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 In the Valley of the Dolls

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Number of posts : 72
Age : 38
Location : Quezon City
Job/hobbies : Internet
Registration date : 2008-11-03

PostSubject: In the Valley of the Dolls   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:30 pm

What's new, Pussycat?


A lot.

One is their sophomore album (after their debut album PCD) called Doll Domination (released locally by MCA Music, Inc.), with When I Grow Up as carrier single.

Listed by Time magazine as "one of the best summer songs," When I Grow Up speaks volumes about the Dolls - Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton and Kimberly Wyatt - who surprised even themselves by taking the world on a spin not only with their sexy gyration but also with their vocal prowess.

Particularly interesting to Filipinos is Nicole (who is a deadringer for Hollywood actress Suzanne Pleshette, star of the romance-drama Lovers Must Learn with Troy Donahue, made memorable by its haunting theme song Al Di La).

People magazine music critic Chuck Arnold wrote: "Clearly, the girlie group has grown since PCD. (Doll Domination) is a stronger, more fully formed album with A-list producers like Timbaland (whose Magic is wicked) and a better range of material that shows just how flexible they can be - even when it's not about writhing on a chair."

Conversations sat down with the Dolls recently in Kuala Lumpur where they launched Doll Domination as special guests of the MTV Asia Awards.

Like they are onstage, in person the Dolls were engaging, warm and "connecting," willing to pose for photographs and physically affectionate. They are very lovable dolls - Talking Dolls, Smiling Dolls, Hugging/Huggable Dolls.

The carrier single of your second album is When I Grow Up. Why, haven't you grown up?

Nicole: Well, I think there's this little kid in all of us. We are playful and having a lot of fun. But at the same time we are grown up because we have this responsibility to our fans and, yes, we are dominating the entire world.

Ashley: However, we are always reaching for the star, always thinking of new goals and dreaming.

Jessica: We never stop dreaming, we never stop believing and we are never giving up.

Did the five of you join Pussycat Dolls together or one at a time?

Nicole: Well, the original concept of the Pussycat Dolls began about 12 years ago in Los Angeles. It was more of an underground The Last Dance-inspired group. I joined the group five years ago. Then, we evolved into a recording group and here we are into our second album, Doll Domination, which has so far sold over eight million copies.

Melody: We didn't know each other before we joined the Pussycat Dolls. We came in at different times.

Ashley: I've been with the group the longest time.

Kimberly: And I came in after Ashley.

Nicole: I followed and then came Ashley and then Melody.

Having come from different cultures and different backgrounds, how were you able to blend very beautifully?

Nicole: I think that's wonderful because the Pussycat Dolls is some kind of a melting pot and that, I think, is what makes us work internationally. I'm of Filipino descent, Melody is Mexican-African-American, Jessica is Irish-Russian-Polish while Ashley and Kimberly are American.

Melody, you grew up in a family of performing artists. Your Mexican maternal grandmother was a singer for marianichi bands, your African-American grandfather was a blues guitarist and your mother was a Mexican folklore dancer. Did you have any other ambition aside from showbiz?

Melody: Luckily for me, my mom named me Melody which is musical, isn't it? Growing up in such household, I don't think I would be in any other profession.

Does being the only Latina and African-American among the Dolls pose any extra challenge to you?

Melody: It's not a challenge; it's actually a fantastic responsibility for me especially for women and what the Pussycat Dolls stand for. I think a lot of the audience can relate to me and that, I think, adds to the attraction of the Dolls.

Kimberly, you said you are the most shy among the Dolls but onstage you are something else. How do you do it?

Kimberly: Yes, you're right. I may be more shy than the rest of the girls but I myself is surprised that once I am onstage, my personality is full-out."

Your father is a trucker and your mom goes on the road with him. How did you end up a dancer?

Kimberly: I guess I was born to be a dancer. I've been dancing since I was seven years old. By the time I was 14, I was earning scholarships to study in New York every summer from the Joffrey Ballet to the Broadway Dance Center. At 17, after I graduated from high school, I flew to Las Vegas to audition for a cruise ship and casino shows.

And how was it performing in a cruise ship?

Kimberly: I worked in the cruise ship for two years and it was a learning experience. I danced with a revue on the Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world, and I was able to visit most of Southern Europe. I turned down an offer from the Hubbard St. Dance Co. in Chicago because I wanted to go to L.A. which is the place where I thought dancers got jobs. I was in the video for Nick Lachey's solo album and that's where I was discovered for the Pussycat Dolls.

Jessica, you wanted to be a prima ballerina but your dream was cut short when you broke your knees. Can you tell us more about the unfortunate incident?

Jessica: That was terrible. At 14, I went to the New World School of the Arts to study dance. And then I was injured, so I switched to theater. But I told myself that I would dance again, and I did. I joined the Miami Heat troupe and I was named captain during my final year (2001). As an actress, I played a pill-popping Gothic teenager in the drama series Ocean Ave. and in the film Bully directed by Larry Clark.

You have Irish, Polish and Russian blood, with a Catholic-Jewish heritage. How does this mixture influence your outlook in life as a person and as an artist?

Jessica: That makes me a well-rounded person, doesn't it?

Ashley, your father played with The Mamas and The Papas as a drummer. What pointers did you get from him as far as performing is concerned?

Ashley: My dad is now a car dealer. He briefed me on the lifestyle of rock 'n roll. He always reminds me not to let things go to my head because, he says, they won't last forever.

You have a Marilyn Monroe-like voice. Is it natural or acquired? Is Monroe your idol?

Ashley: Of course, it's natural! Marilyn Monroe has been my idol since I was small. She was the original Pussycat, wasn't she?

Nicole, how much of you is Hawaiian, how much is Russian and how much is Filipino?

Nicole: I'm half-Filipino, a quarter Russian and a quarter Hawaiian. I was born in Hawaii to a Filipino father who comes from the Batanes Island, and I grew up in a Louisville, Kentucky.

Are you in touch with your Filipino relatives?

Nicole: Yes, I am in touch with my Filipino relatives, the Valientes. I have been blessed with a beautiful, beautiful family. I love them. My little cousins are so talented that they are taking over the world. One has a TV show already. Her name is Kristina who is in High School Musical. I have another cousin who is a singer in Japan. My family sings in the church and I'm very proud of them.

Any Filipino artist that you know?

Nicole: Yes, of course, Lea Salonga. She's my idol. I saw her in Miss Saigon years ago and she inspired me to audition for that musical. I never knew how I fared because by then, I was joining the Pussycat Dolls.

You were in the Philippines two years ago. What are your fond memories about that visit?

Nicole: It was my very first time to visit the Philippines and it was very memorable. It was unbelievable! They gave us a welcome that we'd never had before. It was overwhelming! I couldn't help crying because I'd never been to the Philippines and I said, "Wow, this is half of who I am; this is my people and they look like me!" I grew up in a little town where nobody looked like me, so I felt right at home in the Philippines. We're going on a world tour next year and I hope to go back to the Philippines. See you!

Any (pieces of) advice to girls who look up to you as role models?

Melody: One thing I always say is to take the long way home. It doesn't seem to make sense but it does. It's better than a short cut because that way you learn much more. Take your time.

Kimberly: Know what you have and what you can do with it.

Jessica: Be yourself and do your best.

Ashley: Seize every moment.

Nicole: Believe in something and have a strong faith. Everything has a reason, including why I am here today.
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