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Series / The Pussycat Dolls Present

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"I already am a Pussycat Doll, sweetie."

The Pussycat Dolls Present is a The CW original reality show from the mind of Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin. The two-season series, hosted by Sugar Ray singer Mark Mc Grath and heavily featuring Antin, served mostly as a singing and dancing competition, preparing the contestants for a (hopeful) singing career. The series premiered on April 1, 2007.

The first season of the series, subtitled The Search For The Next Doll focused on finding a seventh member of the already-established group. The second season, subtitled Girlicious, shifted toward the formation of a new, edgier pop group, Girlicious.

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Each episode usually featured a lesson and accompanying challenge relating (sometimes loosely) to the music industry, such as confidence, vocal expression, dance and sensuality. The contestants also were challenged week by week to partake in a musical number, sometimes in a group, sometimes in a duo or sometimes solo (solos were more frequent during the first season, while the second focused almost exclusively on group performances).


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This Series Provides Examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Surprisingly few for a show full of female-powered drama and cattiness. The closest to the trope were arguably Asia Nitollano, Natalie Mejia, Chrystina Sayers and Tiffanie Anderson.
  • An Elimination In The Limelight: Occurred several times as each season developed. Several girls who had been all but ignored and forgotten since the premiere episode but suddenly pop up as the focus of an episode usually end up getting the axe.
    • Brittany, who was barely featured in the audition episode, had the entire second episode devoted to how over-the-top and overly sexual her movements were. Can you guess who was sent home?
    • Jamie Benjamin had barely made a peep since the premiere, but suddenly during her elimination episode was the focus of a major plot arc involving her confidence.
    • In the second season, Megan had been all-but-ignored in the audition episode (although Robin mentioned loving her overall package) was then the focus of the very first episode in the house talking about her pageant experience, and was subsequently eliminated for being too pageant-like.
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    • The following episode, Nice Girl Alexis who was essentially invisible for the first two episodes of the season, suddenly began talking about how the competition was interfering with her quest to become a dentist, of all things. She was eliminated in that episode.
  • Bathtub Scene: Natalie and Chrystina drew the ire of their competitors when they took a bath together instead of socializing.
  • Berserk Button: Don't you dare talk about Asia's daughter or parenting skills.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Melissa Smith of Season One, arguably a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, was allegedly responsible for most of the drama in the house in the latter half of the season.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Natalie's outburst at Kenny during a vocal rehearsal when she wanted a special part — walking over to him in the middle of the girls singing to ask him for the part — was definitely this.
  • Camp Gay: Mikey Minden, who rocks a pair of heels, refers to himself as a Pussycat Doll, is Robin's right-hand man and talks about how much he'd love to have boobs.
  • Cat Fight: Few full-on cat fights, with the notable example of a staged fighting match the girls held to blow off steam on season one (previews for the episode made it seem like Asia picked an actual fight, but the episode proved to be much more tame).
  • Confession Cam
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Li'l Kim.
  • Cry Cute: Too many to list.
  • Drama Queen: A reality competition show featuring 12 girls in a house? Yeah.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: The contestants were given makeovers both seasons, but nothing as dramatic as Series/{{America's Next Top Model}}.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: Sisely was not happy about her extensions.
  • Fanservice: It's based on The Pussycat Dolls, so...
  • Freudian Excuse: A nearly comic example from semi-finalist Sandra, who blamed her shyness singing (for, you know, a singing competition) on the death of her parents.
  • Girl Posse: What Girlicious was meant to be.
  • Hidden Depths: In-universe. Ilisa was considered her season's underdog and many contestants either disliked or distanced themselves from her due to her casual and tomboyish expression. Ilisa later told the girls about her heart condition, which caused her to collapse at age 12 and even had her clinically dead for four minutes. After hearing her story and understanding her motivations for competing, several contestants noted that they should have respected her more from the beginning, tragic backstory or not.
  • Hollywood Thin: Most of the contestants, to the point where Hollywood Pudgy girls like Jenna, Ilisa and Anastasia were treated like giants.
  • Hopeless Auditionees: Mostly averted, save for a quick montage in the first season.
  • A House Divided: Season two was particularly bad for this, with Charlye, Tiffanie and Nichole squaring off almost constantly against Natalie, Chrystina and Jenna. Lampshaded by Jamie Ruiz, who wanted to focus on practicing, and noted that only she, Carrie and Ilisa were not interested in being part of a "little clique."
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Not said out loud as much as other reality shows, but shades of these were thrown by Sisely, Jenna and Jamie Ruiz.
  • Important Haircut: Chelsea's confidence shot through the roof after her incredibly flattering bangs were added.
  • Jerkass: Again, many examples.
