Who Loves You, Baby?
By Matthew Breen
'New York' (real name Tiffany Pollard), the two-time runner-up and chief antagonist among the contestants on two seasons of VH1's runaway hit Flavor of Love, is coming back and she's looking for love'this time with her own show, I Love New York, a whole new batch of bachelors, and a little chip on her shoulder about her former fling, Flavor Flav.
Let's talk about your two seasons on Flavor of Love. Among the other women contestants, you weren't exactly popular.
I think that the other women had a problem with me simply because they couldn't handle the truth. I was the only one there not looking to be on television or to further my career. I was the only one in the house genuinely there for Flav, and you know that caused chaos through the house because I was the realest woman there.
Now I have to ask you about that. You did get a TV show out of it'
[Laughs] Did I ask? Did I ask to be on TV after?
No, not at all. I was never there to pursue any type of television career or anything like that. I was there looking for love but VH1 saw that I love intensely, but I was not there to be on television, I was there looking for a good man.
Let's talk about Flavor as a sex symbol. I think he's sort of an unlikely sex symbol. What do you think of that?
[Laughs] All I can say is that Flav'he's sexy to me, he's a wonderful guy. He's hot, he knows it, and I know it too, and that's all that matters.
Some people have accused Flavor of Love, especially regarding the second season, of trading in stereotypes with the casting.
[The two seasons are] not identical in any way. The girls on the second season are way more trashy, vulgar, risqu', they're just classless, and it wasn't like that the first season. Yeah, there was a lot of big bitches on season two, if that's what you're asking me, yes.
So you attempted to bring a little bit of class to season two?
Oh, yes, and I totally did. I would say that I was the only true classy woman in the house, but moreso on season two because everybody was just shaking their ass, they're knowing how to work a pole! You know it's just so tacky!
But you didn't shy away from starting a few fights.
I'm always going to bring the truth, so if you have a problem with the truth you're going to have a problem with New York! I'm not an instigator, but where I see a flaw, I will call you out on your flaw!
Is that in your personal life as well, that you'll call people out?
[Laughs] People constantly ask me, 'Are you New York, are you really like that?' Um, yes, that's me! New York and Tiffany are one. Maybe New York is Tiffany turned up, umm, about 10 notches, but I definitely do not stand for any BS in my real life.
I sense that you get some of that from your mother.
Oh, God, yes! I don't know what I would do or where I would be without my mother. She's so strong and she showed me the way. I will always be [giggle] just a phenomenal woman because of my mother.
Your mother almost got thrown out of Flav's house. She was not into him.
My mom knew that Flav wasn't good enough for me. It's funny because I couldn't see it, and now I see that we weren't meant to be together. He knows his place! When my mom pushed him, he knew! I'd have whooped his ass'I hope this is recording'because, yes, I would have gave his ass a whopping had he touched my mother.
Let's talk about your new show, I Love New York. Your mom is going to be part of the show?
She's going to be a huge part of I Love New York. She's there to help me out, and basically tell me, 'You know, Tiff, I think this guy is not right for you, this one may be right for you, and this one is perfect for you.' And I need her point of view. She was right twice, and I knew I could not do this without my mom.
Tell me about some of the contestants vying for your attention. What were they like?
I had some guys that were cocky, some guys that were sex symbols, I had some guys that were [giggle] a little thuggish, but most of all I had some guys that were truly there for New York, and that's what puts a smile on my face at this point.
So we can look forward to some sexy men on this show?
[Screams] Oh, God, there are some beefcakes on the show! I had guys on the show that can just appeal to the max. Whatever your flavor, I got you! I Love New York [giggle], this show is so sexy and so hot. I don't even know if it can make the television! There's so much lovin' going on in this show.
There were some bisexual women who were contestants on Flavor of Love, and Flav seemed way into that. What did you think of that, and do you know if there were any bisexual contestants on I Love New York?
I'm not opposed to that type of thing'to each his own. I have a really cool girlfriend and she's like that. And that's OK. [Laughs] I like someone that can be truthful. So that's cool if they came to the house and said, 'Look, I like beef, and I like the other meat,' you know what I mean? As far as I Love New York, I think I did have a couple of bisexual guys in the house. I require a lot of attention, and I need a man to give me 100%, you know, you've not gone split me up and be into Tiffany and Timmy, oh, no! It's all Tiffany.
Let's talk about the guys'were they backstabbers? Competitive?
I would say that the guys who came to my house were intimidated by me. Every time I would come downstairs and talk to these guys I'd see sweaty palms, and they'd be wiping their brows. It took me time to break down the walls with these guys, but they knew they had to come correct. My guys were very classy, very well-spoken'you know I had a couple of thugs in there. I can't say anything terrible about any of the guys.
Did they get in any fights?
Oh, God, yes! These guys were nuts. Sometimes I'd wake up and I'd just hear 'Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump,' just like running up the stairs, and all this profanity. These guys were nuts! They flipped they lid over me.
Tell me about Chamo.
He is my confidant, he's my girlfriend, he's my best friend, but most importantly he's my personal assistant and stylist. He's an amazing guy'he is a queen! At times he steals my shoes. He steals my thongs! He's constantly dipping into my makeup. Chamo, I love him. We love each other, we're best friends for life.
Did Chamo help you pick the guys?
He's my eyes and my ears when I'm not present. He reports back to me, he's like, 'NY, this happened when you weren't here'I think you should know about this guy.'
Does Flav appear on your show at all?
Oh, God, does that ruin it for those who want him to? Because he so totally doesn't! I don't miss him not being on my show. I don't want to leak too much, but I'll tell you this. I've been getting a few phone calls from people back east telling me that Flav's been badgering me all of a sudden. I really don't appreciate that. I don't know where the animosity comes from. He insists upon saying negative things about me and my mom and I don't appreciate that. He's spewing out hate and I've never shown him anything but genuine love. Oh, God, I'm getting mad because I don't know why he's hating on me right now. I've been trying to keep that a secret from you, but, no, it's out. He's been very nasty.
So now that you've got a new man, what does that do to your relationship with Flav? Is that why he's saying some unkind things?
I'm a big gossiper, but I'm going to leak this out. Hopefully they don't get mad at me, but Flav saw me at [a party] and he like, 'New York, call me later, I want to get up with you.' And I won't tell you exactly what he said, but it was on terms of sex, like he wanted to get with me, and he used the F word but I won't say it. And he left it on my message and I still have that message, and I'm like, 'You know Flav, I don't think that would be a great idea,' so after I say no to him, he just wants to badger me and put all this bad stuff on my name and I really don't appreciate that.
Did the guys on your show spend a lot of time in the mirror like the girls?
I had a few pretty boys on my hands, but it was for good reason. The girls on [Flavor of Love] that stayed in the mirror looked like, Wow you could have did that in three seconds'you look like shit still!
I will just tell you that the house is sheer New York'it's big, it's amazing, its fabulous, colorful, just makes you want to go in there and let your hair down. It's the quintessential soap opera. You already know that the show [has finished taping,] and the work is done' I am in love! I found him. You have to stay tuned. It airs January 6, that's a very special day'you can't miss it. It's my 25th birthday!
[Actually the show began airing January 8, 2007]
Is it a real 25, or a Hollywood 25?
Oh, God, should I have a Hollywood age? You know I'm just so wise, I don't think I can get away with a Hollywood age!