It was 1994 when the world of figure skating, which is usually uncorrelated with drama, was rocked by a scandal that seemed like it was birthed off the pages of a dramatic movie script.

Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding were not only the two most popular figure skaters of that time, they were apparently friends away from the rink. That is, until a widely publicized attack against Nancy Kerrigan took place after a practice session at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt hired someone to break Kerrigan’s right leg so that she would be unable to compete at Lillehammer. When she stepped off the ice after practice and walked behind a nearby curtain into a corridor, her attacker struck her on the knee with a telescopic baton. The injury forced her to withdraw from the national championship.

Here comes the doozy….Tanya Harding won that event.

Since that incident,  both Tanya and Nancy were selected for the 1994 Olympic team. By that time, Kerrigan had fully recovered from her attack.

Chile’, that whole scandal was enough to call Olivia Pope! I had never witnessed so much drama in sports, especially in figure skating! I can recall one moment when Harding boo hooed on the ice during the Olympics, because the laces to her skates “broke”, leaving her to plead with judges to allow her to change them. Meanwhile, Nancy was on the other side of the rink, appearing cool, calm, and collected while practicing her triple axel combination and double toe loops like a G!

 

Nancy fell behind Oksana Baiul by taking the silver medal, but that didn’t stop the world from cheering her on. I think everyone and their mama tuned in to the Olympics that year, JUST to see “The Young & The Restless” on ice!

We were all glued to the television, on edge, hoping Nancy wouldn’t fall, but she delivered so effortlessly! Her entire performance was a huge middle finger for Tanya Harding.

Then there was this….

 

Gillooly accepted a plea bargain in exchange for his testimony against Harding. Gillooly, Eckhardt, the attacker, and the getaway car driver all served time in prison for the attack.

Harding avoided further prosecution and a possible jail sentence by pleading guilty on March 16 to conspiring to hinder prosecution of the attackers.[20] She received three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $160,000 fine.

Harding’s involvement in the attack of Nancy Kerrigan led to months of media frenzy and overwhelming news coverage. She also became the laughing stock of every comedic joke on late night television, the subject on every magazine show, and was put on everybody’s shit list.

The last known shenanigans of Tanya Harding included releasing a sex tape and a short-lived boxing career. A return to the ice is unknown.

 

God bless her

 

It’s always a shame when a popular and successful group break up. When the ORIGINAL EnVogue split in the nineties, I felt betrayed! I wondered why a group of sistahs who seemed so in tune, in more ways than one with one another, would go through an ugly breakup.

 

Terry, Cindy, Maxine, and Dawn made up the group that was one of the hottest girl groups in the 90s with chart-topping hits like “Hold On”, “Lies”, and my fave, “Don’t Go”! These women could blow; it’s like their vocal pipes were made of happiness and potpourri! They were like four Beyonces and ALL of them could sing lead!

In the video clip you’re about to watch, you’ll be taken back to the days when BET was fun to watch. Before ‘106 & Park’‘Video Soul’ was the premier video countdown show to watch. Every music artist you can think of sat on ‘Video Soul’ couch, including EnVogue.

Watching the video, you’d think nothing would break these women up. They appeared to be drama free and full of promise!

envoguespit

Maxine and Dawn VS. Cindy and Terry

After the group’s split which was reportedly the result of management issues, a legal war started for the group’s name! Cindy and Terry, who reportedly owned the name EnVogue, sued Dawn and Maxine for stealing the EnVogue name and started another group. They even toured under the name, but Cindy and Terry said NOPE!

NOPESIGN

The judge sided with Terry and Cindy. Dawn and Maxine…well….

“It’s been difficult,” Maxine tells Juicy Magazine. “… and it’s been difficult mainly because I feel like all the years I spent there and what I helped to build – you know, 30 million records sold – and what my input…and to just have nothing to show for it. For a long time…it’s been two-and-a-half, going onthree years now since this whole thing happened, but I was mostly angry for most of that time. It’s not until this year really that I totally embraced the idea of putting it behind me and starting out on my own and starting from scratch. Before that, my mind was in the mode that I’m still in a group, I’m not giving up, I’m going to get some more girls, and I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to be in this En Vogue too. I am a third, I own a third, [and I] own a right to use the name too. That’s how it was originally – that trademark has my name on it too in the Library of Congress. My name is on that trademark, and so that was the thing. It was a big deal to me to first of all, to be forced out, and then my intellectual property to be taken away from me. It just really, honestly, pissed me off.”

