miss august sets a high mark for herself
Because you watched Fox' Girl Next Door: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold, you know that Christina Santiago was one of three finalists. "I wasn't a sore loser when I lost to Lauren Anderson, but I was disappointed because I didn't understand what Playboy was looking for in a Playmate," she says. "When I got the phone call saying I was going to be Miss August, I had to eat my words."
The 20-year-old Chicago native's striking features helped her become a professional model, but she doesn't think she had an advantage over the other 11 women. "I'd never done nude modeling before," she says. "I didn't feel uncomfortable, because I'm content with my body, and I'm not afraid to show it." She was even less shy around the cameramen recording her every move for two weeks -- much of the footage was deemed too hot for television. "We couldn't talk to the crew at all," she says. "The only thing that we could do when the cameramen left the room, which was probably mean on our part, was to purposely do something outrageous so they'd run back to the room trying to get to their cameras. I made out with this girl on the show, but I don't think you see that on network TV." So all signs point to the contestants' getting along, right? "Everyone thought there would be catfights. But the contract specifically said, 'No pulling hair, no spitting, no biting,'" she says. "I was laughing so hard!"
Christina thinks she will eventually move to Los Angeles and wants to attend a school that specializes in the performing arts. Her experience with Playboy and meeting Hugh Hefner only encouraged her more. "Hef knows I'm a strong person and sees potential in me," she says. "He's willing to give me the chance that no one else has given me. In the next five years, I hope to audition for a big movie, soap opera or sitcom. I'd like to be a choreographer and would love to be onstage for the Oscars or Grammys performing with Jennifer Lopez or something. I try to do the right things in life. Whenever a good opportunity has knocked on my door, I've always tried to make the most of it."
Heads up, guys -- Christina is single and looking for Mr. Right. "Why would I want men going through my life, in and out?" she asks. "I want just one. I'm attracted to guys who are older than 26, over six feet tall, with a nice ass. I'm a butt girl, so I like a guy who has a nice body and takes good care of himself. He doesn't have to be cut, just not fat, OK? I would love it if a guy would take me out to karaoke on a first date, because that would show how open-minded and courageous he is. I can always feel the vibe right away if there's the potential to date someone seriously. In the near future, I see myself with my man in our house, being very happy."
Photography by Arny Freytag