Would you be friends with a girl named Tila Tequila? It doesn't matter, because she's already got more friends than she can count. Tequila, née Tila Nguyen, is famous for nothing more than having in excess of 1 million buddies on MySpace. At least, that's all for now. The 25-year-old is launching a music career, an Internet startup and a MTV reality show. The last is the most titillating. It's called "A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila," and it sounds like "The Bachelorette" with a spicy twist. Since the former Playboy model is bisexual, she's looking for love from a pool of 16 guys—and 16 girls. Will she discover true happiness, or at the very least another 15 more minutes of fame? Tequila spoke to NEWSWEEK's Ramin Setoodeh. Excerpts:
NEWSWEEK: Did you meet the man of your dreams?
Tila Tequila: Are you trying to trick me? I'm bisexual. So I can't say if I end up with a guy or a girl.
Which group of suitors was better looking?
Oh, wow. When you have that many people, it's overwhelming. Everybody is so good-looking. There are so many different types of personalities. It ranges. But they're all really hot.
Who was better about sharing you?
Girls are very catty and dramatic. They don't feel like guys are the competition. The guys are so competitive toward each other, but at the same time, they don't know how to compete against other women. It was a strange learning experience.
How did you end up with a TV show?
When my name started getting out there, they approached me with a show. Then they found out I was bisexual, and they said, "Hey why don't we film that as a show?" It's hard to find love when you become a celebrity. You don't know who's dating you for you or dating you because you're famous.
But on a reality show, everyone only wants you because you're famous.
When you first start it's crazy party time. Once they start shooting for that many days, you really do start falling in love for real. You go through so much together and you're secluded from the outside world. I'm a down-home girl at heart. I'm from Texas. When you have a booming career, you want to have someone to come home to.
When did you come out as bisexual?
I never officially made a statement. But people knew, because of the way I am. I had blogs about dreaming about girls. But I haven't come out to my parents about it yet. I still haven't. I'm going to hold that off until they find out through the press or something.
Haven't they seen the commercials?
They're old school. They don't have the Internet. They don't have cable. All they know about me is what I send them. I sent them my New York Times feature. They're like, "Oh, wow." But they'll be cool about it. They've been supportive with everything I've done so far, like Playboy.
Did you date girls in high school?
I had a lot of girlfriends. I dated through middle school and high school. I went through phases where I only dated girls and not guys. I went through phases where I only dated guys and swore off chicks for a while.
Didn't your parents see your boyfriends and girlfriends?
Guys and girls weren't allowed to come over. My parents were very strict as far as Asian strict parents. I always went to their house.
Do you get asked out on a lot of dates on MySpace?
Of course. People also ask me to marry them. I just posted up video clips of my new show just now, and the guys are getting really upset. They feel jealous. They're like, "I can't believe you're doing this to me. This hurts to watch you make out with all these guys." I'm like, "Wow, these guys and girls out there feel a connection with me online." I guess through all these years we got to know each other. And in a way, they've kind of fallen in love with me online, with my personality and through the blogs. It's weird. They get jealous when they see me kissing other guys.
Did you ever go out with anyone you met online?
I dated one of them. I met him on MySpace, when it first launched, we were just friends, then we ended up dating for a little bit. But we're just friends now. Wow! Tila Tequila dated someone on MySpace!
Are you single now?
I'm with whoever I fell in love with on the show.
Sometimes reality TV couples break up fast.
It's still going. But we have to keep it a secret. It's kind of romantic. You have getaways. Phone calls. E-mails.
Do you have any famous friends on MySpace?
I'm on Britney Spears's Top 8.
Have you ever met Britney?
I haven't. But I was at the VMAs front row when she was performing. It was interesting, because that was my first time seeing her. I got to see the whole action live. She was definitely nervous. I felt bad for her. I think right now she needs more people to look out for her. She wasn't ready. No one's really watching her back. My heart goes out to her.
You two should sing a duet.
Uuh. I don't think so.