EyeCandy1.jpgIt’s amazing how someone’s life can change dramatically in just 365 days. Around August of last year, Nikki Alexander was on the verge of having her profile altered forever. Spotted by a casting agent while accompanying an aspiring actor friend on a trip to California, the Brownstown, Mich., native would eventually morph into unreality television show The Flavor of Love’s beauty Hoopz (a nickname she acquired from the show’s star). Surviving “three long-ass weeks” in a household busting at the seams with “crazy bitches” clawing to claim the heart of Mr. “Yeeeah Boyeee” is an experience Hoopz is glad to have behind her. Although she won the (ahem!) prize, when asked if she’ll be defending her crown on season two, her decision is crystal clear: “Fuck no. I’m concentrating on acting. I got an acting coach, and I’m taking that step to Hollywood. So that’s my focus, not reality shows.”

Hoopz isn’t in any danger of being idle. Six months removed from Flav’s final episode, the 24-year-old is still poppin’. The former overseas basketball player (she was on a squad in Italy) cohosts parties with stars like Allen Iverson, and is considering roles in several movie scripts. She even appeared in the video for Lil Keke’s “Chunk Up the Deuce” featuring Paul Wall and Bun B. “That was a favor,” she confesses, about her video appearance. “Slim [Thug], Lil Keke, Paul Wall, all of my Texas boys just showed me such love. I wasn’t gonna do it, but they was so adamant about it. They made me feel so comfortable. It was gangsta. It fit my personality, so I’m glad I did it.”

EyeCandy2.jpg Despite her 5’2” stature, unabashed tomboy persona and a personality that doesn’t exactly scream for the spotlight, Hoopz has made a bit of a name for herself as a sexy commodity. A number of men’s publications have asked to photograph the half-Black, half-Italian’s pretty eyes and smile, caramel tone and thick shorts. Some were accepted, most were denied. “The photo shoots and everything ain’t the best thing in the world,” she says. “Ain’t nothing better in the world than throwing on a pair of Jordan hoop shorts, a wife beater and some dang-on slippers. But then I gotta go transform into a girly girl. But it has worked for me.”

It’s no secret that the limelight is usually followed by envy and tabloid talk. Hoopz has definitely had her share of both—the latter, mostly. The initial watercooler talk was about whether her sexual preference was for women (“I got love for all my people that is like that, ’cause I may have more gay fans than I do regular people”). But then she became prime time’s Mrs. Flavor Flav and was supposed to be shacking up with the 911 nonbeliever (“It was just good TV. I don’t even think Flav was really interested”). Outside of Hollywood, she was linked to a number of notables, such as T.I. (“Me and T.I.? Nah, we just be in the studio”). For Hoopz, it’s nothing but dirt on her shoulders. “Everybody can keep talkin’, ’cause all they doin’ is boostin’ my paycheck,” she smirks. “When they stop talkin’ about me is when I’ll get concerned.”

See more of Hoopz in XXL's October 2006 issue (#85).