So, after the watching season finale of Making the Band 4, I did some reflection. I was thinking about how much I liked the show, and how I was happy with Diddy's Choices for the band. But i also thought about how the show was different from any other Making the Band, and any other reality show. This was -to my knowledge- the first reality show which featured primarily young African American men in competition. And more importantly, showed positive attributes you don’t normally see on TV. By the end of the season, the remaining handful of guys had bonded to a point where they were sad to see the others lose -although they were happy to see themselves advance-
If you recall shows like America's Next Top Model, or Flavor Of Love, the personalities of the contestants presented on the show for the most part, are not positive. It’s caddy, back stabbing, and dirty competition. However, Making the Band 4, for the most part, showed camaraderie, compassion, friendship, and emotion and even physical affection between whom we can assume were heterosexual black men. And this is on MTV! The same MTV that features Lil Wayne & 50 Cent. There’s a great blog I read sometimes called After Elton and its caption is "Because Visibility Matters." When the majority of reality shows thrive of racial, ethnic and socio-economic stereotypes, its refreshing to see a show that does not assume its contestants are stereotypically "angry black men." It reminded me of the very lovable Michael Knight from Season 3 of Project Runway, who NEVER fought anyone on the show, wasn't caddy, over masculine/feminine and made it to the final 3!
Granted, this was still a show about music, and not something we haven't seen before. But it was still a positive portrayal of a group of young men who shared a passion for music, and developed relationships with each other. Diddy encouraged a team mentality but at the same time tested their strengths, if one failed, all failed. Diddy as a community organizer? But he did everything he could to make the competition more "fierce," even going as far as putting them in physical combat against each other in a boxing match, however, if you remember that episode, many of the men were anxious and hesitant to hit each other. And after the matches, friendships resumed. Halfway through the competition, Diddy brought in a whole new set of singers, and the sense of community and solidarity between the original contestants was so strong, they identified together, and fought together to keep eachother on.
If you didn’t catch the show, I'd advise trying to catch up on a marathon, or at least check out what other people have to say about it!
But, I cant write about just this, i have to say, it was EXTREMELY entertaining to watch Laurie Ann Gibson. The choroegrapher that until one of the last few episodes, was kicked off because she stood up to Diddy. She was a little nuts, but still fabulous. Concrete Loop has a clip of her talking to Wendy Williams, whom i first became a fan of when she interviewed Whitney Houston, you MUST MUST MUST find the interview, she puts Diane Saywer in the dust.
Here’s an Un-Official Fansite for Making the Bank 4