Sugar, Spice and…Nice?

Peepshow’s Aubrey O’Day is the author her own fairy tale

Once Upon A Time…
…a young blue-eyed blonde with a sweet voice and sparking personality was discovered by a tall, dark and handsome stranger. She was well-loved and found great happiness doing what she loved to do.

But that’s just where Aubrey O’Day’s story begins.

The newest performer to take on the role of Peep Diva in Jerry Mitchell’s burlesque-meets-Broadway sensation Peepshow, now playing at Planet Hollywood, O’Day is a force of nature.

Those not familiar with the curvy blonde’s history probably aren’t reading celebrity gossip sites or watching much reality televison. Emerging five years ago to become one of the five members of pop girl group Danity Kane, O’Day has since posed for numerous magazines (including Playboy), dabbled in solo recording and starred in the Broadway musical Hairspray as the spoiled debutante, Amber VonTussle.

While her new Peepshow role seemingly cements her bad-girl rep, O’Day reminded What’s On that things aren’t always what they seem. “I always say I’m one of the most misunderstood celebs out there, regardless of whether people see me as a celebrity or not. I’ve acquired enough attention in my career to be known, and most of the focus is on this person (the media) created,” she said. “What’s really interesting is when you actually get to know me, it’s such a different world.”

The Princess and the P (Diddy)
In 2004, the 19-year-old Aubrey was already a seasoned performer with an armload of accolades. Beginning her career at a time most kids are learning to tie their shoes, O’Day was prepared to write a new chapter in her life by studying International Law at Columbia Law School.

Instead of becoming a lawyer, O’Day became a sensation… in more ways than one. After becoming a breakout star on MTV’s reality hit Making The Band 3, produced by Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs, the tide began to turn. Whereas Combs once claimed that she “displayed the hunger and perseverance that it takes to be a superstar,” allegations were made that the singer’s image was becoming ‘oversexed’ and that she was using her position in Danity Kane to further her own agenda.

“There was this concept thrown out there by Diddy on Making The Band that I had changed, and I would always sit back and think about that,” O’Day mused. “Did I really change? Have I changed as a person? And the answer is, well, yeah. I hope so. It’s been five years!”

The biggest changes appeared to be to her public persona. “It’s very hard when you know you’re in question—your character, your morals, your actions,” she said. “It’s hard to be put on the chopping block for everything that you do and have everyone interpret it in their own eyes. It forces you to be really comfortable with who you are as a person.”

Beauty and the Beast
The media storm truly came to a head when nearly-nude photos of O’Day, taken via cell phone at her first public performance, leaked onto the Internet then found their way onto snarky celebrity blogger Perez Hilton’s website—along with his unflattering commentary. The new Diva promptly called out from the next night’s performance and posted a video to her blog in protest.

“(People have asked me) about the pictures that had been released and what was my big issue and was I throwing tantrums,” she explained. “It was never the photos, it’s what was said and the story that was represented by that one inaccurate photo, (which) was not a good depiction of what you would experience at the show. It took this great moment I had onstage and turned into smut.”

But this pop princess isn’t waiting around for Prince Charming to slay her dragons…or fight off evil queens. She is ready and willing to fight her own fights.

“I hope (the media) starts focusing on positive journalism instead of constantly needing to tear everyone apart and be negative,” she said. “There’s a way to have an opinion without having to be over the top offensive, or to the point where you’re not really affecting change, you know?

…Happily Ever After?
Affecting change is definitely high on O’Day’s priority list. “I’m really looking to be involved in some philanthropic work in Vegas, maybe get involved with children (by) being a mentor or speaking with them,” she said. “I think that’s one thing I’m missing in Vegas. I’m not around enough kids, and I try to be in my life because I’m just so in love with their innocence and I think that’s a great thing to be around when you’re in an industry that works at night and is heavy on the heart at times.”

As for her own biological clock, O’Day has found the perfect solution. “I’ve got two dogs now, and I’m kind of becoming their mom. You know, I make their dinner and take care of their needs. I think I’m becoming a little more maternal and kind of growing up as a person.”

As for dating in Sin City? “Can you imagine the guys that hit on me?” she laughs. “Guys or girls, anyone coming around me is thinking they’re going to get crazy, bad girl O’Day and I’m like completely contrary to that. It doesn’t make my love life any easier!”

But the very struggle to merge her sweet inside with her spicy exterior is what makes O’Day such an irresistible confection. In her own words, “I think people who haven’t gone through struggle in life aren’t very interesting people. I always kind of gravitate more towards people who have experienced a lot of life because it’s a beautiful thing.” In which case, Aubrey O’Day is the fairest of them all…

Published October 19, 2009
What's On, The Las Vegas Guide Magazine

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