Valley "Paradise Hotel" contestant's parents talk about their daughter's quest for love
PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- One of the contestants on Paradise Hotel, a show that premiered on FOX on May 9, is from the Valley.
Tatum Smith, who graduated from Arizona State University (ASU), is from Scottsdale. Recently, FOX 10 sat down with Smith's parents, in order to get some insight on what we can expect to see from Smith during the season, if she doesn't get voted off.
Paradise Hotel follows a group of singles who are looking to check in for love, and check out with big money. Each week, the singles will vote off one of their fellow residents to make room for new guests. In a twist, viewers can play along using social media to try and influence what happens on screen to decide who stays and who goes.
Tatum is one of those competing for the grand prize of $250,000.
"I didn't really realize the magnitude of the show until I got a call from Seattle, Washington, New York City saying I saw the commercial," said Tatum's father, Jeffrey Smith. "I'm used to local television kind of things, and then it hit me, wow this is really going to reach every Smerican if they want to see it."
Jeffrey and Tatum's mother, Leela Smith, said since their daughter got picked to be on the show a few weeks ago, it's been a whirlwind. The contestants have strict rules about communicating with the outside world, in order to ensure the results stay top secret.
"It's been four weeks of no communication, which has been tough because we talk all of the time," said Leela. "Tatum is my best friend and she's gone, but we're dealing with it."
Tatum graduated from ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in May, and worked at The W in Old Town Scottsdale for many years. Her parents say she's smart, hard-working and perfect for the show.
"She's feisty, she's smart, she's very competitive, she's got a quick wit, great sense of humor," said Leela.
"I look at it as a show of skill, maybe sometimes conniving, sales skill, getting people to side with you. That's how I view the show, and that's a great way of viewing this television show," said Jeffrey.
Judging by the looks of some of the male contestants, Tatum won't have a hard time finding a love interest.
"She's into dark hair, dark features..." said Leela.
"Like her dad is!" said Jeffrey.
At the end, Tatum will either have to hook up or check out. If she checks out, Tatum has a guaranteed date when she gets home.
"We have date night two or three nights a week, which means we're going out to dinner, and if Tatum is not working at The W, she goes, 'I'll drive if I can come on date night with you', and we go, 'OK'. So, we bring our daughter on date night with us, and she drives us home, so we don't have to Uber for 10 bucks," said Jeffrey.