BET Sunday Best hopeful Dennis Brigham's audition has made the headlines...for all the wrong reasons. Brigham has stumbled upon social media's platform for the latest and greatest viral sensation following Sunday evening's season premiere of the hit show. Though not much in gospel music actually goes 'viral', the audition is certainly destined for reality show infamy! Dennis had harsh words for gospel music industry legends and Pastors Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell on Sunday night's premiere when he (dared to) chide them for laughing during his critique.
Dennis is no stranger to them, having auditioned six times total. His critique was less than shining and it looked as if his ticket to the next round wasn't going to be punched, when he turned his attention to the veteran judges. His frustration was clear and his comments were painfully direct. Was he right or did he overreact, knowing he was going home? A case can be made for each answer. Which one was he?
Was Dennis a menace?
Most contestants lash out at the judges as they deflect their frustration on those with their destiny in their hands. It happens on nearly every show. If Simon Cowell could trademark his caustic commentary, he'd be the richest man in the world right now. Each televised talent show has a harsh critic, a cynic who's time can't be wasted. It's copyright infringement to see the same personality on the plethora of shows gracing the small screen. Many contestants still fail to thoroughly prepare for greatness in the eyes of the judges, leading to many heated exchanges. When all else fails, personal attacks are par for the course on the way out the door!
Could Dennis be a messenger?
To date, there has been little challenge for the playful nature of the judges during auditions and it's in the auditions that the judges (also gospel artists) show the least amount of tact with the prospective contestants. Remember Pastor Michael Lampkin? Pastor McClurkin mocked him saying: "faif" (faith) after his initial audition. He encouraged him to use better diction, but not before poking fun at what for many is the root of low self esteem and social anxiety issues.
While it was disrespectful and unprofessional to deal with the judges in that way, Dennis wasn't wrong! The judges needed that wake up call and did they ever get it! You could say that he took the audition rejection personal, but when he took it 'there' he spoke a truth that viewers everywhere almost immediately said an amen to! Dennis later came back to apologize and clear the air but who will ever forget his moment on the podium?
Dennis' words rang true and for their benefit, the gospel music industry and BET should be listening! Dennis was a menace with a message who even returned to mend the rift cause by his words. For many of the show's detractors, Dennis' rant came as a breath of fresh air. "...finally, somebody said something...!" The BET Network is rather intuitive, and it should surprise no one if Dennis shows up again this season.
Though the audition was months ago, the world is now dealing with it real time. Pastor Donnie McClurkin continues to be a class act as he had this to say about Dennis today:
You never know what someone has been thru....for him to come 12hrs back after this and apologize and give us the chance to apologize to him showed us who he REALLY was and is.. MUCH RESPECT, Dennis
(SUNDAY BEST is not scripted..this is real) -Donnie McClurkin on Facebook
What's the verdict here? Is Dennis a menace or messenger and do you think the judges got the message? Watch the video and decide for yourself.