“R&B Divas” recap (3.8 & 3.9): One Night Only

Welcome to a mega-diva-recap, covering the episodes from both last week and this one, as I catch up after being on vacation. And there is a LOT to catch up on, y’all. There’s strippers lighting their asses on fire; there are coochie cakes; and there’s finally, finally the One Night Only concert in the City of Angels. And there is a lot, a lot of drama and confusion swirling around like tropical storms. In fact, that’s where we start, jumping right in after Syleena had swiftly departed rehearsal at the end of Episode 7. The mood is summed up in everyone’s really happy body language!

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This situation is tough. Syleena’s pissed because Angie cut her out of a tour without talking to her about it, a very legitimate reason to be pissed. But when Monifah calls out Angie on being disingenuous about all of her constant sisterhood talk, it obviously really hurts Angie. And while Angie can be bullheaded sometimes, no one wants to see her cry.

The bad feelings are brought to the table, literally, when Syleena, Monifah, and Angie later sit down to lunch to hash it out. And even after they hash it out, I’m still a little confused. But it seems like they’re okay with each other anyway, so I guess it’s OK? It goes like this: Syleena explains her feelings. Angie doesn’t deny anything but listens patiently with a pained look on her face. So I don’t think Syleena got any of her facts wrong. She was screwed out of a tour.

But after watching this scene a couple times, I think the missing factor is Ashanti, Angie’s manager and boyfriend. He takes care of all the business, and when it comes to business, you really can’t turn down a tour. So he basically told Angie, “Hey, Syleena’s going to be mad at you, because we’re taking this tour without her, but just keep your mouth closed about it.” I think the only thing Angie could have done better was communicate it all clearer to Syleena, and apologize for how it turned out. More on Ashanti in a hot second, though.

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Monifah also takes this moment of healing to invite Angie to her wedding, the last piece of the diva wedding puzzle. This is a much more deserved and expected invite than, say, Meelah or LaTavia’s, but whatever, man, I am ready for Hawaii.

Speaking of wedding bells, Ashanti and Angie’s relationship takes a prominent role in this episode. They go out to dinner, and Angie not-so-subtly hints that Mo and Rez’s wedding buzz has made her wonder when her own ring will be placed upon her finger. Ashanti awkwardly avoids answering. Later, we see a family dinner at Angie’s house, with both Ashanti and her daughter Diamond present. This is apparently a big deal because there seems to have been some big throwdown between Diamond and Ashanti in the past, even though we don’t get any real clue as to what that specifically was. But their newfound friendship results in them ganging up on Angie, playfully, but Angie still gets her feelings hurt. And then Angie brings up marriage again, and asks Ashanti point blank if, after eight years, he’s ever going to marry her. He just keeps saying, “When the time is right,” no matter how much she pleads, which is the most cop-out-y answer in the Ultimate Book of Cop-Outs.

Maybe Ashanti just doesn’t express himself well on camera. But after witnessing him in a few episodes now, I feel really wary of him. He seems sort of cold and blocked off, like there’s this deadness behind his eyes. He also insinuates at one point during this dinner that he doesn’t care what Angie’s family or friends think of him, an opinion that always rubs me the wrong way. Angie’s always so exploding with warmth and love and soul that I feel she deserves someone who says, without hesitation, “Eff yeah, I’m going to marry you, woman!” Look, if you have philosophical or financial barriers against marriage, that’s one thing, but it doesn’t seem like Ashanti has either. This whole episode just makes me actually feel sort of sad for Angie Stone.

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