Exclusive interviews with Leyla and Elisabeth
WWE.com was able to track down both Leyla and Elisabeth in Montreal Tuesday morning, one day after the two finalists were eliminated from the 2005 RAW Diva Search. Instead, WWE fans voted for Ashley to become the newest RAW Diva. Here's a transcript of the interviews.
WWE.com: What did you think your chances were prior to Monday night's final vote?
Leyla: My instincts had been right on from the beginning and I had a gut feeling it would come down to me and Ashley. We seemed to have such a huge fan base at every city. When Elisabeth was eliminated I took a deep breath and really had this gut feeling that it was going to be me. So then we came back to the ring and I just put my hands over my face. I couldn't watch. I heard all the fans yelling, so I looked and saw Ashley on the monitor. It was just like a big ball dropped inside of me. I really thought it was going to be me up there.
Elisabeth: I really thought I had a good chance. I had so much backing and had created a really strong fan base over the weeks. I wasn't one of the original eight girls and then made it as an alternate, so it was crazy for me. But with each passing week I knew I belonged and got more confident as fans kept voting for me.
WWE.com: What do you think made the difference in the end? Do you think Ashley giving out her phone number helped her cause?
Leyla: That was kind of clever. And I think her tough chick persona went over well with WWE fans, so that might have set her apart. But I know I worked harder than her.
Elisabeth: The phone number was definitely a good idea and interesting way to stay connected with her fans. I thought she promoted herself very well.
WWE.com: What kind of memories are you going to take from the competition?
Leyla: All the different cites I would never have seen, and the fans we're probably the No. 1 thing. Just to experience celebrity first hand, the competition from beginning to end was such a rush. Also, the first day in Anaheim we got to meet all the wrestlers from both shows, it was just crazy.
Elisabeth: It was one of the best experiences I had in my life. Nobody can take away the experiences I had in the ring and with the fans. It was just great to meet the people involved with the company and to see how much they love it and how it makes a difference in their lives.
WWE.com: Do you think Ashley will make a good RAW Diva?
Leyla: I think if Ashley builds on what she's done so far, she'll do well. I think she has to work on her mic skills. Divas need to have a variety of talents, including performing in front of a crowd. But I wish her the best of luck.
Elisabeth: I think she will make an awesome Diva. She fell in love with the company just like I did and I think she will do an amazing job.
WWE.com: Any Superstars or Divas you became friendly with during the competition?
Leyla: Everyone was real nice. Hulk Hogan was awesome, Big Show was cool. Everyone tried to comfort me after the show and told me not to worry.
Elisabeth: Christy was really supportive and gave us great advice. But so many people welcomed us with open arms. They could tell we genuinely wanted to be there.
WWE.com: Where do you go from here? Do you still have an interest to work with WWE?
Leyla: If Vince sees something in me and thinks I would be a good addition, then I definitely want to work here. All the fans know what I'm capable of and what I would bring to RAW. If not, I do have a major film I'm scheduled to begin work on pretty soon.
Elisabeth: Of course, you can't expect to get an offer, but I'm hoping to be a part of the team. I don't think the fans have seen the best of me and I want to prove I can do more. And the next step for me would be to work with the company. Otherwise, I've been getting a lot of offers to appear on sitcoms and do calendars and stuff like that.