“R&B Divas” recap (3.2): Loss and Opportunity

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This week on R&B Divas, the enragement from last week begins to settle down, and we get to see more of what’s actually been going on with the different divas. And boy, is there a lot going on. We begin with Monifah and Terez in Mo’s kitchen, starting to actually make plans for their fabulous day of matrimony. Mo wants to make sure the planning doesn’t stress them out too much or bring tension between them. There’s one thing they definitely agree on, though: it’s going to be in a warm climate, on an island that supports marriage equality. Mo just wants a pretty bouquet and a beach. Don’t we all! We’ll discover later that there’s more Mo wants for this wedding, but for now she and Terez end the conversation with a hug.

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We also get to see a lot of Syleena this episode, which is awesome, starting with her sitting down at a fancy restaurant and lookin’ fine with music exec Wayne Williams. He tells her that a million and one record companies wants to give her a deal! But it’s actually him who really wants her, as he and R. Kelly have just started their own record company and she could be one of their first artists. There’s just a tiny problem. To secure the deal, Syleena has to show him some songs, and the exact number of songs she currently has recorded is one. One is not enough. Syleena has to get a lot of music done, and fast.

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There are a number of reasons why this is especially stressful for Leena right now. One, the producer she was working with last season, Bangladesh, got busy with other projects. She’s working with someone new now, but is still behind. The biggest factor, however, is her sister and manager and partner in crime, Syleecia. As they sit on the beautiful red couch in Syleena’s house, we get the full story. Syleecia was recently seven months pregnant when she learned her baby’s heart had stopped beating. She then had to endure 30 hours of labor to deliver her stillborn child. Holy. Shit.

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This episode promised “real talk,” and this is as real as it gets. Syleena needs her sister’s help, but Syleecia doesn’t have a lot of motivation to give. As she says, “I’m never going to be the same again.” She says that she hates this industry because it “punishes you for being a woman,” that no one cares that she’s going through this, that she still feels pushed to organize release parties on the same day that she’s going to the hospital to deliver her dead baby.

Later, the sisters sit around the table with their mom, and Syleecia suggests that they need to bring someone else in to co-manage, at least for the moment. Momma Johnson jumps in to say she can help out. Syleecia asks how she’ll manage that when she can’t even use a computer. Momma rejects that assertion: “I watch Facebook, YouTube, I’m good!” Momma Johnson is increasingly my favorite person. This provides a welcome bout of laughter from both sisters.

Syleecia says she thinks she’ll stick with looking for a manager outside of the home.

Perhaps the most amazing moment of the episode comes when Monifah and Syleena and family gear up for a 5K for Kile’s World charity, in honor of Tameka Foster’s son Kile who was killed a year and a half ago. Although Monifah casually refers to it as a marathon. 5K, 26.2 miles; I mean, who’s counting? I love you, Mo. Anyway, it involves Syleena’s mom huffing and puffing from the get-go and complaining about looking like a bumblebee in their yellow shirts, all while fitness expert Donna Richardson shouts them on. It is amazing.

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It’s on this 5K run/walk (they kept saying they were running, but it appeared to be more like a brisk walk most of the time), that Mo makes the announcement that she wants to get liposuction. Fitness expert Donna Richardson freaks out. Syleena’s mom shouts, “Don’t let them suck that fat outta you!” Monifah says she wants to look good in her wedding dress. I say from my couch, “Aw, Mo.”

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Even though almost everyone seems to be giving her flack about it, Monifah proceeds to go in for a consultation with her plastic surgeon. She expresses her only true fear about the surgery: that she’ll have to take pain killers afterwards. And now that she’s sober, she doesn’t want to even tempt any type of addiction monster coming back at her. The doctor assures her that she doesn’t necessarily need to take narcotics if she doesn’t want them. She then compliments Mo’s butt and boots, which makes Mo happy. There’s just one last barrier: telling Terez.

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