Melissa Reyes was a big part of the drama on the season finale of The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll. Despite being praised by judge Ron Fair for having the best “package” with her dancing, singing, personality and looks, her final performance was not strong enough to garner her a spot as the next Pussycat Doll. This first runner-up was prepared for the decision, however, and chatted with BuddyTV about her experience on the show, the drama of the house and her bright future ahead.
Read the full interview transcript and listen to the mp3 audio after the jump.
BuddyTV: So Melissa maybe you can just start off by telling us how you ended up being on the show and what exactly inspired you to try out to be the next doll?
Melissa: How I ended up being on the show…Well, I’m a dancer. I would take classes in LA almost every day since I was in 8th grade. I would take hip-hop classes, jazz classes, I would have singing lessons and I would go from Hollywood to Fullerton to Irvine. I just had so many vocal coaches that they all inspired me and they all gave me advice. And they told me that I could make it. My parents told me, my parents 100% support for me although they wanted me to go to school and pursue medicine or business; I still had their support. I was inspired by The Pussycat Dolls. I was inspired by so many other artists and when I heard about the show I was like, “Okay, this is it. This is my chance to be a star. This is my chance to do what I love to do and just be able to make a career for myself.”
So you were always a big fan of The Pussycat Dolls?
Oh huge fan. When Don’t Cha came out I was like, “That Nicole girl is hot!”
So did you have certain expectations going into the competition?
Certain expectations…I did. I expected to be able to hang out more you know, just like relax; be lazy. At the same time get work done. But it was totally opposite. We were work; work, work and we had no time to do lazy stuff like just rest and watch movies you know. It was all focused. It was all dancing, singing and my expectations were more than what it was. Well actually the outcome of it was even more than what I expected, that’s what I’m trying to say.
You mentioned your family had full support of you. Towards the later part of the season there were some parts where it seemed like you struggled a little bit with feeling the family pressure. Do you think that just came about with the intensity of the competition and how deep into the competition you were? Or were those issues there from the beginning.
Those issues were brought up here and there. But when I was always thinking about my family I was just thinking about everything in general. I mean, about my life, about being a Pussycat Doll and being able to do what I want to do. It’s just so overwhelming sometimes that I kind make it seem like it’s my parents. It’s like, “Okay, I’m kind of nervous because my parents.” But in all actuality it’s really me being nervous about doing what I’m here to do, which is perform and sing and dance and to be successful in it. And it’s so hard and all I need it support; support from my fans, support from my family, and sometimes I feel I don’t have it.
Were you surprised at how far you made it or did you feel you had a really good shot at winning this whole thing?
I was so surprised. When I made it to the house I was speechless. I had no idea what to say. I was like, “Oh my god. Where the hell am I? I’m actually here. Robin Antin is sitting in front of me. Nicole Scherzinger is sitting in front of me. Mark McGrath is hosting this television show that I’m about to be on.” I mean, I didn’t even expect it. I didn’t even expect to make it as far as I did. I mean, it’s such an honor.
On the season finale you and Asia obviously had some serious tension and you guys were going at each other. What do you think sparked all that drama between you two?
Honestly what sparked the drama was immaturity in the house. I mean, so we were in Vegas, no it wasn’t Vegas, it was CDUSA; me, Asia, and Melissa performing as Pussycat Dolls. And Chelsea and Anastacia were left in the bus and I made a comment saying, “Aren’t you guys happy that you guys have each other?” And I meant like, misery loves company, thank god there’s not one of you there’s two of you. And Melissa buts into the conversation and goes, “What are you talking about? There’s another Chelsea?” So it started from that like Melissa S. would always come in to conversations and but in, you know? There would be conversation and she would just go at it, she would just get in the way. Not that it’s a bad thing but she’d just do that sometimes. That same conversation came up at dinner one night and I asked the same question, well Chelsea asked the same question like, “What do you mean ‘if there’s another Chelsea?’” And I was like, “Yeah Melissa, what are you talking about?” And Melissa took that as I took Chelsea’s side and not hers. So she kind of played like a 12-year-old, “Oh no, you took her side not mine.” So Melissa S. went to Asia and confronted her about her problems concerning me not being her “friend.” So that all started and when Melissa S. left I was like, “Thank God she’s gone.” But I just meant it as like she’s my friend and she was really annoying, thank god she’s gone. But me and my sister get in fights all the time. I mean we’ll get in a fight and two days later we’ll call each other and say sorry. I feel like that’s how it was and I feel like that’s how our relationship was but Melissa was pretty immature about it and so was Asia. So that sparked everything.
Do you have anything against Asia right now?
No. I’m so happy for Asia. I kind of feel bad for commenting about her kid and why isn’t she home with her. I was just impulsive and it came out of my mouth; slipped out.
How much pressure were you feeling going into your final performances?
I was feeling so much pressure. I mean I had about two hours of sleep the night before, we had the Lady Marmalade performance, we had our solo performance and we had the final say of who was going to be the next Pussycat Doll. So there was so much pressure. I mean I wanted it so bad, I put my all into it; I did what I could do. I danced my ass off, I sang my hardest, I mean I tried my hardest and I guess I wasn’t meant to be a Pussycat Doll.
What was going through your mind during that time when the judges were actually making their decision? I know there’s a lot of anticipation and anxiety that goes on. What were you thinking?
I was thinking, there was so much going through my head. First of all I was thinking, “Okay, if I become a Pussycat Doll this is what it’s going to entail for my future. Being a Pussycat Doll, dancing, singing, being behind Nicole. That’s one thing I was kind of afraid of. I know that I’m a singer and I know that I’m a dancer. And for me to look how I look and to kind of resemble Nicole, kind of seemed like okay, I can’t really shine in this group. So that’s what I was thinking. And the other side of it is if I didn’t become a Pussycat Doll then I can do my own things, I can make my own music. And I’ve met so many people that honestly it doesn’t matter if I become a Pussycat Doll because every girl inside the house was amazing. Robin, Ron, Lil’ Kim, I mean I’ve met so many amazing people that it really didn’t matter to me what the outcome was.
So you kind of came to a point where you were ready to accept whatever the outcome.
Oh yeah, I was getting ready for it. That’s why I didn’t seem frustrated at all. I was pleased with the outcome because I got myself ready for both sides.
I mean obviously it was a tough pick for the judges; you and Asia were obviously very talented. Why do you think they ended up choosing Asia over you?
I think they ended up choosing Asia because we both have different styles. I mean she comes from New York and I come from LA. And a lot of the dancers in The Pussycat Dolls are from LA and she brings a new flavor to the group. She brings that New York, that fresh, that fierce vibe. And I feel that she can put more into The Pussycat Dolls. Her look is different, she’s unique and something new for The Pussycat Dolls is a good thing. Because if I became part of The Pussycat Dolls then people would say, “Oh it’s just another Nicole. She looks like Nicole. She’s short, blah, blah, blah.” People are going to say stuff no matter what.
So what’s in store for you now? What can the fans expect from you?
The fans can expect possibly, hopefully a new album. I would love to work on a new album. Maybe some performances with some of the other contestants…maybe. I don’t know, I mean whatever comes my way I’m going to go for. I’m going to grab the opportunity and just go for it.
Any final thoughts for the fans out there?
Any final thoughts…I just want to say that I appreciate everyone. I appreciate everyone’s support and love and this is just beginning. This is my journey. I’m happy to have them seeing me grown and from here it’s only going to get better.
(Interview Conducted by Royce Yuen)
Image Courtesy of cwtv.com