Layla El has gone from dancing in the NBA finals as a Miami Heat dancer to making the body heat of every WWE fan rise by winning the right to be called one of the "hottest women on TV". On August 16, 2006, Layla won the WWE's $250,000 Diva Search contest at New York City's Hard Rock Cafe. This is one of the first interviews of the newest WWE Diva's career.
Eric: What were you feeling when you heard that you were the winner of the 2006 Diva Search Contest?
Layla: Utter shock then excitement. Then I just wanted to jump up and down and hug everyone, which I pretty much did.
Eric: What made you decide to compete in the contest?
Layla: My trainer basically told me it would be great for me to do it. After watching the shows and everything, I was like, I really could do this. Working for the WWE, that is just going to be a fantastic life for me. I just wanted to do it and follow in the footsteps of the WWE Divas.
Eric: You recently had the opportunity to perform at the NBA finals. I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between performing for a NBA final crowd and a live WWE crowd?
Layla: Performing for a Heat crowd, they're supportive and they’re excited to be there for the championship. With the WWE, it is very unpredictable. You never know what's going to happen. You never know from night to night if the crowd is going to boo, if they’re going to cheer you, really love you, or really hate you that night. It is just a exciting and nervous feeling, because pretty much what the dancing, I know what I'm going to do from move to move. When I go out there in the ring or go out there doing whatever, I really don't know what's going to happen. You play it by ear. You're on your toes all the time.
Eric: You’ve appeared on both RAW and SmackDown! . Obviously, one is live (RAW) and one is taped (SmackDown! ). Does that change your approach or the way you prepare for your performing?
Layla: Of course, it changes the approach. Knowing that it's live, you just know you have that one chance and that it's not going to be edited or anything like that. And the excitement there is just a little bit more. Everyone is on their toes a little bit more just because you know that it's going to be live. SmackDown!, it's the same kind of feeling. You're still on your toes but you're relieved because maybe something you do could be edited or some things could be changed, because it is pre-recorded.
Eric: At this point, do you know whether you’re going to be on RAW or SmackDown!?
Layla: To be honest, I do not know at all which show that I'm going to be on. I do know that hopefully, my first appearance will be at SummerSlam, this Sunday, in Boston. The pay per view, hopefully that will be my first appearance. I'm pretty excited. I don't really mind which show I go to, RAW or SmackDown!.
Eric: At this point, do you know if there's a schedule or any plans for you to start training to become a wrestler?
Layla: I know that there are plans. I just don't have the actual when or what or where or anything like that. There are definite plans for me to start training, for sure.
Eric: A lot of the Diva’s came into wrestling having a modeling background and have been on many different magazine covers. Is that something you are looking forward to doing?
Layla: I can not wait. I’d feel so privileged, if I got to do that. I got my first photo shoot today, my first magazine cover, so I’m really excited and I'm really looking forward to that. It's just a privilege to be able to do that. So hopefully, I'm going to get a lot of magazines, and a lot of publicity, and get to do some modeling. Also, I want to do the other stuff, I want to do it all.
Eric: Is there anything you want to tell the fans that have been voting for you?
Layla: Yeah, I just want to tell the fans thank you so much for your dedication, your loyalty, and your support. And I want to say that New York was pretty much one of my favorite cities. They showed me so much love, and they were chanting my name. They made me feel really special. And I just want to say thank you so much because without the fans I really wouldn't be here and I just feel very privileged. And I will always, always be loyal to you guys. Please feel free to always approach me and come up to talk to me. I will never, ever turn anybody away.