At 25, Adrienne Bailon, MTV’s newest on-air personality, knows a thing or two about show business. From her teenage days among the huddled masses outside TRL, she was one of the few that eventually made it upstairs to the studio, as a member of the pop group 3LW, a stint she later parlayed into a permanent spot on Disney’s The Cheetah Girls, followed by movies, world tours, and soon, a solo career.
But while ambition brought Bailon to Hollywood, years in the Disney kingdom (and a public break-up with Robert Kardashian, Kim’s little brother), brought on a serious case of homesickness. And it didn’t help that Bailon never got a driver’s license. Now, as co-host of New Afternoons On MTV (alongside MTV Tres VJ Carlos Santos), shot at the same Times Square studio she once froze outside of, Bailon says she’s finally back where she belongs: home.
As the new face of MTV afternoons, how does it feel to step into what was TRL territory?
It’s crazy. Over the years, even going back to my 3LW days, I’ve co-hosted TRL with Carson Daly and done cool stuff like MTV Spring Break and New Year’s Eve — that’s kind of how all this happened — but I almost cried when I heard TRL was ending. I think I may have actually shed a tear, because I grew up in the days when TRL was huge. I was one of those kids who stood outside screaming in the freezing cold!
Who did you get to see?
I was there when Christina Aguilera did “Genie In A Bottle,” and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that girl can sing!’ And I stood outside for Ricky Martin. That was the one time where I waited, like, forever. I was obsessed! My friends and I would stash posters in our lockers and then try and get out of school early to get to Times Square in time.
What do you know about Carson Daly that we don’t?
He’s so funny. But you know that. He loves hip hop music. I swear he knows the words to every hip hop song ever written.
And now kids are coming home to see you… and Dr. Drew, of course.
I have a secret crush on Dr. Drew. I die that I get to talk to him every day on web cam. The celebrities, too, they love him! Some have even submitted questions for him to answer.
Do you think his latest show, Sex… With Mom and Dad, is getting through to kids?
I do. A lot of the kids feel that they can tell him anything because he is so understanding. That’s what I love about him, too. It’s, like, Dr. Drew to the rescue!
What question would you ask Dr. Drew right now?
I get that guys like the hot sexy girls. But in the long run do they really want the nice girl? (I am that nice girl.)
What’s your favorite MTV memory from when you were a kid?
I videotaped everything with TLC. I also had all the VMAs on VHS. But to this day I’ve never been to the VMAs. I’ve been to the parties but never been to the show.
Who would be your dream guest on Afternoons?
Jennifer Lopez. I really admire her as a Latina, an entrepreneur and a superstar in every sense of the word. Or Beyonce, who I think is the ultimate artist. She’s an amazing performer, a really good actress and beautiful — a triple threat. But we’ve had some great guests already; Lily Allen and Soulja Boy were in the other week. The best part, though, is that fans can ask them questions via web cam. It’s like, we’re bringing them closer to their favorite celebrities.
How is it being back in your native New York?
I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s really great to come back home. I have my own apartment and I feel like the most miss independent ever. (I cheat a little because my sister lives down the hall.) In the morning, I’ll hail my cab, get my coffee and croissant in Times Square, it’s a great feeling. In LA, where I moved after I started on the Disney stuff, I didn’t even have a driver’s license so I couldn’t get anywhere. But here, it’s not a problem at all for me.
What do you do to stay in shape?
I just went to the gym yesterday. I can’t walk today in my heels. I did a million squats. I’m working on the buttocks – that’s my main mission.
What’s your favorite pigout food?
I love rice and beans. Give me Spansih food. And hot cheese popcorn – that gets me every time.
Your Cheetah Girl groupmate Sabrina Bryan was on Dancing with the Stars, and you’ve made repeat appearances on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, have you considered signing up for a reality TV show?
I’ve gotten offers, but it’s not something I want to do. Everybody’s always asking, would you do Dancing With the Stars? My answer is no, because I’m not the most graceful person, I’m more of a hip-hop dancer. Dancing was Sabrina’s thing, I’m way more passionate about the singing. But I would do American Idol, even now! [laughs]
So the Cheetah Girls are no more, do you think a next generation version might one day surface?
I don’t know, but that would be amazing! I’d prep my own children for it. If the Cheetah Girls kept going and going, I would have to get my kids in there, it’s like a sorority.
You have kids on the mind?
In the long run, yes. I’m such a white picket fence girl. My ultimate dream would be to have a family. In fact, one of my favorite TV shows right now is Jon & Kate Plus Eight. She’s really a great mom who reminds me of how mine was with me and my sister — like on Valentine’s Day, she’d make us heart pancakes. It’s feel good TV and I love it.
So new job, new city, new hair color?
