We felt bad when Superstar USA gave the boot to kicky contestant Nina Diva last week. Although we'd sooner buy a CD of fingernails on a chalkboard than ever again hear her maul "Roxanne," the Orlando-based Korean-American entertainer truly believed she'd just blown her shot at being the next Britney. And when we thought about her reaction upon learning that the show (continuing on WB tonight at 9 pm/ET) was an American Idol parody designed to unearth the next William Hung, not the next Ruben Studdard, we felt even worse. So we checked out ninadiva.com to hear whether her confidence in her abilities was completely unfounded. (It isn't; Christina, she ain't, but after a few cocktails, she could get us out on the dance floor.) Then we rang up the former NFL cheerleader to let her get in a few more kicks — this time aimed at the reality competition that had invited us to delight in her humiliation.
TV Guide Online: How did you finally find out what the show was about?
Nina Diva: A producer gave me a call the day after the press release came out [announcing the concept]. He told me, "Nina, you're a great singer, but we had to have you on our show because we enjoyed your personality so much." I said, "You've got to be joking. This is a hoax?" I was let down and very sad. For two weeks, I mourned the situation. I make my living as a singer-dancer-actor, and it was almost a crisis moment. But then I decided to take the bull by the horns and try to make lemonade from lemons by parlaying this exposure into something better.
TVGO: What kind of feedback have you gotten from people on the street?
Diva: It's been really good. I don't know if people just feel bad about what happened or if they're having an affinity with my personality, but I went to the mall, and some teenagers asked for my autograph. Some other people were like, "Is there really going to be a Nina Diva doll?" I get the flipside, too, though. I've [checked out] the chatrooms — [the negative element] could be ex-boyfriends. Don't we all have that?
TVGO: Amen. So were you really going commando during your performance of "We Don't Need Another Hero"?
Diva: No, they put the star [over my crotch during the kick] to make it funny. I've been a legitimate, PG singer for my whole life, and hopefully, I'll remain a class-A PG girl. Maybe an R-girl, but I'll never do the Sharon Stone thing. Not that there's anything wrong with it.
TVGO: Having seen the show, how do you feel about your performances? All those Rockette moves!
Diva: I was most certainly encouraged to kick a lot. Especially at the audition, I was encouraged to go over the top, and like anyone who goes to an audition, I want the part! I want to get that $50,000 recording contract, so if somebody asks me to do something that's in my reality zone, sure, I can kick! When it comes to the singing, the only way to get a horrible performance out of me is to do what? Give me no sleep, give me a song that I've never sung before and have me sing it once. That's it. No rehearsal, no coaching; just stick me out cold at 7 am on a stage. I'm not even awake yet!
TVGO: Spoken like a true diva. Any last words?
Diva: In the end, I would want readers to know that yes, I was duped; yes, I was going for my dreams; and yes, I was let down. But now that I'm over the shock, I'm enjoying the attention, and I am hoping for something better.