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Auditions Held for Spice Girl Ad

October 28, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ What they want _ what they really, really want _ is to play their favorite Spice Girl in an upcoming commercial.

By the thousands, scantily-clad preteen wannabes lined a midtown Manhattan block Tuesday dressed as their favorite Spice: Baby, Scary, Sporty and Posh. No Gingers, thank you. She quit the group earlier this year.

Producers of an upcoming set of commercials hawking a line of dolls and other Spice-related merchandise were looking for one set of girls, ages 5-12, to portray the foursome.

The competition in the line of platform shoes, rub-off tattoos, bare midriffs and phony navel rings that circled Roseland Ballroom was downright fierce.

One 9-year-old Scary Spice imitator, sporting oversized plastic green glasses and a hairspray-aided hairdo, coolly surveyed a rival.

With childlike honesty, she remarked, ``You look nothing like her.″

The response was immediate, and with a faux British accent.

``Well, Scares-me-Spice, I can sing, I can dance, I can act. We’ll see what they say inside.″

The mothers of the children could offer only wane smiles.

There was little fear of embarrassment, however, as all around them, hopefuls were in their own Spice Worlds.

Mothers coached daughters, girls rehearsed dance steps, fathers looked at watches and at the line ahead.

Elsa Figone, 10, visiting New York from Rome, was among a group that offered an impromptu rendition of ``Wannabe,″ the Spice Girls breakout hit. Elsa doesn’t know much English, but she knew the words, if not necessarily the meaning.

``If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends,″ the girls sang.

Others weren’t quite as well versed.

``Honestly, I don’t know Baby Spice from heather Spice,″ said Bill Sanger, whose 7-year-old daughter, Brittany, was clearly embarrassed by her dad’s faux pas of getting the names wrong.

``Oh dad,″ blond pony-tailed Brittany said, covering her eyes. ``Please, not so loud.″

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