Gia Marie Allemand (December 20, 1983 – August 14, 2013) was an American actress, model, and reality television contestant. She was known for appearing in Maxim (magazine), and being a cast member on two ABC reality shows, The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love and Bachelor Pad. Allemand had been set to star in a new television series, and had been selected to play a role in an upcoming film about the life of Gianni Russo before her death.
Modeling and actingEdit
Allemand was born in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens, New York City in 1983, and began modeling at a very young age. As a baby, she did Johnson & Johnson ads and also appeared as a Gerber Baby. As a teenager, Allemand initially never thought about a career in modeling. However, at age 19 her career began after she was asked to enter a swimsuit competition that she ended up winning. Allemand finished second in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic competition and the Miss Red Hot Taj Mahal Super Bowl contest in 2005. Allemand is best known for appearing as a swimsuit model in Maxim in 2007. In 2008, she was named Miss Bikini-USA's Model of the Year. The following year Allemand placed first in the bikini short class of the NPC Arnold Amateur Championships. In addition to modeling, Allemand was also a modeling consultant working for Dream It Make It (DIMI). Allemand said in an interview that she has always had a passion for acting and performing. Allemand is a former professional ballet dancer. However, her dancing career was shortened after injuries to her hamstring and Achilles tendon. Nevertheless, she took acting classes in high school and college. Allemand attended Hartford College. In 2010, Allemand was selected to play a role in an upcoming film produced by Brett Ratner on the life of actor Gianni Russo. She was cast to play the supporting role of actress Ava Gardner, who was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time. Russo personally cast her for the role saying, "Gia looks a lot like Ava, but it's really the passion that she had that convinced me to cast her."
Allemand's work in television began when she was selected as a cast member on ABC's reality show The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love, part of The Bachelor series which first aired on January 4, 2010. The show placed her with 24 other women all contending for the affection of pilot Jake Pavelka. She was the second to the last one eliminated by Pavelka. On February 18, 2010 Allemand appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where she discussed her life after being on The Bachelor. Afterwards, Allemand joined the cast of Bachelor Pad, another ABC reality show in which former contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette compete and play games for a chance at a $250,000 cash prize. The show premiered August 9, 2010 on ABC. Before appearing on Bachelor Pad Allemand was featured in a special edition of ABC's 20/20 Inside the Bachelor: Stories Behind the Rose. She entered the show as being the only contestant in a committed relationship. Allemand cited the relationship as the reason why she refused to participate in the show's "kissing contest" game which led to her elimination in the third episode. In November 2010, it was announced that Allemand would appear in a television pilot, produced by writer/director Michael Plumides, Robert Filion, Bill Walker and Anne Saunders called Ghost Trek. The series pilot is a comic horror theme based on a paranormal reality show. Allemand plays the role of Shawna Leibowitz, who is the girlfriend of Dr. Zeke Wallace (Michael Melendez), an ex-chiropractor turned paranormal investigator. Filming for the pilot episode began on December 10–13, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.The pilot was completed mid-2011 entitled, Ghost Trek: The Kinsey Report and was test-marketed at horror conventions across the US in 2011 and 2012 winning several awards. After signing a short-lived contract with Thinkfactory Media (Hatfieds and McCoys) the pilot ran in four webisodes during October 2012 on www.dreadcentral.com, boasting millions of visitors for the Halloween season. Ghost Trek was described as "haunted hilarity" by Fearnet and "ridiculously entertaining" by www.filmthreat.com. An all-new episode was filmed in early 2013, entitled Ghost Trek: Goomba Body Snatchers Mortuary Lockdown, and Allemand has a cameo. She was also attached to the Ghost Trek feature film, currently #2 in the "Horror" category on Amazon Studios behind the green-lighted Zombies vs. Gladiators.
On August 12, 2013, Allemand was admitted to University Hospital in New Orleans for an attempt at suicide by hanging. She was declared brain dead and removed from life support two days later at age 29.