American Idol Contestant to Pose Nude

ImageThe world of entertainment is crowded and busy. It takes an edge to get ahead.

In the case of former American Idol contestant Rene Tem, this edge might be in the form of a nude pictorial.

Tem contacted “Monkey Radio with Marc”, requested an interview on the show, seemingly as part of her public relations “blitz” to promote her upcoming nude modeling in, a site which claims  to feature “alternative pin-up girls“. She made sure to mention part of the agenda was the question of why she decided to pose nude.

In the interview, Tem reveals that, although she was the valedictorian of her high school, went to college, has been working professionally as an entertainer and has started her own business related to kids who are in the entertainment business, she feels modeling nude could give her a leg up on competition. She should know something about competition, as she says she was one of the lucky contestants who apparently “went to Hollywood” in Season 2 of “American Idol“.  Despite outlasting thousands of rivals, she says she didn’t make it past the top three-dozen contestants, yet feels the experience presented tremendous opportunities in the end.

Tem reveals her mother, who the singer says was one of Bob Hope‘s “Diamonds”, is supportive of her decision to pose nude. She has concerns about her father, though, saying she’s not sure he’s as supportive. But the momentum she predicts showing skin will bring is more important, at least according to a statement in the interview.

The 33-year-old seems to be trying hard to be seen as relevant, though she did not contact us through a publicist. Is her work cut out for her?

Claiming cellphone problems, she called from someone else’s hard phone line while traveling (the person picked up numerous times during the interview, but we cut this from the interview out of courtesy),  our diligent Internet search reveals little about Tem, and her social media accounts seem to us to be fairly undeveloped for someone aiming to be in the public light. She did not seem concerned that modeling nude might damage the child-focused business she is trying to build. And she referred more than once to the fact that she’s counting on being the first American Idol contestant to pose nude, although fellow AI alum (who went much farther in the TV competition than Tem) Jessica Sierra reportedly already went much further than a nude pictorial with a “sex tape”.

Tem talks heavily in the interview of the hard work, commitment and sacrifices involved with “making it” in the entertainment business. So, is posing nude a smart tactical choice, finding an edge and an opening, being the “first” contestant to pose nude (and will anyone actually care?)? Or is this just an easy way to get some looks from the lowest denominator, for a quick burst of attention that will fizzle and backfire?

Only time will tell. We’re not sure how we’re rooting…it seems a shame for someone to be so smart, talented and hard-working with an entrepreneurial spirit, and yet sink to what seems to us to be a desperate act of nude modeling, rationalizing it as empowering and respecting women. One the other hand, it’s her body, and nude modeling can be tasteful art (hello Michelangelo), so take the path that works for one’s own self…and hopefully the strategy pays off.

Leaving us with one question: If you take your clothes off in a forest and nobody sees, are you still a nude model?

UPDATE 11/19/13

Does anyone care? Well…the episode featuring the interview  with Rene Tem was by far the least listened to episode in the history of “Monkey Radio with Marc”.  We’re not sure of the correlation, but it might be a message from the listeners (or lack thereof).

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