Q. What are some of the recent projects that you've been working on?
A. Recently from performing and being back on a stage doing "Dancing With The Stars," I have decided that I want to go back to doing music. So, I'm pretty excited to be working on my second album again that I never finished. I left the whole deal for a while and went home and went under the radar. Then, I came back out to Los Angeles to do TV and film. I am currently working on shopping a new deal, I'm sort of waiting for the show to start to do that. Just because it will make things easier and better for me. It'll be a bigger push, more options as far as what company and getting the control over what kind of music. So, that's all I am really looking forward to and in the mean time, I'm practicing my butt off.
Q. What made you want to be a part of the "Dancing With The Stars" show?
A. It's funny, it came across my desk and I was asked if I would be interested in doing the show. I didn't know, I had to think about it. The thing is, last season was such an amazing season, they did such a good job with it. I just felt like they were stepping it up again this year, they're putting it all in HDTV. It's done really great things to people's careers. The thing for me, a big portion that's always been missing from my career is people being able to relate to me and seeing the real person. Who I really was versus just this Willa Ford music video character. What's fun about it is that you get to see my personality and who I am. It's a totally different fan base for me! It's middle American women who probably never watched MTV and a lot of these people probably don't even know who I am. This isn't my normal demographic that we're dealing with here. In order to win this thing I have to really be doing great and winning everybody over. These aren't the people who necessarily bought my record and I'm hoping that my fans are watching the show too. But, these aren't the people who bought my record and supported me in the first leg of my career. I sort of have to start all over and really push hard. I want to come across as a real human being, I want to come across as who I really am. If I come across as who I really am and I dance my best, then that will be a perfect show for me.
Q. They're literally basing it off of your leg work then your voice.
A. Yeah, pretty much! Exactly, that's what is kind of nerve-wracking but we're all in the same boat. All of us are novice ballroom dancers and we're all working really hard to get the best performance out of each other before the first show. I think a lot of it has to do with the partner you get and how great of a teacher your partner is. How much you want this! I think you would be surprised with who picks up the routines easy and who doesn't. I think a lot of people think that I've danced in the past with Hip Hop so this would be an easy venture, well, wrong! I don't know if you have ever tried to speak Chinese and then tried to speak Japanese, they are completely different. It's the same thing with Hip Hop and Ballroom dancing, they couldn't be further from one another. The only thing that I have working for me is that I'll hopefully be able to control my nerves on stage because I've been on stage my whole life. That's where I am at home, on stage, that's where I'm going to be comfortable.
Q. Even with having video experience, you have worked with choreography and that's another plus. You have the ease on stage and it'll translate well.
A. I think that right now that I am not necessarily getting the neck up right now. There are a lot of people on the show that people don't realize were dancers as kids; like Joey Lawrence. Mario Lopez was a dancer and these guys took full on ballet and things like that; I didn't do that. There is some serious competition going down, Monique Coleman is obviously a Jazz dancer. We can laugh all day at Jerry Springer and Tucker Carlson but they've got a great big fan base. It's really anybody's game, we don't know what's going to happen just like the public doesn't know. It's funny when you see the odds, the little bits of things we do, after the first show I can't wait to see how those odds move. People really have been betting on the show, for me, my odds are nine to one that I'm going to win. Pretty crappy actually, but everybody who has prior dance experience before this has better odds than I do.
Q. What have you been doing to prepare for the show?
A. Well, I've been rehearsing everyday, I think we're dancing more than some of the other people. So many other people are still continuing on with their regular jobs and different things. I booked a TV series but we could not do both, schedules wouldn't allow it. Tucker Carlson still has a political analyst show that he still does and he's rehearsing while in D.C. Emmitt Smith doesn't do anything but play golf all day as far as I know. But, he's back in Dallas doing that and I think Vivica A. Fox has to travel around to do a couple movie things. Monique has had to go to London to promote High School Musical because it's just now dropping there. Who knows, everybody has been really busy doing all different things. I am kind of hoping that it's keeping everybody busy so I can start focusing on my stuff. I know that Mario and Joey, I think they are doing the same thing that I'm doing. That is where it is going to get tricky, it's going to get really tricky with the guys. Because, it's very difficult when it comes to voting because I think the majority is women. So, for me the trick is to be good enough and approachable enough that the women can relate to me. Also, feel the need to help a woman rather than a guy because he is cute and they're a favorite from back in the day.
