“R&B Divas” recap (3.5): Grammy Don’t Play That


I’ve been feelin’ this season of R&B Divas since the first episode–as I’ve felt all previous seasons of the divas–but I think this week’s Episode Numero Cinco was the best one yet of Season Tres. There was a lot of music, a lot of drama, a lot of Monifah and Terez being adorable. It was the best of all worlds!

We begin with Angie and her man Ashanti shooting pool at her gorgeous house, living the dream. One day, I too will have a pool table and a fancy bar in the basement of my very own gorgeous house! That’s possible for writers and teachers, right? Right? Anyway, they’re planning a big party for Angie’s b-day, and Ashanti brings up the divas, hoping they will come and maybe sing a lil’, too. Hoo boy. This is the tricky part of having any kind of talent that is also your career. You want to share your talent with the people you love, for the act of celebration and joy and togetherness, when you want to. But you also don’t want to be EXPECTED to give it freely, because then it just feels like being taken advantage of. But we’ve been on this merry-go-round with the divas before, so we’ll see how this one turns out.

Monifah and Terez also meet together for the first time with their wedding planner, who is lovely and enthusiastic and bright, who appears competent and charming but not over-the-top, like some event planners can sometimes be. I am happy she’s the one in Mo and Terez’s corner. She lays out some vision boards, photos that are all, of course, filled with tropical shades of purple. Mo and Terez have settled on an island setting, but here’s the rub: not all islands are alike, and many in the Caribbean and the Bahamas aren’t yet down with the gays. They’ll allow you to have a ceremony, of course–they’re still down with taking your money–but there would have to be another marriage somewhere in the States to make it actually legal.


Terez says that it’s important that wherever they are actually celebrates, acknowledges, and welcomes who they are, not just with smiles but with actual legal rights. Sing it, sister. And while the Caribbean may be behind the times, Hawaii fits the bill. The only reason it wasn’t their first choice initially was because it’s a little farther than they had hoped for their East Coast family. But everything else about it makes sense. Hawaii is the place. MO + TEREZ HAWAII OR BUST 2014.



In one of the hilarious in-between commercial snippets that are increasingly my favorite thing, we also see Monifah say, wistfully and genuinely, that she wishes her cat could be part of the ceremony, too, but that it’s “too far” for Kitty to go. I know I’m not actually friends with Monifah, but sometimes, I feel like she is the biggest lesbian I know. KITTY OR BUST 2014.

We move to LaTavia’s apartment, where she’s meeting with her manager Corey. He has a lot of good news for her, but none of it really seems that relevant to us or this show. She’s asked to be on the cover of Upscale magazine, and later we’ll get to see the photo shoot, which is fun and fancy and pretty. Corey then also mentions a play that she was in recently, and says that she’s been asked to be in another. LaTavia then goes into another monologue about how she’s not ready to step back into the singing life, which, yeah, yeah, we get it by this point, but what is this about these plays? Can we get more details on that?

I’m understanding at this point that LaTavia is ready to step back into the spotlight in some way, but the road she wants to take clearly leads to more acting, not more singing. I’m happy for her, and I like her. But why is she on this show? A show about singers? Obviously, it’s just to get her name and face out there again, so she can be more successful in whatever endeavors she actually wants to do, but it seems a bit (or a lot) facetious. And I like to think that the majority of what happens on R&B Divas is actually genuine (I mean, as genuine as reality shows can be, but I think we all accept that), so this rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I’m wrong and she actually will open up her mouth and sing and find her inner peace on the concert stage again at some point this season, but I doubt it.


But in terms of ladies who really can sing and really do love it, Monifah and Syleena show up at Keke’s house to celebrate a very big musical accomplishment: a freaking GRAMMY NOMINATION, y’all! Syleena is also wearing a coat so big and fabulous that it could probably hide ten Grammys!


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