Our girl group is finally formed, but before they can barely get a note out, there’s drama. Last week, we saw that Gabby has a bit of a scandalous past when a viral video of her kissing a bunch of random dudes pops up. Now Kelly Rowland has to figure out exactly what to do.
*Episode spoilers to follow*
The episode starts with Kelly and Frank Gatson Jr. trying to figure out what to do with Gabby’s smoochy YouTube video. “We need to discuss Gabby and this whole situation,” she says. The video itself seems pretty PG-13 but it poses a bigger problem for Kelly: She’s already wondering if the group is too big. Is this a sign from the YouTube gods that Gabby needs to be cut? “Here I am with five talented young ladies and some people telling me it should be four,” says Kelly. “So what do I do?” Frank is less worried about the video. “We all make mistakes,” he tells Kelly. “She’s always been a raw diamond that needs to be polished. I just don’t think it’s that deep.”
Is the raw diamond too hot for this group? Kelly struggles with this. She admits that she and Destiny’s Child had to be very careful about their image but this is a different time. With social media and celebrity nudes leaking on the regular, is Gabby’s offense really that bad? Not really. “I don’t even care about the tape. It’s not that deep,” says Kelly. Her argument is that Gabby is now part of a sisterhood and needs to act like it. “I really just think she should have told the girls.”
Before a decision can be made, the girls go back to the dance studio to work on their En Vogue routine. It’s been awhile since they did this routine and they’re sloppy. Most people don’t realize how hard it is to sing and dance (in heels!) and look good while you’re doing it. I couldn’t do this routine with sneakers on. The girls get a taste of their potential future by meeting the one and only En Vogue. “I was about to cry,” says Brienna. “They have done everything we aspire to do as a girl group.” For Kristal, it’s a reunion because she’s worked with Terry Ellis before. The girls can’t get too starstruck because it’s time to perform for En Vogue. They better bring it.
The girls take on the 1992 classic jam “My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It).” Fun fact: En Vogue was Frank’s big break back in the day. Brienna is very confident while Ashly and Gabby are a little off. Kelly hopes that the experience is humbling. “You always have space to grow. There’s great potential,” says Kelly. Ashly, one of the weaker dancers, speaks up and asks En Vogue for advice. “Practice. Practice. Practice,” says Terry. “It’s a roller coaster,” adds Cindy.
This advice makes Kelly realize that communication is key. She has to bring up the super awkward Gabby video with the girls. “Um…this is awkward,” she begins. “I got a link and it affects everybody.” Cue guilty looking faces from all the girls. Hey, we all got skeletons. “Oh God,” says Gabby. She already knows. “A few months ago, I made a really dumb decision,” she says. “Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking I was making the group for sure so I wasn’t going to stress myself out.” Gabby explains that she got $300 to do the video and she honestly thought no one would see it. “Is it porn?” Ashly asks innocently. Nice way to cut the tension. “As long as y’all are cool, that’s all I care about,” says Kelly. The girls are supportive of Gabby but tell her to be mindful in the future. “If she a h*, we all a h*,” says Kristal. “I hate that video,” says Gabby.
MAJOR KEY: Do not do anything on video that you wouldn’t want your mama, daddy or Kelly Rowland to see. Seriously, when will people learn this?! “Fame is a drug,” says Kelly.
Brienna takes Gabby aside afterward. Instead of eating a huge slice of humble pie, Gabby seems mad at Kelly for questioning her authenticity. If you make out with random weirdos on camera, you’re gonna be questioned as a fame-chaser. Simple as that. Brienna reads Gabby — in a nice way — and she needs to hear it. “Get your s**t together. Get your mentality together,” she says. Back at the hotel, the other girls watch the video. “When I saw it, I was like, ‘Okayyy,’” says Shyann. “I’m still trying to figure Gabby out,” says Kristal. “Do you want to be here?” Gabby is pissed off at Kelly for looking at her sideways. “I’m here for the music and the music alone. Frankly, I don’t need to prove that to anyone. I’m not chasing this to be on television or to be a star.”
I’m all for wanting to be an authentic musician but Gabby takes her don’t-give-a-f**k attitude a bit too far. She walks around completely casual and the other girls don’t like it. “Who am I trying to impress?” asks Gabby. “You’ll be surprised by how many people will judge you, whether or not you [look] like a star,” says Ashly. “That’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way.” Ashley is 1000% RIGHT. Anyone can walk into the studio or pop into a performance and the last thing the girls need is one sloppy member. Dress for the job you want, Gabby. No one wants to see you in Birkenstocks and pajamas.
The next day, the girls meet up with Mr. Martin, boxing coach to the stars. “Competition makes you better,” he says. They wrap their hands and get to work. “This is gonna be one of the toughest workouts they’ve had,” says Kelly. “Somebody’s gonna puke,” says Martin. Ashly struggles the hardest while Brienna makes it look easy. This is the behind-the-scenes work that we rarely get to see. Can you imagine what insane workouts people like Beyoncé and Rihanna are doing? Martin says that Brienna is in “great shape but needs more grit” while Gabby and Shyann have the grit. Ashly and Kristal are dead last. Being in shape isn’t just about looks. Kelly says that fitness is important to keep up with the performing and daily responsibilities of being a star. Despite being one of the strongest dancers, Shyann is struggling. She’s having trouble breathing and looks like she’s hyperventilating. “Everything in my body shut down,” she says. “It was a big, scary moment for me.” Martin helps her breathe and says that she probably had a panic attack.
The situation is scary but Shyann is determined not to let this derail her. “I ain’t about to go home.”
After the incident, Kelly takes Gabby aside for a one-on-one to wrap up the video drama. Kelly wants Gabby to open up communication and not feel weird about it. “Communication will make or break the group,” says Kelly. “I’m so ashamed of the video. I don’t like to talk about it,” Gabby says. “I feel like my nervousness is misconstrued. I want to be the best group member I can be.” “You can so often be misunderstood,” says Kelly. The convo puts Gabby at ease. She isn’t going to be sent home — for now.