The blonde beauty queen talks her new reality show, Playboy and the writers strike

Shanna Moakler knows a thing or two about beauty pageants and reality shows. She is a former Miss Teen USA and Miss America and also had her own reality show with MTV's Meet the Barkers which showed her marriage with Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker. Moakler is back with a brand new reality show, Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants. I had the opportunity to speak with Moakler over the phone.

This show just premiered recently. For our readers who haven't seen the show, can you give us a rundown of the show?

Shanna Moakler: Yeah, sure. It's basically 11 mother-daughter teams who are competing in a pageant-style show. They live together in a house, and they get different challenges and we have a big finale pageant at the end, which is really cool. It's like an actual pageant, but they win $100,000. I just try to tell everyone that it's silly and fun and campy and it's not supposed to be taken seriously. It's just entertainment and it's just a good time.

How did you first become involved with this project?

Shanna Moakler: They came to me and asked me if I wanted to do it. Carson Kressley had already signed on, so I thought I loved pageants, and let's do it.

What was it like working with Carson Kressley and Cynthia Garrett?

Shanna Moakler: They're really fun. Going to work was so much fun. We would just go and laugh and have an amazing time. Carson focused on all the fashion and the beauty and I was the pageant pro and Cynthia was the modern woman's take on the whole thing. It was really cool.

So how many episodes is this going to run for?

Shanna Moakler: Eight, and the last one is a big show like I said.

This is the latest in the reality genre. Why do you think this genre has become so popular, especially with these contest shows?

Shanna Moakler: I think reality TV is so popular because it makes everyone in the country feel like, 'Hey, I can be on TV. I can be a star overnight.' I think America also has a little voyeurism in their hearts. (Laughs) I think they really like to put people in situations and see how they react. Or they put them in situations and go, 'Oh, what would I do if I was in that situation?' I think that really captures Americans.

Do you know of any plans for the DVD? Any special features you know of like auditions or outtakes?

Shanna Moakler: Oh, I'm sure they'll put a lot of extra bonus footage in there. Whenever you get 11 teams of mothers and daughters living under one roof, the chaos, and I'm sure there's a lot of stuff they couldn't show on television too. (Laughs) I'm sure they'll have all those goodies in there.

Were you involved with the auditioning process?

Shanna Moakler: No, I didn't get to be involved in the auditioning. They went all over the country, and women sent in videotapes. If they did another season, I'd be absolutely thrilled to be involved.

Do you have any thoughts on the writers strike? It seems that reality TV is the only game in town.

Shanna Moakler: Sadly, that's what happened. Personally, I prefer acting and doing scripted things, so for me it's bittersweet. Yes, I love having my reality show coming out, and I think that's great. I also think there's such a thing as reality TV overload. I really hope that they work it out, because as much as I love reality TV, I think we need scripted (material) in there to balance it out.

I read that you're a former Playboy model. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on The Girls Next Door on E!?

Shanna Moakler: Oh, I love The Girls Next Door. Some of them, actually all of them, are personal friends of mine. I think they're fun, and their show is as fun and campy. I think they're great.

Do you keep in touch with the girls, or with Hef at all?

Shanna Moakler: Yeah. I go up there a lot on Sunday's. Hef has a dinner and a movie and I always go hang out up there.

Do you have any projects on the horizon you can tell us about?

Shanna Moakler: I do, but I can't say anything about it yet.

Ahh, are you sure?

Shanna Moakler: Yeah, I'm positive (Laughs).

Do you know anything about Carson Kressley's new show, How to Look Good Naked?

Shanna Moakler: You know, I've only heard a little bit about it, and it sounds fabulous. I think it's what he does best. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

That's about all I have. Thanks for your time, Shanna.

Shanna Moakler: Thanks sweetie.

Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants can be seen Tuesdays on the CW Network at 8 p.m. ET.