Q&A: Melanie Brown On 'Dance Your Ass Off,' Wanting More Babies & More
Melanie Brown has experienced fame and sympathetic infamy in her career. As Mel B. in the Spice Girls, Brown was dubbed “Scary Spice” in the ‘90s pop music phenomenon. A year ago, if you were to do a Google search for Melanie Brown, you would inevitably find stories of her scandalous tie to Eddie Murphy.
Now Brown is taking over hosting duties of Oxygen’s weight loss dance show Dance Your Ass Off. She certainly has experience on both fronts. She looks fantastic after her pregnancy, and she’s always had the rhythm. The show continues the positive message of healthy girl power Brown has always embodied.
In person, she certainly gives off the positive vibes. Surrounded by press at an Oxygen presentation for DYAO, Brown held her head high and smiled. She was happy to talk about her baby, her dancing and even the Spice Girls. Dance Your Ass Off returns on June 7 on Oxygen.
You look great. How much weight did you lose after your pregnancy?
Melanie Brown: With my second pregnancy I put on roughly 60 pounds so I gave myself a good five months to lose the weight before I did Dancing with the Stars but if there was a show out at that time like this that combined the dancing with losing weight I would have definitely done this show for sure
Did you lose weight doing Dancing with the Stars?
MB: I didn’t really lose weight because I already lost the amount that I wanted to. I toned up more. My stamina levels got way higher.
What was your best memory from Dancing with the Stars?
MB: Me and Maksim, we still have a great relationship. My kids love him. He’s a really good guy.
How old are the kids now?
MB: I have an 11-year-old, my five-year-old stepdaughter and my three-year-old. I’ve got a house full of girls. Luckily they all get along. The age gap is enough. And I’ve just moved to a bigger house.
How do you balance motherhood and work?
MB: She goes to school three hours a day when I run around and do my thing and I pick jobs that work around my family. Hosting this show is two days a week so I have time to see my kids
Are you good friends with the Spice Girls still?
Do the kids have play dates together?
MB: Not at the moment because we’re all kind of all over the place. When I got to London to work it’s like two or three days and I’m back so I won’t be taking my kids. We keep missing each other too, but four months ago we had a big dinner together to discuss some things.
Marissa Jane Winkour did a blog. Will you?
MB: I just revamped my own Website and I’m literally on it every single day. You can go to it and I answer questions every day. I’m very much more hands on. I’ve also done Twitter but I find that driving people to your website is much more involvement because the information is all there.
How did you get your abs so tight?
MB: I did my workout DVD so I created this, it’s about a nine minute ab workout where you end up doing 200-300 abs really, really quick. That’s one of the reasons I love this show because like I said before I did Dancing with the Stars I did my own workout. I lost my weight by myself. I didn’t want to go to the gym, I didn’t want to be out there because I felt that I was completely alone. What I did was create my own DVD workout and that worked for me. Then everyone was saying, how did you lose the weight? And I was saying if you want to know about it, buy the DVD. I never thought of releasing something like that because it was my own private, personal [activity].but if this show was on at that time and I had to lose that weight to feel better and be more active I would have definitely jumped on board
What exercises are on the DVD?
MB: For starters it’s me doing the workout with you so I moan a lot and I’m sweating a lot because working out is hard. I always think that you should work out with friends. This is a great show to get in shape because it’s fun. Workouts shouldn’t be boring but my DVD is far from boring. You can pick and choose. Say if you only have 15 minutes you can pick legs, bums and tums. If you have an hour you can do cardio and everything. You don’t really have to have anything apart from a broom and two water bottles.
What is your normal workout like now?
MB: Well being on the show has really kind of given me a kick of my own ass. I’m in the gym more and gotten myself more active and more healthy. I’m working with a trainer three times a week just to switch up my routine and then I take either a boot camp class or a bench class once a week. I also have a fully equipped Technogym. It is a brand. I work out with all their machinery. They have Kinesis which is really good way of working out. So I kind of feel guilty if I don’t go upstairs to my gym or if I leave for a couple of weeks.
After losing the weight from the last baby is another one out of the question?
MB: Oh no I love babies. I definitely want to have more. I am going to be 35 this year so I have a few more years left of baby making, yeah definitely.
Can you give me any hair tips?
MB: You know it is really funny, I only wash my hair twice a week and I do a deep conditioning over night mask that makes my scalp sweat so you get all your natural oils back.
What made you decide to shave your hair off?
MB: All my kids were getting Mohawks. My 11-year-old did this Rihanna thing, my three-year-old got the mohawk and I was like, I want to join in! Afterwards my 11 year old did go, “Why did you do that mom?”
MB: No, everyone knew I wasn’t going to be goody two shoes and play completely by the book. Hopefully that’s why they hired me.
Who on the current Dancing with the Stars reminds you of you when you were on the show?
MB: I never liked to compare anyone to anyone. I just watched Maksim the other day and I spoke to his partner and she seemed so bubbly and so full of life, watch them go out next week. But yeah I think they’ve done a great job of casting this season. I haven’t been following but I’m glad to say I’ve been busy with this show but from the get go I thought wow, they’ve done a good job.
What do you think of Maks and Erin Andrews as a couple?
MB: I think Maks is like my brother so the thought of him flirting with or being with anybody else makes me go, “Oh no, don’t do that, he’s like my brother!”
What did you think of Kate Gosselin on the show?
MB: I think she’s great. I think she’s launched herself in the right way and I think she’s done a great job. You can’t knock somebody for that.
Why do you and your husband always seem like you’re having so much fun?
MB: You know why? Because we’re like 11 days apart and he’s my best friend before anything. I’ve known him for like eith or nine years and he’s just like me, so I’m actually laughing at myself.
Are you close with your mom?
MB: I am close with my mom, yeah.
Is that a relationship that developed over time?
MB: Yeah, I was a bit of a “Don’t tell me what to do”. I have problems with somebody telling me, and mom always knows best at the end of the day.
MB: I guess I grew up a little bit, and I got to travel the world and I really grew up even more.
Did having children change your relationship?
MB: No, because I’ve always wanted to have kids. My mom is one of seven so from growing up I always knew that I wanted to have a big family. I just wanted to make sure that I could provide for them. I went and did a little bit of work first.
Are you doing anything musically?
MB: I’m in the studio. I got back into the studio again, three weeks ago. I don’t want to talk about it until I’ve actually got my body of work, but I’m definitely going to be knocking out some songs, hopefully in the next six months or so. Give myself a bit of time there…
Will we ever see the Spice Girls together on stage again?
MB: Yeah, when we announce our musical we’ll all be on stage together again. We all had to meet with Judy Craymer first, who created Abba: The Musical, and Abba: The Movie, so we all had to meet with her first to sort of agree, because if one doesn’t agree then we have to go somewhere else. But all five of us absolutely love her and adored her, and now she’s off being creative and writing a musical.
What advice are you going to give the Dance Your Ass Off contestants?
MB: I don’t give advice unless you’re my kids. I just don’t. I can tell you a story, I can give you an experience, but I always think advice – unless you’ve been through exactly the same things I’ve been through, which probably I haven’t done because everybody’s different - I don’t really give advice.
How are you relating to the contestants this season?
MB: I ask them how’re their days are. If you think about it, they work out and eat healthy and do dance routines all day long, from six in the morning until one in the morning. So they’re hardly getting any sleep, they’re not with their families or their friends, they have no TVs or laptops. They are literally dedicating their whole life, and what a turnaround all of them have done.