September 25, 2014

R&B Divas LA: Reunion Review [Part 1]

So, it's after 1 AM and I just finished watching the first part of the R&B Divas LA Reunion. While I should be tackling the homework that's stacked up to the roof and studying for my exam tomorrow morning, I just had to watch. R&B Divas is the only reality show I watch, because it is the most true to life 'reality show' and there's a cast full of people that I'm actually rooting for. No superficial petty drama, no super rich people wasting my time (and brain cells), but women who have dedicated their lives to their craft, who have stumbled but are still working hard to rise again. First thing I will say is that Chante' Moore was the hot topic of the reunion and I think A LOT of things went on off camera, which turned the ladies against Chante', but I will address that later. Wendy Williams hosted the reunion as she has in the past and it was filmed around late July or early August (or a couple weeks after the 2014 Essence Fest according to the Divas).



This season, in my opinion, was much better than the previous/first season. The addition of Chrisette Michele and Leela James was interesting but it definitely worked. I loved them both throughout the season. The first part of the reunion addressed the new additions, and Chrisette said she joined the show to let people see her outside of her music, even though many people tried to discourage her from doing the show. A couple months back, she made a post on Instagram about how the cameras were giving her a seemingly distorted image. I really loved her this season, she was never portrayed in a negative light, she was always peaceful. I loved seeing her quirkiness, her unique soul, she is really beautiful inside and out. I like her more now than I ever have. Now as for Leela, I liked her but I still feel like she's a stranger within the group. She's very private, and that's ok, if I were a celebrity I would be too but it's difficult to relate to a person who doesn't give us her story. We don't need to know the nooks and crannies but I don't know how to case her exactly. Even when asked about her hair by Madame Noire, she got defensive. She seemed a little more open at the reunion revealing that she's divorced and has at least one child, something we didn't know the whole season. I hope she's around next season to maybe open up more.



Next, Michel'le was addressed about her suicide and mental health this season. Ok, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Michel'le. I have never been a 'stan' for anyone, but for her I will stan for her forever! She gave the show depth, it's more than a reality show, she made us see that it's real life. Every episode she made me cry tears of joy and tears of sadness. My heart just explodes with love for her, she's just such a lovely person and I pray for her recovery and healing. She basically talked about what happened this season and her first therapy visit.




Claudette Ortiz was the quietest one at the reunion and was only addressed a couple times by Wendy. Even during the arguments she sat quietly and listened. I enjoyed her this season much more than the first season. The first season she seemed broken, tired, and unhappy. She was quiet throughout the season and really didn't make much noise. This season she was the one with the collaborative project, and tried to get everyone out and working! I honestly didn't see how the Divas would fit in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, I'm sure most of the Divas were/are unknown. Secondly, I think it's difficult to showcase so many strong voices on one song but in the end the song came out well. I liked that Claudette included the ladies, and she really tried to unify them.




Wendy asked Mo about her divorce and her new beau. During the one of the episodes, Mo told her children that she was divorcing her husband Phillip. The kids seemed to be emotional, but at the end they stood together. Mo mentioned at the reunion that her 12 year old told her that she didn't like Phillip anyway. In my opinion, that's a red flag. Seems like there may be something underlying and I hope someone gets to the bottom of it.




Now, on to the Lil' Mo, Chante', Chrisette, and Leela debaucle, which was the main focus of the reunion. Even though I missed 2 episodes this season (my DVR 'forgot' to record them for some odd reason), I don't fully see why the ladies are so upset with Chante'. Last season, I liked Chante', but maybe it's because there were two bigger issues (Kelly Price and Dawn Robinson) that season which over shadowed everything else. She came off as motherly and loving but not so much this season. My first gripe came at the beginning of the season, she seemed standoff-ish. Now, I told you guys I will stan for Michel'le til St. Peter calls my name so my next bone to pick with Ms. Chante' was when she only asked Leela, Mo, and Chrisette to appear on her song. It was as if she felt that Michel'le and Claudette weren't big enough. Claudette and Michel'le are not as well known as the other Divas but I thought it was wrong to not include them in the song in some way.




At the reunion, there was an argument about how Chante' wanted the girls to sing back up instead of actually featuring them on her song. She also revealed that the final cut of the song did not include the girls, which surprised Chrisette. Throughout the season, Chante' continued to play the victim and she told the girls that she didn't consider them friends. She just considered them almost co-workers and I think that's where the major strain came in. I do think lots of stuff went on off the camera, which the girls referred to a lot. Chrisette talked about how Chante' was disrespectful to the other Divas and to some of the camera/production crew, which Mo and Leela agreed with. They said she has some kind of diva-tude, which I can definitely see and that maybe she has some imaginary friends (As told to us brilliantly by Chrisette, oh the shade! Lol). I think if I were a fly on the wall during filming and got a chance to see what went on when the cameras were off, I'd understand better how or why the girls feel so strongly about her.



So, who do I believe? I think it's hard to dismiss three different women saying the same thing. Chante' had no one else to back her up at all, so it does lead me to believe that may be she is lying. Another issue that didn't sit well with the Divas was the fact that Chante' had her own security guard ON SET, just lurking! Apparently, she felt 'threatened' because of what Mo said about fighting her (Snatching off the other side of her hair is what she said) in Puerto Rico. I think that's just another symptom of her playing the victim. I also feel that Chrisette was very bothered by Chante' and that seems out of character, so that even furthers my belief that Chante' is not being honest.




I do feel like Chante' didn't get an accurate amount of time to express her feelings because either Mo, Leela, or Chrisette kept interrupting. I really wanted to get Chante's perspective, but before we could get her thoughts she was cut off which Michel'le addressed as well. Because if you know someone is lying, just let them talk and it'll all come out of their own mouth in due time. Just think about the previous reunions with Nicci Gilbert who made herself look even worse during the reunions on her own accord.



All in all, the first part of the reunion was pretty interesting. It was announced just this week that R&B Divas LA will be picked up for a third season! I really can't wait and I really hope all the ladies return. I really enjoy seeing the ladies outside of their music. I do want to mention that Chrisette and Claudette were absolutely the best dressed. They looked stunning! Also, shoutout to Funky Dineva for the amazing commentary, she should definitely host one of the reunions! Toodles, until the second part of the reunion which is set to air next Wednesday night (October 1st)!


Click here for my part 2 reunion review!
Click here for my review of the first episode of Hollywood Divas!