I just wanted to make a change, so I’m going back to my natural color. I had been a blonde for years and all that bleach was breaking my hair off. But the end of the last Cheetah Girls tour, I had major roots so I just masked it. Finally, I was like, “Girl, who are you kidding? You are Puerto Rican!” I’ll probably switch it up again but I’m enjoying it for right now. So you could say, new hair color for a new year.
What have you been listening to?
I’m going old school. I’ve been listening to Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. I also love Kanye West’s album…
What TV shows do you never miss?
‘Sex and the City’. I think every woman should own the DVDs in case there isn’t anything good on TV. I’ve also been into the show ‘Intervention.’ It’s so shocking. I’m also a Law and Order: SVU girl, too.
What line is never going to work on you?
Are your legs tired because you’ve been running through my mind all day. Or is your dad a terrorist because you’re the bomb. Hey, what’s up – you’re cute, can I get your number. I’ve never seen a guy in a club and dated randomly. It’s always through mutual friends.
What will always get your interest?
Someone who’s really funny. I’m drawn to people’s personalities. I likek the funny, outgoing, the life of the party type.
What’s the best and worst part of being newly single in NYC?
The best – I get to spend a lot of times with friends. It’s very Sex and the City. And the worst part – when it’s cold and rainy, there’s no one to snuggle up with. Except my girlfriends pile in bed with me and we snuggle.
Hello, Dr. Drew?
Not that kind of snuggle.
While Bailon is the new face of MTV, the network has launched its share of red hot women. See who made our cut as MTV’s all-time hottest.
10. Amber Valetta (House Of Style)
This American super model and actress hosted MTV’s House Of Style which premiered back in 1989. She graced the pages of Elle and Vogue and in advertising campaigns for DKNY and Versace. Her switch to acting lead the way for some major movie roles like What Lies Beneath and Transporter 2.
9. Kim Stolz (MTV News)
This American fashion model and television personality is an MTV News correspondent and a vj for The Freshman on mtvU. Stolz first came to fame as a contestant on Cycle 5 of America’s Next Top Model, where she finished fifth place. Sorry guys, she’s also an out lesbian.
8. SuChin Pak (MTV News/MTV Cribs)
This South Korean-born correspondent has made her way around MTV, interviewing some of the biggest names in Hollywood. She co-hosted the MTV Pre-Grammy show with Kurt Loder and has covered such large scale events as MTV Movie Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and Sundance Film Festival. Pak also graces us with her lovely voice as the narrator for MTV Cribs.
7. Ananda Lewis (TRL/The Hot Zone)
Voted one of People Magazine’s 50 most Beautiful for 2000 this babe was one of MTV’s most popular VJ’s for many years. She brought celebrity interviewing to a new level on TRL, the daily Top 10 video-countdown show and The Hot Zone, a combination of music videos and interviews with popular musicians. She’s also earned two NAACP Image Awards.
6. Hilarie Burton (TRL)
You might recognize this hottie as Peyton Sawyer from The CW’s One Tree Hill. But this actress got her start as a VJ on TRL after she was supposed to be a guest commentator for one segment, but producers decided to offer her a permanent job. Burton rose to stardom with leading roles in the films Our Very Own, Solstice, and The List.
5. Tila Tequila (A Shot at Love)
This bouncy bisexual internet sensation blew up in 2006 being awarded the title of “Miss Myspace”. She is known for appearances in Maxim, Stuff, Time, and Penthouse. The model and recording artist starred in the MTV reality show A Shot at Love which followed her quest to find the perfect guy or girl and later spawned a second season. Attention guys and girls! She’s still single!
4. Daisy Fuentes (MTV International)
This Cuban-American model and actress started as the host of MTV International which was a success, and later became MTV en Espanol and even later became MTV Latin America. She she hosted her own talk show, Daisy, on CNBC. Hugh Hefner reportedly invited Fuentes numerous times in the early 90′s to pose nude in Playboy, but she has insisted that she will never do nude modeling.
3. Vanessa Minnillo (TRL)
This television host, model, actress, and former Miss Teen USA is best known for hosting TRL. She was also a NY based correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Maxim magazine listed Minnillo as #15 in its Hot 100 issue and has graced the mag’s cover twice. She is currently in a relationship with former boy bander Nick Lachey.
2. Jenny McCarthy (Singled Out)
This model, comedian, author, actress, and activist began her career as a Playboy model. She later was named Playboy of the year. MTV chose McCarthy to host their new dating show Singled Out in 1993. Her acting career has exploded over the years with numerous roles in popular movies and television series. Most recently, she has written books on parenting issues and has become an activist promoting the awareness of autism, opposing vaccination, and promoting new age beliefs. She can also be seen sporting Jim Carrey on her arm.