Vanessa Minnillo - Career

In 1997, Vanessa was encouraged to enter a beauty pageant by her boyfriend's father. That October, she was crowned Miss Teen South Carolina. The victory qualified her to compete in the national Miss Teen USA pageant. In August 1998, she swept all categories at the event, held in Shreveport, Louisiana. Unfortunately, live coverage of her remarkable win was pre-empted by a televised address by then President Clinton about the Lewinsky scandal.

Vanessa returned to high school, where she continued life as an honor student and head cheerleader.

She spent her weekends, however, traveling the country as Miss Teen USA and a national spokeswoman for The Partnership Against Drugs.

Although she felt that a college degree is essential, the immediate opportunities for Vanessa coming out of high school were such that she wanted to strike while the iron was hot and pursue a showbiz career. An appearance on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee had demonstrated that she had natural ease in front of the camera.

Vanessa moved to Los Angeles and worked as a host on Fox Sports Net and ESPN, and enjoyed a stint on the daytime soap The Bold and The Beautiful. She was a runner-up for replacing Brooke Burke on E!'s Wild On.

In 2003, Vanessa did her first work for MTV. She appeared on Beach House 2003, and network execs were pleased with her work. Since September 2003, she's been working full-time at MTV's Times Square studio in New York City. In addition to ad hoc voice work, she's a regular VJ on Total Request Live.

Vanessa continues to host other shows and specials, including 2 Punk Rock 4 This: The Real World San Diego Reunion, Spring Break Celebrity Fantasies, MTV Prom Date, and Never Before Scene: I, Robot.

Vanessa Minnillo also found herself in the spotlight during a fling with New York Yankee Derek Jeter.

Minnillo was one of the finalists in E!'s competition to find a replacement for Brooke Burke as hostess for the show Wild On. The job eventually went to Cindy Taylor.Before joining MTV, she had minor roles in The Bold and the Beautiful, television series City Guys, That's Life, and Maybe It's Me.

Minnillo has been hosting TRL on MTV since 2003. Her first interview on TRL was with hip-hop artist Chingy. In 2005, she also became a New York-based reporter for the entertainment news show, Entertainment Tonight. In addition to her work on TRL, she has served as a host or co-host for a variety of MTV specials, and served as a celebrity judge for the Miss Teen USA pageant in 2003.

In May 2006, Maxim magazine listed Minnillo as #15 in their Hot 100 issue. She was listed as #62 in the 2005 issue and was the Maxim cover girl for both the October 2005 and October 2006 issues.

Minnillo was chosen for BONGO Jeans' Spring/Summer 2007 advertising campaign, and will be featured in a series of print ads depicting and inspired by classic 60's pin-up girls.

Minnillo is also in the process of securing a record deal to launch her music career.

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