This week I had the opportunity to attend of several tapings for the next season of The Kandi Factory, which will air next spring (I specifically heard it would be March 2013). You may have seen the Bravo show The Kandi Factory air last spring, sometime around the end of the last season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. It’s named for one of its stars, Kandi Burruss. She’s my age and like me, is the single parent of one child, a 9-year-old daughter, but that’s where the commonalities end. Kandi has lived in Atlanta all her life, and has a long, successful career of singing and songwriting. She also owns two clothing boutiques in the area (one of which opened in Buckhead this year).
I’ve been an audience member of a couple of shows in the past when I visited L.A. last year, but this taping was TOTALLY different. No one let us know what was going on–no idea what the run of the show was, or what to expect. There was actually a warm-up emceed by Funky Dineva that included local talent, which some of us mistook for The Kandi Factory contestants, including a spoken word artist, a comedian, and a few singers. Kandi’s mother–affectionately known as “Mama Joyce”–was in the building, so I knew Kandi wasn’t far away. However, she didn’t take the stage until about an hour before it was time to go.
Kandi shared that the music scene in Atlanta is not what it used to be, she decided to get a building, aptly named The Kandi Factory, and invited us who were musically inclined to come and visit “with an appointment”–but no word on how to get one–no website, no address or location info).
Kandi introduced the two contestants who performed that night (each taping lasts 2-3 hours so they can probably only handle 2 at a time). In each case, she met the contestant on a Thursday, talked to them a little to get inspiration to write them an original song, then get the music together, and have them learn the song and choreography 5 days later. It’s amazing to hear about that process because you’ve got to have a lot of talent to pull that off in a short time!
In the case of the first contestant, what they share in common is that they both lost their brothers at an early age. Kandi almost started to tear up talking about the experience of meeting this person and sharing that painful common detail. Unfortunately, when she came out to sing, there was no feeling– some said she sounded fake and unbelievable, and you could barely hear her on the mic the first go-round. Then Kandi came out afterwards and sing the chorus herself… the way it was supposed to be sang!
Each contestant sang twice because the cameras had to get multiple shots. In my opinion, the first person was no better of a singer than Housewife alum Kim Zolciak, but she tried. The second contestant was not a fabulous singer, but put a little more “oomph” into his performance. I guess the point of the show is that Kandi can make anybody a singer–no experience (or talent) required.
The consensus among the crowd, when Kandi asked their thoughts on the performances, was that the songs were great, but the singers were just ok. Some of us was feelin’ the background singers and choreography more than the contestant’s singing.
Kandi invited us to return next week for another taping, but I saw enough, lol. This makes the fourth Housewife I’ve seen in person. My daughter and I met and took pictures with Lisa Wu when I first moved to the A 2 years ago, and then I saw Kim and NeNe together before Kroy, the babies, and their breakup came about. Kandi and Lisa are definitely my favorite Atlanta “housewives” since show inception.