Saturday night divas!
Hot girl group The Saturdays talk sexing up, famous fellas and family scandal
Take five gorgeous girls, mix in some big voices, even bigger attitudes, a handful of celeb boyfriends and a lot of hairspray, and you have the sure-fire formula for 21st-century pop sensation The Saturdays. Sure, they were put together by Girls Aloud’s record label, Polydor, but don’t hold that against them. Just one listen to their dance-meets-R&B songs proves they’re not just another Girls A-lite group.
Fabulous first met The Saturdays last year as part of our Hot Talent issue, and since then we’ve watched them power a path to pop domination. As band member Frankie Sandford puts it: “It’s all starting to happen.” She’s not kidding. With four Top 10 hits (If This Is Love, Up, Issues and Just Can’t Get Enough), plus a clothing range and an American invasion planned – influential US blogger Perez Hilton’s a massive fan – the music industry is lapping these girls up.
So we thought it was about time we spent another day with The Saturdays to find out how fame has changed them. Diva strops, back-biting or bitching – if there’s a hint of scandal we’ll sniff it out.
We join the girls at a sunlit studio in London, where they’re eating piles of scrambled eggs on toast, while giggling and gossiping. So far there’s not a hint of friction.
“We swap room-shares round when we stay in hotels,” says Mollie King. “That way, there are no fights about who stays with who.”
OK, so there’s no catfighting (yet) but there’s still much more to learn about your new favourite girl band…
‘I’ve not seen dad for five years – it’s his loss’
She’s one fifth of the UK’s coolest new girl band, so you’d be forgiven for thinking Rochelle Wiseman might blush about her past as a member of S Club Juniors. Not so – in fact she reckons it was the perfect way to learn her trade. “Where else can you make a load of mistakes but at the beginning of your career, when people don’t notice?” she insists, referring to her first stab at stardom, aged 12, alongside bandmate Frankie.
Just as focused at 20, Essex-born Rochelle’s determined to do everything she can to make The Saturdays the biggest band in the world. “I’m doing it not just for myself, but for my mum,” she says. “I’ve inherited a really strong work ethic from her. “My dad left when I was two so everything fell to Mum. She took several jobs to ensure I had the right dancing shoes and leotards. She even worked at my dance school so I got free lessons. It makes me cry now when I think about it. I want to pay her back by working as hard as I can and being as good as I can be.”
As for her dad, Rochelle, who’s dating Charlton goalkeeper Darren Randolph, isn’t sure he’s even heard of The Saturdays. “I last saw him when I was 15. He knows where I am, but he hasn’t contacted me and it’s his loss. My mum has a new partner who I think of as my dad. He believes in me.”
And if she hadn’t decided to audition for The Saturdays back in 2007, Rochelle could have been Miss England. “I don’t know why I even entered. I filled in the entry forms thinking I’d get photos for a modelling portfolio, then I made the final. But I backed out when The Saturdays audition came up. Being in a band is where I belong.”
‘I’m the naughty one!’
Part-Spanish, part-Filipino, Vanessa White’s the baby of the band at 19, but don’t be deceived – she’s also the official party animal. “I’m the naughty one,” she grins. “I like to have a good time. If you’re a pop star you’re supposed to be like that, aren’t you?”
She should know. She went to the Sylvia Young Theatre School (ex-students include Billie Piper and Emma Bunton) after her family moved from Somerset to London when she was 10 to pursue her showbiz dreams. “My dad used to drive me up to London every week for singing lessons. In the end they realised we had to move and I got a half-scholarship to stage school.”
But Vanessa graduated from the Lady GaGa school of rebellion. “Around 16, I had two years of non-stop partying, which drove my parents wild. I was constantly going to clubs and lying about my age. I never got into drugs though – I didn’t want anything stopping me from being a performer. I think I’ve got it out of my system now.”
Good job, especially now she’s bagged herself a non-smoking, non-drinking hottie – former X Factor finalist Adam Chandler, who was in boyband Futureproof, and now sings jazz solo. “We met through friends – it was love at first sight. He’s not into going out every night and is really good for me. My parents love him. He and the other girls’ boyfriends all get on – it’s like a non-stop party when we’re together.”
‘I’m so bad at being sexy’
Look at Mollie King, 21, and you think two things: blonde’s one. Bombshell’s the other. Unless of course you’re her and suffering from a serious case of unsexy-itis.
