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Love Triangle Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Wendy Williams

This is an interview with Wendy Williams on April 8, 2011 about the show Love Triangle.

Question:
What made you want to be part of this project?

Wendy Williams:
Well, first of all, I was able to fit it in my talk show schedule. That's usually was the first question I had about taking on the project. Then, the second thing is, it's an original game show. I love that. My favorite kind of game show is one that has to do with relationships, whether it was the old Love Connection or Hell Date, and shows like that. So, Love Triangle sounded really fun and very organic to the Ask Wendy segment that I do on my talk show. There's a lie detector, which always starts the party.

Question:
Since the show is about love triangles, what advice can you give our readers about dealing with love triangles?

Wendy Williams:
If you're in your 20s, I don't necessarily know that you have to choose in a love triangle. I mean your 20s are for being young, getting your career going on, having fun within the confines of decency. I don't necessarily think that women particularly have to feel pressured to choose in a love triangle, particularly also in their 20s. But, society says that we're supposed to be good girls and only juggle one relationship at a time.

I think once you get into your 30s love triangles need to be pared down to one person because for a lot of us in the 30s is when you start to really pick your life mate and the person that you want to be with. By your 40s, you definitely don't want to live your life in a love triangle, and so on, and so forth. So, they are sloppy and they are messy, but they're fun. In your 20s, they're practical.

Question:
What can you tell me about the trustbuster and how's that going to play into the advice that you give?

Wendy Williams:
Well, I don't tell these people who to choose on the game show. I'm just merely there to usher along conversation. The trustbuster is a device like a lie detector. They're hooked up to it. The person who is doing the choosing gets to ask anything that they want. Do you love me? Have you been faithful to me? Is it true you only have one child? In these 32 episodes that we've done, I think I've seen it all, including people who lie and say they love, but they don't; people who say that they've been faithful and they aren't. Guys get down on one knee, ask a girl to marry, and she says no. So, there's nothing like a lie detector.

Question:
If you had one in your real life, what would you do with it?

Wendy Williams:
Use it on my son. He's ten.

Question:
In the description for the show, it says the personality test covers the areas of money, lifestyle, family, and sex. Which area do you think most of the couples are most incompatible?

Wendy Williams:
Lifestyle. We've done a short order for GSN, 32 episodes. In the 32 episodes, I've seen where lifestyle is the big iffy. People don't talk about the most basic things like I'm Jewish; you're Catholic. I want to raise our kids Jewish, is it okay with you? And, he says absolutely not. I'm a vegan; you eat meat. I want to live in a vegan lifestyle, including future children. Would you? Lifestyle is a biggie. I drink; you don't drink. You always ask me to stop drinking, but I won't. You know.

Question:
What's the most surprising fact that's been revealed about one of the suitors?

Wendy Williams:
Infidelity. One surprise was a guy getting down on one knee, asking his girl to marry him. She said no. He had a whole engagement party planned at a venue in L.A. After the show was over, and I went into my dressing room to disrobe, and I was leaving the lot, he was sitting on the curb in the street smoking cigarette after cigarette. The security said oh, yes, he's been out here for a good hour, crying and smoking.

Question:
How do you balance it all?

Wendy Williams:
Well, with a lot of help behind the scenes. My staff here at the Wendy show has been great. They've been very understanding. But, I do my best not to drop the ball so that it doesn't make it difficult for them to help me produce the show. My husband is my business partner and my manager. So, it really does help a lot that where I go, he goes, and vice versa. So, I don't have a lot of explaining to do when I come back home. Our son is ten, but he only knows his mother being in entertainment and daddy being the manager, so this is regular life to him. He's a good boy, and a good student. I couldn't ask for a better situation at home. Again, in terms of here at the talk show, my over 20 years of radio experience had helped me be good at what I do here naturally. So, the producers aren't producing like a piece of wood.

It really enables me to go up and do other projects like Love Triangle, which we taped all 32 episodes in about four weekends, Friday and Saturday, back and forth, back and forth. Then, Dancing with the Stars, well, I've just been eliminated, but between Dancing with the Stars and this game show project, I've only been home three weekends in 2011.

Question:
What advice do you have for people starting out in their journalism career?

Wendy Williams:
Make sure you have a Plan B because your Plan B in a lot of cases will be what pays your bills, while Plan A, journalism, works itself out. Get to know as many people as possible, because you never know where your big break is going to come.

