Viewers could describe the premise of CMT’s Texas Women in a variety of ways — from a lively reality show to a true-to-life soap opera. And viewers have now had the opportunity to take a close look at the lives of those women — Ali Dee, Anna Hunt, Brooke Jeter and Hannah Helvey.
The cast’s aspiring country star, Ali, sums it up like this: “It’s about four really strong-minded, tough women that have a lot of goals in mind. And we’ll do whatever it takes to reach those goals and just work really, really hard. And we also like to have fun.”
From barrel racing to bull riding to cat fighting, there’s never a dull moment. During a visit to Nashville, all four ladies worked the room at CMT before heading to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to play hard. Here’s what the Texas Women had to say.
CMT: What made you want to do this show?
Ali: For me, it was definitely an opportunity to share my music with a lot of people really quickly and to let the people out there know who I am as an artist. I think it’s important these days because fans really want to get to know who the artists are, why they write what they write and where their passion comes from. So this show allows them to get to know me as a person, which, in turn, allows them to get to know my music better.
Brooke: I really didn’t want to do it! (laughs) But Ali is like, “Please, if I do it, will you do it?” I was like, “No.” And she kept talking me into it. And then I was like, “Well, I guess I can make some money for my horses.” I have goals, and the rodeo is very expensive. I have always worked full time and tried to do my horses, but if you’re going to rodeo, you can’t really [work full time]. It will give me a little extra cushion next year. I was able to do a couple of surgeries on some of my horses that needed it, so that was my motive.
Hannah: I think I was born to do it. My mom said I’ve been posing since I was 3 years old.
Anna: I feel so lucky to be involved with the professional bull riding industry. And there are a lot of people that would love to see behind the scenes of raising the bulls. It’s not just going to a bull riding. It’s all the blood, sweat and tears that go behind it — raising the animals from hitting the ground, breeding, waiting for years and years and having a relationship with the animal. Being on CMT and being involved with Texas Women, people got to see all that aspect.
What kind of reaction are you getting to the show?
Ali: Brooke gets stopped all the time! Everywhere she goes.
Brooke: The little girls at a barrel race love it. They are always asking me questions. So, yeah, it’s pretty cool. I was eating at a fried chicken place the other day, and a girl comes up and says, “Are you from Texas Women? These girls over there want to know.” It’s embarrassing for me.
Hannah: I get noticed all the time. I’m recognized, I guess, because I’m the Jolly Green Giant. I take pictures with them. I took my cousin to the rodeo the other weekend, and a million little girls wanted pictures. It was really sweet. I was like, “I’m really not that cool, you guys, but OK.”
Ali: The most surprising thing to me is the kids that have attached to it. At first, I thought it was going to be older adults interested in the show, but there are so many kids. Whenever we’re together, it’s the kids that want to run up to you.
Brooke:The other morning, there was an 11-year-old girl that made her grandmother get out of bed and drive her all the way from Wylie, Texas, which is about an hour and a-half from Dallas, to come see us. We had an interview at 6 in the morning. They had to get up at, like, 4. And she was so adorable.
Anna: I’m getting stories about these little girls trying to set up a bucking chute in their living room. They put on their boots, and then they try to use whatever stuffed animal.
What’s it like having a camera around all the time?
Ali: I think they were very respectful. I never felt uncomfortable. I never felt like it was too invasive. The crew they sent out did a really good job of doing their job, which was to capture us in the way that they saw fit. I thought it was going to be really hard. I was really nervous about that, but after the first day, my worries just left because I felt like it was really easy.
Anna: I thought it was easy. Then I lost my little dog, and I got extremely emotional, so that was really hard. It’s dropping all your barriers, and I was real as real can be. But when something slaps you across the face — and I’m not talking about Hannah (laughs) — and crying and being upset, I just don’t try to be anybody else.
What’s on your bucket list?
Anna: I want to ride race horses. I want to be a jockey. I’ve always wanted to be a jockey, even if it’s just lope horses. I think that would be pushing it to the limit. That’s like skydiving to me.
Hannah: I’ve done a lot in my life, traveled a lot. I guess eventually get married.
Ali: I want to play the Houston Rodeo to a sold-out crowd and play the Grand Ole Opry.
Brooke: I would like to run barrels the night Ali is singing and win it!