“I’m so bad at being sexy,” she laughs. “When the band first started doing photo shoots, the other girls would all go into these sultry poses while I’d just be grinning like a lemon. People tell me I’m sexy, but I never feel it. I’m still working on being as sexy as the others.”
But what she lacks in pout, she makes up for in posh. Yep, Mollie’s the Victoria Beckham of the band – private-school educated, with a businessman dad and stockbroker-belt family home in Richmond, Surrey. She’s even found her Becks in musician Andy Brown, 21.
“I have two older sisters,” she says. “One’s a lawyer, the other’s a banker and then there’s me, the pop star. They all think I’m crazy, but I’ve wanted to be in a band since I was tiny. I was only allowed to try when I hit 16 and I’ve never regretted it.”
That is, apart from having to leave her former girl band, Fallen Angelz, who got through to boot camp on The X Factor in 2007.
“I cried my eyes out when we were told we hadn’t made it. We continued as a band, but then I was offered the chance to be in The Saturdays. I felt I was betraying everyone, but the others told me to do it. Leaving them was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Those girls are still like family to me.”
‘Lose weight? No way!’
If she wasn’t so nice, we’d want to trip up Una Healy, 27, The Saturdays’ fiery Irish redhead. For one thing, she’s a former model with a killer size-10 figure. And for another, she’s dating hot England rugby player Ben Foden, 23. How lucky can one girl be?
She’s more than paid her showbiz dues though – she played pubs and clubs for eight years, which is probably why she’s so focused.
“I’m very much my own woman,” she laughs. “Ben is really gorgeous, wonderful, the love of my life – but he couldn’t tell me what to do. If he didn’t like my outfit or thought something was too sexy, I’d tell him to p*** off. If I’m happy and comfortable, that’s all I care about.
“I worked as a model but refused to lose weight. I’d never do that now. Why does being in a band mean being skinny? I’m proud of my curves. Women look better with a bit of flesh. The world better get used to that because we’re not changing for anyone.”
Yep, not even for Ben, the man with “legs of steel” (her words), who Una fell for last year. “He saw me on TV and got someone to ask for my number. I Googled him and saw he was pretty fit, then we went out for a meal. He’s very handsome. I look at him and melt.
“We all have boyfriends. And dogs. It’s like a little club. Instead of WAGs, we call them BADs – boyfriends and dogs!”
‘Dougie’s mine. I trust him’
Imagine that you’re 20 years old, you’ve already been namechecked by a men’s magazine as one of the 100 hottest women in the world, and you’re dating a fit musician whose name is screamed by thousands of girls. Welcome to the world of Frankie Sandford, who’s already got a four-year pop career behind her, as well as a “loved-up” relationship with McFly star Dougie Poynter, 21. Even if it did take him five years to ask her out…
“I was in S Club Juniors from 12 to 16, and I was 14 when I first met Dougie. We never really spoke, but he started saying he fancied me in interviews, so then I’d get asked about him. I tried to play it cool – even though I always thought he was really cute!
“Nothing happened then. I was flattered, but being in S Club Juniors was really strict. You had chaperones and schoolwork to do. We definitely didn’t hang out with boys from bands!
“When I left S Club I was 16. In a way, I was happy to get my life back. No tutors or babysitters, just me. I worked in a clothes shop and a bar and hung out with normal people.
“Then The Saturdays came along and last year when we performed at G-A-Y nightclub McFly were also there. Harry [Judd, McFly’s drummer] came over and gave me a kiss, and then Dougie walked in, blushed and shook my hand. Everyone was staring at us and Harry started poking fun at him. He didn’t know what to say to me.
“The first night we went out we just talked and talked. I’ve had one boyfriend before, but Dougie is my first love. I’m used to guys being cocky, but I loved the way Dougie was shy and so genuine.
“We’ve been together seven months and are totally loved up. I don’t care about all the girls who go for him. They should fancy him – he’s gorgeous! But he’s mine andI trust him.
“We’re both so similar. We’re not into partying. When you get a big opportunity, you don’t blow it by getting off your head and being an idiot. Real life is a big enough blast.”
The Saturdays’ UK ‘Work’ tour starts June 2 and their single Work is out June 29.