Nearly five months after reports of the project first surfaced, TLC’s surviving members announced Tuesday (November 16) that they’re staging a reality series to find someone to join them onstage and to record with them in the studio. The show will be called “R U the Girl With T-Boz & Chilli.”
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas said they’re ready to launch the next phase of their careers some two and a half years after the death of group member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (see “Lisa ’Left Eye’ Lopes Killed In Car Accident” ). They completed the fourth TLC album, 3D, as a duo, and they played what was billed as a final TLC performance seven months after the album’s September 2002 release (see “TLC To Give Final Performance At New Jersey Concert In June” ). So when news leaked of their deal to replace Lopes on a reality show (see “TLC Looking To Replace Lisa ’Left Eye’ Lopes” ), it came as a surprise to many fans. A source close to the show, which will be produced by FOX Television Studios and will air on UPN, stressed that they’re not looking to replace Lopes, but are just inviting a performer to work with them on a one-off basis.
“We want to find someone with the right chemistry and magic to work with us,” Watkins and Thomas said in a statement. “We have been blessed with great success, and this is a chance for our fans to join us as we give someone a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fulfill their dream.”
No airdate has been set yet for the series, in which cameras will document the group’s eight-week search to find someone to perform with. During that period, which will likely start early next year, Watkins and Thomas will put the aspiring performers through a series of challenges in which they’ll test, judge and eliminate candidates.