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"I was not raised to be anything less than a champion," Wynonna tells The Boot, "so for people to see how unfinished my house is, and how chaotic my life is as a mother, is very hard. There is a scene that might not be a major deal for some people, but for me it was horrible. There was an area we were working on, which was my wardrobe room, and it was not finished. There were puppy pee pads on the floor, and shoes everywhere. It just was not organized, and it was not what I imagined people thinking Wy's wardrobe room would look like.
"I said no, you can't film in this room. The producer reminded me that I had signed up for the series and had told them I'd be willing to be real, and that this is real. This is a single, working mother who can't finish her closet because she's going on tour. That's real life; life is messy. The paradox is you see me in this closet that looks like a bomb went off, and then you see me in front of people getting a standing ovation. It's very strange."
Wynonna admits that her initial reaction when told about Oprah Winfrey's idea to do the series was an absolute 'No.' Her life coach talked her into it, saying that she and her mother, Naomi, are two people who had progressed so far in their relationship that they could be an example to the people who watched the show.
"The cycle we were in has been broken for my children, and the real blessing will come with my grandchildren," Wy explains. "I'm doing a lot of things different now than with mom and myself and Ashley. My children have gotten the benefit of us learning about each other. Now we agree to totally disagree on a lot of things.
"There are times, I promise you, before all of this, that one of us would have left in a huff before a serious discussion took place. We were more concerned about being right than being loved. Now we've learned the most important this is listen to the other person's perspective. I don't have to agree but I can sit here and listen to what you are saying."
That's not to say they don't still have their differences and find some things frustrating. "When we were planning the concert tour, Mom wanted to come out and do the typical Naomi prissy-butt entrance, and I'm like, 'No, this is the way the tour is going to go.' There are times I've asked her not to say something and she'll do it just to show she's the mom.
"The thing I now can do is stand back and watch her; when before it was 'Mother stop it, I'm trying to sing and you are being distracting.' There were times when it was so frustrating, when I'd be like where did she go?' And she'd be down in the audience, and I'd think, 'How is she going to get back here in time to sing?' I'd be professional and do what we talked about in meetings and she'd be doing her thing. But you know what -- she's here, she's alive and I'm going to celebrate this moment. There were a lot of changes I had to make. I can't change her but I can change the way I react to the wacky side of her that makes me crazy."
There were a few taboos when it came time to turn on the cameras, though. "There were times when I wanted to protect my mom," she notes. "There were times when she'd be OK with it and I wasn't, and times when I said OK and she didn't. When it came to my children, there was no room for argument.
"There honestly were a couple moments that I thought, 'Oh my god, I can't believe I'm doing this.' Now I look back and I realize that someone watching it will end up calling their mother and saying, 'I'm sorry, I love you and I thank you for being my mom.' I was amazed that the things I thought would be a train wreck turned out to be my favorite things."
Wynonna also finds humor in the whole situation, revealing, "Someone asked me why did you do the show? I told them, 'I'm hoping to win the Nobel Peace Prize!' Anybody who thinks they can do this kind of thing, come on. Not even rock and roll tours do it like this."
Ultimately, the reason the mother/daughter team finally agreed to do the show is that they trust Oprah. "We've known her for 25 years, and there is a friendship and a bond," Wynonna explains. "We were told people would probably watch the show, not because of the music, but because of the family dynamics and watching us balance our career, our home lives, me dating someone new. I don't think I'm unique. I think I'm going through what a lot of people are going through today. Our wish is that it will give hope to others, because if we can do it, they can do it. We didn't know how the show would do; we just left that up to the audience."
As it turns out, the series has done very well. The two-hour debut, which aired on April 10, had over 1.7 million total viewers. Outside of OWN's launch week, 'The Judds' was the highest rated premiere on the new network.
The series was filmed as the duo geared up in 2010 for their first concert tour together in 10 years. There are six dates left on the tour, which ends with two shows in Minot, S.D., on September 29 and 30 at the Norsk Hostfest, which bills itself as the largest Scandinavian festival in North America.