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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 22, 2019



jessica with husband david bunevacz

jessica with daughter breanna, a model

jessica with her family in the States

US-based celebrity and reality TV personality Jessica Rodriguez’s ‘The Polished Woman,” airing every Monday at 1pm PST via http://www.latalkradio.com, won a Telly Award for Best Scripted Online Webseries  recently. 

Telly Awards, now on its 40th year,  is a prestigious award-giving body that honors excellence in video and television across all screens and is judged by leaders from video platforms, television, streaming networks, production companies and including Vice, Vimeo, Hearst Digital Media, BuzzFeed and A&E Networks.

Sabrina Dridje, Telly Awards managing director,  cited Jessica Rodriguez and her director-prouducer Max Tucci “for pushing the boundaries for video and television innovation and creativity at a time when the industry is rapidly changing. This award is a tribute to the talent and vision of Jessica and Max and a celebration of the diversity of work being made today for all screens,” she said.

Other honourees at this year’s Telly Awards are  ESPN,  Sesame Street, Animal Tales, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jessica’s friend, Eva La Rue; as well as shows from major network players PBS, ABC, CBS, MTV, NBC, Viacom and Discovery Channel.

Jessica, who received news of the win via  a phone call from her manager-director and producer Max Tucci said, “Max called me and we both started crying. 'Polished Woman' is really my baby. It is an ideology that I created to express that I am more than my past. Everything is possible in resilience and faith. Max and I put our all into creating conscious content that will help inspire, motivate and encourage women to be the best version of themselves.  We are grateful to all the judges for acknowledging our work.”

'Polished Woman' is a brand created by Jessica  to represent her as a celebrity, author, businesswoman, and social media personality, among other things. The podcast was part of the Polished Woman franchise which has  evolved into more than just a social media account that gives advice to women on issues affecting their femininity, fashion, lifestyle, relationships and faith. 'Polished Woman' has a  website, and can be accessed via its Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as its Youtube channel.

In the Telly Awards, five of “Polished Woman’s” web episodes tackling  women-centered issues such as relationships, marriage, motherhood, survival, and challenges like suicide, depression, anxiety, drugs and sexual abuse — were cited by the award-giving body. The 'Polished Woman' web series is a show that first aired in May, 2018 on LA Talk Radio, based in Los Angeles, CA.

Jessica, who recently starred along with her youngest daughter Breanna Bunevacz (by her athlete-husband David Bunevacz)  in the reality TV show “Making A Model by Yolanda Hadid” that aired on LifeTime Channel recently, got the break on radio when she guested three times in two separate programs in the radio network to talk about marriage, relationships, dating and motherhood.

She came back the third time to promote her first ever published book called “Date Like A Girl, Marry Like A Woman.”  She told us, “the owners told me they had high ratings for the shows where I guested at, and so they invited me to air my podcasts there. They had a better idea to air these via livestream because they said I was a very visual person. So, it has already been a year and this award is truly unbelievable. I never really expected to win anything.”

Jessica happily recounts that she rediscovered her show business calling again after her stint with the Yolanda Hadid show. “You know, it is true what they say. Once you are in show biz, you will always be in show biz. I think I was happiest to rediscover that I could still do this even while here in the US. I thought I have lost all that because our life here is so different. We were really just mostly about family and I was really happy because we all became so bonded, so close and intimate with one another. That is really a blessing I truly cherish,” she said.

But now above all that, Jessica said the Yolanda Hadid experience taught her many things and opened more opportunities for her and 16-year-old Breanna who wanted to pursue modelling as a profession. “If anything, we realised that to have a career in modelling truly involves a lot of hard work. After our two gruelling months in New York City for that modelling show, Breanna is all psyched and ready to take on the challenge and I will be here to support her all the way. She has an agent, but I will be here to give her everything I can do to help her achieve her dreams. And it helped so much that we became very, very close when we were in New York. It was priceless,” she said.

For the most part, Jessica is very conscious about Breanna making a positive impact on the youth as she goes. “I want her to be a good example to her peers, to the youth who follow her because she has gained quite a following after the ‘Making A Model’ show. 

Jessica is currently finishing up her second book, a faith project as she calls it. It will be called a “Polished Woman Journal” where she will be baring so much about her life and faith and how she struggled and overcame (and continues to overcome) depression and anxiety in the last three years of her life.

“Writing this book was sort of a catharsis for me.  It will be a 52-week guide to introspection, prayer and meditation. They will know from reading this book that my deep faith in God saw me through every valley in my life and I am  really grateful to God that He never left me nor forsook me. That is mainly what I wanted to share in this new book. It helped me a lot and so I thought maybe it can also help other women out there who are suffering the same way I did,” she concluded.