By: Hali Harden, Staff Reporter
Dominique Storelli submitted an audition video to be Maxim’s 2011 Hometown Hottie in 2011.
Storelli, a UNF fall 2011 alumna, received a video call from Maxim informing her that the votes were in Dec. 12.
“Thank you, thank you, and let’s do work,” said an excited Storelli upon learning that she won. “I’m shaking right now.”
At this point, Storelli didn’t know that she was also chosen to be the first nonceleb to grace the cover of Maxim Magazine’s March 2012 edition.
And while Storelli, a Fort Lauderdale native, didn’t get back to the Spinnaker’s phone calls and text messages over two weeks, two of her friends were willing to share the story about how a woman uninterested in modeling became a cover girl.
From student to model
Storelli lived next to Matt Sexton in Jacksonville Beach for a year. Sexton, currently in Marathon, Fla., said they created a kind of compound.
The houses they lived in were connected, and Sexton, Storelli and six of their friends lived there. He said Storelli’s house had a pool and his a hot tub, so the group of friends created a sort of close-knit commune between the two houses.
When Storelli told the group she wanted to try out for Maxim’s Hometown Hottie, he said they made a couple jokes about it, since Storelli had never been into modeling, but supported her throughout the competition.
“She’s kind of just a pretty little girl, and she also can hang with the boys,” Sexton said. “She was never really like a prissy model type or anything like that.”
Making it happen
Four and a half years ago, Storelli became friends with Bobby Regan. Storelli and Regan, a UNF business management and marketing senior, shared a passion for action sports. Regan wanted to take part and film them, and Storelli hoped to become a sports announcer.
The two clicked.
Regan said they were sitting at lunch one afternoon when Storelli made the announcement that she wanted to try out to be Maxim’s 2011 Hometown Hottie and that she wanted his help.
“We both kind of laughed right there because Dominique wasn’t so good in front of the camera,” Regan said. “So she was like, ‘I don’t really know what to do’ and I was like, well, I’ve never shot anything like this, but we can give it a go.”
And they did.
Regan said the two shot the audition video like a story, describing what Storelli was all about, what she does and where she wants to be.
Regan shot the footage without a script and with the help of liquid courage as the two traveled around Atlantic Beach doing the things they would normally do — activities like hanging by the pool and going to the beach. Those are some qualities that make Storelli into what Regan calls, “a real Florida girl.”
Regan said Storelli hoped that by entering the contest she would gain exposure to help her in the broadcast realm. She had never been a media socialite, limiting her Facebook and Twitter usage and still not completely comfortable in front of a camera, he said.
He said they were both happy with the outcome of the video and Storelli’s naturally gorgeous features and fun, carefree personality made filming easy.
Storelli submitted the video and watched in the upcoming weeks as she gained increasing votes on the Maxim website.
She has since won other titles, including Miss DNA 2011, Miss Eastern Surf Magazine November 2011 and Miss Transworld Surf Magazine January 2011. She has also traveled with Maxim, hosted events in Vegas and recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic.
In a video interview with Storelli, Maxim’s April Rose asked her to tell viewers how they could capture a Hometown Hottie for themselves.
“For me, you just have to be yourself, you know. Don’t try to impress people, be yourself and be honest,” Storelli said. “Have a good time, and love life.”
Email Hali Harden at [email protected]