Diddy Dwindles 'Em Down to Twenty

Published July 20, 2007

Posted June 19, 2007 -- The last two seasons of “MTB” focused on the creation of an all-girl group. Before that, Diddy hazed a bunch of city kids to form a rap group. (What ever happened to The Band? Your guess is as good as mine.) “MTB4” takes it back to season one (remember O-Town?), as Diddy attempts to find the newest edition of the all-boy band. Get it? New Edition. Yes, that’s a shout-out to my favorite male-group of all time, and the fact that Michael Bivins is a judge on this show offers hope that this group might be more successful than Diddy’s previous creations. However, if you were born before 1990, you might recall that Bivins has worn the producer hat before, and other than Boyz II Men and ABC, can you name a group that he took to the top? Take your time. You can get back to me.

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So, viewers were subjected to the regular reality-competition format with auditions and then cuts. Judges including Bivins, R&B artist Joe, choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson – who seems to be getting a bit full of herself – searched the nation to find some men who can sing. They did.

Among the standouts were Dan, a chunky White boy who could dance and sing, and Michael, a brother who can blow, but probably spends more time inhaling. The judges suggested both wannabes lose some weight. So, I guess Diddy won’t be sending them for cheesecake.

Julius, a preacher’s kid, was my favorite. He made the cut after singing his standby church song, “I Won’t Complain.” That’s the same song he sung to save himself during the finalist auditions in Orlando. I like Julius, but he’s got a high-pitched voice for a fella. Let’s hope he can sing more than one song. One thing Diddy is not, is a one-trick pony. The man’s a designer, producer, rap artist, actor, perfumer and performer. So, Julius is not gonna be able to keep pulling that same rabbit out his top hat. Amen?

OK, so I don’t like to judge a book by its cover, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one shocked when Sam, a self-professed “fresh-off-the-boat” Asian-American impressed the judges with his rendition of Luther’s “Superstar.” Sam is no Luther, but he’s no William Hung either. Speaking of “Idol,” Sam’s audition reminded me of Clay Aiken’s; his voice also shocked the crap outta me the first time I heard him. However, just like Clay, Sam proved to be just a runner up. Be honest. You didn’t really think he’d make the cut. Did you?

So after searching the nation for talent, 58 dudes performed for Diddy, and about eight did a decent job. Maybe being a new daddy again has mellowed Diddy ’cause he decided to give the fellas another chance ... lucky for them.

The men came back full force and 20 contestants were selected.

What did you think of the first episode? Who was your favorite singer? Who will make the band?

Written by BET-Staff

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