We finally caught up with Chardonnay (although she’s still the latest girl to be eliminated from For the Love of Ray J, since no one was sent packing this week). Below, she talks about her “homey” connection with Ray, accusations that she’s a stripper, her relationship with alcohol and why she considers herself to be a lady.
How was your time on the show?
It was good. It was a learning experience. I didn’t expect it to be exactly like it was with the cameras in your face every second. It was crazy, but it was fun.
It seemed like you came real hard. You were the focal point of the first episode, but you seemed to calm down as time went on. Was that editing or strategy on your part?
It was kind of editing. There was a lot more fun stuff that happened that wasn’t shown, but it was more of a conscious decision. I did come hard because I needed to stand out. There were a lot of girls and he didn’t know any of us. I took the opportunity to step ahead of the pack, but then I drew back because I didn’t want to be known just for that. I have so many sides to me. I showed that I was a well-rounded person.
You had the other girls hating from the start.
I think they were jealous. Their reaction was like, “Well, if that’s what he wants, that’s not what I’m offering.” It was crazy because he had just said, “Do something to make yourselves stand out,” and they did nothing. Don’t be mad at me just because I can take instructions. But in the beginning, we didn’t know anybody. We didn’t even know anybody’s names. They had a right to be mad at me. But at the end of the day, I really didn’t care and I still don’t care. I was there for Ray and I think I showed him that.
What did you think about his assessment that you guys only had a “homey” connection?
He was entitled to his opinion. I respect that, and I respect his decision. We were friends, we are friends and we will forever be friends, basically. I just feel like the situation was misunderstood. I was trying to prove to him that you can have a girl that’s the best of both worlds. They can be your friend, you can go to parties and play basketball together, but you can still have a relationship. I wanted to show him those sides, and I think he might have misunderstood that. But hey, what can I do?
Did you feel like your stronger was connection than he did?
I did. I was very shocked. I didn’t expect to get eliminated when I did, and I didn’t expect for that to be the reasoning behind it. I didn’t think that was a valid enough reason, considering some of the other people in the house. It’s like, why wouldn’t you want a friend? If we were friends, maybe the connection would have arisen in time. There were emotions involved in my part and I really felt like I was going to make it further than I did.
Do you feel like Danger took up his time?
I do, but at the end of the day, it’s a competition. You won’t get your time unless you win dates, and if you don’t win dates, you have to make time in the house. Some girls were more forward than others, but I’m not gonna cling to you and smother you. That’s not me.
What do you think about alcohol defining your character? Was that a fair representation?
I’m not that big of a drinker. If alcohol is there, I’m gonna drink it. What girl would turn down a drink? It’s fun. I’m not an alcoholic, though, and I don’t want to be seen as the alcoholic. Yes, my name is Chardonnay, because that’s my favorite beverage. I don’t drink hard liquor. I like wine. I feel like it’s a classy drink. Throughout the show, yes, I was drinking Chardonnay, but you never saw me drunk. You never saw my head in the toilet and I didn’t get eliminated for being a party girl. So I don’t feel so bad.
You weren’t drunk on the first episode?
I was tipsy! A lady never gets drunk, she gets tipsy.
It’s a little surprising to hear you refer to yourself as a lady, just because you were so salacious.
I’m very much a lady. Some things have to be done, and there’s editing involved, too. They’ll show you what they want you to see. The things I did like the splits and the scene in the bar, that was me having fun. That’s how I have fun and that’s how I would entertain my man. It just so happened that I was trying to get a man on national television. We had conversations. We did other stuff. It wasn’t just, “Oh when I see him, I’m gonna go into a split.” It wasn’t like that.
You were accused of being a stripper. Are you?
No, I am not. That came up on the first episode, and I was like, OK. I didn’t need to explain myself to them. I was not about to prove to them that I’m this or not that. That was none of their business. People can say what they want, but anybody can do a split. A regular person can do a split. If you stretch long enough, you can do a split. Cheerleaders can do a split. It’s not like I’m doing a double cartwheel round-off back handspring, you know?
I think it takes special talent to do what you did on the stripper pole.
Yes, it does. It takes a lot of arm strength, but people take pole dancing classes. It’s a form of exercise. There could be a lot of different reasons why I was able to do that other than being a stripper.
During your lie-detector montage, it seemed as though you had said “Yes” to a question asking if you’d sleep with any of the girls in the house. Did you say that?
No, I did not. I said no and it came back that I was telling the truth. (Laughs)
After the lie-detector test, you comforted a shaken Danger. Did you have a bond with her?
I wouldn’t say it was a bond. Me and Cocktail were the coolest in the house and we’re still cool. But out of everyone, Cocktail and Danger were the only ones that I would make an effort to talk to. Danger was cool sometimes, and sometimes she wasn’t. Sometimes she felt like talking and sometimes she got into competition mode. I can understand that. She’s a cool girl, and I feel like she may be misjudged and misunderstood.
Do you feel like your portrayal was accurate?
I do, for the most part. I wish they had shown some in-depth conversations we had and I wish they would have shown that we had fun in the house. It wasn’t just all catty and at each other’s throats. But I think I was portrayed well. They portrayed me as a real girl. I could do nothing else but be me, and I did me to the fullest.
Keep up with Chardonnay via her MySpace.