— Last night on the Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, Melissa Smith, the talented actor, singer, and dancer from Los Angeles, California, became the sixth girl eliminated from the competition. After making it to the final four and giving one of her strongest performances, the judges decided that it was time for Melissa S. to hang up her boa. Melissa S. took some time out of her schedule to sit down with us at BuddyTV to talk about her experience on the show, how she really feels about Chelsea, and to tell us what she has in store next for her career.
Check out the full interview transcript and listen to the mp3 audio after the jump.
BuddyTV: Melissa maybe you could start off by telling us what were you doing before the show and what inspired you to try out?
Melissa: Well this is something I've always wanted to do and you know I've always believed in, it's my passion. I absolutely love singing and dancing. Since I was little, that's exactly what I've been doing. I knew at an early age it was something I wanted to pursue. I always told my mom like, "I'm moving to LA." And they always laughed at me but they were like, "Okay, she really is moving to LA." So there were no "ifs ands or buts," no plan B, it has always been this. This is always what I wanted to do, so you know, I've been in LA, I've been training. When I first got here actually I was a part of a girl group called Goddess and it kind of didn't pan out and everything kind of fell apart with that, but you know I kind of continued to carry on. Two years ago I auditioned for Diddy's Making the Band on MTV and I made it to the very last wire, down to the very end before they made the band, which was a tremendous experience. You know I learned a lot from Diddy and from everyone else who was involved in the project. You know it's like I'm on this road and I've gotten to that and then I've gotten to do this show, which is absolutely amazing too. And you know I'm just going to keep going, like at the moment right now I'm recording, and I'm going to do my solo thing and I'm not going to give up. So you know people can be sure to look out for me.
Once you got into the house, was it everything that you expected it to be?
You know the house was amazing. We were so surprised because right downstairs, like in our basement, we had the whole dance floor and then we had the singing room and then we had our bedroom area. It was really cute. They made our house really cute. It ended up being like downtown LA so we couldn't really go anywhere, we were kind of like locked in the house, which was fine because we didn't have time. We absolutely were getting two and three hours of sleep a night and it was back-to-back filming of performances. We got 45 minutes basically to like learn your assignment for the week and then you were off to do a challenge and then they brought you back, you did a little more rehearsal, then the next day, you know, we filmed in front of a live audience. So I was doing that the whole time, all of us were like, oh my god…just the time constraint was absolutely crazy. But you know, it has made me stronger as a performer and you know we didn't have the option. It was like, it's now or never, you know? And we had to tough it out but it was a really, really great experience. I have nothing bad to say about it. I have no regrets. I wouldn't have changed anything, you know, it was absolutely wonderful.
Getting into last night's episode; what was the hardest part about doing that 30-second commercial for you?
Oh my god, you know it's so funny because like even me, I've done a little commercial work before so I really wasn't stressing out about it. I was like, "Oh yeah, you know it will be fun." And you know, you get the paper, you memorize everything, you're like, "Okay, good, I got it." You know, you're ready to get in there. You're in front of lights, cameras, people, tons of people in the room. And all of a sudden it's gone. It's like you just blank. I'm like, "Okay, what happened to my whole commercial spot?" Yeah. So it's kind of like, it's hard; you know I really didn't think it was going to be that hard. And I have to say in a reality sense of like making a commercial you have at least four days to rehearse, and they have lines for you there if you skip one. I mean this was an extreme situation, so you know it's not really what it seems to be, but in this case you know they were challenging us. It definitely was a challenge. And you know I tried my best, but dang, it was hard.
On last week's episode you had a little slip of the tongue, and you said some things about Chelsea. And then last night, it seemed like you were continuing to attack Chelsea a little bit. Did you have something against Chelsea?
Absolutely not. I mean, I for one, I guess all I can say is that you know, I don't live in the editing room, you know. It's really unfortunate that the last two episodes they kind of portrayed me like that and it's kind of like, it was really hard for me to watch the episode because everyone who knows me knows I'm not like that at all. And all my friends were like laughing because I'm so not catty and I'm not bitchy and you know, I feel like…Chelsea and I, we weren't best friends on the show…but we definitely were not like laughing or making snide remarks at each other. We weren't like that. Like every time they showed me, they showed me with like the perma-smile on my face like gleaming from ear to ear, and then like Chelsea dancing when she did bad. And I was like, oh my god, it's so ridiculous and you know it's unfortunate, but it's reality TV and at the end of the day it's not really even about the competition, it's really about making a television show. And you know as everyone knows, these reality shows without the drama, they really don't have anything.
Now that we're on the subject of editing and you've been able to watch the episodes, are there certain things that you wish they showed about you on TV that they didn't?
Absolutely. I mean, actually before Asia was helping Chelsea, I actually was down in the basement with her going over all the choreography and you know, they brought me back upstairs and they had an interview with me like, "Why would you help her? You must not want this competition." They kind of made me feel like, you know, they were egging it on. They kind of made me feel bad about it you know? And then I was thinking well gosh, did I do something wrong? And then I figured, you know what, no that's my character, that's who I am, I want to help her. I was going down there to go over it too so why not help her, you know? And they never showed that. They showed the absolute opposite.
What were you thinking when you found yourself in the bottom two with Chelsea?
I really felt good about my performance. I mean I killed the dancing, I nailed the singing and it was probably one of the best performances I had on the show. And I was, at the time, like because this was my second reality show, I kind of know how the shows work out and you know at the end of the day it's about a storyline and it's really about the show, and she had a stronger storyline than I did. And I feel like that's why I got eliminated. You know, we're all so talented and it's really hard at that point, you know anyone of us could have gone and I really feel like it was just about, you know, the show aspect of it and what they wanted to do, you know? So that's how I kind of felt about it.
How disappointing and/or shocking was it for you was when the judges told you that you'd be going home?
You know it's so hard and I was shocked and surprised and disappointed, but I really feel like I gave it my all and it was a tremendous experience and you know, I for one, I mean there's many girls who definitely want to get in the industry and want to pursue this and I had a wonderful opportunity of showcasing my talent every week on national television and I really feel blessed to have had that opportunity. You know, I don't have anything bad to say other than just being grateful you know for, and I'm still going to continue on this journey and I look at it as just that. This is my journey; this is a process that God has for me. You know, I had to go through one; I'm going through another, and who knows what's ahead in my future.
Now that we're down to the Final 3 contestants, who would you like to see win?
You know it's so hard to pick. I will say this; I think it's going to come down to Melissa R. and Asia.
I know you kind of touched on this earlier, but is there anything else you want to plug as far as what you have in store career wise and what fans can expect from you?
Yeah. To all my fans out there who have been supporting me, I just want to thank you guys. You guys are truly amazing and just so dedicated. You guys keep me going and I really, really mean that when I say that. The emails, the fan mail that I've been getting, it makes me cry sometimes. I think like, wow, I have these dedicated fans and it's really great. You know I still want you guys to continue looking out for me. You can definitely go to my website: www.officialmelissasmith.com or you can MySpace me at email@example.com. And I'm still going to continue on this journey. I'm recording at the moment and hopefully I'm going to be getting my own deal and going solo, and it's really amazing to everyone out there. I don't know, last night it's funny because I went on to the CW website and I'm at 39% right now, of the votes. And it's like crazy to me because you know I got kicked off, and I feel like people are like in an uproar right now like voting for me, it makes me feel so good. At the end of the day, I'm like oh my gosh, this is crazy!
(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen)
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