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UK girl band chases TV fame

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TO SW Saturdays centre

The Saturdays are the new IT girl band making waves à la The Spice Girls circa 1994. Aside from churning out hits, the sexy five-member British-Irish pop/dance outfit are now the faces for big brand commercials and have turned entrepreneurs with their clothing and jewellery lines. Debashine Thangevelo caught up with Rochelle Humes and Frankie Sandford to find out more about their latest exploit – their own reality show, Chasing The Saturdays, on E!...

 

THESE days it is probably easier to bag a reality show than it would be to land a record deal. But it is crucial that you are a talking point. And if you don’t register on the paparazzi radar, you will remain invisible.

Like One Direction; The Saturdays, who rose to prominence in 2007, are ticking all the right boxes as they celebrate their successes – 10 hit singles out of 11 released to date and being the support act for Girls Aloud and the Jonas Brothers. And like Justin Bieber, there is no escaping this British-Irish pop/ dance group of Rochelle Humes, Frankie Sandford, Mollie King, Una Healy and Vanessa White.

Four albums later, The Saturdays have been signed up for several big brand female-centric commercials, launched their own clothing and jewellery lines and have a book, documenting their journey, in the offing.

Unlike Toni Braxton and Ray J and sister Brandy’s attempts to remain relevant with pedestrian reality shows, Braxton Family Values and Ray J and Brandy: A Family Business, respectively, there appears to be a new trend with TV networks.

They are capitalising on documenting the life of rising stars. We have already seen it with Mrs Eastwood & Company, which featured the South African a capella group Overtone on E! Now they have homed in on The Saturdays for a six-part series, Chasing The Saturdays.

While the PR was still trying to get Sandford on the line, Humes, who was with her in S Club 8, shed light on how they got together.

“We got together about six years ago when we held auditions. We kind of went from strength to strength from there. Obviously, Frankie and I knew each other,” she says.

Interestingly, Healy (niece to country singer Declan Nerney) won Ireland’s Glinsk Song Contest in 2004 and 2006. She also was a backing vocalist for Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest. Meanwhile, King, who failed to make much headway the two occasions that she auditioned for The X Factor, enjoyed a modicum of fame when she performed with former girl-group, Fallen Angelz, on BBC Three’s Singing with the Enemy. And White is remembered for her audition in Popstar to Operastar – and there is a budding actor lurking within.

Even more impressive, in their albums to date, they have been backed by the industry’s heavy- weight producing/writing talents like James Bourne, Steve Mac, Ina Wroldsen, Taio Cruz and Emile Sandé, to highlight a few.

Chasing The Saturdays gives viewers a candid behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the lives of the group, which is intermingled with a few personal dilemmas.

The drawcard of a reality show is the drama – do we get to see much of that?

“I think that’s the best thing,” says Humes. “We all bring something different to the table. But we also get along – no catfights here!

“That is what people are really shocked by; there are never quarrels between each other.”

As for what she brings to the table, she says, “The girls always say I’m like the big sister.”

She says they pitched the idea for the reality series about two years ago.

“We just wanted to do a show that follows our progress in the States,” she says.

Sharing a big moment on the show, she says: “Gosh, there are so many. My personal highlight was finding out that I was pregnant on the show.”

Sandford then joins the interview, audibly nibbling on something.

When asked about her favourite moment, she says: “Oh God, I don’t know.”

Humes then steps in to give her memory a little jog and then, Sandford says: “Oh yeah, hey! I rented a jeep in LA and it was really cool driving in America.”

And that’s as far as I got with trying to get any juicy information on their TV series. Moving swiftly along, I ask how they have found the culture clash.

Humes shares: “It is more kind of the little things, like they have a different way of saying certain things even though we speak the same language.”

With their career gamut extended into business ventures and commercials, how are they able to do justice to it all?

Humes laughs: “Our life is one big juggle. It is nothing new to us.”

Pretty chuffed about the reception of their current single, What About Us?, it is clear that The Saturdays are All Fired Up for their reality series as they are chased by the gossip-hungry paparazzi. Famous much!

 

• Chasing The Saturdays is on E! (DStv channel 124) on Sunday, March 17 at 11pm.

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