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T-Boz talks about her new TLC reality show ‘Totally T-Boz’

T-Boz tries out reality TV with "Totally T-Boz" on TLC. CREDIT: TLC

T-Boz tries out reality TV with "Totally T-Boz" on TLC. CREDIT: TLC

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins for two decades hasn been part of Atlanta’s TLC, a trio who had a raft of huge hits in the 1990s including “Unpretty,” “No Scrubs” and “Waterfalls.”

But since Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in 2002, T-Boz has had more than her fair share of financial, personal and medical problems. The worst of it: a life-threatening brain tumor in 2007 which caused her to lose part of her hearing, her sight and her balance. She divorced and filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in late 2011.

T-Boz, who has chronic sickle cell anemia, said she has flareups which makes it tough for her to tour. But she said she’s healthy and ready to get back whole hog into the music business to “reinvent” herself. So it’s time to do a reality program, debuting on TLC called “Totally T-Boz.” It’s more like a test run given that TLC committed to just four one-hour programs starting Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The premise: she moves to Los Angeles from Atlanta with a few of her closest friends and family members to help get her going.

“Unlike a lot of shows I turned down, the network was interested in following my life and some of the positive things, not just doing the train wreck. They’re interested in doing something that has substance but we can have fun along the way. I love to laugh. That’s the best medicine.”

And she wants to show that she’s a survivor. “God spared me,” she said.

She doesn’t mind doing just four shows. “I have to see if this is something I want to do. We’re on the same side. Let’s see if it works.”

“At least I got something out there. It wasn’t like I had to shop it around and wait for this. It fell in my lap.”

With the 20th anniversary of TLC’s existence, they are remixing old TLC songs and adding two new ones. She recorded a solo song “Champions” she’d like to release to support kids with blood disorders. She wrote a song “Red Planet” for a U.K. “X Factor” group.  She and her TLC mate Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas are working with VH1 on a biopic they hope to have ready in 2013. She said they are still scouting for a director and actresses to play their younger selves.

She is also unapologetic about being a little heavier than she was in the 1990s. “I learned being a little thicker, with more meat on my bones, has helped me. I just have to tone up,” she said.

T-Boz also plans to root for Chilli, who will be on “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Food Cook-Off” starting Jan. 6. “We’re both good cooks,” she said. “She just talks about it more than I do. We don’t compete. I make her cheesecake. She makes me her eight-hour chicken. It’s all good.”

I sampled part of the first episode. T-Boz comes across as rambunctious and opinionated. Her agent Bill Diggins tries to get her to think about a TLC 20th anniversary comeback tour but she is reluctant to focus so much on TLC instead of her own solo career. She’s worried about her health. “I don’t want to tour like that the rest of my life. It’s hard on me,” T-Boz said. (Chilli begs to differ.)

T-Boz meets with a big-time producer Bangladesh, who is skeptical about her commitment. She goofs around with Chilli on the set for a new video for “Waterfalls.” Her good friend and “taskmaster” Tae Tae tries to get her to judge a “No Scrubs’ karaoke contest. (”She’s my gurl – g-u-r-l, not girl,” she told me.) We learn T-Boz loves to shop, which may have contributed to her financial ills in the past. (She even has a friend Tara who is her “shopping buddy.”)


On TV

“Totally T-Boz,” 8 p.m. TLC, Tuesday

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20 comments Add your comment

Lil Birdie

December 31st, 2012
2:24 pm

:D I wish nothing but the best for her!

tom

December 31st, 2012
3:04 pm

the hell is t-boi? is that similar to ladyboi? Why do TLC always have stupid reality shows. I thought it support to be a learning channel.

rod

December 31st, 2012
3:29 pm

and she gets a show because of ……………………

umm...?

December 31st, 2012
3:38 pm

You have nothing to learn from someone sharing and documenting what it takes to recover from a brain tumor? Ummm… ok. I think most people do. Name another brain tumor survivor that’s been willing to do this.

Justin

December 31st, 2012
6:06 pm

@ Tom and Rod

You are apparently 2 insensitive jerks who look for any reason to post venom on blogs. I swear I wish they would police these blogs more and block ignorant asses from posting!

Good Luck T-BOZ

OJ

December 31st, 2012
11:52 pm

Look, I’ve been a TLC fan for years, and even though Chilli is my favorite member, i love T-Boz as well and i am actually disappointed that it will only be four shows. I was looking forward to multiple seasons… damn.

But anyway, i do hope that she returns to music, whether it’s solo or with TLC (or should i say TC), i’ll definitely be buying it. And PLEASE make a movie!!!! I always wanted to hear more about their life story. There’s this album on Amazon called “Maximum TLC”: The UnAuthorized Biography that i want to buy so badly, but i haven’t the money right now. But it don’t matter, if i gotta take it out of my paycheck, i’m gettin’ that CD and i’m gettin what ever else T-Boz produces. I’, myself, had no idea she had been ill in the previous decade. I’m really sorry to hear that, but at least she’s better now and at least she’s returning to the studio, where she belongs! I’ll definitely be watching it tomorrow. Good Luck, and God Bless!

