Preview and talk with Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas of TLC for her new VH1 show ‘What Chilli Wants’ April 11

pril 9, 2010, by Rodney Ho

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Chilli with Christal Jordan-Mims

Chilli with Christal Jordan-Mims

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Chilli with Christal Jordan-Mims

TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas has a long checklist for what men need to be: gorgeous, funny, love kids, love Jesus, can't smoke, can't drink and don't eat pork, just to name a few.

Oh, and they need to be “packin’,” she said.

There may be a reason she’s still single.

On the new VH1 show "What Chilli Wants," which debuts at 10:30 p.m. Sunday for an eight-episode run, matchmaker Tionna Smalls tries to break her down a bit, find out why she's so picky and help her find the right man. This is not "Flavor of Love" or its 20 knockoffs. There's no mansion, no challenges, no roses. The gimmicks are kept to a minimum.

“I have very high standards and a list,” Chilli said in an interview at the W Hotel last month. “I think when you’re younger, especially in your 20s, you’re still figuring out who you are. The day you turn 30, you become smarter. You just know what you want and become unapologetic about it and that’s okay.”

Smalls said she definitely had to “step up her game” to handle Chilli.

“So many women will relate to what I”m doing,” said Chilli, who refuses to “settle.”

The show opens at a Buckhead mansion, the one I visited last fall which featured an appearance by then Mayoral candidate Kasim Reed and boxer Floyd Mayweather. She meets a man named Christian who looks promising. Smalls shadows her and talks to some of Chilli's friends to figure her out.

T-Boz, also fo TLC: "I don't believe some of that [list] should be a deal breaker in a relationship."

Dallas Austin, an ex who is also daddy to Chilli's son, spoke to Smalls, too. "She's scoped out this perfect person and it's really hard to find," he said.

On the first date which Smalls observed, Chilli whips out the checklist on poor Christian before the first entree hits the table. He likes pork. Uh oh. “You can’t jump down his throat because you like a little pork chop!” Smalls said later. But the date works out okay in the end.

Boxer Mayweather is another man hovering around as a “friend” but clearly, there’s chemistry. Oddly, they choose to be remain just friends.

“I know I’m not perfect, but I don’t want to compromise,” she tells Smalls.

In the teasers for the upcoming season, Smalls clearly gets frustrated with Chilli. Does Chilli really find a man? She, of course, won’t say.

Chilli also promises a bit of a TLC concert on screen, too, to show that yes, she still does some music, too.

On TV

“What Chilli Wants,” VH1 at 10:30 p.m. Sundays

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