Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pussycats search for New Doll

LOS ANGELES - They've bumped and grinded and sung their way to the top and on Tuesday night the raunchy girl band The Pussycat Dolls break into the world of TV reality to find a new member -- and promote girl power along the way.

"The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll," an eight-episode reality series on the CW network, offers one aspiring singer-dancer the chance to join one of the most-talked about acts of the past 18 months.

Best known for the refrain "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" from their first hit single, the six scantily clad Dolls started out as an exotic dance club troupe in Los Angeles and have gone on score top 10 hits in 14 countries.

The show follows the travails of nine final contestants who will learn dance routines with male partners, be taught how to dress sexy and put through their vocal paces. The winner is chosen by the show's three judges.

But producers say the CW show is about more than finding the best singer or dancer to join the group.

"It's about a whole entire package of confidence, and being able to grow and learn," Robin Antin, the group's founder and choreographer told TV Guide in an interview.

"That's really what this show is about, teaching women to find their inner Doll and understanding what it means to own your confidence and sexuality," Antin said.

Dawn Ostroff, CW's president of entertainment, said the reality show was about "female empowerment, self-discovery and personal transformation."

Some TV critics have, however, been less kind about the show. The Hollywood Reporter said the series was "more about selling sex than self-reliance" while Utah's Deseret News called it "vulgar and lame" and urged parents to keep their preteen and teen daughters away from it.

Meanwhile a lively debate was underway on the CW Internet message boards among those putting forward 100 reasons for watching the show and 100 reasons for not watching it.

"I'll be watching it. ... If you've got it flaunt it and the people hating it don't know them. So don't judge them saying they are whores and sluts and what not," wrote Bhabs10.

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