Question:
How did you being on One Life To Live come about and do you think Sam from One Life to Live would like Love Triangle?

Wendy Williams:
I think everyone's going to enjoy Love Triangle because it's an evening show. You know it comes on at 7:00 p.m. It's adult oriented. For me, I am a 46-year old woman. I hate seeing kids on dating shows because I don't feel as though it's necessary for kids to make choices. What I love about Love Triangle is that we have all kinds of people on ??? 50-year olds, 40-year olds, and 30-year olds. It's juicy and it's spicy because these are grown people. It's an evening show and it's an evening setting. I do think everyone's going to love the show.

Regarding One Life to Live, that came about because they have a TV show there called Access Landview. It was right up my alley. It's like an Entertainment Tonight show. My name on the show is Phyllis Rose. I'm simply sitting at my news desk and reading the prompter and reporting on what Brad and Angelina are doing, and some of the other stars.

I'm having a lot of fun. But, I'm a talk show host first, who gets the chance to do some really wonderful things on the side, and Love Triangle is definitely one of those things. I actually enjoyed Love Triangle so much and the work schedule of it that I could see myself doing this game show, if everything goes well, for years upon years upon years. I like being a game show host. I never thought this would come around.

Question:
What is the appropriate age range for Love Triangle?

Wendy Williams:
Love Triangle is an adult dating show. GSN's target audience is 18 to 54. But, on Love Triangle, we don't have 18-year olds choosing between two people. We have more like 45-year olds, and 30-year olds, grown people, which makes it fun because we have the lie detector.

Question:
What was your favorite aspect of the show that grabbed you immediately?

Wendy Williams:
The lie detector, the trustbuster. I have dreamed all my life of being able to do something with a lie detector. I used to want to have one on my radio show, but my bosses told me it wasn't in the budget. I wanted to have one here on this Wendy Williams Show, but there was no place to fit one in.

But, I really love everything about it. I'll be honest with you. I love the fact that Love Triangle is like an offshoot of Ask Wendy. So, the common thread in my life right now is I'm helping people solve problems. I love that I can wear more evening attire. I love that it's three people and one person chooses between two people because that's a real life situation. I love that it's a gay thing, it's a straight thing, it's a black-white-mixed race thing. It's modern love played out on Love Triangle.

Question:
You mentioned the soap, the reality show, and now the game show. Is there anything else you'd like to try?

Wendy Williams:
Yes. I would like to have wigs. I would like to have handbags. I would like to brand myself with merchandise, and not just any merchandise, stuff that I'm passionate about. Stuff that my fans already know that I love the wigs. So, it's the most natural thing for me to have a line of hair. My fans already know that I love decorating at the house. I'm a crafter. So, it's natural for me to have maybe a line of home goods somewhere. They know I love shoes and those kinds of things. So, yes, the next thing that I would like to do is brand myself. That would be wonderful.

Question:
Would you like to have the Dancing with the Stars judges on the hot seat to question them about your scores?

Wendy Williams:
You know what? I'm too busy. I'm over it. I'll be honest with you. That was a really fun opportunity for me to do Dancing with the Stars. Probably the biggest thing that I learned about myself is I'm still as fearless today as I was in younger life. It's been a while since I've had to really challenge myself with something that I completely just like really.

So, I'm not a dancer and it was fun doing it. I was a good sport about it. I'm glad that I'm not on it anymore, because my family needed my attention here. They totally understood. My staff here at Wendy needed my attention. I'm a business woman also. I just had so many things going on. I don't regret taking on Dancing with the Stars, but it's good to be home.

Question:
You were saying earlier that this is for many different types of people. Are you going to have same-sex couples on the show as well?

Wendy Williams:
Yes, of course.

Question:
Do you think they're dealing with different problems than with the other straight couples?

Wendy Williams:
No. Love is love. I think one thing is that I think a lot of times with straight couples you'll find a lot more straight couples who might have a child involved. That's the only thing.

Question:
Were there any different issues than straight couples would deal with, like acceptance with families, or such?

Wendy Williams:
No, nothing like that. We've had gay couples on and there have been no differences as far as love. You know, love is love. One thing is that because it's an evening show and it's pointed out our core audience on GSN, which is 18 to 54, but there are people who admit to threesomes and foursomes and all kind. It's juicy; it's juicy. Moderator Our next question is from Rachelle Thomas with Right Celebrity. Please go ahead.

