In less than a month, 3LW will be whole again. Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams say they're done holding auditions to replace Naturi Naughton.
"The turnout has been incredible," Bailon gushed as she prepared for last weekend's Los Angeles tryouts (see "3LW Plan Auditions To Replace Naturi Naughton"). "We've done New York City auditions, Atlanta auditions. It was incredible, just the fact they came to share their talent with us. It's really informal. A lot of people are probably expecting it to be real stiff.
"Kiely is the secretary for the day," she continued. "She takes down names and addresses. She has an office set up when you come in. I play DJ. You have an option of songs you can sing. You can sing your own songs or a 3LW song — 'Neva Get Enuf,' 'I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)' and a song on our second album called 'Ain't No Maybe.' "
Girls who pass the singing portion of the tryout process move on to the dance test, but the 3LW women said that aside from being talented, candidates also have to jell with the group.
"A lot of it has to do with the personality," Bailon explained. "That was really important to us that we sit down and vibe with the person. ... It's a wonderful thing because it's a new beginning for 3LW, but at the same time we're taking a risk. Bringing this new person in, you gotta get to know them.
"With all that stuff that happened in the past, you think you know somebody, so we were a little shaky on that," she said, referring to infighting that preceded Naughton's exit (see "3LW Become 2LW: Naturi Says She's Out Of Group"). "It took a whole lot to come out and say [we wanted a new member] after everything had happened."
Shortly after Naughton left, the remaining two singers went to Canada for a couple of months to shoot a Disney television movie, "which kind of shielded us from everything that was going on in the States with the rumors and everything," Bailon said. "When we came back, we were like 'What do we do now? We have to go back to the main thing, which is our music.' "
The new member of 3LW will be named in a few weeks on "TRL." After the group is back at full strength, Bailon and Williams want to take time out to bond with their new addition before touring. From there, a new album will be put in the works.
"After the touring and during the touring, we'll be working on our new stuff," Bailon said. "We'll be going into the studio, working with her, vibing together for what the new album is gonna sound like. That's really important. We want her vibe to be on the album as well. I want her vibe to be strong, add something to the group — not just be a third member, it's important that we're all equal in this group."
Next year fans will see Bailon and Williams paired up with two more new group members when they star in "Cheetah Girls."
"It's about four girls who are friends and have dreams to be in a famous singing group," Bailon said. "They wanna get a record deal. ... One girl is gassed up, and she's played by Raven-Symone. It's about how they remained friends even though they went through trials and tribulation. We all became good friends. It was a good experience for us. A big ol' slumber party every night."
"It's fun," agreed Williams, who was on her way to do voiceovers for the film. "It's a lot of after-work. When you're doing a video, you do it and it's over. Movies, you have to go and do voiceovers and re-sing everything. It's been an experience for us."
For more on Naughton's departure from 3LW, check out the feature "3LW: One Story, Two Sides."