Frankfort woman a finalist in national TV makeover contest

41-year-old mom says she feels younger, lighter

By Shannon Brock, Published:

You may have seen Marie Varney on television Tuesday morning, but you might not have recognized her.

Varney, 41, of Frankfort, was selected as a finalist in the “LIVE with Kelly and Michael: Look as Young as You Feel” contest and the results of her makeover — the prize as a finalist — were revealed on air Tuesday.

“I love it,” Varney said, on a phone call from New York, where the show is filmed. “I feel fresher, younger. I feel like 10 pounds has been taken away. I feel slimmer.”

Part of the “weight” taken off no doubt came from the 14 inches cut from Varney’s hair during the makeover. The hair was donated through Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program, which turns donated hair into wigs for women cancer patients. This is the fourth time in 10 years Varney has donated her hair.

In clips of Varney’s story from the show, she said she has aged a lot in the last decade. In 2003, she gave birth to a son who had a severe heart condition. After spending months in the hospital, her son died.

Varney and her husband, Chris, also have two daughters, Camry and Haley. Camry will graduate from high school in June.

“As a mom, I feel like she’s leaving,” Varney said. “I know everything she’s worked for, so it’s a great feeling, but it’s also a great sadness.”

Varney said she’s proud of her daughter and wanted a new look when supporting Camry at her graduation.

Varney records “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” on DVR and watches the show as she exercises in the evenings. When she first saw the contest, it piqued her interest, but she waited until close to the deadline to enter.

A preschool teacher at Western Hills High School’s Learning Center, Varney first found out she’d been selected as a finalist during one of the school district’s many snow days, and couldn’t believe it.

“I just felt so blah and so ugh — I was blessed to be chosen to come here,” she said. “It’s been a whirlwind.”

Varney and her husband flew into Newark, N.J., Thursday, and she said they will always remember their cab ride from the airport into the city.

“That was an experience,” she said.

Over the last six days, the couple visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Times Square, and now that the makeover is completed, they’re on their way back to Frankfort.

But the fun might not be over yet.

Beginning today, viewers can vote for one of the three contest finalists to win a trip to Los Angeles to sit along the red carpet at the Oscars and earn VIP tickets to LIVE’s After Oscar special Monday.

Votes can be cast at livekellyandmichael.com; the winner will be announced during Friday’s show.

Varney encouraged her community to show its support.

“Go get on that website, and send this Kentucky girl one more time,” she said.

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  • 34921 and 33062, do you guys love tabloid TV THAT much?  Does Jerry Springer and Geraldo really get you going too?  Don't you ever feel sorry for those victims on their shows who expose themselves for just a few bucks in order to be exploited for the enrichment of their hosts?  Or do you possess the ability of feeling apathy at all?

    I do...

  • I think she looks amazing! And I think that it was awesome that she donated her hair to cancer patients. It's whatever makes you feel good about yourself that matters. And yes even without all the makeup she is still a beautiful person.

  • 34921: "Legion, you have the right to your opinion but sometimes it is better if all of us keep our opinions to ourselves."

    Which part of what I said was incorrect?

  • You call this a "parade"?  Once it is on the front page of the newspaper asking for my vote, it is no longer "her business"...which is why we have comments section.  I think that her professionally applied makeup makes her look "wonderful" too, and it just goes to show you how artificial these TV stars really are.  I love the before and after shots!  They are making fun of her on national TV and you think that is wonderful?  There was nothing wrong with her "real" looks to begin with except for an inferiority complex.  What a hoot!

  • Legion, you have the right to your opinion but sometimes it is better if all of us keep our opinions to ourselves. Don't rain on this woman's parade. She entered herself into this contest and it is her business only and not mine or yours. I think she looks wonderful. NYC is a fun city to visit and I am glad she got that opportunity on someone else's dime.

  • Legion, you are really a pathetic person! Do you not have anything good to say about anything or anyone? I am sure you are a very lonely person as I doubt very seriously you have any friends with your poor attitude. I will say a prayer for you and hope you seek the help you need.

  • I am not sure that being "selected" to go to NYC and have your life and all of its many "so blah and so ugh" problems (which was why you were selected in the first place) exposed in a Dr. Phil type manner on national TV is anything to brag about.  My Momma always said for us kids to find ways to distiguish ourselves in positive ways, and going to NYC for a complete makeover (by taking a cab ride and visiting the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Times Square?) seems to be the antithesis of this.  I always feel sorry for folks like these people who feel the need for the validation of artificial TV personalities like Kelly and Michael (who could care about them less) to be "blessed", just so that they can have a chance to sit amongst the most shallow Hollywood elite as commoners on the "red carpet at the Oscars and earn VIP tickets to Live’s After the Oscars special."  Now THAT'S special...VIP's for a Day!

    May you will never feel blah and ugh again...