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Catching up with Bad Girl Kendra James


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"You can't turn a bad girl good, but once a good girl's going bad, she's gone forever." That's a memorable line from Jay-Z's "Song Cry." And that's probably just about the tune Kendra James is singing these days — all the way to the bank.

The Bad Girls Club reality TV star was home in Charlotte for a few days while on spring break from UNC Greensboro, and before jetting off to Miami for four days. That's pretty much her life right now -- going to class during the week as she prepares to graduate in May, and hosting parties at nightclubs around the country on weekends.

With the Bad Girls Club season four finale having recently aired, and a two-part reunion show airing March 16 and 23, James is guaranteed to continue being a hot topic for months to come on Web site message boards and at office watercoolers with her role in the new spin-off show, Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too. She was picked by the show's producers to star alongside two other former Bad Girls Club cast mates (Amber and Sarah from season three) in this latest dating competition show.

James was a no-brainer for the new show. Perhaps the only thing she's known for more on the BGC than her fights with Natalie is her "adventurous" attitude. This is how James is described in the promo for Love Games: "Fresh off of season four of the Bad Girls Club, boy crazy Kendra is looking to tame her intense sexual appetite and get serious about finding Mr. Right as opposed to Mr. Right Now."

"I'm usually never single because I always have a boyfriend," James said. "So I took the opportunity on Bad Girls Club to date and meet new people. And they saw that I don't necessarily have a type, I'm searching, and I'm open to new things. So they said this love show would be a great opportunity for me."

Indicative of the time-delayed reality show world we live in, James said she began taping episodes of Love Games in October, before her season of the Bad Girls Club had even started airing.

If you thought you had something to say about James before, wait until you see this show. And she assures that it's a little different from all of the other love shows out there (For the Love of Ray J, Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair, Insert D-List Star Name of Love).

"This one is a lot different because we have three girls who are actually competing with each other to date these 13 guys who are competing to date them," James says of the show that was taped in L.A. "So you're seeing the cattiness and competition between us three girls and the cattiness and competition between the guys. We each work meticulously to get our guy to stay even if another girl doesn't want him to stay. It's an interesting dynamic that you haven't seen on TV yet."

After a run on the Bad Girls Club, the Oxygen network's highest-rated, most drama-filled show, James is prepared for the additional criticism that may come from her appearance on this new show. The BGC has thickened her skin.

"I think at first, with anybody that's on TV and it has a Web site and a place where people can go and voice their opinions -- Oxygen.com is a really big place for people to say anything they want to say -- they might talk about my hair, my clothes, my boyfriend choices, whatever I might have said. I did look at it for the first couple of episodes, but it gets real nasty ... so seeing that, I stopped reading it. I just meet the people when I'm out. It's a better feeling, and it's more love. If I was reading all of that stuff, I'd go crazy."

She says the response from the public is great when she meets them whether it's while out running errands or hosting parties. "Girls will come up to me and say 'You should've beat Natalie's ass' or 'Girl next time you call me and I'll hold you down.'"

She's in a different city every weekend, and the hosting duties pay handsomely. But her biggest reward has been the people closest to her sticking by her side.

"I have not lost one friend, which I'm so happy about. It would've hurt me to lose friends over TV. But I didn't; they're still my friends, which is the central reason why I'm doing so well and am able to see the message boards and keep moving on. My family, my mother, and my sister are a great support system. I have a great management team, we're doing business and it's great."


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TV: Catching up with Bad Girl Kendra James