Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MuchMusic VJ contest fades to black for Stiles

Winnipegger loses out in her bid to go on air

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A 24-year-old Earls waitress came within a whisker of becoming the second Winnipegger in a row to win MuchMusic's VJ Search contest.

But yesterday afternoon, Regan Stiles lost out to floppy-haired Vancouverite Aaron Strate, who was crowned as the video channel's next on-air personality by Bradford How, the Winnipegger who won the same contest two years ago.

"I think they were looking for something specific. But it's all positive," Stiles said in a telephone interview from Toronto minutes after Strate won the job.

"It was just about being yourself and having fun. You can't take it too seriously. I had a really good time this weekend."

Stiles, whose previous TV credits include a Midway Chrysler commercial and an appearance in a video for Winnipeg rock band The Home Crew, was one of eight Canadians who spent the past four days in Toronto competing for the VJ gig.

She survived two rounds of cuts yesterday before bowing out to Strate, whose understated sense of humour contrasted immensely with her more enthusiastic approach to being on air.

"The hardest part (of the contest) was only getting six hours of sleep the whole weekend," says Stiles. "The most fun thing was this medieval dinner, where you eat with your hands and get served by a woman who introduces herself as 'your wench.' "

Stiles says she may give TV another shot in the future. In the mean time, she's relieved to be staying put in Winnipeg. She recently bought a house in the Norwood area and wasn't relishing the prospect of moving twice in two months.

The Winnipegger plans to resume working at Earls on Main Street. She flies home today.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

PHOTO PHIL HOSSACK/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 28, 2002 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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