Dressed in a formfitting tee and a thigh's-the-limit miniskirt, Internet wild child Tila Tequila throws open the doors and welcomes TV Guide into the red, glitter-painted mansion that serves as her home for A Shot at Love 2 (Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET, MTV). In the hit matchmaking reality show, 15 women and 15 men compete for the affections of the bisexual cyber-pinup. "Welcome to my crib," Tequila says, as she bops across the bright, multicolored entrance hall. "Let me give you a tour."
In case you've never heard of Tequila (and there are a few adults who haven't), here's a quick introduction: Born Tila Nguyen in Singapore to Vietnamese parents, Tila Tequila is the 26-year-old Texas runaway turned lad-mag-cover model who rose to fame by racking up more than a million friends on MySpace. Kind and understatedly cool, she's the nice bad girl. And, according to her first-season ratings, she's the woman more than six million people want to party with.
With a rep like that, it's no surprise her home for the next few weeks features automatic mood lighting, a lounge with a decor that screams Studio 54-meets-gentlemen's-club, and stripper poles that get a lot of use. "The guys work it more than the girls," Tequila says. "They are getting really good at it."
Tequila jogs effortlessly up the long winding staircase wearing 4-inch heels and heads straight to a large bedroom with a 20x20-foot bed. "This is where they all sleep," she laughs. By "they" she means all 30 of her suitors. It's a bit crowded, but, she rationalizes, "as people leave, I'm sure it gets more comfortable."
The competition for the last spot on that bed during the first season was fierce, and Season 2 promises to be no different. "You know, this season has been fun for me," says Tequila, as she settles at the island in the middle of the home's enormous farmhouse-style kitchen. "[Season 1 winner] Bobby broke my heart, and I wasn't sure I was up for this again."
Apparently, Bobby Banhart couldn't deal with the pressures of being with such an in-demand woman. Plus, she explains, "He started getting anxious, because we weren't allowed to see each other while the show was airing so people wouldn't figure out who wins."
Once Tequila found herself back at relationship square one, she decided to give it another try. This season brings an even wilder cast of characters and, she says, "a lot more drama."
So what does it take to win her heart? "Well, I'm really not into bimbos," she says. "Male or female. People don't believe me when I say that, but it's true. I like smart people I can relate to on an emotional and mature level."
And does she really not have a gender preference? "I'm more into the person than the gender," she explains. "Girls are soft, and we get each other and can have deep conversations. Men are nice, too, because they feel strong and secure."
But most of all, she's looking for a partner willing to chill. "People have this perception that I'm a wild party girl, out every night," she says. "But the truth is I'm at home, watching the History Channel or Animal Planet, figuring out ways to take over the world."
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