Nudist resort residents get their 'Simple Life' moment
By JAMES THORNER
Published June 24, 2004
[Times photo: Erik Jacobs]
Caliente resident Storm, left, who gave only one name, and guest services manager Sabrina Vizzari watch The Simple Life 2 at the Caliente nudist resort in Land O'Lakes on Wednesday. The episode was filmed at the resort in March.
LAND O'LAKES - The naked and half-clothed residents of Caliente nudist resort aren't bashful. But appearing on national TV is another matter.
There was John Mitchell, Navy veteran and nudist, peering at his pantsless self on WTVT- Ch. 13, a star for the day on The Simple Life 2.
"This is it, yeah!" Mitchell said as the show's two stars, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, mingled with him on the screen.
Ulysses Bruce had a similar reaction as Richie, joining him in a "body acceptance" seminar at Caliente, saw the blond celebutante admiring his abdomen on screen.
"You're a star!" Bruce's friend yelled.
"Yeah, right," Bruce said.
Everyone involved in the show when it taped in March wore hot pink Simple Life 2 T-shirts or white "I survived The Simple Life 2."
Based on interviews with the likes of David Letterman, Caliente folk feared Richie and Hilton would belittle them. Most rested easy after the show clicked off at 9:30 p.m.
"It was all done for fun. We don't mind. We're all comfortable with ourselves," said Carole Van Dusen, whose naked form appeared on the show.
Amid the bubbling glass palm trees, swizzle sticks, pink balloons and jiggling ice, a few Caliente nightclubbers gave the show a thumbs down.
Zhenya Nichols said the show used Caliente as a cheap backdrop. "For teenagers, everyone over 30 is dead. We are Jurassic for them," Nichols said. But Bruce, Mitchell and others said they enjoyed their brief stint in the limelight. Hilton promised to visit again, without the cameras. And maybe she will.
"They edited a lot of stuff," Bruce said as the dance floor cranked up with naked bodies. "But it was cool."