The Diva Search has always been about opportunity, just ask current RAW Diva Maria. Two years ago, Maria was a participant in the first-ever competition and while she didn't win, the experience she acquired along the way led her to what is now a blossoming WWE career. The popular RAW Superstar sat down with WWE.com to discuss her time in the Diva Search, and also to pass on some advice to this year's competitors.
The contestants in this year's Diva Search, which will return to WWE TV this summer, will have a good idea of what awaits them. But, that's not what it was like two years ago when a then unknown Maria embarked on the journey of a lifetime. "We were definitely pioneers," says Maria referring to the first batch of aspiring Divas. "Being in the first contest, we had no idea what to expect. This year's girls have an advantage on us in that respect. They can look back at previous years and take notes. For us, it was just a chance to go out there and make a name for ourselves, and that's what we did."
With this year's Diva Search being held on both RAW and SmackDown, the girls will have a chance to strut their stuff in front of more viewers than ever before. Maria thinks the extra exposure can only help the ladies as they work to gain the support they will need to win a contract. "Being on both shows is definitely going to mean more opportunity. They are going to have the chance to work with more people, and gain extra experience. Hopefully they take advantage of the resources that they will have available to them."
Now a veteran of the Diva Search experience, Maria has some valuable advice for this year's ambitious competitors. "The key is to be yourself. A lot of the girls make the mistake of trying to be something their not. You don't need to put on an act or try to be some character to get attention. If you are genuine, people will take notice, and that's what really counts."
For Maria, the Diva Search was the beginning of a whole new chapter in her life. "It was a big coming out party for me. Every week brought something different out of me. I learned so much being a part of the contest, and the experience was priceless. The Diva Search led me to where I am today, and I'm having an amazing time as part of WWE and I hope to be here for years to come."