Last night, I had the chance to preview "Pretty Wicked," the new Oxygen reality series that brings ten devilish divas together in one house - with no mirrors, natch - to find out which one is prettiest on the inside. It's a delicious mix of the drama of "Bad Girls Club," the nutty hijinx of "Charm School," the charm of "Tough Love," and the heart of "Beauty and the Geek
." And maybe just a dash of the silicone of "Rock of Love."
Although the participants didn't know what they were signing up for in the beginning, the "Pretty Wicked" girls are let in on the show's secret early in the first episode, unlike ABC's similarly themed "True Beauty" (produced by Tyra Banks
and Ashton Kutcher
), in which the contestants are never told the point of the project. Such a "Candid Camera"-type approach seems to humiliate more than help, so it's refreshing to find that "Pretty Wicked" isn't as interested in watching the trains derail as it is in cleaning up the wreckage.
Oxygen certainly found an endearing host in "America's Next Top Model
" winner CariDee English, whose outer and inner beauty led her to a Cycle 7 victory over Fakey McFakerson, aka Melrose Bickerstaff. CariDee was clearly proud of her involvement in "Pretty Wicked," and told the preview audience that the experience was a very rewarding one.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to speak one-on-one with CariDee, but I did have a brief chat with lovely model/author Mia Tyler, who serves as one of the "Pretty Wicked" judges, alongside psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman and actor/comedian Kyle Cease.
Mia, who once had a reputation for being a "wicked" chick herself, obviously felt a connection to the ten contestants and genuinely cared about helping them shed their bad girl ways. She insisted that there was no behind-the-scenes manipulation or manufactured drama because they wanted the girls' emotions to be as raw and real as possible.
Of course, there were bound to be a few broads who cared more about screen time than bettering themselves, but Mia said that she and the other judges were able to eventually sniff the fakers out and give them the boot. She believed that most of the ladies were there for the right reasons, and has even kept in touch with several of them who still call to thank her for their internal makeovers.
Check out the premiere episode on Oxygen TONIGHT at 11:00 pm ET, immediately following the "Bad Girls Club" reunion special.
"The Pop Eye @ Starpulse" is a column written by native Pittsburgher and current New Yorker, Becky Broderick
. You may contact Becky directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out her other ramblings on The Pop Eye