Season 4 of BET's "Sunday Best" kicked off tonight and it didn't disappoint. This season will feature the same judges (Donnie McClurkin, Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell) and the same host, Kirk Franklin. The only noticeable change was that the auditions were held in churches instead of a hotel or some other type venue.
Episode 1: Atlanta
The Atlanta audition was shown first. For the most part this wasn't any different than something you would see on any other type of singing competition. There were some really amazing singers that made it to the next round. There were a couple of people that seemed good enough to make it to the next round, but the judges thought otherwise. As you would expect, there were some really horrible singers that made you wonder why they even came out to audition.
The surprise of the Atlanta audition came when we got a special treat from some the "Sunday Best" alumni. Previous "Sunday Best" winners Crystal Aikin and Y'Anna Crawley teamed up with former finalists Durward Davis and Dontavious Boatwright. Together, the four powerhouse singers delivered an amazing vocal performance.
A total of 10 contestants from the Atlanta auditions made it through to the next round.
Episode 2: Dallas and Los Angeles
The big surprise at the Dallas auditions was when a man walked out in front of the judges with a scarf covering his face. It turns out that this "mysterious man" was actually actor David Mann. He plays Mr. Brown on the show "Meet the Browns". The judges asked for an audition song, so he sang "This is Your Granddaddy".
A total of 5 contestants were selected from the Dallas auditions and 10 contestants were selected from Los Angeles.
An Insider's View
You may or may not have know this, but before the contestants make it to Donnie, Erica and Tina, they need to get past the preliminary judges. Jawn Murray was one of the preliminary judges and offered some interesting comments on Twitter about what goes on at "Sunday Best". Here are some of his comments:
"Just started watching#BETSundayBest See they're starting w/ the last city ATL. Most of the best singers came thru ATL really…then LA"
"Many people who audition for the show are better in the prelim rounds & then go down in flames on TV judge's stage."
"Of course, its a TV show. #BETSundayBest RT @LadyRubes: @JawnMurray but do y'all purposely pass some horrible singers too??"
For some reason, BET chose not to air the show in the same order they did the auditions. I'm not sure they choose to do this, but I'm sure there is a valid reason.
Jawn's comments also make it clear that bad singers make it to TV for a reason. Let's face it, bad singers make for good TV. I know that some of us have friends that auditioned and didn't make it past the preliminary judges. They weren't amazing and they weren't horrible. People like to watch a train wreck. Average or slightly above average singers just don't bring in ratings.
Did you see episodes 1 & 2 of BET's "Sunday Best"? What do you think about it?