We told you yesterday that the casts were announced for season two of R&B Divas LA, and season three of R&B Divas in Atlanta. While the gang is all back for Los Angeles, the big news was that for Atlanta, both Faith Evans and Nicci Gilbert were leaving the show, and LaTocha Scott of Xscape fame also wouldn’t be returning. But before you jump to conclusions about why certain ladies are hitting the road, we spoke to Nicci Gilbert today and she explained why she wouldn’t be making an appearance the third time around, and whether or not we’ll ever see that R&B Divas tour.
The former Brownstone singer, in her upbeat and straightforward way of saying things, explained that she realized the show was not a good look for her brand, and that her businesses even started to take a hit from the bad reputation she was getting on the show. “I just realized that it really wasn’t a good look for me as a 43-year-old woman with a daughter that I’m trying to raise.” Gilbert said she wanted to set a good example and felt that bickering back and forth with the women she started the whole series as friends with was just not for her. She even spilled that she originally wanted to leave the show after season one, but had a change of heart.
“I actually wasn’t going to come back for season two because there were things that occurred that I wasn’t happy about.” That includes the one-dimensional way she says that she was portrayed on the show. Though she had a lot of creative say during season one when the series was just getting off the ground, things changed to the point that the show she helped put together as a producer was more damaging than anything.
But Gilbert says, “I’m still getting a check as a producer, so please, tune into R&B Divas!” However, she will get to give people a better look at her life, as she’s working on her own reality show, coming out in 2014. Gilbert says it will paint her in more than just the one-dimensional way folks saw her on R&B Divas. She also says that people can expect to see that R&B Divas tour after all, just not on Thanksgiving as the ladies initially planned.
“It’s not because, oh, ‘nobody wanted to see it.’ There was just a really busy touring schedule in Atlanta. We do have a market, so the tour will happen, it will just be happening in March.” Who will take part in the “Diary of a Diva” tour? Gilbert says she’ll have more of a hosting responsibility, but Faith Evans will be there, Keke Wyatt will take part, as will Kelly Price–but the other ladies aren’t on board. Of course, that includes Syleena Johnson, who tried to coordinate a totally different tour that couldn’t come together during season two.
“We already had promoters and a tour on the table. So when I went to Syleena’s house in season two and she started talking about a tour, I was like, ‘Wait, what!?’ This is real life?”
But despite that confusion and the falling out Gilbert has had with most of her cast members (and says everything she said on the show she meant–except for some mean words to Angie Stone), she would love if they could be cordial enough to work together come March. “I hope that before then we can come together and do what the show was originally intended to be about.”
Now that she’s leaving the reality show behind, Gilbert was open about the effects the negativity of everything, including haters online, had on her at one time. “There were times where I would wake up so stressed, I thought I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” And she does want to share a message with her detractors, for herself and women like Kelly Price and Dawn Robinson, who have become something of the “bad girls” of the franchise. She says that people need to understand that there’s more to “the truth” and their stories than people get to see. “Try to have an open mind…at the end of the day, reality stars are just doing what they can to feed their families.”
So there you have it. After talking to the producer, singer, designer and all-around businesswoman, I can attest to the fact that she actually comes off like a very sweet person, but you know, reality TV is about showing people in a certain light so that a show can get the ratings it’s looking for. R&B Divas did just that, but it will have to continue to do so without Gilbert.