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Hoopz's dreams: Flav's reality-show pick moves on
Detroit Free Press
On the episode where she got into a spitting catfight with another contestant, a "Flavor of Love" hopeful named Pumkin had these words for Flavor Flav: "If you want a real girl, pick Hoopz."
Flav took the advice. The clock-wearing rapper chose Hoopz, also known as Nikki Alexander, 23, of Dearborn, Mich., as the winner of his VH1 search for true love.
Truly, the ratings were impressive. The March finale of "Flavor of Love" drew nearly 6 million viewers and was VH1's highest-rated show ever.
A follow-up of sorts to Flav's fizzled romance with Brigitte Nielsen on VH1's "Strange Love," "Flavor of Love" resembled a campy, hip-hop version of "The Bachelor" with hints of Jerry Springer in moments like Pumkin's spitting battle with a rival named New York.
Twenty women vied for Flav's affections. Alexander won him over with her beauty and her basketball skills.
The victorious Alexander will be back Sunday night on the "Flavor of Love" reunion special, which promises to be a scenery-throwing, insult-spewing free-for-all.
The series has made Hoopz a celebrity in her own right. She says she's busy reading scripts, hosting parties and doing magazine shoots. On her Web site, Hoopzonline.com, she's pictured in a satin corset and sparkly collar.
"Flavor of Love: The Reunion," 11 p.m. Sunday, VH1
Like most post-show reality-TV romances, her current relationship with Flav doesn't sound like a storybook fantasy.
"We're friends, we're really good, good, good friends," says Alexander. "I really can't say too much because people have to watch the reunion show. But I mean, we've been together, we went out. We went to London and we hung out and chilled. I watched him perform. It was the coolest experience ever.
"I'm not in love with him. We're not about to get married. And he's not in love with me. We're better off just being friends. I mean, he lives in L.A., Las Vegas, New York. I understand. I live in Michigan. He's more into keeping to entertainment. I'm more just chillin'."
She says she grew up in Brownstown, Mich., loving basketball. Her dream is to act in a hoops-themed movie like "Love & Basketball."
Being chosen for "Flavor of Love" was something that "happened for me in one day," she explains, describing how she was noticed by a friend's agent during a trip to Los Angeles and sent to a casting location.
She laughs about the time she got into it verbally during filming with Nielsen, who towers over her petite frame.
Was she scared? "Heck, no! I'm from the D," she says.
According to Alexander, everyone in Detroit who knows her also knows she's the same in real life as she is on TV.
And if that weren't true, "I would have been doing the crazy stuff that the other fake girls on the show were doing to grab camera time. ... "
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company