Former Miss USA beauty queen — and once-notorious bad girl — Tara Conner is now using her troubled past in the spotlight to help 12 misbehaving American girls shape up across the pond in MTV’s newest reality show, “The Girls of Hedsor Hall.”
In the reality series, the rambunctious dozen have been shipped off to England to attend famous finishing school, Hedsor Hall. Conner guides the rowdy group of girls through a series of eliminations designed to give them the tools to become ladies, including one challenge that focuses on the importance of first impressions.
“I was so scared when I first met these girls,” Conner told AccessHollywood.com. “When they came out, they were so hard… Literally the first night, I was scared to death. I was like, ‘How are we supposed to transform these girls into proper ladies?’”
Joining Conner in helping out the Hedsor Hall hedonists are stern headmistress Gill Harbord and tough disciplinarian Rosemary Schrager, who work to give the girls a heaping taste of ladylikeness.
“[Harbord and Schrager] have an eye about them. They can give you a glare that cuts right through ice,” Conner explained. “I mean they were perfect. They’re absolutely perfect to get through to these girls.”
Also perfect to get through to the girls is a pretty hefty cash prize incentive — the winning lady will receive $100,000.
“Through having that little pot at the end of the rainbow if you will, we actually were able to grab their attention long enough,” Conner said. “We started to see them grow and started to see a genuine growth in them,”
But it’s not just the cash that Conner hopes inspires the wild bunch of girls to reform their bad girl habits.
“Our main hope for them was that they learn to respect themselves. And hopefully, we made a big enough impact on them that when they leave the show they can carry that on with them.”
Learning self-respect was what helped Conner transcend her own days of alcoholism and hard partying -- and has even inspired her to dabble in the music industry. Conner has turned to songwriting and recently, the studio.
“I’m in the recording studio a lot and I’m recording my own music. I’ve met some pretty amazing people,” Conner explained. “And if it turns into some kind of record deal, awesome. But if not, someone else can sing my songs. They’re great, trust me no body is going to pass them up!”
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