  • Joker Immunity: A common criticism of the show for fan-unfavorites like Asia (who won), Melissa Smith, Jenna and Chrystina (also part of the winning group), all resident drama queens or bitches in sheeps' clothing. All of them were called out for concerns with their talent and technique (least of all Asia, but Ron Fair was notably not a fan). Asia aside, all landed in the bottom two at least once, with Melissa and Chrystina gaining the reputation as their seasons' respective Elimination Houdini.
  • The Makeover:
    • Both seasons featured a makeover episode, with a few happy results (Chelsea's bangs, Jamie's blonde-out, Natalie's straight blow-out) and a few unhappy (Sisely's scrappy extensions, Jamie's orange hair).
  • Male Gaze
  • Manipulative Editing: Inevitable when each hour-long episode has to express an entire week's worth of events.
    • Melissa Smith has called this out for her cycle, stating that there were conversations that took place on-screen when the girls weren't even actually in the same room.
    • One notorious example was an early episode in which the main conflict centered around Sisely telling Asia that she danced like a drag queen. On the show, the comment was seen to be said in a large group to Asia's face. However, it is clear from the editing of the situation that while Sisely made the comment, it was not in the group scene and was possibly said in private company without Asia present.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Again, it's based on the Pussycat Dolls.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: There's always at least one number with corsets per season.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted in Season One — Melissa Reyes and Melissa Smith, who were only eliminated one episode apart, were known throughout the entire season as "Melissa R." and "Melissa S."
  • Progressively Prettier
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness:
    • Sisely, who was known for her work in a punk band and impressed the judges early on with her rock wails and work ethic, didn't seem to realize that she'd have to sing pop songs in order to get into a band that wasn't exactly known for being hard rockers.
    • Jenna, criticized from day one for not being a strong dancer, was frequently called out by the judges for this. When the girls asked her to practice more, she defended herself with the excuse that since she was known as a good singer, she would work harder at that... even though the judges had warned her about her dance ability.
  • Reality TV Show Mansion
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Melissa Reyes was the most reluctant of the first season to push the sexuality boundaries. While she did participate in most of the challenges, she was chastised for not doing things like wearing boob pads. She had a mild panic about it as the finale got closer, and since the show, has become a more devout Catholic.
  • Rule of Glamorous
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Sisely may have been eliminated early on, but between her stint in Shiny Toy Guns and a fairly successful solo career, she's lapped circles around most of the other girls including Asia, who opted for a solo career rather than a career with the Dolls, and now has no industry presence and isn't even verified on Instagram.
    • Chelsea Korka was selected to be in another one of Robin Antin's pop acts, Paradiso Girls, which mostly found success overseas.
    • After Girlicious disbanded, most of the winning girls went on to either drop out of the industry or work with little-known pop-acts. However, Jamie Lee Ruiz at least managed to get her foot in the door of the industry, appearing in stage shows, music videos (including one for Kelly Clarkson) and movies.
  • Something Completely Different: The second season, rather than focusing on adding another girl to the already comically-large group, instead sought to form an entirely new musical act.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Anastasia was seen as this and was frequently called a "Goddess" by judges.
  • This Is a Competition: Oh, you'd better believe it.
  • Traumatic Haircut: For Jamie Ruiz in season two, her reaction to her orange dye job was seen as bratty by some, although in her defense, it did look horrible, and she expressed some offense that they were trying to make her look whiter (she's Puerto Rican and identifies as Latina).
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Zigzagged. Asia was hardly an underdog in the judges' eyes — while Ron Fair was not a fan, Li'l Kim and Robin loved her, even when arguably more talented girls like Anastasia, Melissa Reyes and Chelsea outshined her. But throw in just enough clashing with a single judge (Rob questioned her vocal abilities numerous times) and a tragic backstory (a single teenage mother), and Asia's victory seemed a little more like an underdog's.
    • Averted in season two. Tiffanie and Nichole were all consistent players with the judges who received few complaints throughout the season. While Chrystina and Natalie were less popular among fans and perceived as less talented, their privileged backgrounds and snotty personalities rendered them more as Creator's Pet than as true underdogs.
  • Wham Episode: In season two, a shocking double-elimination saw hard workers Jamie and Ilisa sent home, while the unmotivated and snobby Jenna was kept around. Jenna had already threatened to quit at this point, so for viewers, seeing not one but two of the hardest workers of the season go home was undeniably a shock.
    • Ilisa was also arguably played up to be the season's underdog victor — many of her competitors expressed doubts at her ability to be "girlicious enough" for Girlicious simply because of her personal style, but in one challenge, young fans loved her unique style and movement. She also had a tragic backstory that gave her a status as a survivor, so a mid-season elimination was one few saw coming.
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