TLC member and Atlanta native Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas is no stranger to reality TV, but fans might have trouble recognizing her in latest gig on Oxygen’s Celebrities Undercover. The hidden camera show from executive producers Wendy Williams and Kim Kardashian transforms celebrities into everyday people using wigs and prosthetics and sends them into staged situations to discover what fans really say about them. In the episode premiering April 22, which also features former Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon, Chilli transforms into Denise, a “bitchy and ornery” casting director hiring dancers for a TLC music video, in order to find out if the girls auditioning think the Grammy-award winning R&B group is “still a force to be reckoned with.” She later reveals true self to the dancers.
Here’s what she had to say about the episode:
On her disguise: I have a wonderful fat suit on. I’ve always dreamed of having a ginormous butt with hips to no end and all that goodness. It’s just nice, extra bootylicious everywhere. And I had on a prosthetic nose. That was a little challenging because you have to get used to it, a foreign object on your face.
On the wig: I’ll be honest with you—I don’t know how people wear wigs! How, oh my gosh, I think it is difficult because of the stocking thing that you have to put over your hair so that the wig is flat, but to me, that’s just more trouble. It’s like, forget it, just wear your hair out! That and it’s itchy, aw man! It’s crazy.
On Denise’s hair color: I tried to go blonde, but it just did not come across good next to my skin. You have to have the right undertones no matter what your nationality is to pull off blonde. And I really wanted to be a blonde with a fat ass.
On the one thing that went wrong: The only trouble I had was with the prosthetic nose. It was kind of lifting a little bit on the side, and I had to get another one. That little sucker. That’s why I didn’t want to get up too close to the dancers that were auditioning. I was so paranoid.
On the reveal: I got out there, and I kinda felt like, “You know what, let me show y’all how to do these TLC dances.” I started to do TLC stuff and unveil myself—I can’t remember if I snatched my nose off or my wig or something. I went all crazy. It was hilarious.
On reality shows: I don’t like all reality TV. Some of it I just will not watch. I like, for the most part, it’s as real as you can get. And that’s not always good for a lot of celebrities, for you to really be able to see the real person. Sometimes it’s just best for people to just know about your talents. But for me, I think some of the shows are just refreshing. That’s why I wanted to be a part of this show because I thought it was very different. There’s not a reality show on TV like this.
And while this particular experience was fake, TLC’s resurgence is not—Chilli and T-Boz will tour internationally this summer.