As for Dawn…

 

Q: Why did En Vogue really break up?

Being a part of one of the most successful female groups of all-time was a beautiful experience and the camaraderie we shared was awesome. Unfortunately, due to business not being handled properly, I decided to leave. We didn’t have proper management in place.

Q: Describe your situation in Lucy Pearl and how did the group come together?
A: Few people know, I’ve known Raphael Saadiq since I was 16. We both hail from the bay area and we used to perform in local clubs where Raphael played bass and I sang. After I left En Vogue, Raphael came to me with a splendid idea, he wanted to form a trio. We developed the concept, likeness and sound for a group, (together), and we named the group ‘Lucy Pearl.’ During this time, I was on the verge of signing a 7-year, 7 album solo deal with RCA Records and I asked a music executive at the label-can I still sign with you as a solo artist and still do Lucy Pearl because Lucy Pearl is only a one off? He said, no. So I sacrificed my solo project to join Lucy Pearl. It was the right decision because the R&B division at RCA folded a few months later and several artists were left without a contract. At first, the project was exciting. Unfortunately, like En Vogue, lack of good business and the fact we had no manager, contributed to me leaving Lucy Pearl. Before we went on tour in the UK, I lost my house because of-lack of pay. Read more of Dawn’s interview at Panache Report

 

EnVogue now consists of a trio, Cindy Herron, Terry Ellis, and Rhona Bennett, who had a recurring role as “Nicole” on ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’.

en vogue now

This goes to show that all good groups must come to an end….unless they’re managed properly. Not discrediting Rhona’s talent or the success EnVogue has now, but just like The Temptations, there’s something special about the dynamic of the ORIGINAL members.

I can recall the time when millions of Michael Jackson fans wasted about two hours of their lives, watching Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story. I was one of those fans who unfortunately thought VH1 was going to do Michael Jackson justice, but the God-awful film was full of inaccuracies and “mouth wide-open” moments  that I could no longer stomach within the first 15 minutes. The film chronicled Michael’s life from the Thriller Era to the Black and White era, and the directorial shenanigans from “Dark Michael” to “Light Michael” made fans side eye VH1 ever since.

Unlike The Jacksons: An American Dream, the Jackson family had no dealings with MITM. As a result, VH1 threw this fuckery of a bio (unauthorized) together with information based on public records and tabloids. The producers weren’t even allowed to use MJ’s music.

Now, about comedic actor Flex portraying Michael.

I couldn’t decide which was scarier between the bad makeup job and his acting in this film.  As fine and talented of an actor he truly is, I was truly disappointed…more so in his apparent confidence to portray Michael. This messy portrayal of MJ’s life  reminded of a parody and Michael’s childlike nature was emphasized to make him look naive and detached from life as an adult.

After those two hours, I promised myself that I would no longer subject myself to any  foolishness that VH1 or any network that produces unauthorized bios and calls it “a hit”. Man In The Mirror was more like a MISS! I was convinced that VH1 just wanted ratings and Flex needed a job.

 

One of the components to making a funny ass sitcom is two of its main characters constantly throwing shade at one another!

Clapbacks, insensitive jokes, and straight ignorance were part of the reason we’ve tuned into these particular sitcoms, anticipating the love/hate relationships between these scene-stealing characters.  Below, is a list of our favorite “head-butters” from the best throwback sitcoms!

Did your faves make the list?

georgeflorence

“Florence and George” From ‘The Jeffersons’

From the moment Florence was “hired” on the first episode, we knew George Jefferson met his match! The sassy, no-nonsense maid regularly bickered with George and George complained a lot about her laziness and cooking. Despite their ongoing battle, the two really did like each other. They supported one another when it really mattered.

 

jaleesaandwhitley

“Whitley and Jaleesa” from ‘A Different World’

Whitley rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with her bougie personality. However, Jaleesa was one of two (other was Dwayne) who wasn’t afraid to tell Whitley about herself if need be. Their relationship reminded me of Whitley as the annoying little sister who tried to act more mature than her older sister. Jaleesa was more of a realist compared to Whitley, who was a bit detached from reality…one of the reasons why they’ve always clashed!

jeffreyandunclephillip

“Uncle Phil and Jeffrey” from ‘Fresh Prince of Belair’

I think we can all agree that Jeffrey was the best shade-thrower ever, especially at Uncle Phil. The proud British butler with an impeccable work ethic didn’t hesitate to display some sarcasm when needed.

jjandthelma

“Thelma and J.J.” from ‘Good Times’

These two had the typical brother/sister relationship , which made for great bickering sessions in front of the camera. We knew they loved each other, but we as fans anticipated their iconic arguments every week.

kyleandmax

“Kyle and Maxine” from ‘Living Single’

These two got on each other’s nerves so much, it was obvious they liked each other. After years of dissin’ each other, Kyle and Maxine finally took their intense relationship to the next level in one epic episode; they argued in one scene and was in bed together in the next scene.

martin-vs-pam11

“Martin and Pam” from ‘Martin’

Now, you know I couldn’t forget to add Pam and Martin to this list!

These two are the inspiration behind this piece! From Pam’s “beady-beads” to her bad breath and Martin’s height and ears; the word exchange between Martin and Pam was so epic, I’m convinced fans cringed with embarrassment, as if WE were being dissed.

 

I wish I could just vortex back to the eighties so I can experience the feeling  when Soul Train came on television every Saturday afternoon. It’s kinda similar to how I feel today when I reminisce on how my anxiety levels were on ten Sunday through Friday. I couldn’t wait to see who was performing each week, and every time Don Cornelious announced who’s on the show, he never disappointed me. Soul Train was one of those shows that made us proud. As people of color, we didn’t get a lot of love in the world of televised disco, of course, until Soul Train hit the airwaves.

Not only did we look forward to the performances, we looked forward to seeing our favorite featured dancers, the fashions, and the latest dance moves. Don was the coolest host ever and his ultra-suave presence alone was undeniable at 6’4″. He wished us love, peace, and soul every week and I’m convinced he meant it with his waving finger gesture and his hop step! Soul Train was one of the many topics of discussion in class Monday mornings and was considered the catalyst for urban television in syndication.

I just HAD to share one of my favorite parts of the show; it’s the part of the show that set it off for every black family function in America. From weddings to birthday parties, The Soul train Line was that quintessential activity that always brought us joy, lots of laughter and fun while doing what we do best…DANCE.

This is one of my favorites because every part of this gave me all kinds of life, from the removable prom skirt, fringes, extra pelvic action, the white girl with rhythm, cumber buns, theatrics and stage props, MJ wannabes, and Eddie Murphy clones!! Just see for yourself!

Read the history of Soul Train here.

The year was 2005 and everyone was tuned into the B.E.T Awards, anticipating one of Destiny’s Child’s final performance as a group.

As the ladies of DC perform their sexy hit, ‘Cater To You’, they pull on stage three lucky men who all deserve a lap dance for their respective talents. Those men are basketball great Magic Johnson, Hip Hop icon from the south, Nelly, and prominent actor, Terrence Howard.

Terrence Howard AKA “Lucious” on Fox’s ‘Empire’ was the man chosen by Beyoncé. The moment she grabbed Terrence’s hand, he became fixated on the Queen as she led him to his seat.

I’m convinced the ‘Empire’ star didn’t blink nor breathe during the entire lap dance. During one point in the video, you can see Terrence fans himself, becoming mesmerized by Bey’s seductive moves.

You’ll almost want to laugh at how much in awe Howard was.

This performance is one of the most unforgettable moments in BET history!


DC – Cater 2 U @ BET Awards by javierlobe