Posted Thursday, November 2, 2017 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
I was able to screen the first episode of Bravo’s Kandi Burruss spin-off show “Xscape Still Kickin’ It” on the reunion of the popular 1990s girl group and its’ fascinating to watch old dynamics come back into play almost immediately.
Burruss, LaTocha Scott, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Tamika Scott reunited after 19 years for a tour. The reality show chronicles the ups and downs of their efforts to do so. Both Burruss (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”) and Tiny (“Tiny & Toya,” “T.I. and Tiny”) are reality show vets. LaTocha was on TV One’s “R&B Divas Atlanta” for one season. Tamika has been relatively off the radar.
Here are four relatively spoiler-free observations:
Who’s history is it? The four women broke up in the late 1990s and to this day can’t agree why. Kandi: “LaTocha wanted to go solo.” LaTocha: “Kandi wanted to go solo.” Kandi: “Bulls****.” Tamika in a 2007 radio interview accused Kandi of sleeping with producer Jermaine Dupri [who discovered them] and that led to the break up. As a result, Kandi did not speak to Tamika for nine years because she said that was a lie. They made up on air on V-103’s Big Tigger show earlier this year. Offers poured in for a reunion tour after that and the foursome decided to go for it.
Old “bad” habits die hard: Tamika Scott is notorious for running late. And on the first rehearsal day three weeks before the group’s hotly anticipated Essence Festival concert, she is, of course, tardy for the party.
Dance, dance: Kandi is the weakest dancer of the quartet and she has trouble with choreography. “I don’t dip it, I don’t swing it,” Kandi says. “I feel like a fish out of water.” She also doesn’t like the set list LaTocha creates, arguing to start the set with the group’s biggest hit “Just Kickin’ It,” not end it.
Who leads? Much of the early tension is indeed between LaTocha and Kandi. LaTocha is the oldest member of the group and always fashioned herself as the leader. But Kandi’s push back creates conflict immediately. Tiny in general appears to be peacemaker while Tamika and LaTocha, as sisters, stick together. The rest of the season should be a fun journey for the viewers as they prep for their Essence Festival appearance.