Out of nearly 200 applicants nationwide, Regina Busse of Omaha is one of three finalists to host a new online Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom program.
Mutual announced Wednesday that Busse will compete for the job of Wild Guide along with Stephanie Arne, a wildlife educator from Honolulu, and Thiago Silva of El Paso, an amateur outdoor filmmaker.
The Wild Guide will win $10,000 and “take viewers on new adventures in the modern-day wild kingdom.”
This year is the 50th anniversary of the debut of Mutual of Omaha's “Wild Kingdom” on television. The new online episodes, Mutual said, will be webisodes, “redefined for today's generation of viewers.”
Busse, 29, a graduate of Omaha Roncalli High School and Kansas State University, said she informed her parents, Jim and Cynthia Busse, at home Tuesday evening in Omaha that she was a finalist.
“I gave them a card of thanks,” she said. “There was crying and a bear hug.”
Applicants had submitted videos, from which Mutual selected 12 semifinalists, including Tim Davison of Wahoo, Neb. People then could go online and vote for their favorite through Thursday.
The final three will audition in Omaha, with the winner announced July 15. The first webisode may be shot in August for viewing this fall.
Viewers can follow candidates throughout the interview process at WildKingdom.com/NextWildGuide.
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