Dancehall Divas premiered on Saturday (September 19) on CVM television to mixed reactions from Jamaicans, with many lamenting the lack of familiar faces on the cast of the new show.
The reality TV series, which heavily mimics other drama-filled shows in the genre, created by Heather Elliott, documents the lives of six women pursuing careers in dancehall.
The problem for most Jamaican viewers is that with the exception of Danielle D.I, the rest of the cast, which is made up of dancehall artistes from New York and Toronto, are relatively unknown.
“Who are these divas?” asked one Twitter user named Shinyshani.
“Only recognize one person even though I cant recall her name,” added another Twitter user.
While it is unclear how many people tuned into the season premiere of the show, some social media critics thought the concept, while workable, borrowed too heavily from Love and Hip-Hop, lacking in originality but was at minimum entertaining.
“Dancehall needs a reality show, but this a nuh it,” said one Twitter user.
Even the show’s creator, in an interview on the network, shared that her inspiration for creating Dancehall Divas was, in part, driven by the desire to fulfill the need for more dancehall content in this form.
“The time was right for dancehall, I think the time is as good as any, and I believe that people now more than any other time, are kind of hungry for fresh content- hunger for something different.And here we are with something that’s new, and that’s fresh, that’s entertaining, that’s full of drama, that depicts the dancehall subculture. I think the world is ready; and so we’re ready to give it to them ” said Elliott while talking to CVM’s Judith Bodley.
Elliot further revealed that a lot of hard work went into creating the show, particularly coordinating between artiste that live in three different countries.
“Anyone who has ever tried their hands at this knows it is extremely difficult to do,” added Elliott.
The first season of Dancehall Divas contains six episodes and is broadcasted in Jamaica on Saturdays on CVM TV and can also be viewed on the Ceen network.