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Bravotv.com: Did you expect all the issues that have come up with OZ to happen? What surprised you about starting a restaurant and how does it strain your relationship?
Ashley Darby: Having never been on the ownership side of hospitality, I did not anticipate the constant attention that Oz would require. While I understand that opening a business takes all of one's blood, sweat and tears, I didn't know that Murphy's Law would take effect every damn day! Michael and I dedicated 8 months to planning the design, cuisine and ambiance of our first joint venture. With Michael's business acumen and experience we thought we were properly prepared for every obstacle that could arise. The restaurant business, however, is a very unique beast with an emphasis on managing employees in a transient atmosphere. Finding reliable personnel and keeping them is a huge priority. If having a baby is anything like owning a restaurant, I'm going to be going to need a lot more whiskey!
Bravtov.com: How do you think the Manifest Your Destiny dance competition went?
AD: I had so much fun dancing in the Manifest Your Destiny competition! Who'd have thunk there was a little Gloria Estefan up in this booty?! In high school I loved theater- we performed Little Shop of Horrors in the tenth grade and I still know the songs by heart. This time I had to add the dance component too, which can be difficult for a person like me who has the attention span of a gnat. But Teon was a great dance partner and adapted the routine to me. Even more importantly, we all came together to raise money for a great cause. My brother is a young black man who lost his father at an early age, and I know without guidance he could've easily wandered down the wrong path. When we invest time and energy into the next generation of young men, the rewards we will reap in the future are priceless.
Bravotv.com: What was it like having a fellow Housewife (Gizelle) literally judge you? Where is your trophy now?
AD: Having Gizelle judge me is certainly nothing new, but this time it was in the name of a good cause. I was hoping Gizelle would be fair and judge me based on my performance on the dance floor, and thankfully she did not disappoint. Besides, even a blind man could see that was a perfect 10 performance! Because Teon was such a great partner, it was only just to give him the trophy to showcase at the Dance Institute of Washington.
- Bravotv.com: What do you think about her comments about you and your partner Teon?
AD: If there's one thing Gizelle is good at, it's worrying about what everybody else is doing. She wouldn't be able to sleep at night without thinking that something salacious was going on between Teon and me, especially considering the lack of chemistry between her and her partner at last year's competition. At the end of the day, Teon, Michael and I know the innocuous nature of our dance relationship. Gizelle can keep her wet dreams about Teon and me to herself.
Bravotv.com: What do you think about the Charrisse/Gizelle situation? Do you think one of them is more in the wrong? Who?
AD: Hands down, it was wrong on ALL fronts for Gizelle to involve herself in Charrisse's business. Whether the allegations are true or not, it's not my biscuit to butter, so the last thing I'd do is go around spreading the news. This is another case of Gizelle not knowing her boundaries, but Charrisse came to play referee and is ready to put Gizelle in her place. The root of this problem is discussing other people's sex lives; sex is a natural thing that two consensual adults can engage in until they deflate like hot air balloons. It's not Gizelle's concern to comment on what soon-to-be-divorced Charrisse is doing with her body, just as Charrisse needn't call single-and-ready-to-mingle Gizelle a 'whore.' Do what makes you happy, and do it well!