Reality Check

updated 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HERE COMES THE BRIDE
Finally, a reality-show couple is heading for the altar. But it's nor Trista and Ryan; instead, Mequasah RusSell and Billy Simpson, who met last year on the Syndicated elimiDATE, will tie the knot on May 24 in Hawaii. The Portland, Ore., couple, both 23, each signed on to the show for laughs, "then I met him, and it was over," says Russell. Simpson gives the reality dating scene a big thumbs up: "If I didn't find her, I would have still had fun."

THE ART OF THE DIVA 101

Can there be too many divas in the world? VH1 doesn't think so. As part of its new reality series Born to Diva, the network invited thousands of Whitney wannabes to audition for the chance to sing alongside Beyoncé, Celine Dion and Houston herself on the May 22 VH1 Divas Duets concert (the winner will be announced that night). To get ready, the three finalists underwent two weeks of Diva Boot Camp. "We thought it would be push-ups," says finalist Tarralyn Ramsey, "but we just got pampered."

Tarralyn Ramsey, 23

•The Palm Bay, Fla., native used to sing only gospel but now wants "a career that allows me to reach everybody.

•Diva behavior: Claims never to have worn same clothes to school twice; grants interviews from her bed: "I love feeling like a princess."

Tomey Sellars, 36

•Performing since 6, the Fort Lauderdale native sings weekly at a local restaurant.

•Diva behavior: "Being demanding, knowing who you are, having conviction and courage—if people perceive that as being a bitch, then that's me."

Towanda Cofield, 23

•She won her first contest—the Miss Sunburst Pageant—by singing "Over the Rainbow" and teaches at a Philadelphia boarding school for low-income, single-parent families.

•Diva behavior: "If I believe I'm a star, then everyone else will too."

BACK TO BACHELOR-HOOD
The atmosphere was chilly as the latest Bachelor rejects reunited on May 3 for the postmortem special The Bachelor: The Women Tell All (airing May 14), but only because the Glendale, Calif., studio was freezing. The 23 women (only Kirsten and Jen are left to vie for Andrew Firestone's final rose in the May 18 finale) laughed, hugged and apologized for their past catty comments. A few changes were in evidence (Amy P. sported a dramatic new hairstyle) along with the familiar (Liz cried again!). Meanwhile, Amber defended her drinking habits on the show, telling People that viewers who think she's an alcoholic need to "get over it." The Atlanta pharmaceutical sales rep adds, "I drank because I was uncomfortable in the situation. It was stressful."

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