Let the games begin
The long wait has finally ended and the eight finalists have now officially been revealed. After two grueling days of casting, the list of over 100 of the world’s most beautiful and talented women has been picked through and extensively analyzed by the judges, and now, all that remains is eight aspiring Divas. Starting on the July 10th RAW and on each RAW and SmackDown thereafter, the real competition will start and the games will begin, all in the hunt for the WWE’s newest Diva.
This year’s competition, which emanated from the Marina Del Ray, California, was as fierce as any from year’s past. Last year’s Diva Search winner and one of this year’s judges, Ashley, was impressed by the new class. “Look at them, they are all drop dead gorgeous. Wait until you see them on TV. They all have great personalities and they are going to shine on both RAW and SmackDown. We tested them all, and we picked the very best girls available.”
As Ashley pointed out, this year’s finalists make up the very best of the best. WWE.com caught up with each of those finalists after the announcement was made to get their feelings on the experience.
Jennifer who traveled to the Diva Search from Youngstown, Ohio reflected on the intensity of the competition. “The last two days felt like two years to me. I’m a serious competitor so it felt great to advance to the final eight. I made a lot of new friends and the experience was a lot of fun.”
Amy, who came all the way from Orlando, Florida says the hard work paid off. “The long trip here, the time, the patience, it was all worth it. This experience meant the world to me. It’s the biggest thing I’ve done in my entire life.”
Layla, who just days ago was courtside at the NBA Finals as a cheerleader for the Miami Heat explained that the Diva Search is only the first step in what she hopes will be a long WWE career. “This whole experience was something I’ll take with me for the rest of my life. It was very challenging and I can’t wait to give 100% when we start on RAW. I’m not only interested in winning the Diva Search, but I want to earn a lifelong career in WWE.”
Maryse, who is one of two Canadians to make the final cut, says this competition was as intense as any she’s ever faced. “It was very brutal. This was the hardest audition I’ve ever been a part of. It was really rough and I can’t believe I made it. I always though I had chance but I wasn’t sure it would actually happen. Now that it has, I’m really overwhelmed and I can’t even come up with the words to describe how happy I am.”
J.T. of Phoenix, Arizona explained her happiness, and at the same time gave a warning to the other WWE Divas. “I’m so happy that I’ve made it this far. I tried to be myself the whole time and it worked. I think the fans are going to be surprised at what I have to offer. I’m a lot tougher than I look and if the other girls don’t believe it, they are going to find out the hard way.”
Rebecca of Providence, Rhode Island is a 2-time Diva Search participant who is thankful she never gave up. “This experience has been very rewarding for me. I was very disappointed when I got cut last year and I was determined to make it back. I put in a lot of hard work and it paid off. I can’t wait to get started because I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Jen from Lansing, Michigan told WWE.com that being a Diva is something she’s always aspired to be. “This is something that I really wanted so when they told me I was a finalist I was so excited. I’m ready to work hard do whatever it takes to make it here in WWE.”
One of the days’ more interesting stories was that of Milena from Vancouver, Canada. In Friday’s first round, Milena was told she wasn’t what the judges were looking for, and that what she was going to be cut. Outraged and in her words, “pissed off”, Milena refused to leave the stage. After telling the judges that they were making the mistake of a lifetime, they changed their mind and let her back in the competition. A few short hours later, Milena was announced as one of the eight finalists.
“I worked so hard for this. I was cut earlier in the day and I was pissed because I knew I could do it. I feel so great because I went out there and I was myself, and I got there all on my own. I’m feeling very emotional right now and I can’t stop crying out of happiness. Now that I’m in I want the WWE fans to know that they are going to see a girl who really wants it, and who is going to do whatever it takes. I can’t wait to start.”
Starting July 10th at Monday Night Raw and on each subsequent RAW and SmackDown thereafter, the TV portion of the $250,000 Diva Search will officially get underway. The winner will become not only the WWE’s newest Diva, but will also the join the rest of the WWE Divas as one of the sexiest women on TV.