It’s been a while since the Pussycat Dolls, the multiple-revenue-streaming girl group formerly led by Nicole Scherzinger, were in the news for musical reasons. After titillating audiences (and selling more than two million albums) with singles like “Buttons” and “Dont’cha,” the group’s second record, Doll Domination underperformed—it debuted and peaked at No. 4, and efforts to recreate the lightning in a bottle of the first album’s singles weren’t even helped along by a sorta-remake of “I Will Survive.” Members of the group fell by the wayside one by one, with new Dolls being introduced around the time that Scherzinger was claiming the crown on Dancing With The Stars last May. That incarnation of the band, however, is seemingly kaput, because PCD mastermind Robin Antin announced yesterday that she’s holding auditions for a rebooted version of the group at the end of the month, when she’ll be entertaining offers from the “most Beautiful Lead Singers/& amazing Dancers…triple threats!”
PCD are a brand as much as they are a girlband, although the lackluster sales of Doll Domination aren’t the only hit their image has taken in recent years. Efforts to get Scherzinger’s solo album out the door have been, shall we say, labored (although they seem to be clicking in the UK); the launch of the ancillary band Girlicious, which held its tryouts through a reality-TV competition a la the PCDs’ 2007 series The Search For The Next Doll, stalled here, and the group is on the verge of going kaput; and the Pussycat Dolls Lounge in Caesars Palace has apparently loosened its last button. That Antin is holding auditions at a semi-anonymous Burbank rehearsal studio, and not in prime time, seems like something of a step down for a b(r)and that spawned everything from a lingerie line to a workout DVD.
But sometimes great things are spawned from humble beginnings, and let’s be honest: Weirder things have happened than nostalgia for 2005 taking place a mere six years later, especially lately. Maybe Scherzinger’s solo career will finally take fire here, and the New Pussycat Dolls can serve as her opening act. It’ll be like torch-passing! So, good luck, Robin Antin. May you find the rump-shakers you’re looking for on March 28, and may The New Pussycat Dolls at least spawn a song that’s as catchy as this effort from The New Monkees: