REVIEW: BET Awards 2014

Time for my annual BET Awards review! I actually worked half the night to get it ready for the morning, but have a lot more to do before I leave for CANADA in a few days!

Of course, the night kicked off with the Pre-Show, which everyone always has playing in the background as they finish up some last minute things before the actual show starts. However, I actually watched mostly due to Adrienne Bailon who co-shosted with Shad Moss (formerly known as Bow Wow), Keshia Chante, and Lloyd Boston. As a blogger trying to get to the next level, I always like to watch people interview others, and their dynamics back and forth, and I thought Adrienne did a great job. Which is why I'll be watching The Real this fall!


"A Walk in the Clouds"-The Challenge: Free Agents Finale!

The Challenge: Free Agents finale was a tough one! Picking up from last week, Zach is still being
pulled by the current, but a rescue kayak finally reaches him and pulls him to safety! He and Devyn finally get back into the swing of it, trying to make up time on their kayak. Meanwhile, Laurel and Bananas keep on keeping on, completing the stage in 40 minutes. Nany and Johnny make it in about 45 minutes, while Devyn and Zach get there in about an hour.

Stage two is a 10K run and then the players have a puzzle to solve. The teams for this heat are Johnny and Laurel, Zach and Nany, and Devyn and Bananas. The run is the most grueling part, which takes a lot of people's energy, but everyone eventually makes it to the puzzle. The puzzles, which are made from old trees with city names printed on them, have to be stacked so that the cities are stacked from southern most to northern most. There is a 30 minute time limit. It's funny because most of them don't even know where half of these cities are! However, Devyn and Johnny figure out the best way to put the puzzle together is by putting the physical tree together. The time runs out for everyone except them, but it still doesn't give them much of a lead since they were the last to get there.

Hollywood Exes S3, E7 (RECAP)

Hollywood Exes has definitely been really good this season! Picking up from last episode (there wasn't a new episode last week because of I Love The 2000s), the ladies are still in Hawaii living it up! The next morning, Sheree wakes up to find all of the writing on her from her drunken night! It was so funny, as the girls talk about everything they wrote. At that moment, Drea comes in, and has to hurry to get changed since the ladies plan to ride ATVs. One the way there, she reveals that she had a breakdown with the wedding plans, which is literally happening in a few weeks. She invites all of them to be bridesmaids, minus Shanna, who takes it in stride since she’s new to the group. It’s a little late in the game to be asking though! Mayte has her own issues as well, with Humberto who’s giving her somewhat of the silent treatment. The ladies eventually crack jokes, and Andrea says out loud that it's a lot more fun that Jessica isn't here. The first of many digs at Jessica throughout the episode.


In The Spotlight: Natalia Damini

Working hard to feature a few different artists this week! As always, if you or someone you know, is an upcoming artist, producer, actor, etc., and are interested in a feature, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com!

Today on The Spotlight, we have Brazilian singer Natalia Damini! This upcoming star has had her sights on music since she was only five years old. “I remember when I was singing, imagining a crowd of fans in front of me. That was so fun!” she said. “ I have been dreaming [about] this my whole life.” When she was 17, she met a DJ that was looking for a singer to put on his record. He only had music, and not any lyrics, so Natalia wrote the track, which became her first single “Feelin’ The Love.” “The people liked it and the DJs started sharing the song all over the country and outside, I had a demand for shows and that's how everything started,” the singer said. Natalia eventually left home for Sao Paulo alone, touring around Brazil to pursue her dream.

"The $350,000 Pyramid"-The Challenge: Free Agents Episode 11 (RECAP)

We are almost at the very end of The Challenge: Free Agents, and I'm excited to see who's going to win! Picking up from last week, the elimination round is in motion! The players play Wrecking Wall, with each player having to punch and kick holes in a wall to make it to the top. CT claws and punches that wall with a vengeance! It's neck and neck between him and Leroy, but CT manages to make it to his bell first, sending Leroy home. Now Bananas might just have to deal with CT's revenge. Then comes time for the REAL battle! Unfortunately for Cara, the hurt hand is what really hurt her in the game, and Laurel blows past her. Laurel apologizes surprisingly at the end, but for Cara, the friendship can't be what it was.

After the losing players leave the arena, T.J. announces that the remaining players need to meet him at the airport, because they are going to the Andes Mountains! When they get there, it's absolutely beautiful , and the house is amazing too! They have a great view of the mountains, and there's even a smoking volcano! However the volcano is called "House of the Devil," so you just KNOW that it's about to go down in this final. Even though it's cool that they're switching up locations, this brings along a new challenge as well since no one knows what to expect.

Five Years of The Spotlight!

Wow, FIVE YEARS! The Spotlight has hit a milestone people! I literally remember creating this blog like it was yesterday, bored during my internship and needing something to make myself busy. Little did I know that I would find my purpose that summer of 2009. I still can't believe it sometimes.

I'm not quite where I want to be, but the journey over these past five years has been remarkable. I've been able to network and form bonds with various people, grow in my skills, and write about what I love! It's a hard job balancing everything, and I still don't have it all down pat yet, but I'm growing every year, and I thank God for that. I thank Him that He showed me what I'm meant to do at such a young age, for giving me something that I'm truly passionate about, that motivates me to work hard every day.

Thank you all for the love shown, and the continued support of The Spotlight!


"Talk to the Hand"-The Challenge: Free Agents Episode 10 (RECAP)

FINALLY CAUGHT UP! Still have a lot of spotlights to do as well, which is good. The work load is heavy, though so if you are interested in a volunteer writing position to build up your resume, email me! Trust me, there's plenty of great opportunities to create clips for your portfolio, including interviews with the up and coming!

Moving on to the topic at hand. We are nearing the end of The Challenge: Free Agents, so the game is gettingmore intense! Picking up from episode 9, Cara Maria went to the hospital for x-rays on her hand, and never returned. People are definitely worried that she’ll be eliminated. Laurel, who hasn’t been the best friend to Cara Maria lately, is confronted by CT and Johnny about it. When Cara returns with a cast on her hand, Laurel tries to talk to her, but Cara is over it. She says that she’s done with Laurel and walks away.

"Best Friends For Never"-The Challenge: Free Agents Episode 9 (RECAP)

I WILL have these last two recaps done before tonight's episode of The Challenge: Free Agents! Picking up from episode 8, T.J. sends the house a clue, saying that they will have to “dig deep” at the next challenge! The house heads to sleep, and Jessica and Laurel even have a little slumber party! The calm before the storm, I guess!

The next day, T.J. introduces the teams to their next challenge, Dug Out, which they’ll be playing in teams of two, girls and guys. There is a maze dug out in the ground, and each player has to run through the maze to get their team’s balls from one stand to the other. However, the way the maze is set, they are bound to run into each other! The girls go first, and it’s crazy. Some people move really slow as to avoid running into people, like Laurel, which annoys Devyn to the max. In spite of it, Theresa and Nany end up taking the win for the girls. The guys’ round is a little more intense, and ultimately CT and Zach win. The four players are safe from elimination, and will vote one guy and one girl into the elimination round later.


Hollywood Exes S3, E6 (RECAP)

Last recap of Hollywood Exes to catch up on (Now I have to get on Free Agents)! Picking up from episode 5  , Shanna goes to get airbrush laser liposuction to get a thigh gap (to each his own), with Mayte by her side to support her. In addition to this procedure, she wanted to get her breasts done, and maybe would have, had she not messed up her friendship with Jessica and can’t really go to Jessica’s ex-husband who does implants. Oh well. The liposuction itself goes well, though.


Hollywood Exes S3, E5 (RECAP)

Catching up on Hollywood Exes! Hoping to finish these all today! Picking up from episode 4, Andrea and Sheree go out to taste cakes, and Sheree lets Drea know about the texts that Jessica sent. This obviously upsets Andrea, since she has, for one, always had Jessica’s back and has tried to be there and back her up on several different occasions! Though Jessica is known not to have a filter, this is too far!

Mayte herself wants to talk with Jessica first, before she gets too upset about the situation. However, to be honest, Jessica’s texts are the least of her worries right now. She’s trying to get pregnant with Humberto, and she still isn’t yet. Sheree herself thinks that Mayte should slow down a bit. She and Humberto just got together, even though they’ve been knowing each other for years. Plus, he doesn’t even live in L.A. right now. I know he’s planning to move there, but it seems like it’s too soon to be thinking about having another child. Same thing with Andrea. It seems like both Mayte and Drea think that babies will be perfect to add to their already somewhat complicated love lives. They’re still trying to work things out, and a baby, though a blessing, will only add more complications. Mayte, however, later goes to an OB/GYN to make sure she’s actually still fertile. Her mother Nelly went through early menopause. However, the doctor tells her that she is able to have kids, in spite of her age.

Hollywood Exes S3, E4 (RECAP)

This week is ALL about playing catchup. Life has been ultra crazy, especially now that summer is
about to be in full effect, and I’m trying to get everything back on track. So, this week, God willing, you’ll see a bunch of recaps and hopefully a few spotlights I need to get up. I also hope to edit my video from my night at Danity Kane’s No Filter Tour, when they hit the Fillmore in Silver Spring a few weeks ago!

