Pedigreed '90s pop sirens ride movie cameo and
reality TV show into new prominence
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"They don't want it to have a sheen over it.
There's no reason for that." Carnie says her hubby actually refused to let them
cut too many takes when tracking harmonies, to preserve that frisson of musical
tension that makes intertwined vocal lines so exciting. "We'd want to do things
over again, and he'd say, 'No, that's the point. It's not matching perfectly. It
has to rub together like that. It feels more real.'"
moments of friction are reserved for "Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On," airing
Sundays on TV Guide Network. This isn't exactly uncharted territory for
two-thirds of the trio: Chynna competed in Season 13 of "Dancing With the
Stars," while Carnie appeared on "Celebrity Wife Swap." But starring in their
own show takes the pressure to another level.
"We had to
contemplate [making the show] very seriously," says Chynna. "We took our time,
because we wanted to make sure that we weren't going to regret it. We knew that
once you jump off that cliff, there's no turning back. And there have been
moments where we've said, 'Oh my goodness, what have we gotten ourselves into?'
Because there's always an unexpected twist or turn; they throw things at you
that you weren't expecting, to keep you off guard."
In the premiere
episode, the drama hinges on Carnie's ongoing attempts to keep her weight down,
and the very real possibility of canceling a big concert. In one exchange, a
disagreement about finding the correct key for a song momentarily disrupts
rehearsal. The barbed quips between members deliver the laughs, but what's
impressive is how quickly the three women settle their differences. "There's no
time to bicker nowadays," says Chynna. "We've got nine kids between the three of
us. We're all married. We've got careers. We're great friends, but we're also
business partners, and that's a delicate, fine line that can easily be trampled
on. You have to be very careful about how you say things."
Of course, they threw all that vaunted care and consideration out
the window when approached about Kristen Wiig's hilarious hit movie
"Bridesmaids." "We didn't even see the script," Wendy discloses. "We were asked
to do a cameo, heard that Judd Apatow was one of the producers, and that was
good enough for us. We went in, filmed for six hours, sang our song and left."
It was a leap of faith, but they were willing to risk possibly mockery at the
hands of the filmmakers. "If you can't have a sense of humor about yourself, you
shouldn't be in this business," adds Chynna.
That awareness also
explains why, even after 22 years in the business, the band members have
accepted inevitably being compared to their parents -- even when they aren't
singing their songs. "We can't change the fact of where we come from," says
Carnie. And that's OK. "Our parents weren't just these little groups that had
one or two hits. They're part of music history, and that's something we're proud