Q. Yeah, I would imagine that "Dancing With The Stars" is known for the female fan base. Not many men would be tuning in unless they were maybe watching Stacy Keibler.
A. Right, exactly, what's good about that is that they're excited that I'm on there this season. So, they're going to be there but are they going to pick up the phone and be religious about it like the women? Probably not. So, we've got to be prepared, I just have to be prepared that if for some reason I did lose to at least have done my best as far as the dancing portion is concerned.
Q. Have you done anything to prepare your body for the competition? Are you on a special diet, lifting some weights?
A. Before we started I totally was, I was on a specific diet. But, with rehearsing so much and things of that nature, I started needing to have steak and hamburgers. Because, I lost five pounds in the first two weeks and I think it's going to make you sick if you're not careful. I started throwing all kinds of things down the pipes! We're a week out from the show beginning at this point. Now, I'll start going back and curbing the really fat meats, desserts at night, cheese and all of that stuff. My partner laughs, he says "I've never met a girl that eats more than you." That's so important though, when people see my body in these costumes, I'm not over the top skinny. I'm really against how skinny Hollywood is at this point, it's absolutely disgusting. I can totally imagine being a fifteen year old girl and trying to mock what I see. It's hard enough for me at twenty-five living in this world. Basically, at this point I'm eating whatever I want to eat and we're dancing at least three hours a day. You're stopping and staring but still you're moving around and when I have time, which I haven't lately, I try to go hiking. Just because that's really good for clearing your mind, as the show keeps going we're going to be dancing more and more. It'll become eight hour days versus these three hour days because we'll have to learn so much so quickly. So, I am sure that you'll see everyone's body transform on the show so I am kind of looking forward to that, that's for damn sure!
Q. Speaking of body types, you've been known in the past for your sexy videos and looks. What kind of outfits can viewers expect to be seeing you dance in?
A. Well, put it this way, you can expect me to go the extra mile. At first I was like, "You know, I don't know if I want to go full blown sexy." Then it's like, these dances are so hot and sexy, especially the Latin stuff, you just want to break it out. You just want to do something so hot! So, we're working on costuming and it's important, it's sort of what we bring to the competition. There are quite a few young, sexier couples in the competition this time. But, I will be damned if they are going to out sexy us! You can expect to see great costumes and hopefully they're going to like them, they're hot, I hope so.
Q. Right, forget doing Playboy, "Dancing With The Stars" helps you lose all of your inhibitions.
A. After doing Playboy I know that I'm going to be fine with whatever I put on or don't put on! It's all or nothing baby! Once you've gone there, it's just not that big of a deal anymore. When you're shooting, you lose any inhibitions that you ever developed. If something falls off, you just keep on going! ABC is very careful about the wardrobe malfunctions, they're very on that on the show because it is live and ABC and family. Everything is tucked and taped and double sided so that nothing pops out.
Q. With getting ready, what has been your greatest challenge?
A. The greatest challenge for me is getting out of my own way. I am too critical of myself, I am critiquing myself too much. That's not my job; that's my teacher and my partner's job. The hardest thing for me is to have an attitude of fun versus an attitude of work. Because I'm one of those people who become very intense when there is something requiring my attention. So, I'm trying to learn to let it go and not be quite as intense. Believe it or not, the dancing is not the hardest part for me. The hardest part for me is not being wonderful at something that everybody will be watching me do. When you are in the spotlight you do what you're good at, you don't really take a chance at being really bad at something and then going out there and doing it in front of people. There is also my head, or my leg, there is also that, if you move something the wrong way you can easily be injured doing any of this and be out of the competition. There is such a balance to this, it's very tricky and I'm just trying to learn in six weeks what people have done since they were five years old. It's very difficult and I am just as excited to see the first show and the other celebrities as everybody out there who is a big fan of the show. I'm just as nervous and just as excited to see the other celebrities because I have no clue what is going on with them.
