Among the cluster of slender, stunning women are Jessica Hinton from L.A. (where else?) and Sarah Barker from Las Vegas. They wear down-to-there and up-to-here ensembles like pros, but the glamour of modeling comes with a few decided cons.
"You have to get dressed up every single night to go out," Hinton laments when asked to name a downside of being a model. "You can't just wear jeans and a T-shirt and just chill."
Certainly not when you’re competing against other models for a grand prize of $5,000.
Hinton, Barker and 18 other models from four local modeling agencies, AWG, Best, Red and Platinum, were at The Bank on Sunday night for the culmination of the Las Vegas Top Model 2009 contest.
Hosted by The Light Group, the competition played out online where each model posted pictures in everything from bed sheets to Daisy Dukes to leather pants to not much more than a seductive pose. The public was invited to vote for its favorite.
Much like a normal day at the office, the models were primped to perfect 10s – though work doesn’t normally include drinking with friends out of the way of camera flashes.
"You walk in every day and it's like your first day of work," Barker says. You always have to please the boss, she explains. The constant worry is: "Does he like you to do this one thing and not another?"
Tre Baillie, a petite girl with bright red ringlets, extraordinarily long blue eyelashes and a thick layer of body glitter all over her back and décolletage, lets me in on a few of the occupation’s numerous perks as the gaggle of models migrates across the Bellagio casino floor from Caramel Lounge to The Bank Nightclub.
As she's talking I can see the perks for myself: the parting sea of people, the complete bypassing of the long line of non-models outside the club, the ushering upstairs to a VIP booth where chilled bottles await and beautiful people are welcome to dance on banquettes.
"For the most part, we are very fortunate," she admits, and when I ask if the rumors are true about the private jets and high-end shopping sprees, she nods her head in the affirmative.
It’s a rough life – the VIP treatment, the generous compensation – but many of the local models sighted the “experience” as the greatest perk of their day job. "I get to do something different all the time," Barker says. "I meet all different people, have whole different experiences. From gun, to car, to diving shows, I've done it all."
When the ballots are tabulated, a raven-haired Vegas native that you might recognize from her strolls around the UFC octagon takes home the dough.
Arianny Celeste, who maintains that she is a homebody who’d rather be watching a movie at home than out partying, has recently moved from her hometown of Las Vegas to pursue starry-eyed dreams in L.A. She’s currently attending acting school with hopes of becoming television host and actress, but still frequently flies to Vegas (and all over the world) to fulfill her duties as a hot UFC ring girl.
On her personal Web site her list of “favorites” includes Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, shopping and Victoria’s Secret, but Celeste isn’t planning to put the five grand toward a shopping spree. Instead, Celeste said, she is planning on buying her younger sister a laptop for college and will save the rest.
A model since she was 13 (she also appeared in a car seat commercial as a 14-month-old) Celeste is surprisingly modest about her big win.
“I have never won anything in my life, so I was just shocked. I felt really good because I knew that it was driven by votes. I knew that my fans and friends and family all voted, so it all made me feel good and proud.”