TLC's Chilli looking for love on VH1, 'Scrubs' need not apply
Chilli knows exactly what she wants in a man, and she's never been shy about expressing her needs.
As one-third of the platinum-selling R&B trio TLC, hits like "No Scrubs," "Creep" and "Ain't 2 Proud to Beg" offered less than subtle hints at the type of man who wins her desires.
But after dating on her own for so long, the singer, who put the ‘sexy’ in “Crazy, Sexy, Cool,” decided to take another route, albeit a more entertaining and as of late conventional one. She opted to turn on the cameras to document her search for love.
On her new VH1 show, “What Chilli Wants,” she takes on the age-old question of what exactly a single, successful woman wants in a man, though she has a laundry list of requirements that eliminates most eligible bachelors.In the series, the singer has enlisted the help of Tionna Smalls, a self-proclaimed relationship expert who wrote a book called “Girl, Get Your Mind Right!” It’s Smalls’ job, which quickly drifts into mission impossible territory, to find Chilli a man, one that meets the requirements she's laid out: He can’t smoke or drink, he has to be gorgeous, sensitive, charming, has to love God and kids and he can’t eat pork. Of course being equipped with washboard abs and being, well, endowed also make the list as well.
What sets Chilli’s quest for love apart from other well-known VH1 "celebreality" dating romps is the singer isn’t seen living in a mansion with her suitors, or even traveling together on a tour bus.
Chilli said her eight-episode series was never going to be a “For the Love,” “Flavor” or some other spin-off linked to the massively successful dating franchise that originated from Flavor Flav's so-sleazy-it's-good dating show.
“[That formula] works for some people. But for me, that’s not realistic. I mean really, is that really real? It definitely does not work for work Chilli.”
The 39-year-old, who once was the tabloid fodder for her high-profile relationship with Usher, might not have chosen to cohabit with her admirers or send them off on wacky challenges, but she did eliminate just as many, if not more, as Ray J, Bret Michaels and Flava Flav when men didn’t meet requirements on her list. She walks off of one date when a man eyes his cocktail more than her; one seemingly good match turned her off with his "1-800" worthy voice and another doesn’t make the cut when he mentions his love of pork.
“I always say you should put your list down, but the needs, no,” she says. “The needs are your needs. Those are the things you have to have. The wants? If someone is doing this or that, I am going to have a hard time with it. When you have standards it eliminates so many people.”
As for her no-pork clause? As silly as it may seem to some, Chilli says it makes the list because she wants a healthy man.
“To me, it coincides with healthy eating. I read up on things. How bad pork is, enough is enough for me,” she says with a giggle. “One pork chop is like the equivalent of a cigarette. It’s surprising to me that people eat pork today.”
The show also offers fans a glimpse of TLC's first show in six years (only the second since member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was killed in a car accident in 2002). Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins makes numerous appearances, as does Chilli's son Tron, Missy Elliott and close friend Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Numerous rumors have connected her to the boxer, and those are addressed on the show.)
While she remained coy on whether or not she found what she wanted, she did tease that she found someone “she could do some things with” in the future.
“What Chili Wants” premieres Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on VH1. Check out a sneak peak below.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter @GerrickKennedy)
Photos: Chilli from the R&B group TLC gets help from relationship expert Tionna Smalls in the new VH1 show, "What Chilli Wants" and a publicity photo. Credits: VH1