Stacy Keibler on the Joys of Cooking Alone and Hosting Supermarket Superstar — Exclusive
Stacy Keibler may have kick-started her career in the wrestling ring and danced up a storm in the ballroom on Dancing With the Stars Season 2, but these days, she’s spending more time in the supermarket. The talented starlet is hosting new Lifetime competition show Supermarket Superstar, premiering tonight, Monday, July 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The first thing she wants you to know is that this isn’t Supermarket Sweep, but rather a Shark-Tank-meets-Food-Network-Star competition in which aspiring entrepreneurs battle to create the next big thing in food, hoping to change the way Americans shop and eat. Stacy, who has her own line of healthy snacks in development, chatted with Wetpaint Entertainment ahead of the premiere, dishing about everything from fangirling over Food Network’s Michael Chiarello and cookie queen Debbi Fields, to finding time to cook alone, to what she thinks of Dancing With the Stars now. Spoiler alert: She’s as shocked as we are about the new format.
Read on to see what to expect from Stacy’s new show and her dream guest-starring role — in comedy!
Wetpaint Entertainment: You were on Dancing With the Stars back in Season 2. Do you still watch the show? There’s a huge new format where they’re going from two nights to one, which I’m sure you can’t even imagine after being on the show.
Stacy Keibler: Whoa! I didn't even know that. Wow. I haven't even watched television since December since I’ve been so busy, but when I do get the chance, if Dancing With the Stars is on, I absolutely watch. It has such a special place in my heart and I love to see where the show evolves to every season.
Do you still keep in touch with your partner, Tony Dovolani?
I do, yeah! He’s great.
These days, you’re not dancing — you’re hosting new Lifetime show Supermarket Superstar, which a lot of people are confused about, thinking that it’s a Supermarket Sweep reboot...
Everyone thinks that! Everyone. I’m like, “no,” but everyone’s really excited, so I think the producers really need to bring that back! [Laughs]
Yeah, and this one is definitely different, bridging reality TV food competitions and something like ABC’s entrepreneur-focused Shark Tank, which has been doing really well, with inventions. What excited you about the show?
What excited me the most is that we’re making someone’s dream come true. It’s really aspirational and giving someone everything they need to transform their dream into a reality. The show has a lot of heart, but it also has a lot of humor and competitiveness. These people have worked so hard on their products and they’re about to let anyone else get in the way of their success.
That right there is one side, and for me, I was developing my own healthy food line and I started taking cooking classes when I was a little girl. My mom made home-cooked meals every single night for dinner, and I grew up watching the Food Network, and I love food and love to cook. So for me, all of that was like, “Yeah, of course! Oh my gosh, I would love to do this show.”
Supermarket Superstar mentor and Executive Producer Michael Chiarello is, of course, a Food Network all-star. Was that a dream come true to work with him?
I couldn’t have a better cast on our show. The experts — [mentor] Debbi Fields, I’m completely in love with. She’s so amazing and I’m so inspired by her. Michael Chiarello is just so amazing, and one of the best at what he does. He really gets in there and he’s hands-on with the home cooks and gives them a little bit of tough love with he needs to. And we have Chris Cornyn, our branding guru, who also gives tough love when they are working on their packaging, their logo, and their name. We also have Andrew Hunter, our food scientist, who does everything for Martha Stewart and Wolfgang Puck, and we have our supermarket buyer Tom Dolan. We all had such a love fest and we have the best of the best in the business. These contestants are so lucky because even if they don’t win the show and get their product launched nation-wide, each episode, someone wins $10,000 in cash and $100,000 of product development.
This is more along the lines of developing a food product than the next great gadget, and I know you’re developing a healthy snacks line. Do you like to cook for yourself when you’re not on the road? When you’re alone, do you just pop in a frozen meal, or is it all home-cooked, all the time?
I love to cook at home because I do travel so much that I like to know what’s going into my food. If the only time I can truly control it is when I’m home, then I do it — it’s really important to me. I do cook when I’m home, and as far as convenient foods, it’s the fresh sorts of meals that are already packed up like at Erewhon in Los Angeles, like a real health food market so I know what the ingredients are.
Clearly, you’re not home a lot, though. Along with hosting, you’re jumping from red carpets to guest-starring roles on TV shows. Do you have any plans to do more scripted TV?
I’ve been in SAG and an actress since I was 7 years old, so I’ve been in entertainment for a long time. I just embrace every opportunity that comes my way, putting 150 percent of hard work into it. I love to act as well, because I love to get lost into a character, no matter what kind of character that is. So, you never know! Who knows — who knows what I’m gonna wake up in! [Laughs] I never know what the heck I’m gonna wake up to, so tomorrow, who knows.
Do you have a dream show to guest-star on, like Game of Thrones?
I would love to be on Modern Family! Oh my gosh, I love that show.
Catch Stacy on the Supermarket Superstar premiere tonight, Monday, July 22, 2013 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.
Alyse Whitney is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @AlyseWhitney.