What would a show about the Pussycat Dolls be without quite a bit of catfighting? The most recent drama on The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll was stirred up when Melissa Smith made some catty comments about Chelsea's lack of dancing talent during an "interview" with host Mark McGrath. It seemed like karma came back to haunt Melissa, who was ousted before the less-skilled dancer Chelsea. But Melissa, who was also a finalist on Making the Band 3, says that she's not the vicious gal she was made out to be.
TVGuide.com: I felt really bad for you after Ron Fair's comment that you were "sexy, Vegas-y white trashy."
Melissa: Oh, my god, it was horrible! The last two episodes were very hard for me to watch because of the way they were portraying me. There was no drama between me and Chelsea. I don't live in the editing room. I don't know what they were thinking, but it was extremely hard for me to watch that knowing that I got along with everyone in the house, and they portrayed me as the biggest bitch. Every time they showed Chelsea [faltering] there, I was beaming from ear to ear. Ron Fair's comment about the white-trash thing? I'm sorry, where was he coming off with that? I'm not that at all. I just have to brush it off and keep going.
TVGuide.com: Has your family been upset with the way you've been portrayed?
Melissa: It is so unfortunate. My family and friends who actually know me know that I am absolutely nothing like that. They kind of laugh about it and say, "This is so wrong." I was talking to [fellow Doll wannabe] Anastacia the other day and she's like, "Out of everyone in the house, you were like the sweetheart in the group and they really did a 180 on you."
TVGuide.com: But did you tell Mark McGrath that you thought Chelsea should be the next to go home?
Melissa: Well… I will definitely give my opinion. I'm not going to sugarcoat anything, but they never showed what I really said. They aren't going to show the positive side. I absolutely adore Chelsea, I think she's a strong performer and she has the strongest vocals out of anyone in the competition. I think her dancing is good. I don't think it is strong and that's where I think she's a weak link. When it comes to the Pussycat Dolls… if you watch these girls, they are killing the dancing. This is not a huge singing group, as we all know. They have the lead singer, Nicole, who is amazing, and the rest of the girls are strong dancers. I did give my opinion, and I think in interviews, people respect you more when you do.
TVGuide.com: So you don't have any regrets about saying that about Chelsea?
Melissa: No way.
TVGuide.com: Do you think maybe Robin saw that and that "attitude" put her off?
Melissa: No. I really think that Robin knew. It wasn't a surprise that she was a weak dancer. Everyone knew. I was just stating a fact.
TVGuide.com: So you weren't sabotaging Chelsea?
Melissa: Not at all. Everyone got a little out of hand with the whole editing thing. They made it out to be something that wasn't even that deep.
TVGuide.com: They also showed you rolling your eyes when Asia was helping Chelsea learn tricky dance steps.
Melissa: Yeah, but they didn't show that before Asia helped her, I was downstairs for an hour helping her. They took me up for an interview and said, "This is a competition, why would you help her?" Then I repeated, "Why would I help her?" and that's what they put in. They were egging me on. Saying stuff like, "Oh, you must not want this bad enough." They'll take what they want and make their own montage and make their own show.
TVGuide.com: They were somewhat right, though — it was a competition. If you didn't help her it wouldn't have really been so terrible.
Melissa: It was a competition, but at the end of the day, my talent is going to speak for itself. I can help her until she's blue in the face, but you aren't going to change someone overnight.
TVGuide.com: You really had a rocky road.... You were either winning challenges or in the bottom two. How stressful was that?
Melissa: It was pretty crazy. I didn't change anything. Every performance I did my best and I gave it my all. Sometimes for different reasons within the show, not having to do with the competition, I feel like they did that. Again, it was really hard for me. Imagine what I had to go through? While we were filming all I had to go on was just that judging. You can't think rationally during this show. It felt like every day I had to pick myself back up off the floor and piece my confidence back together. And then I'd win a challenge, and then I'd be back in the bottom two.
TVGuide.com: Would you ever do anything like this again?
Melissa: I'm probably not going to do another reality show unless I have control over what is going to be going on.
TVGuide.com: What are you working on now?
Melissa: I'm in a recording studio working on a solo album. This is the road I am on. I did Making the Band, I did this and it has been a tremendous experience, and I have nothing but great memories from both. I feel like I've grown as an artist and I'm learning more new stuff about myself every day. I'm just going to continue on this road and this journey. I'm not giving up. My fans can look out for me. My website is officialmelissasmith.com. My MySpace page is myspace.com/melspunks because I’m a spunky little girl. I'm still going to go get them, girl.
TVGuide.com: You were a great dancer.... Were any of the challenges actually hard for you?
Melissa: The only thing that was hard about this whole competition was that we had no time for anything. We had 45 minutes to learn our song and dance and then we were in the challenge and then we were thrown somewhere else in front of people performing. No celebrity performer in their right mind would only have 45 minutes of rehearsal and then get on stage and try to work it out. We were going on two or three hours of sleep every night because we were trying to learn everything.
TVGuide.com: Are you rooting for anyone in particular to win?
Melissa: I really feel like it is going to come down to Melissa R. and Asia. I feel like those two girls are extremely talented and could be the next Pussycat Doll.
TVGuide.com: If Chelsea does win, is that the worst thing?
Melissa: No! I'd be happy for her if she won, too. Everyone [has been] so talented throughout this experience, and I know how hard it is and what they've been put through.
Visit our new Online Video Guide for Pussycat Dolls Present clips.
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.