Ali Landry is a SUPERSTAR

Ali LandryYou all know the next person I had a chance to speak with.  Ali Landry was once the Doritos Girl, and she’s come a long way since.  She’s a celebrated TV host, and she has one of the most recognizable names and faces in the biz.  This summer, she’s competing in a serious competition for athletes and personalities on ABC, THE SUPERSTARS, starting Tuesday.

THE SUPERSTARS is based on ABC’s classic “Wide World of Sports” series of the same name, which pitted athletes from all different sports against each other to determine the best athlete in the world. THE SUPERSTARS pairs the celebrities with the athletes to compete in varying sporting events.  Dan Cortese, Estella Warren, Terrell Owens, and Lisa Leslie are all taking part.  I spoke with Ali to talk about what to expect from the series.

We’re here today to talk about THE SUPERSTARS.  Tell me how you got involved in this, why you wanted to be a part of it?
Well, first, ABC was kind enough to give me the opportunity, number one. My background, I was the kind of kid, teen, adult, I was involved in absolutely every possible thing that I could be involved in at school.  I tried everything.  I was on swim team, I played softball, I played volleyball, I was a cheerleader, I did gymnastics, but it was not like I was really great at any one sport.  I could definitely hold my own, but I wasn’t an amazing athlete.  I was good.  I could pick up anything pretty quickly.  For me, since having a baby, I had not worked out in 2, she’s almost 2, I had not worked out in 2 years.  There was a part of me that was really missing that athletic side of myself.  The spirit of competition and pushing yourself.  That adrenaline high you get when you compete.

So when this opportunity came up, even though it scared me to death, I thought, I absolutely have to do it.  But I had no idea what I was getting myself into, let me just say that!

I was going to say, like reading the episode descriptions, it seems a little dangerous.
I cannot even put into words, and I truly hope that the show translates to how it was there.  The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife.  Everyone’s nerves were completely on edge, including the professional athletes. And they were so secretive, it was like so top secret.  We didn’t know who we were paired up with.  Actually, they revealed that on the show.  We had no idea who we were paired up with, so that was a shocker.  Didn’t know what these competitions were going to be like, so I think that suspense is also there.  And, I have to say, I sort of thought that the professional athlete would do the really difficult part of the competition and we would do the last leg.  That was not the case at all!  We had to do everything.  I found myself running alongside Olympic gold medalists, and sprinting next to Terrell Owens.  I mean, I just had a baby, I hadn’t worked out in 2 years, it was like what am I doing here, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m in this situation!  But at the same time, all that said, it was incredibly amazing and I am so proud of myself that I pushed myself as much as I did.  As a woman, it’s very empowering that, 1) I got back into shape, which I didn’t know my body would look the way it looked, that was also a shocker for me, and I only had a month to like, train.  And just to be able to do that, and push myself to that extent was incredible.

I think what’s cool about this show, too, is that a lot of shows that feature celebrities or feature professional athletes, they do cater to them.  They lighten it up a little bit, and it’s not this intense thing.  But THE SUPERSTARS is.  It’s something that an athlete in real life could go compete in.
Oh no, we would constantly ask the execs, and the people that created the competition, we would look at them and say, are you serious?  Even like the professional athletes, the stars of their fields, they’re like, did you guys like try this before?  Is this actually physically possible?  We could not believe that they were putting us through this.  Part of you says I cannot do it, but then the other side of you, that competitive nature kicked in to everybody, you know, and we just psyched ourself out.  We had to psyched ourselves out in our own minds to know that we could get through these things.

What was one of your favorite things that you competed in?
Well, for us [Ali and baseball player Jeff Kent], our big moment that was really great for us, is we, I had never kayaked before in my entire life.  And I think I found a sport that I would actually like to pursue a little bit, and kind of explore.  That was really, really fun for us.  That was a surprise for me.  I had never done it before, and I didn’t know that I would be good at it!

Ali Landry 2Why do you think people should tune in?
Let me just say this. They absolutely have to tune in to watch.  This is going to be one of the best shows of the summer.  It is no joke.  It is intense, it is crazy, it is drama.  There are tears.  We have someone that vomited on the first episode, someone that’s sent to the hospital.  We had someone who left the entire competition in a wheelchair.  I mean, I was covered in bruises literally from my waist until my ankles.  My husband would look at me, and I was like, listen. I really cannot walk around Atlantis in a swimsuit, because people taking pictures are going to think that you beat me!  I had welts, brusies, and bruises like I’ve never seen.  I was like, I must have a major deficiency.  The competitions were so intense, and so crazy.  We were completely, it was just really difficult.  Really difficult.  I can’t even put it into words.  I know people are going to love watching the show!  I can’t wait to watch it!

You’re pumping me up, now I can’t wait to see it!
I know, really!  And there’s shocking moments.  It’s really, I think they are really going to be excited, ABC, because I don’t think it could have turned out any better.

What besides this show do you have coming up for you?
There’s a ton of things going on.  You know, you hear, when it rains it pours?  I do a show called Spotlight to Nightlife, where I interview celebrity moms and we talk about different topics.  I am launching, one of my dreams, after I had a baby, it really changed me as a woman, and inspired me to help other women through this process.  I am launching a lifestyle line, and we’re starting with babies, and it’s called Bell Parrish, and we are having a big meeting, and we’re about to go into manufacturing.  We’re going to have a soft launch in August.  I have people talking to me about a reality show for moms that they want me to be involved with.  I’m not sure if I’m going to do it, because it’s really an intrusion on your family and your privacy, but we will see!  It’s a crazy time right now!

THE SUPERSTARS premieres on ABC tonight at 8pm ET!