Wilson Phillips keep ‘Holding On’ for new reality show

From left: Carnie Wilson, Chynna Phillips, and Wendy Wilson have a new reality TV show and an album called “Dedicated.”
Jeremy Cowart
From left: Carnie Wilson, Chynna Phillips, and Wendy Wilson have a new reality TV show and an album called “Dedicated.”

PASADENA, Calif. — The ladies of the ’90s pop trio Wilson Phillips — sisters Wendy and Carnie Wilson and Chynna Phillips — recently chatted up reporters here about their upcoming reality show on the TV Guide Network. “Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On” premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. and will chronicle the trio’s attempt at a reunion comeback, boosted in part by their good-natured cameo in the hit 2011 big screen comedy “Bridesmaids.”

The group released a new album last Tuesday called “Dedicated,” which features the women covering the songs of their parents, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and John and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, including classics like “Good Vibrations” and “California Dreamin’.”

Q. Carnie and Wendy, your dad just announced that he’s reuniting with the Beach Boys for their big 50th anniversary tour. Will you be using that as a platform for the Wilson Phillips reunion at all?


Carnie: No, actually . . . it would be great. You never know about the future, but we’re so excited for them. They’ve been around for 50 years, and that’s a miracle. I think it will be very exciting to see all of them on the same stage.

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Chynna: It’s kind of strange, whenever we travel, it seems like either Brian was there the night before or he’s coming the following night.

Q. Your “Bridesmaids” cameo probably helped raise your profile quite a bit. How did you come to do the film?

Chynna: So much fun. We got a random phone call from [“Bridesmaids” producer] Judd Apatow’s people. And we just thought it was a real honor, and we loved Judd Apatow’s movies and thought he was hysterical. So we wanted to be a part of it. But we had absolutely no idea the impact that our one little baby cameo was going to have in this film. So we were pretty taken aback and really excited that it gave our career the shot in the arm that we needed.

Q. If the preview clips are any indication there seems to be some friction on screen. Was there a push-pull between being happy to reunite and remembering why you broke up?


Wendy: Nothing has changed between the three of us. The dynamics have always been exactly the same. And we love each other, no matter what. And yes, there’s friction and there’s fighting, but we fight like sisters.

Chynna: And it ain’t pretty. (They all laugh.)

Carnie: Well, you know, one of us is late. One of us speaks inappropriately. That would be me. It’s just a very personal look at who we are as individuals. We’re working moms, and I think it’s going to be very interesting for not only Wilson Phillips fans, but for people that just want to hear music, be entertained. We’re pretty wacky and kooky, and that’s going to come through. But it’s also an inspiration for, I think, moms, too, to know that you can be good hands-on moms and work and have a career.

Q. Your parents’ friendships brought you together but what keeps you together after all these years?

Carnie: The singing.


Chynna: The laughter.

Wendy: The love of music and the blend that we have together and just the fact that we’re so close. When we sing together, it soothes our souls.

Q. “Dedicated” is a covers album. Was that a contingency of your record deal, to do a family archive project? And will you be recording an album of original material to follow it up?

Carnie: I think [our record label] Sony is excited to explore an original record. This was a very special idea that they had. So creatively it was coming from a very loving place because of our families. It’s not just that we’re doing a cover record. We’re covering the music of our parents, which is some of the most beloved music that’s been celebrated ever. So that’s why we call the album “Dedicated.” It’s dedicated to them. It’s dedicated to our fans, to the world. So creatively I think [the label is] really jazzed. And yeah, they do want originals, and we’ll do that too.

Q. Do you feel that you’ve become more hands-on parents because of the less traditional environments you grew up in?

Wendy: I think it inspires you, when you come from an unconventional background, to be a grounded mother and parent. And I think that’s what we’re doing. I think our kids are benefiting from having two parents there at home.

Chynna: We’re definitely not passing the doobies to our kids or anything.

Sarah Rodman can be reached at