Question:
If you were describing the show to someone who had never heard of it, how would you describe it to pique their interest?

Wendy Williams:
This is a show about real life situations where one person wants to choose between two people they've been having relations with. It gets messy and sticky. We've got a series of questions in our lifestyle survey. The questions surround lifestyle, money, and of course, there's the lie detector, which we call the trustbuster. That really does get to the bottom of things. In the end, the person makes a choice. You must leave with only one person, not two.

Question:
Could you talk a little bit about your experience on Dancing with the Stars?

Wendy Williams:
It was fun and tedious at the same time. I knew exactly what I was getting into. Thanks to the Internet, you can Google anything and figure it out from there. I mean I knew I was going to be practicing for five hours a day for six days a week initially. Then, it was brought down to four days of practicing because we were out in L.A. on Monday and Tuesday.

I knew that I was going to need tremendous help with the Wendy show, a little modification of our show days, the tapings, and stuff. I also knew I was going to lose a few pounds. I knew I was going to be judged for something that I don't know anything about in front of 40 million people. I knew I'd have swollen feet and that whole bit.

So, nothing about the experience surprised me, including being eliminated early. What I would caution other celebrities when regarding Dancing with the Stars, be sure that you have a really good support system around you to help you pick up the pieces where you're not going to be able to do things, simple things like if you have children. You're not going to be doing any homework where you're paying attention to...

So, be aware of that with your partner. Yes, you're not going to be able to have as much sex as you're used to because you're tired and achy all the time. With your job, if you're ... just be sure everybody understands. Also, most importantly, for yourself, you have to be emotionally strong. Your own biggest cheerleader because if you're not being judged and talked to so harshly, it'll do a number on you.

Question:
Is there anything that you were surprised to learn from the contestants about love in a relationship?

Wendy Williams:
Yes. Well, not really surprised, but people just come to the show and they are very, very honest. What they aren't honest about comes out in the lie detector. I guess what surprises me is how many people have all the information laid out in front of them and you still choose the wrong person. Why? Why did you choose him?

Question:
Do you ever find yourself holding back from saying something because you can tell a certain contestant is either not ready to hear it or won't understand it to begin with?

Wendy Williams:
Yes, sometimes. Sometimes I do, but not very often. I think that the part that I have to hold back on, and it's because of the way the show is designed, I can't tell you which one to pick. After you pick the one, I can't say you just screwed up. You made the wrong decision. He doesn't love you. He doesn't even like girls. Like sometimes, I just want to say he's not that into you.

Question:
I notice you and your husband are executive producers on Love Triangle. What will we see in the show that's specifically picked out by you guys.

Wendy Williams:
Well, you know the common thread that runs through that show from my talk show to that one is Ask Wendy, which I do on this show. I try to help people make the right decisions in their lives. Ask Wendy was also a part of my radio life prior to even having a talk show. So, that Love Triangle is people coming to me with help regarding something really important, and that's love. Also, my personality is definitely on the show. I am definitely me, with the jokes and the judgments, the stern looks, and the laughter. Yes, yes, I am me. You'll definitely recognize the same Wendy on Love Triangle from the talk show.

Question:
During Dancing with the Stars I know that you were working on another show and you're going back and forth. Do you feel like you were at a disadvantage because of that? Were you able to practice while you were in New York at all on the dance routines?

Wendy Williams:
Yes. I did all of my practicing in New Jersey near our house. Me and Tony actually practiced the five days a week on a regular basis like everybody else. I mean, there are some people who practiced eight hours a day. But, those people aren't currently working regular jobs. But, no. You know what? I'm not going to blame my scores and being eliminated on lack of practice, because I gave Tony and that show my all. Flying back and forth, sure I had jet lag. But, I'm not going to fault that.

When I tell you I'm not a dancer, I really do mean I'm not a dancer. Tony was teaching a person with two left feet how to dance. I don't think the judges were fair in the way they scored me. I certainly, based on my co-dancers, think that I qualified to win Dancing with the Stars. I don't feel as though I should have been eliminated so soon; however, I'm glad that I lost, because you know what? It's nice to be back to regular life where I'm getting regular sleep, where my feet, which stayed swollen, and my left hip, which stayed swollen, and my knee, which stayed swollen. Everything's subsiding.

