Founded by choreographer Robin Antin
in 1995, the Pussycat Dolls began as a burlesque dance revue based in
Los Angeles, spawned a second revue in Las Vegas, grew into an A-list
phenomena with a revolving cast of guest celebrities, and eventually
became a recording act with a number one dance hit. It wasn't long
after launching its revue that the troupe began attracting actresses
and models who wanted to become a Pussycat Doll for a night. Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, Kelly Osbourne, Pink, Britney Spears, Carmen Electra, and Gwen Stefani
are just some of the names who donned lingerie and pinup costumes and
joined the Dolls for their flirtatious shows. An appearance in the 2003
film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle was followed by numerous
television appearances, most with Carmen Electra. Capitalizing on the nationwide attention and the addition of former Eden's Crush member Nicole Scherzinger as lead singer, the single "Don't Cha" with special guest Busta Rhymes
appeared at the beginning of 2005 and climbed to number two on the pop
chart, number one on the dance chart. With help from the Black Eyed
Peas' will.i.am and producer Timbaland,
the Pussycat Dolls recorded their full-length debut. The A&M label
released PCD, a Top Ten hit, in the summer of 2005. In 2008 member Carmit Bachar left to pursue a solo career while the Interscope label announced that a solo album from Scherzinger
was being put on hold after four teaser singles failed to climb the
charts. Continuing on as a five-piece, the Dolls released both the
single "When I Grow Up" and the album Doll Domination that same year. "When I Grow Up" reached the Top Ten in 16 countries. David Jeffries, All Music Guide
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In 2004, producer Sean "Diddy" Combs returned with Making the Band 3, this time searching for the next female super group. With the help of choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson, vocal trainer Doc Holiday and talent manager Johnny Wright, he set out on a multi-city search and chose twenty young singers out of almost 10,000 young women.
While seven women remained, Combs became discontent with the level of
talent remaining in the competition, and eventually decided not to form
a band. He did, however, give a reprieve to three contestants he felt deserved another chance, including then-best friends Aubrey O'Day and Aundrea Fimbres, whose close bond originally formed early in the season. The three contestants became the first to appear in Season 2 of the show.
Afterwards, Combs once again pressed his team to audition new young women for the group. Finally, twenty young women were chosen and moved into a loft in New York City. Viewers had become invested in O'Day and Fimbres's friendship, naming them "the AUs" and "Aubrea" (portmanteux of their first names put together), as they watched the two compete all over again for positions in the group.
As the competition's challenges increased, their friendship seemed to
become the foundation upon which the group was being built. In addition, O'D
ay emerged as the show's breakout star.
After weeks of dance and singing lessons, promotional appearances, and a performance in front of 10,000 at a Backstreet Boys concert at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, VA, eleven contestants remained, including O'Day and Fimbres. The finalists were sent home for three months, told to polish up, and return for the final stretch in November 2005.