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Sunday Best Season Seven Premier Recap

Sunday BestHere we go again, y’all. It’s the season seven premier of Sunday Best on BET. Last year was my introduction to the show and I had little clue as to the make up of the show. I started writing recaps when the show had already picked the top 20 contestants and missed the auditions entirely. This time’s different. On the July 6 premier of Sunday Best, we get two episodes.

In addition to Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, and Kim Burrell, we’re also getting a new judge Kierra Sheard.

We kick off the auditions in Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, home of the some of the greatest music in the world: blues. Clearly, this show is by far much different from other music competitions. The first four contestants were sent on home along with a plethora of others not heard in the broadcast. However, I do feel as though the third contestant, whose name was not given, had the voice to move on through. Host Kirk Franklin, though without a loud and tacky giddup, managed to show us his dance moves with Dancing George of Memphis to break up the auditions.

Finally, after fifteen minutes into the broadcast, Kelli Gates, was passed on through to the next round. She definitely has a great voice but I do see her going to far into the competition; she didn’t wow me. Sunday Best then decided to go to Stax Academy to get a ‘real’ soul singer. Stax’s Jarveous Williams’ performance was great and was passed on through but with voting gridlock. Donnie and Kim, at first, voted no. With a little push, he moved through but it just felt as though the judges are looking for someone who’s perfect right out of the gate with little to no training. It’s just frustrating that Kim and Donnie, mainly, are turning down singers that can actually sing because they don’t have facial animations or projection.

Again this happened with Alison, #1369 on her tag. She performed and sung with a tremendous voice but was turned away because of her nerves. I don’t understand what makes her different from the others that they’ve chosen.

Antonio Johnson from Little Rock brought some great comedic relief. He resembles a young Little Richard and dresses like a soulful Bill Nye the Science Guy. Jay Williamson was the third contestant to move onto the next round. Even writing this after he performed his song I forgot how he sounded; he’s completely forgettable.

We then move onto Houston, Texas. The first contestant, Rome Washington, who performed was sent to the next round despite shouting her notes and being off-key. Audrey Givens of What’s Happening!! auditioned and was sent through. To close out the first hour, Steven Howard was passed to the next round. As the first hour came to a close, only three contestants from Houston and three contestants from Memphis moved on.

At 9 pm began the second hour of the premier. This time, we begin auditions in Atlanta, Georgia. Kristen Jamison, the first one to audition in Atlanta had the vocal strength and range to move on. Finally, I agree with how the judges decided in her favor. The next contestants didn’t really deliver in the same fashion, though I did crack a smile listening to them butcher the songs they thought they were singing; instead, they were committing murder and the crime scene was in my ears. For instance, there was one singer with a dull orange shirt that sounded like the Lion from The Wizard of Oz roaring.

Drew Chambers proclaimed to be the first white winner of Sunday Best. In the back of my mind I was thinking he was going to be terrible but his audition was actually pretty great. He was let through to next phase to much glee from me.

Geoffrey Golden blew me away with his voice. He was commanding and had soul. I knew that moment that was going to be sent through. He, along with two other contestants moved on to the next round. Tiquila Wilson, a former American Idol contestant, was next. She didn’t need to sing for as long as she did because she was going to the next round regardless.

Dennis Brigham, six-time audition-ee tried his hand again to be Sunday Best. He was bad just wasn’t ‘Sunday Best’ material. That comes from the judges and me. He did let off some steam to tell of Kim Burrell to stop laughing through his audition. “That’s disrespectful,” he shouted at Burrell as he stormed off. However, he didn’t stop there; he told Kierra that she would see him again in the future.

The next city we stopped in was Washington, D.C., the nations capital. Damarker Wheeler, the first one to perform in Washington, D.C. was sent in to sing in the top 20. Brandon Gaines was also sent to the next rounds. So far D.C. was two for two with singers. Brittany Jones, after some okay contestants had the hairs on my arm standing on end as she sung with great verve and control. She became the third contestant to move on through to the next round.

Major Serelda Herbin was one of the best singers of the night but was not let through to the next round. Anita Johnson, however, was pushed on through even though she didn’t have the voice to match Herbin.

Once again, Dennis Brigham went up on the audition panel to perform once again. We didn’t get to hear him sing but he did apologize to Burrell for his outburst in Atlanta. But we did get to hear the voices of three other contestants whom were fantastic. All of whom were sent to the next round.

Deangelo Gardner, whom spent his last $600 to go to the Houston auditions made it out to the D.C. auditions. He was finally sent on to the top 20. All in all eight contestants moved on to the next round.

Here are all the names of those whom have passed on to the next round of Sunday Best Season Seven:

Deangelo Gardner

Anita Johnson

Williams Depps

Audrey jones

Drew Chambers

Geoffrey Golden

Tequila Wilson

Jarveous Williams

Kelli Gates

Jay Williamson

Audrey Givens

Brittany Jones

Damarker Wheeler

Brandon Gaines

Ayodeli Owolobi

Candace Benson

Serena Young

Rome Washinton

Steven Howard

Kristen Jamison


Those are the top twenty.

I do have to say that I do not like the new judge Kierra Sheard nor do I like Kim Burrell. For me, this is going to be a tough season to get through.


What did you think of the season seven premier?

Jonathan Silva is a graduate and current student at Full Sail University going for his Master's Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing for film blogs like Get The Big Picture or listening to music, he's either watching movies or playing video games. His love for all things entertainment shine through in his writing.