'The Ultimate Miami Girl' Looking More Like Ultimate Lawsuit

, Daily Business Review



Rather than culminating with the usual mishmash of cussing, weave-pulling, drink-throwing and scratching, the finale of a Miami reality TV show might play out as a nasty fight in federal court.

"The Ultimate Miami Girl" hoped to end with a "Real Housewives"-style ratings blockbuster. Instead, an attorney for the venture's financial backers told the Daily Business Review that the company hired to film the production's first season turned it into a failure.

The federal lawsuit by Hollywood, Fla.-based Bugarie Group LLC seeks $601,826 from Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Stardust Pictures LLC, effectively reimbursing Bugarie for the entire sum spent getting the show off the ground.

The show kicked off in January as a contest pitting beautiful South Florida women in a contest to see who could best "do Miami like a Miami girl," according to a promotional video. A multi-week casting call at the Magic City Casino narrowed a field of several hundred mostly 20-somethings to 10 contestants, who moved into a Miami mansion and were followed around by camera crews as they engaged in staged competitions.

Martha Maria Lopez, a model and entertainer who participated in the competition but was not chosen as a finalist, told the DBR that the show's producer cast it using the same criteria that assured success for reality hits from "The Real World" to "Jersey Shore."

"They picked the grimiest girls and put them in the house for the drama," Lopez said, "You had the Cuban chonga from Hialeah. You had the black girl from the 'hood. Every girl was a stereotype."

But once the women were in the house, the wheels started coming off the production, the breach of contract suit alleges. According to the suit, the staff hired by producer Stardust either forgot to turn on the microphone during filming or somehow lost a substantial portion of the show's sound track between shoots.

Either way, "Stardust delivered a product that was incapable of being used or marketed by Bugarie, and the reality show was a failure," the lawsuit assigned to U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez reads.

Countersuit Threatened

Plaintiffs attorney Richard Wolfe said Tuesday that Stardust delivered five episodes but three had sound problems.

"I don't know if the guy forgot to push the button or what they did wrong, but it has no sound," Wolfe said. "It's worthless."

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