-Oj

Vee

January 1st, 2013
12:32 am

Um, tom and ron, T-Boz is a member of a Grammy-winning hip-hop group, and she gets a show for the same reason that Honey Boo Boo gets one.

rod

January 1st, 2013
9:32 am

so T_Boz and Honey Bo Bo are equal in fame and talent? neither one needs a show
Justin, how is asking a question on why she gets a show make me a hate filled ass. the woman hasnt done anything in years and this gets a show. If asking a question needs banning your the ignorant ass

Atlanta Radio Insider

January 1st, 2013
11:03 am

Atlanta Radio News: Bubba Goes Sof AC/Oldies as “EZ”, with Christmas music for good measure….
http://atlradioinsider.blogspot.com/2013/01/bubba-goes-easy-with-christmas-music.html

liberalefty

January 1st, 2013
11:03 am

another scripted “reality” show where the more ignorant you act the better the ratings the bigger the paycheck.

Vee

January 1st, 2013
11:24 am

Nope, T-Boz and Honey Boo Boo are not equal in fame and talent; HBB has not talent. I’m glad that you stated that neither of them deserve a show because, based on past blogs and the trolls that came with them, my paranoia reared its ugly head.

I do believe that a spelling/grammar reality show would be greatly beneficial to many. Perhaps, that would decrease the number of “ignorant [mules]“.

bradcarter

January 1st, 2013
3:07 pm

GOD! Why do people watch this BS? For gods sake READ A BOOK!

Old Fan

January 1st, 2013
9:16 pm

TBoz, I am so proud of you and disappointed in Chili. She portrayed herself to be selfish and inconsiderate of you and your health. In my opinion, it’s not fair that she did projects, her reality show and music, outside of TLC; and now, she’s not being supported of you.

DROP CHILI!

Old Fan

January 1st, 2013
9:17 pm

Enter your comments here

Kammy

January 1st, 2013
9:18 pm

I can’t wait to see the show. TBoz is as real as it gets. I like the keep it real girls and she’s definitely one of them.

1st mate

January 2nd, 2013
6:48 am

Man when I was younger, i was soooo in love with her. I think every man in the 90’s thought tboz was the bomb. Just wish she had better prepared herself for life after.

mikayla

January 3rd, 2013
3:06 pm

i watched this, it was pretty good. i like her support system of family and friends. the one thing i saw in this show was how much people will go through and do to accomplish their dream. I know me, at some point i would have said ok, this isn’t working let me get me a real job. but if you’re a person who loves entertaining their has to be that part of you that is really to take risk after risk to make your dream happen. she showed that in this episode. with the illnesses and other things going on, she still is going to make it happen. i can’t do nothing but admire it although some will ask why don’t she just give up. but when you want it that bad, you can’t just give up.
now, i think chili should just give up. something about her got me feeling some kind of way.

Elaine

January 3rd, 2013
7:32 pm

I love the show:) I wish TBoz the best she still got it going on! Do you girl it’s time!

Mikos Da'Coldiezt LA Monroe

January 6th, 2013
3:55 pm

Really since tha death of Lisa tha girls has changed, and it’s not a bad idea. I’ve been a fan since they came out, my cousin Miss. Mo introduce me to TLC, and I was like these ladies are bringin tha heat. I’m going to stick wit dem until death do us apart because they are like my aunts, and Lisa was like my mother. I’m hurt that she is not here in spirit but I’m thankful for them not forgetting about tha fans of TLC who has supported dem through everything. Like my mom use to always say it’s about tha fans, so no matter what do it for tha fans and give dem that last 3D tour..

@Aaliyah_ThaBezt

Suzy

January 7th, 2013
12:34 am

Love T-Boz and love the fact that she is out there promoting a friendly atmosphere with loved ones (life is too short and that’s really what it’s all about anyway) and strong willpower to push through any obstacle. …..however……all I can say is “DESPERATE”. Not as much what she is trying to do for herself, but the fact that she needs an army in order to do it. I feel like the network is begging for us to like her again and keep the momentum going. She is better than that. Her friends are funny but the one girl, TARA is flat out desperate and totally riding her coattails. Business partner/shopping buddy/”friend forever” (riiiiight…for what reason?!) …whatever. She is a little twit who seems like she would be a nag if I were married to her. Slow down on the baby talk..how about you work on yourself and figure out why you would insult other people’s babies and husbands…haha! I know it was a joke (I hope) but to be ‘honest’ like that is really just showing the negativity you have on the inside. Love T-boz, but lose the losers!