22
May
2013

R&B Divas’ Nicci Gilbert Clears the Air On Rumors That She Was Fired, Says Issues With Syleena Johnson Began Last Season + Why She Created ‘Divas & Cocktails’

Written by tjbwriteratlanta in Blog

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Four episodes in, and the good folk at TV One are definitely keeping us entertained for season number two of R&B Divas. With two new cast members, we weren’t sure if these ‘divas’ would be able to pull it off, but after peeping the teaser and tuning in each Wednesday night, we’re sorta, kinda addicted. Recently, we caught up with Nicci Gilbert, co-creator of the show, at her No Ego Music studio, trying to get insight on this season. For starters, what’s the REAL issue between her and cast mate Syleena Johnson? And was she ever in jeopardy of being fired from the show? She also discusses the concept behind ‘Divas and Cocktails’ and whether or not the show has become ‘ratchet.’ Peep a few excerpts below.

On Creating R & B Divas: 

I actually created the show and I casted the show, I brought all the ladies on board and then I reached out to the Faith because I knew we needed an anchor and she was kind enough. Faith and I have been friends for almost 20 years. She is not about the BS, but when she saw that it was all pretty much together and she saw the sizzle reel–we actually co-funded the sizzle reel.

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On The Power She Has As Show Creator:

People think we have the ability to go into the editing room and say, “Oh on take that out, no we don’t want that.”  If that did in fact happen it wouldn’t be fair to the other ladies who are our friends and our peers because you know I would be like “Oh, my teeth look so big right there; I look fat.”

So to stay neutral, I think that it’s best if we are on camera not to have the ability or the right to edit other people or be a part of that. We did see the first few episodes of season one and then after that I was like, “Oh okay, so this is why I didn’t see the other ones,” but again we do have creatively in terms of producing the show, I think everyone really produces their own story. You know what I mean?

On The Rumor That She Was Fired From The Show: 

Absolutely, positively none. I was never, ever–I have a really great relationship with TV One, a great relationship with TV One. TV one is the only entity that has the ability to say “you’re fired.” At the point that they say they’re fired, that is just basically them saying we don’t want to see you on camera anymore. Because in terms of me being fired as an executive producer and stuff like that, we got contracts to protect us from just a random firing.

On If She Can Have Cast Members Fired: 

First of all, I would never exercise that authority. Never in a million years because you know what, at the end of the day, I’m a business woman. And the only woman that I think should not be on the show is a woman who is just not adding anything one way or the other. And who doesn’t want to be there? But I would never. People have children and families and lives and that’s the reason I reached out to everybody. I’m not taking business to the personal level unless of course something happened to a degree where it was just like you know me or her. If it’s ever a me or her situation, then it’s her.

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On Her Clothing Line Curvato: 

The price point on Curvato, because everything is pretty much custom tailored to fit right now, starts at about $150 and goes up to about $250. So I mean for a custom piece that is made for your exact measurements I think it’s a pretty decent deal….We will be a year in August. We launched during Mother’s Day weekend, so it will be a year mother’s day in terms of the birth of the idea so to speak, but the business itself which is an online business has only been around, we launched in August.

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On Her New Online Show Diva’s and Cocktails: 

Ever since I was little, I was the girl that got all my friends together in the garage “Like hey yall we going to make up a routine, we going to get a song together.”  So I am always coming up with ideas and concepts and I have always wanted to do talk show; I told ya’ll I was an Oprah fan. So I have always wanted to do talk and I feel like Atlanta has become such a hotbed for really cool, creative projects and stuff. So I reached out to Rodney Perry and a group of really amazing women and I was like, ‘Hey, let’s do something that is Hot Topics, something that is sketch comedy and fun’. DivasandCocktails.com, every Wednesday right after R&B Divas at 11pm. So it’s kind of our Watch What Happens/Wendy Williams moment, unofficial but we have been getting some awesome feedback so I would anticipate we will have a network attached; fingers, toes and eyes crossed.

On Issues With Cast Mate Syleena Johnson:

We’ve had issues. Syleena and I have had issues since really and honestly before we started filming season one. And those issues you know–I’m a very loyal person. I’m loyal to a fault. I will give you the shirt off my back, I love hard and I’m committed to my friendships. And when a person comes into a situation and I see that loyalty is not reciprocated it pulls up red flag. Now there’s several times where I just decided to sweep it under the rug and give another chance.

I think it has to do with the fact that she has anger management issues. Those are issues I know for certain I don’t have. I’ve never jumped up and started screaming and cursing anybody out. So we’re nothing alike in that regard. In terms of being honest, In terms of being forth right, in terms of sort of you know saying… well honest is relative but in terms of just what comes up comes out and not being afraid of what you want to say I think we’re very similar. She’s from Chicago and I’m from Detroit.

On Being Concerned About The Show’s Direction: 

I’ve always felt like because we were talented singers and we were already dramatic, all of us with the exception of Faith and Latocha. Very dramatic people.The way we express ourselves. You know honesty dramatic, and I’m feeling like now it’s just the more ratchet you are, the successful you become. On my life and everything I love, I will walk away from it with a smile on my face before I allow myself to start screaming and yelling and cursing and flipping out. You’re not going to see that from me. And unfortunately because I decided this time. We will have all of those conversations about all of those incidents off camera and have them as friends.

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Describing Her Cast Members In One Word: 

Angie Stone:

1979

Faith:

Friend

Latocha:

New

KeKe:

Growth

Syleena:

Concern

 

And here’s the full interview.

For all things Nicci Gilbert, follow her on Twitter @niccigilbert and tune into R& B Diva’s Wednesday nights, at 10 PM on TV One.

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