Change galore is on the immediate horizon for The Girls Next Door. Not only do Holly Madison and 23-year-old Kendra Wilkinson have hot and heavy romances with a wedding in the works for Kendra, but now strictly solo Bridget Marquardt, 35, says she’ll follow them out the doors of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion right after Jan. 1. She’s got a brand new Travel Channel TV series to shoot, and, to be honest, the feisty and sexy Shannon twins are moving in before Holly, Bridget and Kendra’s bed sheets are even cold! Hef’s got himself new matching bookends that ironically Holly helped pick.
So The Girls Next Door have decided to completely change their ways, begin new lives outside the Bunny Palace and start new careers. Fans will get one last good look at the beauties’ birthday suits when the unique and unusual February issue of Playboy goes on sale in mid-January. It will be the first time that there will be three actual rotating separate covers for the magazine giving each girl her own solo stardom on the exit cue! Click HERE for our colleague Melissa Arseniuk's story about the Playboy cover.
They’ve previous appeared three times together. Holly produced and directed the pictorial last summer and told me, without blushing, she’ll wear “a pair of red slippers and little else” on the inside and a black bikini with studded rhinestones on the cover.
As you’ll read in our wacky, freewheeling conversation, it might be the last time we’ll see them all together in the buff! They will be in the new and sixth season of their hit E! Entertainment series, but maybe not for all of it as the Shannon sisters take over at the Holmby Hills, Calif., house headquarters.
The trio of temptresses had a weekend hourlong fan photo and calendar signing at the Playboy retail store in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. They also signed copies of their new book of behind-the-scenes photos and secrets from their shows. Holly’s boyfriend, Cirque du Soleil Believe magician Criss Angel was there, too -- and we all spent time together in private before the store opened to noontime shoppers and the trio went outside for the signing. Hundreds of fans lined up for their brief moment with the luscious ladies!
As you know, Kendra will marry NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett of the Philadelphia Eagles in July, and Holly is now living full time here at the Luxor with the incredible illusionist. That leaves Bridget flying free, and that’s where our fun-filled chat that had all the makings of an episode of their show began:
Robin Leach: Let me get this straight: At the moment, you’re the only “single” girl of the trio?
Bridget Marquardt: I’m the single girl right now, yeah.
RL: Do you feel left out?
Bridget: I’m looking for love … in all the wrong places!
Holly Madison: You should be the next Bachelorette! I’m dead serious; you should be the next Bachelorette. Bridget …
Bridget: Oh my gosh, Holly. Nooooo!
RL: How much are you allowed to tell me about Season 6 of The Girls Next Door?
Holly: We don’t really know if we, well we’re all on board for it, but we don’t know if we get to do what we want. If not …
RL: But you have your own development deal with E! anyway, right?
RL: So do we expect to see you for part of six and then you check out and then the Shannon twins check in?
Bridget: I think no one really knows where everything is going. Everyone is still trying to figure everything out, everything is still in transition, and we’re trying to figure that out. We’re not even going to start shooting Season 6 for a while.
RL: Do you know when?
Bridget: They were talking, I mean they’ve shot a few things, but now they’re talking, like, May. But they’re shooting a few things. We’re trying to get some of the 55th anniversary stuff in; just stuff that’s timely and you want to make sure you have a few things for. So they’re shooting a few things, but not officially. I think the dust will settle, and we’ll see what direction everyone is going in and we’ll go from there.
RL: So, after all those years in the Bunny Hutch, how does it feel to be out of there and in the arms of a wide receiver?
Kendra Wilkinson: He is by far not just a football player. I mean, I love football, but I never thought I would marry a football player.
Holly: Remember I used to always tease you; you’re going to marry a football player. And you were always like, “No, I’m gonna marry a football fan -- I’m not going to marry a football player!”
Bridget: You were adamant.
Kendra: It’s so funny because we all have our perfect match, we all have our perfect match, I have, and you have …
Bridget: I’m going to be the only bachelorette.
Kendra: How about you and Robin? (Much laughter!) It feels really good, though, you know, I just moved out finally from the Mansion fully these last two days. There’s nothing of mine left there now. I’m officially moved out. Completely gone and in my own house in L.A.
Kendra: Thank you. Yeah, I’m waiting for Hank to come out. I’m not waiting because I want him to go to the playoffs, but I’m waiting for him to come out to help me plan for the wedding and stuff.
Bridget: Kendra has found love with a great guy -- he is the perfect gentleman.
RL: And Holly, you’re completely out too, right?
Holly: Oh yeah, I’ve been out for a long time. It just leaves Bridget, and that won’t be long for now, either.
Bridget: I am moving out, looking for a house and doing my new show about Bridget’s sexiest beaches for the Travel Channel premiering on March 12. I still keep my bikini on for half of my new life! We’ve all three of us got new gigs and are on our own. The Girls Next Door has really blossomed into good jobs for all of us. It was fun being arm pieces for the boss because we got a lot of opportunities from it.
Holly: It was a unique experience.
Bridget: I have no regrets at all.
Kendra: You know what I think it feels like? I think, you’re going to quote me on this, I know it! (Laughs.) I feel like we kind of graduated high school and now these junior high kids are coming in; you know, it’s just that feeling. It’s like these little girls are coming in. I mean I used to be like that, but now it’s time to kind of move on with our lives.
RL: So is it fair to say with the Shannon twins that you’ve found your own replacements?
Holly: Yeah, they were Playmates; I worked with them on their pictorial and they’ve now moved in!
RL: The bed wasn’t even cold!
Holly: (Laughs.) That’s fine with me, man.
Kendra: They were all plotting who was gonna get my room like the day I was moving out.