Q. How has it been getting to work with Maksim Chmerkovskiy as your partner?
A. He's not a nurturer, my partner is not a nurturer. We hang out beyond this and he's a totally different person. As far as a teacher is concerned, I'm his student and that's how he looks at it. I need to take what he says and I need to listen and I have a really big problem with listening. I sort of want to chime in and jump out there and he's very much a perfectionist. He just wants me to get it right and when I mess the same thing up three times in a row he gets kind of aggravated. Then I get more aggravated and we get aggravated. We kind of have this great love/hate relationship but mostly love. At the same time we go back and forth like an old married couple.
Q. Since you did have six weeks to prepare, he probably didn't have any time to really coddle you.
A. Definitely, but then that's me putting it on myself telling him that the routines are done. That's me saying well, the routines are done but it looks like crap. That's me that does that and him saying, "Do you want me to go further, do you want me to critique you harder?" So, now that's kind of the level that we're at now. We've got our routines and we know what we're doing. Everyday is a struggle, everyday I am trying to get my body to do the things naturally. Mine just doesn't do it yet. The whole competition my body is never going to be at the point where I want it to be. The other day I went to a competition with my partner to this thing called The Worlds and after watching the people you're totally inspired. At the same time, you're totally feeling like you're about two inches tall. He tries to put it in perspective for me though and say, "This is people who have been doing this all of their lives since they were five, it's not like you're asking them to sing." He does have a point! It's definitely been a blast, I would love to see the tapes from beginning and the end. I'll be watching it with everybody else to see. I think that when it is you doing it, I don't think you feel the mass improvement that can be seen on camera. I don't think I remember a lot of things that happened in rehearsal. I think I just kind of do it and then I forget.
Q. Who do you think might be your biggest competition?
A. It depends, it depends because you know Jerry Rice wasn't a great, great dancer. But, he had this random following of watching "Dancing With The Stars" that put him in the top two with Stacy Keibler. You don't really know, I think from what I'm hearing, I think my biggest competition is probably Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez. Now, as far as the girls go, I have no clue. I am nervous about Monique, I have confidence in my partner over the other partners. I think that Maks is a better choreographer and a harder nosed teacher. Maks has been nonstop teaching so in a way I think that helps with him trying to work with me. Sometimes you need things broken down a lot more simpler then these people realize. I would probably venture to say that if it wasn't about voting and it was about dancing, I would give it to Joey, Mario and Monique. Then again, I haven't seen them dance, that's just from being in the business and knowing what these people have done. I am not going to know anything until everyone else knows everything. We rehearse and we all watch each other rehearse, I think that's when the nerves will start flying. When we see each other's dancing and see what the other one is doing. God forbid someone is really incredible, I'm going to be in the rehearsal hall for hours after I watch the show! I just want to be on the top of my game going into this because I don't know how difficult it's going to be to beat these people. That's my whole outlook, it's not about anything else, it's about winning.
Q. How does the show partner up the contestants?
A. They interview us and they know the dancers, I think they're probably partnering you to size. For instance, Monique is a very small girl, she's probably 5'2." Her partner is probably the shorter of the guys. Then you've got my dance partner, Maks is probably 6'2" and I am about 5'7." They kind of partner you look-wise and height-wise and they do partner you age-wise too I feel. Like, Vivica's partner Nick is older then my partner Maks. My partner is a year old than I am. They do that and I think they also mix personalities that they think are going to give them a good show. They knew putting Maks and I together that we are both very strong-minded individuals. I think that they thought it would be very entertaining. You can't have a short girl with a tall guy, it's impossible to keep your frame and to keep your frame with someone that much taller than you wouldn't work. So, when they contract a celebrity at that point they probably say this is all the celebrities we have, this is all the dancers we have who fits who best. It's like pieces of a puzzle, that's basically how it works.
Q. What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A. I would like to say make sure you watch and make sure you support and vote. If you don't vote, we're not going to be on the next week and you're not going to see all of the fun little outfits! I am all about getting into all of my outfits damn it! Don't vote me off because it's week six that I get to wear booty short okay! It's about the fans, not just being a fan and not just watching, but voting. If they don't vote, and somebody else's fans voted, then we're going to go home. We don't deserve to go home. We're working a lot harder then most of these couples and that's what is important, it's going to show too, I think it's going to show.