The queens of R&B are giving fans an intimate look behind the scenes in their upcoming series. Two years after the ladies of SWV and Xscape rocked VERZUZ viewership records with their 2021 hit-for-hit duel, the supergroups have reunited to hit the stage for the ultimate “one night only” concert event — an undertaking chronicled in their new Bravo reality series, SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B.
The series follows the original lineups of the iconic ’90s supergroups — Kandi Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Harris and sisters LaTocha Scott-Bivens and Tamika Scott in Xscape, and Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” George and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons in SWV, as they navigate their business, professional and personal lives — on top of preparing to hit the stage.
“It was a great idea to do [after] VERZUZ [because] I think everyone loves seeing the two groups onstage together,” Taj tells ET. “So why not give them a little extra whip cream on it? Put a whole show together, let them enjoy that!”
Neither group is new to a reality series — SWV appeared in the WE tv series SWV Reunited while Xscape starred in Xscape: Still Kickin It which aired on Bravo in 2017. But this new series is a different ballgame for both groups.
“Well, because we have another group to keep in mind and, you know, when you have two strong groups…there’s a lot of back-and-forth and turmoil,” Tiny admits. “Then we have our own in-house issues within ourselves.”
Burruss echoes her bandmate’s sentiments, saying that there was “a lot more inner turmoil” when they reunited after several years in the first season of their reality show. “This time around we had been around each other, but there still was some things that clearly needed to be worked out,” she adds. “But I agree with Tiny, it’s a lot different when we already dealing with our own issues and then we bring another group into it as well.”
“It’s work, it’s a lot of work. People see 40 minutes of what they think is just the most amazing thing, but we actually put in a lot of work and time to making this television thing happen,” Lelee notes about how different Queens of R&B is from SWV Reunited. “And for us to be doing it at this age? That’s a big difference.”
Fans got their first look at the upcoming series when a trailer was released last month. The explosive trailer gives viewers a sneak peek at several key emotional moments as the women’s families have to come to terms with them spending time away from home, rekindling their once-broken relationships in each respective group, and working through one member deciding to once again go solo.
The show also features tense moments between the women.
The show’s official synopsis promises that the series will take viewers “on the ultimate fan experience as they reveal the inner workings of putting on a live concert and expose the discord and complex dynamics of sisterhood within singing groups — such as the bombshell revelation of the Scott sisters’ dark secret, which threatens to tear their family apart and drive a wedge between Xscape.”
Sisters LaTocha and Tamika have famously been at odds several times in public, most recently sparking headlines after the former pulled herself out of the Xscape tour, citing family drama and problems with Xscape’s promoter.
Kandi, Tamika and Tiny toured as a threesome as part of the R&B Music Experience tour, which kicked off on Nov. 19 in Birmingham, Alabama.
“At the end of the day, we’re sisters [and] there’s still love there,” LaTocha tells ET. “We have differences of opinions and it’s just the way that we maneuver and get out of the rough patches, that’s all. But family’s family at the end of the day.”
“I’m going to say we’re in the healing process at this moment,” Tamika adds.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi, who regularly finds herself surrounded by drama, previously told ET that the series was harder to shoot because of the tension.
“I feel like anytime [the group has] drama, I care more about my group, no offense to the Housewives,” Kandi said. “So the arguments are a little bit more passionate. And, you know, we really have a lot of history and we grew up together. Our group is like our foundation in the business, like the things we learn together as a group. So anytime we have moments where we’re not getting along, it’s like, ahhh!”
“Let me tell you, it’s gonna be the number one show on the network,” Tamika joked at the time. “It went from a reality show to a whole movie.”
Kandi reiterates her reasoning now, adding that because Xscape is “a part of what molded me to be what I am,” their clashes “hurt more.”
“We also have a legacy that can go on forever, even when these shows end,” she notes. “Xscape can still be touring, doing shows, and it’s something that we built as kids that is still going now. So all that stuff is still way more like [intense].”
Tiny reveals that she was almost a member of RHOA alongside her bandmate, telling ET that she had been called about joining the show but turned the opportunity down for her own series, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. “I was like, ‘Well, I have my own show and I really don’t want to be involved with a whole bunch of people I don’t really know,'” she recalls, adding that she recommended that producers contact Kandi instead.
She explains, “I had never been on a show before Xscape, where I was with other people. It’s always been with my family and so I was just a little nervous. But I probably should have took that.”
“Four times I’ve gotten calls, but that was before Kandi and I made up,” she adds. “I’m glad I said no because I don’t think this would have ever happened if I did in the space that we were in.”
On the other hand, the ladies of SWV would love to join a franchise! As self-proclaimed Bravoholics, the trio shares that they watch the shows and have plenty of commentary on the events that take place.
Coko admits to being a fan of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, although she jokes that they would “throw me off” if she ever picked up a diamond. Lelee, however, would “love a peach” if she ever got the choice.
SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B premieres on Bravo March 5 at 9:30 p.m.
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