"No Scrubs in New York" -
Once upon a time, there was
a major R&B group called TLC. They have had many hits,
including 'Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg' and 'Waterfalls'. Then
one day, Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes passed away in a tragic
accident. 2 years ago, the two surviving members, 'Chilli'
and 'T-Boz', ended their performing ways in a tribute
concert and they haven't performed since.
The rest of this story is open to interpretation. The
1. want to give back to
their community by holding a contest for a new (albeit
temporary) member of TLC to have them perform with them
on stage and record a single or
2. need more money and
figure that this is the best way for people to go back
in time, spark some attention, have them buy some of
their old music, and possibly get some more millions
with a new album.
I'll let you decide which is which.
That's not what I'm here for. I'm here to recap this
series. I'll give you my opinion when the series ends,
but I won't be doing the snarky talk in the middle. I
like to see all of the evidence before passing judgment.
I will say though that the defense better be supplying a
lot of information to convince me that this won't be a 3
month long shill-fest.
The girls are looking for a 'Triple Threat' (Someone who
can sing, dance AND rap) as well as someone who will gel
and work well with people. The women have seen thousands
of audition tapes and have decided to see the best women
in each city. They will audition them live. The women
who impress TLC the most will go to Atlanta, and the one
special girl will perform live with them, and then...who
knows? (their words, not mine).
We start the search in the Big Apple - New York City.
They will surprise 4 girls and take the ones that they
want back to Atlanta. Consider it an 'Upclose and
Personal with T-Boz and Chilli'.
We start with Meah, who claims to be a Black Britney
Spears. Ambush #1 takes place at her work place - the
Bulls Head Tavern, to where she is a bartender. T and C
walk in, and Meah is very surprised. They give her an
invitation to their audition. They also give her a CD
with a specific song that she is to learn and be able to
perform for them. They end the conversation with a hug,
a kiss and a bubbly Meah. They like her personality, so
it's a good start.
We have an interlude at Maroons for lunch. While they
are looking at the menu, they are greeted by Mark, who's
a huge fan. He gives them a college of images of them.
He calls this his gift to them. This wasn't staged at
all, was it? Noooooo. It was very touching as they see
pictures from the very beginning of their career. They
end the visit with a hug. AwwwBarf.
After lunch, Ambush #2 - Brandi, who can rap very well.
She's 19 and lives in Brooklyn. She shows us some
classical music skills and tells us that she's broke and
just got out of the street. She works at a photography
studio and that's where she is visited by T and C. She
seemed sort of happy to see them, and tells them to it
for her to finish her work. T and C weren't nuts that
she wasn't screaming to see them, but Brandi says that
she was doing head flips inside.
She tells T and C that she was in school, but it was too
expensive to stay there. She also talks about her street
sleeping experience and she managed to find a place with
her friends. They give her the CD and leave. The boss
lets her leave, too, so she can rehearse. That's nice of
The third person is Lauren, who lives in Boston. They
love her personality and although she's in Boston, they
give her the airfare to fly to NYC. Lauren loves to take
care of herself and she likes to get pampered. Her dad
was the drummer in Boston, and we see him in the
background while she sings along. She's got a nice
voice, and she says that she can bring the Boston
attitude to the table.
This ambush will take place over the phone. At first,
Lauren is stunned that they called her, but then
excitement takes over and she is thrilled to go to NYC,
hoping that she never has to study again. Uhhh...ok.
While waiting for the 4th ambush, the girls go to FAO
Schwartz and gaze upon the giant keyboard (the one used
in the movie Big). Chilli is able to play Heart and Soul
with a 'piano dancer' while T-Boz stocks up on Star Wars
figures. The women walk out with 4 bags worth of
The final girl in the group is Alju, who is a backup
singer for Maxi Priest. She's originally from
Jacksonville, Florida and currently sings with a band
called Starlight. We hear some of her performance and
she can definitely bring it, but her vocal coach (her
mommy) tells her to make more contact with the audience.
Grandmommy has a form of cancer, and Alju says that
she's doing it for her, adding that you never know how
many days you have with a loved one. How true.
T and C meet her in a recording studio that she is
rehearsing in. Alju sees them and her face lights up
like a Christmas Tree. T and C meets mommy and
grandmommy and Alju gets the invite. Grandmom gets to
dance for T and C and Alju says that TLC was important
to her because they symbolized hip-hop.
Dinner time! They meet a waiter who is very chatty - too
chatty for T-Boz's case, who looks like she's bored.
Hint - if you meet a celebrity and you want to impress
them, don't act like you are trying to. It never works.
The ambushes are over and the 4 singers meet up at T and
C's hotel. The auditions go this way - the women sing
the song off of the CD that was given to them. Whoever
impresses T and C will go to Atlanta. They can take all
of them - or none of them.
Meah sings first, and she gets Etta James's 'At Last'.
She's got a very silky voice and she should be a shoo-in
to go to Atlanta. Lauren gets 'Complicated' by Lauryn
Hill. She ad libs on the melody line, but she also
sounds very good. She also dances a little bit for T and
C. Uhhh...stick to singing. She thinks that she could
have done better. Hmmm...
Alju sings 'Oops' by Tweet. Oops, there goes her memory
for the lyrics. Alju thought that they were going to
start the song over for her. They didn't. Well, we know
that the lyrics aren't up on the wall, as she completely
blanks out on them. Oops - there goes her shot at going
Brandi gets 'Hold On' by Vogue. She has a nice voice,
but she wasn't on pitch with her runs, and when you are
singing acapella, that's deadly. It's even deadlier when
the music comes on and her high pitch does not match the
music. T is bobbing her head, while C is politely
scratching hers. I am scratching mine too, as she is
ad-libbing the song - and a painful one at that.
This should be a VERY easy decision. It SHOULD be Meah
and Lauren advancing. T and C talk to themselves in the
deliberating part of the suite. They say that Meah gives
a lot of feeling, while Brandi was projecting too much.
They love Alju's voice, but they hated her lyric
butchering. They like Lauren's personality and dance
T and C has decided that out of the 4 of them, 3 of them
will be coming to Atlanta. They thought that Meah was
too serious. They thought that Lauren was struggling,
but they loved how she went with it - and they loved her
little dance. They didn't like the lyrics and told her
to be creative if she's going to mess up lyrics. They
like Brandi's passion, but not her pitch.
T and C say that they should all be proud of themselves.
The first person to go to Atlanta is...Meah. Next up
is...Lauren. Finally, the last person to go with them
will be...Alju??!!? Whoa. I guess screwing up the lyrics
isn't as bad as screwing up the pitch. Alju swears that
she is going to work on her memory, and she better. They
tell Brandi that it doesn't mean that she's not
talented, and to keep striving for it. The group hugs
together, and even though Brandi was disappointed, she
prays that the rest of them does well. I would have
taken only 2, but what do I know?
After the auditions, T and C talk about getting dinner.
That ends the episode. Next Week - the women will be
doing some eating in Florida. Join us next we ek to see
who doesn't wilt in the Miami heat.