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'Famous in 12' star: 'People are going to either love us or hate us'

Love them or hate them, the family at the center of The CW’s new social experiment show Famous in 12 is anything but boring. (The very fact that they’re trying to achieve fame in 12 weeks tells us that.) Right out of the gate, it seems people are taking sides: those who support them and are rooting for them, and those who are disgusted by yet another group of unknowns who are trying to achieve notoriety (and wealth) for doing absolutely nothing.

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Taliah, the oldest of the Artiaga sisters, and found her to be not only well grounded (I’ll admit it’s a relative term, but a surprise given the premise of the show), but also enthusiastic and absolutely lovely. Will our conversation affect the way I watch the show? Maybe. Probably not. After all, it’s human nature  — and a lot of fun — to ridicule reality shows.

But it did make me realize that despite what the haters may think of the superficial way this family is trying to gain fame and popularity, Taliah is a woman fiercely devoted to her family and her son. She’s taking an opportunity and running with it. And really, isn’t that something we can all relate to?

EW Community: First of all — WHY? What motivated your family to submit their names to this show?

Taliah: Our family has always had a larger-than-life attitude. People love us when they come see us at our house and they always want to come back. We just felt like we needed to share that with everyone.

Do you remember your reaction when you found out you were chosen to be on the show?
When we found out we were the ones, that was absolutely crazy — an indescribable feeling. We literally felt like we had the winning lottery ticket!

Was your whole family on board right away?
When we started getting calls back, we got more serious because that’s just how we are. If there’s something we decide we’re gonna take on, we’re all in. So we were all excited and really pumped about it, and here we are today!

Before filming started, what were you most excited about?
I’ve been most excited about the outcome, and it may sound weird, but I’m excited about what’s going to happen after this. I just feel like with me being a single mom — my son’s father passed away from cancer, so I’m really all he has — this is a way that I am going to provide beyond my expectations for my son; beyond what I ever thought I could give him.

Speaking of your son, are you concerned about having him in this kind of a spotlight? How will you protect him?
You know what? Me and my son have such a strong bond and he is beyond his years. Mentally, my son is like a little old man. He sometimes handles things better than I do. Even with the death of his father, he took it better than I did, and we’d always said that all three of us were best friends. So I’m not worried about my son. We have such a close bond and we can talk and we can get through things together, so I know that this is something else we will get through together.

Going back to when I asked you what you were excited about, was there anything you were nervous or apprehensive about before filming began?
I’m always nervous about everything! But when it happens I just go all in! There’s a lot of things to be nervous about. This is a completely and totally different lifestyle from what we had before so it’s all a little scary, but it’s exciting, and I’m happy to be scared and nervous about this.

Are you having fun yet?
I’m having a blast! This is way beyond anything I’ve ever dreamed of. I get up every morning with a smile on my face because I know I’m here and I’m presented with this great opportunity.

Thinking back on the past week, what one thing has been the best thing that’s happened — or has it been just everything?
I’m gonna say a big ball of everything! Seeing the first episode on TV was unreal: “Oh my God! I am on TV right now!” And being able to go out and execute different schemes. I feel like we’ve had such a successful week this week, and it’s all really exciting. I can’t wait to see Harvey again.

Is there anything that’s happened that’s not been good?
Um … I mean, I know … huh, that’s kind of a tricky question. You know, I don’t think anything that’s happened has been bad because it’s all been real [and in] our raw form, and we are who we are and I’m actually happy we all came across as who we are. We didn’t come across fake. It can’t [be fake] because it’s real life.

Are you able to be yourself while the cameras are rolling?
Yeah! We spoke as a family before we began and it was like, always be yourself, because who we are is what they want. It doesn’t make sense to try to be different. People are gonna either love us or hate us. Either way, I just hope they keep watching the show.

Each member of the family has a talent they’ve said they’d like to become famous for. So far, all we’ve seen is you trying to get selfies with B-list celebrities and get into clubs. At what point will your talents come into play?
I mean, to be honest, we’re from a small town. We don’t know anyone, no one knows us: We’re nobodies. You have to shock people and make them interested in what you do, and so I feel like this is just us going through the motions. We’re getting our faces and names out there and meeting people, and being able to capitalize on that is what’s going to make us realize our individual dreams.

What happens if one of you becomes more popular than the others?
We have a mentality that we are a team. If one person makes it, everyone makes it. If one person falls, we all fall. We are doing it together.

What do you think has to happen over the next 12 weeks for you to view this as a success?
Over the next 12 weeks we need to achieve fame and popularity! That’s what it is. Famous people are famous because they’re popular people. We want people to know us: “That’s that Famous in 12 family!” That’s our goal, for people to know us.

So then, do you think fame is about being recognized for your talents, or is it just about money and exposure?
Fame is all about recognition and popularity. You can’t really say it’s about money because there are a lot of famous people who are broke.

Last question: Couples’ Brazilian waxing. Would you do that? (Note to readers: If you watched the premiere, you’ll understand why I asked that question. And no, I didn’t need — or want — a response.)

Catch the second episode of Famous in 12, rated TV-14, Tuesday night at 8/7 C on The CW.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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