“R&B Divas” recap (2.7): Sticks and (Brown)Stones


Let’s do a quick recap of what we’ve seen of Nicci Gilbert on R&B Diva over the last two years.

Season 1: Repeatedly makes a point of how music doesn’t speak to her anymore; spends most of her time on other business ventures like the fashion line Curvato.

Season 2: Seems slightly back into music but honestly I don’t know that much about it because she spends most of her time fighting with Syleena and causing drama about a possible divas tour which she does not want to do.

The Last Two Episodes: Very suddenly getting Brownstone back together. Because Michael Jackson believed in them! Wants all the divas to sing together like they’re all perfectly happy singing sisters.

I know we don’t get to see everything that happens off screen on a reality show, but I feel like Nicci is a character that’s been written by someone with a very bad sense of continuity.

We begin this week’s episode with her inviting two former Brownstone members, Teisha and Maxee, to her house to discuss a possible reunion. They seem into it as long as it’s an all-in effort. Nicci once again gives sort of sketchy details about what she actually means by a Brownstone reunion, but they clink their mimosa glasses regardless. Which is all fine and good. Get it, Brownstone!

Then, Nicci brings all the divas together to a venue where she’s putting together some type of show. She shares the news with them that Brownstone’s getting back together and will be performing a few songs at this show. Everyone says “Yay!” She also then explains that they’ll be launching the charity she and her daughter have talked about before, Divas and Wildflowers or something like that, kicking it off by giving makeovers to 20 women in Atlanta who have been victims of domestic abuse or poverty. Everyone says “Yay!” Angie steps in and says she’ll donate $100. Angie, by the way, is also rocking some biker chic fierceness this evening.

Then Nicci says she’d love all the divas to come and help perform the finale. Everyone’s faces become sort of blank and confused. Syleena says she’d love to donate to the charity, but will have to think about the singing. Everyone else just continues to sit and contribute to the awkward silence.

The situation seems to be this: it puts people in an uncomfortable position when you’re invited to a charity event, because you look like a big jerk if you say no. But this is also the ladies’ careers, and they all seem to have a lot going on at the moment, so making them perform for free for Nicci’s own personal benefit seems sort of sketchy and manipulative. It wouldn’t be that way if the divas all knew this was something Nicci had been working on for a long time and they were all being supportive of each other, but she sort of sprang it on them all at once. It’d also be different if the event itself was clearer: Is it a Brownstone reunion concert? Is it a charity fundraising event? Is it a fashion show?

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