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As someone who grew up on musical competitions, this is the first time (in the words of Chance the Rapper) I've come across a contestant that I "really believed in-believed in." Not only was the winner given a (more ethical) non-contractual award, but the show provided amazing resources to the contestants from features on singles by major R&B singers, perform live with a band, make a music video, and also the ability to work with incredible producers.
TI, Chance, and Cardi also had a great, engaging dynamic. They also humanized the competition, gave compliments often, and contextualized their constructive criticism.
The only reason why I ommit a star is because the designers of the competition put the contestants under unrealistic time pressures that I believe were unfair.
Regardless, my favorite contestant won. So 🙃
When people look back on this show I hope they place it in context with the political climate we're living in, especially the attacks on people of color and the killing of black trans people. This is one of the few shows on in the States that taps into that fear and pain through historical parallels, while also reminding us of the beauties of living and the importance of resilience.