Katrina Campins and Hardy Hill talk about their 'Miami Social' series
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/30/2009
Younger viewers have The Hills and older audiences have The Real Housewives franchise, so Miami Social star Katrina Campins said the upcoming Bravo docu-reality series is targeting those 30-somethings in between.
"I think that this will fill the void because I don't see any other show out there that has people in there 30's that are successful and that are in a city like Miami," Campins told reporters during a recent conference call. "I think this will fill the void for those people looking for another guilty pleasure."
Miami Social, which will follow the lives of seven "hot, young professionals" living in Miami, will premiere on Tuesday, July 14 at 10PM ET/PT.
"It truly shows the good, the bad and the ugly of our lives," said fellow cast member Hardy Hill during the same conference call.
"It shows our friendships and us helping each other get through things. It shows a multitude of dynamics with regards to our interrelations and how we handle each other, issues and success. We work hard and we play harder. We're not necessarily different from anybody else. We have a very, very beautiful backdrop and we just try very, very hard to be very, very successful."
Hill described Miami, which he termed "the American Riviera," as a "culturally diverse melting pot."
"It's just got so many unique characteristics that differ it," he explained. "It really is a different type of energy down here... I can't think of any other place I'd rather be."
Longtime reality television fans may be familiar with both Campins and Hill, as she finished sixth on the first season of The Apprentice in 2004 while he finished fourth on Big Brother's second season in 2001.
"Because I did the first season of The Apprentice -- and I was very young at the time, I was 23-years-old -- it was a very intense and surreal experience," said Campins. "I learned very quickly that I had to have tough skin because people were very quick to judge before they knew me, especially because of my portrayal on the show."
After appearing on The Apprentice, Campins said she worked as an NFL correspondent for ESPN and also worked at CNBC before marrying her high school sweetheart Ben Moss in August 2004.
That same year, Campins and Moss founded The Campins Company -- a luxury real estate firm with offices throughout the country that specifically caters to athletes and entertainers. In addition, Campins said she is involved with "a lot of TV stuff on the side to help promote" The Campins Company brand.
"I learned from Trump. I learned from the best," she told reporters. "So I really took what I learned from him and I'm continuing to build my brand nationwide."
While things are going well with their business, the same apparently can't be said for their marriage -- as Campins said the Miami Social filming process helped her deal with divorce.
"I have taken a different view of my marriage. I was able to see certain things in our relationship that I wasn't able to see when I was entrenched in the relationship," she explained. "I filmed while I was in the process of a divorce. So it was definitely therapeutic in a way."
Bravo billed Campins as being in the "romantic throws of her marriage" during filming, and while she laughed at the phrasing when asked about she also said "it's the truth."
"We became business partners. We started The Campins Company together about five-and-a-half years ago now. I think what happens is, a lot of times, your relationship evolves and may take a different form," she explained.
"That's really what happened with Ben and I. I think our business relationship took over. We became more of a brother/sister type relationship. Also when you're with someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there's definitely some challenging times."
Still, Campins sounded optimistic about what the future holds for her relationship with Moss.
"Everything in life happens for a reason," she said. "He's definitely still one of my best friends and you'll have to see what happens on the show."
After appearing on Big Brother, Hill said he opened a Skybar rooftop nightclub when he was the operational manager at the Shore Club, and from there he rejoined The Opium Group as a general manager.
"I moved into the position of ambassador which they actually created specifically for my skill set and my talent," he said.
"Essentially I was directly representing the interests of the owners -- so our high net worth VIP clientele, traveling dignitaries from foreign countries -- and taking care of them and all of our VIP clients at our properties in New York City, the four properties we have here in Miami and the two properties we have out in Las Vegas."
Over the last three years, Hill said he's been running his own company -- the Hill Hospitality Group -- which does management consulting for different hotels and nightlife venues.
"I also own and operate a concierge company which caters to high net worth individuals and celebrity clientele as well," he said.
While Campins has called Miami home almost her entire life, the same can't be said for Hill -- who moved there from his hometown of York, PA around the time he was on Big Brother, which had billed as "bouncer."
"I was actually working security for The Opium Group when I first moved down here as a night time job," he explained.
"I was actually a corporate account executive for Cingular Wireless doing business to business high volume sales. But they kind of focused on the bouncer side for creative purposes."
Although he has nothing but affection for his hometown, Hill said Miami simply had more to offer.
"It was just kind of a smaller town that I grew up in. I just kind of felt like my capabilities were limited by the opportunities that were there," he said. "I just felt the need to kind of spread my wings and see what was out there in the world for me."
Both Campins and Hill said they are approaching their more recent reality experiences differently than the first time around.
"I stumbled across reality television for the first time by mistake. I was never somebody that was really obsessed with pop culture and really knew much about it at the time," said Campins. "But The Apprentice completely changed my life, and I'm glad that I actually took a few years off from reality television to build my company."
Campins called Miami Social a "completely different experience" than The Apprentice.
"This time around, [the filming] kind of moved around our schedule and it was a lot of fun to film," she said. "I think there's always going to be people out there who are quick to judge you based on the way you are portrayed on the show, but I think ultimately, you need to be true to your goal and the reason that you did the show."
Campins said her "motivating factor" for doing Miami Social was part of her long-term goal to "utilize the media to empower women and encourage them to honor themselves"
"I'm really passionate about that. I also want to help inspire others -- both men and women alike -- to be better," she said. "I hope to be able to instill the true meaning of success in people."
While Campins is ready to grab the bull by the horns, Hill acknowledged he's a little more apprehensive about being in the media spotlight for a second time.
"I haven't really given it a whole lot of thought until recently. To be honest with you, it's kind of a little scary -- a little frightening -- because you don't want to be seen in a bad light," he explained. "But in the same point, you want to be seen in an honest light. I don't know. I guess I'm kind of just hoping for the best."
Miami Social's other cast members are Ariel, a fashion producer; Michael, a freelance editor; Maria, an art director and freelance photographer; and George, a mortgage banker, and his ex-wife Sorah, a realtor and property manager.
Hill assured viewers that the show's cast were all in the "same social circle" before Bravo's cameras arrived for filming.
"I knew every single person on the show that was cast in the show," he said. "I was either an acquaintance or a friend of a friend, but I was also always socially associated with everyone."
Campins said she had already known Hill from their previous reality ties, and added Michael covered her wedding to Moss for People magazine.
"There's a connection amongst all of us," she said. "I've become much closer with certain people on the show."
As for additional impacts that the show might have on their friendships, Campins promised there will be "drama."
"You're also going to see a group of friends from all walks of life, cultures and beliefs -- and we agree to disagree most of the time," she explained. "Sometimes we definitely disagree on certain things, but it's gonna be an adventure to watch."
Hill added that any relationship goes through "evolutions and changes," and viewers will see that on Miami Social.
"We're no different from anyone else," he said.
"Are you going to see some moments where people are on edge and at odds? Of course. Are you going to see moments where we're all having a blast and singing 'Kumbaya?' Absolutely -- and every degree in between. It's not unlike any other friendship any other person would have."