Even over the phone, it was obvious that the Cheetah Girl was wincing. "I'm sorry, I know we're supposed to do this interview right now," Kiely Williams said, "but I'm getting my hair done, and it hurts. It really, really hurts. I'm hurting. Can we do this another time?"
Well, at least that saves us the trouble of trying to conjure some new metaphor to describe the painful process of creating pop stars. Williams is a 20-year-old member of the Cheetah Girls, which to a grumpy cynic might appear to be a hybrid of the Spice Girls and some perky new advertising campaign for Cheetos. Dismiss them if you will, but the Cheetahs are part of the big surprise in pop music here in 2006 — the Disney factor.