Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ten Thoughts from Wendy Williams

Photo by Timothy M. Moore via Wikimedia Commons

Wendy Williams doesn’t mind being the second contestant eliminated from this season of Dancing with the Stars. She's got bigger and better things to do. In addition to her daily syndicated talk show The Wendy Williams Show, her new game show Love Triangle just premiered last Monday on GSN. On Love Triangle Wendy helps contestants look at the past, present and future with two current suitors. By the end of the episode and a series of tests, quizzes and the Trust Buster lie detector, they must choose one and say goodbye to the other. In a recent conference call interview, Wendy shared her thoughts with us on her favorite game shows, balancing her career with her home life and her advice for young journalists.

1. On Why Audiences Will Like Love Triangle
"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… 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?'"

2. On Why She Likes Love Triangle
"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."

3. On the Audience for Love Triangle
"I think everyone’s going to enjoy Love Triangle because it’s an evening show. It comes on at 7 p.m. It’s adult oriented. 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."

4. On Being a Game Show Host
"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."

5. On Love Triangle Being an Extension of her Ask Wendy Segment
"The common thread that runs through from my talk show to [Love Triangle] 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 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."

6. On Doing Dancing with the Stars
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."

7. On Her Favorite Game Show
"There’s one on BET called Hell Date, which still comes 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."

8. On How She Balances Career and Family
"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."

9. On Other Future Projects
"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."

10. Advice for Aspiring Journalists
"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."

For related stories check out:
Ten Thoughts from Chef Marcel Vigneron
So Many Reasons to Love Henry Winkler

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