Our ten-year old now has his mother and father back home. With my husband and I, because we do work together, when I leave to go do something, he's right there with me. It's tough on our son, but he gets it and he's smart. It's also tough on my staff. I'm not always available in person to talk to them. I have to be on the phone, or sleeping, or something like that.

But, nothing in my life suffered as a result of the time that I spent with Dancing with the Stars. In total, I was involved with the project for six weeks. It was three weeks of rehearsing prior to even being on TV. Then, I survived three weeks of dancing. I think that was enough. I'll be going back though, for the final dance and season finale.

Question:
When you're choosing between two different relationships with an adult who's in their 30s or 40s, what do you think is the key ingredient to making the right choice?

Wendy Williams:
Choosing the right person based on your lifestyle. There was this one woman on the show. She's a church girl. The guy who she fell in love with owns a sex shop and night club, both things. So, she wanted to choose him. She wanted to know if she chooses him, would he give up his two jobs, the ownership of the club and the sex shop, which were attached to each other, to be with her?

I'm like, is she out of her mind? Like not for nothing. You don't matter that much for me to give up my career for you. So, I think that lifestyle is extremely important. Lifestyle has to do with what career you're in and what path you're on in life. If you eat pork, then you certainly don't want to be with a vegan. I'm not giving up my pork to be with you. You know, we should have talked about these things before we even fell in love.

I just find it crazy that people get so involved with relationships, and they get so deep in. I mean, we can talk. If you're a vegan and that's a pork eater, then that's supposed to be a one-night stand or a drive-by. You were never supposed to look in his eyes long enough to fall in love. So, it amazes me how deep people get involved in things, and then they come to Love Triangle and try to sort things out. It's a really interesting show. It's entertaining. And, at the same time, it's very educational.

Question:
As an executive producer, a host, and a dancer - how did you balance it all?

Wendy Williams:
Very carefully. Very carefully and lots of moisturizer. Here's the thing. Outside of Dancing with the Stars, everything that I try to do is something that comes natural to me. So, it's less work. I mean it's a lot of work, but it's less work. It's not easy having a talk show. But, for me, organically speaking, it's very easy to have conversations with people. It's very easy for me to do hot topics and be excited about coming out and making it happen. So, half the job is done if it comes to me naturally.

Hosting Love Triangle is like it was a piece of cake. I love asking people questions, getting inside their heads. I love laughing with people and helping them in this relationship situation. What wasn't easy is Dancing with the Stars. But, I took on that challenge and everything else was kind of pushed to the back burner for a moment. I would do it again. I enjoyed it, but I'm glad to be home.

Question:
Why will people want to take their time to tune in and watch Love Triangle?

Wendy Williams:
Because it is an interesting slice of life, in the evening. When you come home from work and you're unwinding, it's a sexy little adult game show on GSN. For me, the funnest game shows are relationship shows. Love triangles are very commonplace. I'm sure all of us at one point or another in our lives have been involved with a love triangle. Gosh, I'm dating both. But, I'm tired of this roller coaster. Who to choose and who to lose?

Question:
What would you like to say to everybody who is a fan and supporter of you and your work, and took some time out to vote for you?

Wendy Williams:
I would like to tell them thank you so much for supporting me on Dancing with the Stars. I hope I didn't disappoint you too much by having two left feet. But, the good news is that now I'm free to give my full attention to my hot topics and the Wendy show and Love Triangle, and the other projects that I have coming down the pike. Most importantly, my family, which helps keep my sanity, which ultimately brings a smile to my face so I can be a better entertainer to my fans.

Question:
Can you tell me about relationship shows that you remember from the past, or favorites that you have now, ones that have inspired you?

Wendy Williams:
There's one on BET called Hell Date, which still come on sometimes like three o'clock in the morning. It's a hot mess, but I love it. Of course, The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, Love Connection. I just love these shows, and I think they all get it right, because to me you can't get a dating show wrong. You get a good host, with a good personality, a little snappy, able to keep the show moving along. For our show, we have a studio audience. I refer to them from time to time. From where nice little visually interesting clothing, a very clean set, dimly lit for evening. You immediately know when you turn it on, this is not a daytime show, it's for evening. It's for adults. It's sexy.

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