Chuck Woolery's out and the Black Eyed Peas are in as each of the members look to make their own love connections in the video for "Don't Phunk With My Heart."
In the clip — the first single from the group's forthcoming LP, Monkey Business, due in May — each of the Peas try their luck as a dating game-show contestant.
Will.I.Am said he wanted the video to reflect the Peas' individual personalities. "I was like, why don't we do a dating game where we'd play different characters and get to be charismatic and spontaneous?"
The Peas, who reaped mainstream success with their multiplatinum 2003 release, Elephunk, scrapped an earlier treatment for the video because the group didn't feel comfortable with its concept, which singled out two of its members. "They wanted me to be with 11 different girls," the rapper said, noting that the director was suggesting names like Natalie Portman, Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek.
"Then they were going to have Fergie talk to some guys, and I was like, 'It's cool, but where's the Black Eyed Peas?' So that's what spawned the idea for a game show," he continued. "It would allow us to be us, but keep us as a group. So even though Apl.de.Ap is [not included] vocally in the song, he still has an important role in the video."
The group pitched the new idea to another director, but when that budget came in sky-high, they tapped the Malloys (Blink-182, Avril Lavigne), who directed their "Shut Up" video last year.
"We pitched them this idea and they fell in love with it," Will said. "Obviously, those guys are very funny and they added their Malloy touch. Just to see them take an idea that I came up with and take it to another level has been super-fresh.
"This was the first single from Monkey Business and we didn't want any monkeying around," he added with a laugh, noting that the group had to endure five costume changes during the video's two-day shoot in Los Angeles.
At the moment, the group is hard at work putting the finishing touches on its new album, which will include collaborations with James Brown and John Legend (see "Black Eyed Peas Bring In Legends Galore For New LP").