On last night’s Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project, after all the musicians performed a cover of Linda’s iconic “Beautiful,” she made a tough (and surprising) decision to keep Gabriel Mayers in the house and asked sister duo VanJess to go home.
VH1 recently caught up with Jess and Ivana Nwokike about their experience working with Linda Perry, Ivana’s flirtation with Gabe and what it was like to witness the Hunter Valentine drama, in person. Check their interview and their newest Girl Group Medley now!
What was it like living in the Make or Break house with such a diverse group of musicians?
Ivana: It was really cool to be able to create 24/7! We all did a lot of jam sessions and collaborated quite a bit so it was nice all of us got to learn from each other. Don’t know if any of the collabs will leak but it was really fun.
Who did you get closest to in the house? Who else were you rooting for in the house?
Jess: At first I was closest to Mackenzie [because] we were both the 20 year old “young” ones in the house and got along really well. Towards the end, I talked mostly to Anjuli after we became roommates.
Ivana: I honestly spread myself equally to everyone! [Laughs] Kiyomi and Laura are my girls though !
Ivana, what was the stuff going on with you and Gabe? Have you been in touch since filming ended?
Ivana: Honestly it was a musical chemistry we had – nothing more. It was really dope working and collaborating together during the show. We have not been in touch but I wish nothing but the best to him.
What was it like living in the house with all the Hunter Valentine drama? Did it affect you?
Ivana: Whenever we interacted with Hunter Valentine, it was always really positive – I think the breakup came as a huge surprise to all of us because it was very much internal and none of us really knew the extent of what was going on.
When Linda asked you guys to leave the house after covering “Beautiful” were you prepared?
Jess: When she took us to a fancy restaurant we thought, ‘Ok unless there’s a secret recording studio in here this could possibly be bad news’ – in all seriousness, we were always prepared for anything. We came to learn from Linda and become better writers and artists, not to win a “competition.” We felt her letting us go was more like a “my work here is done” type of thing, so we were fine.
What was it really like to work with Linda Perry? What’s one word you would use to describe her?
Jess: Working with Linda, for the most part really positive, but to be completely honest a bit frustrating at times. We were completely open, but at times we felt there were things about us as people that she might have not clicked with. That was frustrating. But we stayed true to ourselves and to be fair so did she.
Ivana: One word? [Linda] has a lot of sides to her. She can be aggressive yet vulnerable. I’d say, unpredictable maybe.
What can we expect next from VanJess? What was your general experience on Make Or Break?
Jess: You can expect new music in which our growth from the show is evident! We’ve really found ourselves as artists, and Linda helped us do that.
Don’t miss the season finale of Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project next Wednesday at 11 PM ET/PT.