Former UA student is on VH1 reality show

2008-01-10T00:00:00Z Former UA student is on VH1 reality showBy Gerald M. Gay ggay@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star
January 10, 2008 12:00 am  • 

A former Arizona Wildcat is in the running for Bret Michaels' heart on VH1's popular reality series "Rock of Love 2."

Jessica Kinni, 25, of Scottsdale, graduated from the University of Arizona in 2004 with a degree in physiological science.

The Kappa Kappa Gamma was a regular at hot spots in town like Maloney's and Trident and said that the University of Arizona was the only school she applied to.

"I had a very cool college experience," Kinni added in a recent phone interview. "You hear so many horror stories about college and I had none of those."

Kinni has since been living in the Phoenix area, working at high-end Scottsdale nightclubs, running her own clothing line, called Real Chic, and modeling.

She joined the "Rock of Love 2" cast — a group of women, each looking to convince Michaels of the band Poison that she is the one for him — late last year.

Michaels chose Chicago-based hairstylist Jes Rickleff during the first season, but that fell apart before the reunion show even aired.

Filming for season 2 wrapped in early December. The first episode premieres Sunday.

What made you want to try out for the show?

"They came to me. I used to run VIP services for a very large nightclub in Old Town Scottsdale. I had known a lot of different producers and things like that. They came to me and asked me multiple times if I would be interested. I kept saying it was probably not for me. Finally, when they told me it was Bret, I said I would do it."

So you are a Bret Michaels/Poison fan then?

"Yes. Definitely."

Who were you rooting for last season?

"From day one, I was rooting for Jes. It was so weird. I never ever get the winners right. Good thing it didn't work out."

Do you consider yourself more of a Jes, a Heather or a Lacey?

"Probably a Jes. I think you tend to end up rooting for the one you find you have the most in common with. I thought Jes was very real. You never saw her trying to manipulate or backstab. She was somebody who was very likable and you could get where she was coming from."

What were your impressions of Bret during filming?

"It is funny because I had met some celebrities through my job. I kept thinking about what it was going to be like to meet him, having met so many different types of people. Would he be as cool and down-to-earth as I hoped he would be or would I be totally disappointed? All I can say is if you met him, you couldn't help but like him. He is a really cool guy and seems genuinely interested in you as a person."

This was your first television experience. What was it like living in front of a camera with Bret and all these other women?

"I'm not really allowed to say too much. It is very different than anyone could imagine. They are putting our whole lives into 12 hours and you are recorded 24-hours-a-day. The bottom line is, they have a lot of room to play with things if they want to.

"It is pretty wild. Not what I expected at all and probably the hardest thing I've done, physically and mentally. But you have to remember what you're playing for."

Have you been back to Tucson since leaving the city?

"I just went back on vacation a couple of months ago and I stayed at Loews Ventana Canyon. That was a side of Tucson that I hadn't really seen when I was in school. It's easy to take Tucson totally for granted if you live there. I don't know if I appreciated it as much as I should have. I was too busy doing homework — and partying."

Where to watch

"Rock of Love 2" debuts on VH1 Sunday night.

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