Bridget: I leave for the next part of my TV trip on Jan. 11, so I’ll have all my stuff out by then. I’ll miss it, of course. It was simply a stage we all went through. Any time you make a transition like that, and it’s been a part of your life for so long, there’s definitely going to be feeling there! I mean I’m definitely going to miss parts of it, and not other parts of it! We all grow up -- and get a little more conservative!
Holly: I already got conservative, but I miss the animals; I miss the zoo.
RL: What is your favorite thing in your book to tell your fans about?
Holly: My parents’ cottage cheese dip recipe; I got so many emails for that. I don’t cook, so they are my mom’s entire recipe collection.
Kendra: I got Hank addicted to the homemade English egg muffins in the book, and we eat those all the time. We make them a little healthier than the store-bought ones. We use turkey bacon, egg whites … mmm, they’re so good!
Bridget: I don’t cook but I can if needed. At the Mansion, it’s kind of an ordeal when you want to cook. You have to, like, schedule an appointment to cook. You can’t just go into the kitchen.
Holly: No, the chefs don’t like it when you just go back there.
Bridget: Because they’re so busy, they’re, like, “Get out of our way.”
RL: What’s the best beauty secret in the book?
Bridget: I give hair tips; I mean I give deep conditioning tips that I think are really good. Oh, I talk about Enormous Lash. I’m not just trying to promote them, but they are great. They are the secret to all success for a woman because of the early morning look!
Kendra: We reveal a lot of secrets in the book. My worst outfit was my T.O. (Terrell Owens) jersey, and they have a photo of it here.
Bridget: : Oh, you’re on the page with me in my Bunny outfit -- that was my all-time worst. It’s all in “The Bad” category of the book. I still love this Bunny costume, but it’s probably one of the worst things I’ve ever worn -- but I’d wear it again.
Holly: I still love my hat, though, and I don’t care if people think it was bad. (Shows baby photos in book to Criss.) See, I haven’t changed at all over the years as I grew up. You can tell it’s me from back then to now.
RL: So let’s just finish up on this … you’ve got bad costumes and then you’ve got the ultimate costume. Everybody completely comfortable with still displaying everything in their birthday suits?
Bridget: I am.
Kendra: No, I’m not anymore, I used to be but no longer! I don’t like being naked anymore, I mean of course in bed at night with your true love, but I am really retiring from the whole nudity thing.
Holly: No more flashing for us. It’s over after the February issue.
Bridget: I’m still comfortable with it. I visit the nude beaches on my TV show. It’s not stripping’ it’s just going naked. We had this amazing outdoor shower in a tropical rainforest, so what else was I going to do? I’m comfortable with it.
Holly: I’ve decided that everybody has seen it and it’s old news, so I’m putting my clothes back on from now on.
Kendra: Cleavage will be more exciting now when it’s got clothes around it rather than without.
Holly: I don’t know if it’s an age thing. I don’t know if it’s a change women just go through. It’s different for different people, and I’d just feel more comfortable clothed now than undressed -- except in private when it’s personal. I’m certainly not going to be one of those older people who take their clothes off for the magazine.
RL: Stand in line folks: You’ll never see these girls like this again!
Holly: You know what I’m really excited about is that we produced and directed the whole thing. I’m honestly proud of it. We each have our own cover, and if you line them all up the backgrounds go together. It’s awesome; it’s the first time they’ve ever done it.
Criss Angel: Holly is really very talented. She has a great eye. She devours books and also speaks and reads French well. She can put me to shame! (Laughing.)
RL: So all three of you are pleased with The Girls Next Door book?
Holly: We didn’t get to approve all of the pictures, so of course there are the “I hate that one, I hate that one, I hate that one.” … It’s a nice time capsule, a great souvenir of our five happy years on the TV show. It’s a good time capsule of our time together.
Kendra: Since I don’t scrapbook, it is. These two have scrap booked all their years; I’ve never scrap booked.
Bridget: And I love the cover. What’s great is that we are all really BFFs! It’ll be that way forever. We’re going to be each other’s bridesmaids.
Kendra: I’m the first to go -- on June 27. Now we’re talking if Hef should actually walk me down the aisle. I think so, but I don’t know yet. I think things between us three … it’s so weird, but I feel now that we don’t live together, now that we don’t live in the same house, I want to be with them more. Every time I see them, I feel like I want to be with them more, and now I feel like I appreciate them more.
Holly: Me, too.
RL: Kendra, you’re just looking forward to the wedding! Are you going to live in Philly or L.A.?
Kendra: Well, you know, he’s going to come out here, and we’re going to plan a wedding. We can’t have a wedding anywhere else because my grandma can’t fly. So I’m waiting for him to come out here and help me plan. I’m ready to just get married.
Holly: I’ve made no secret about wanting to get married. I want to have kids. The time will come. For now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life with Criss. It honestly couldn’t be better. We are both so happy with each other. He is a wonderfully kind, thoughtful, caring man. I am there for him, too, in all those ways. For now, we just see where it all goes, but let’s just enjoy the good time now.
Bridget: The time will come for me, too.
Holly: The funny thing is we’re all settling down now. The past is behind us. Before you know it, they’ll be making a TV series about three former wild ones who settled down into ordinary, normal life but know how to always have a good time whenever we get back together again.
Tonight after the second Believe show, Criss has rented the entire lobby of his Luxor theater to turn it into a Winter Wonderland to celebrate Holly’s 29th birthday -- and to also share a Christmas party with the cast and crew of his Cirque du Soleil show. We’ll be there and have those exclusive photos for you once I get settled in Santa Barbara with the family for the holidays.