But enough about my personal stuff. I owe you quite a few recaps of Hollywood Exes (I MISSED THREE WEEKS!), and I want to be caught up by the next episode, so let’s get to it. Picking up from episode 3, we see Andrea who is very excited about her upcoming nuptials. However, the ladies still have their doubts. Nicole, who offers to host the wedding at her house, plans with Andrea and brings up her questions again. She wants to make sure if Andrea is absolutely positive about this, wondering if maybe the wedding could be postponed. Andrea is not trying to hear it, though. She wants to marry Brian, saying that divorce isn’t even an option. Come to find out though, that Nicole’s house is on “cursed ground.” Apparently, all of the couples that live in the area have gotten divorced. Wow! I don’t necessarily believe so much in luck, as I do blessings from God, but that’s some bad juju!


"Strike a Pose, There's Something To It"-The Challenge: Free Agents Episode 8 (RECAP)

Catching up! Picking up from episode 7 of The Challenge: Free Agents, the house holds a mock
funeral for Devyn's water wig, Tamara, which was destroyed in the last challenge. It's so funny, watching everyone fake cry and mourn and Devyn fall out all over the place! Later, they go out and party. Leroy laments on how much he hates this game. Preston himself is at peace with it, though. Maybe a little too at peace. Several people in the house think that Preston is just floating on by, not really into the game, but just here just to be here, which may very well be true.

Meanwhile, Nany is afraid she's going to hurt Cohutta, not knowing when she'll be going home and really afraid of being vulnerable. Back at the house, Nany starts flirting with Johnny, and they end up hooking up. The next morning, the rumors spread around the house about what happened, but Cohutta doesn't know. Nany admits that she did something stupid, but doesn't think that he should be catching feelings. The sad part is that Nany is passing up a good guy in Cohutta because she doesn’t know how to deal with her feelings.


Iconic Actress Ruby Dee Dies at 91

Sad news! Legendary actress Ruby Dee has died at the age of 91. She was said to have died peacefully at her New Rochelle, New York, home on Wednesday. Her representative, Michael Livingston, confirmed the news of Ms. Dee’s death to CNN.

Throughout her career, Ms. Dee starred in several Hollywood films and Broadway plays, as well as television shows. She played Rachel Robinson in The Jackie Robinson Story in 1950, and costarred alongside Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt and Cab Calloway in St. Louis Blues (1958). One of her most known and amazing roles was her character Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, opposite Sidney Poitier. With her long-standing career, she earned an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among several others.

In The Spotlight: Montrey Slayton

I have a great spotlight (and a lot more on the way, slowly but surely!). As always, if you are or know of an upcoming artist, designer, producer, etc, please email me at brittanyshawnte@gmail.com.

Today on The Spotlight, we have upcoming singer Montrey Slayton! Born in Springfield, IL and moving to Marianna, Arkansas for most of his childhood. Montrey grew up in a musical family, so his singing talent was always evident. “We didn’t have a lot growing up but we ALWAYS had music. If our lights was out, we put batteries in the boom box and it’s like all of our problems faded away,” he said. He and his family eventually moved to Milwaukee, WI, in 2004, which Montrey calls a “gem” in terms of music. “We try to be different than other cities like Atlanta or Houston. You could hear in certain people music where they from. But it’s such a mix of originality in Milwaukee that you would always hear something new and unheard of,” the singer said of the city. Once he graduated from high school, Montrey recognized that he had a gift of writing music. That’s when he decided to record his first demo and take his music seriously.


"Pride Before the Wall"-The Challenge: Free Agents Episode 7 (RECAP)

Trying my best to get these recaps up...sorry I'm so behind, but I WILL get up everything I have to say (LOL)!  Picking up from episode 6 of The Challenge: Free Agents (so long ago!), the rivalry between Jordan and Johnny Bananas continues. That night, the house gets a clue from T.J. that reads: "Nothing beats a traditional Uruguayan barbecue!" Looks like the he house is going to be eating some great Uruguayan cuisine!

The next morning, Theresa talks to Aneesa about being betrayed by Devyn, since Devyn voted her into elimination. Now she feels like her name will be brought up again, and she'll be used as a scapegoat. Leroy himself also doesn't want to be voted in. He'd rather go into the draw and take a slight risk, versus being voted in by someone else.


Hollywood Exes S3, E3 (RECAP)

I am BEHIND on recaps for both Hollywood Exes and The Challenge. Due to some unforeseen crazy work and life moments, and pure exhaustion, I couldn't edit my recaps like I normally do. Trying to get better with timing! Something new though:  I'm officially hiring interns/volunteers with the site [non-paid but will give you great experience!]. Email me for more info!)

Picking up from episode 2, Brian is busy recording in the studio after getting a hookup from one of Andrea's friends. She's excited, because the song he’s recording he plans on performing at the wedding. When she gets overly excited to him, he simply tells her “Filter,” as if it’s some kind of warning. To me, there are little warning signs that I’m seeing which explains why the two already got a divorce. (Brian wants to work it out but I think Andrea should leave that be).


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