Bullfrog hunter (unofficial occupation) Ja'Bria Barber seemed super grounded and real and wise beyond her 16 years -- and not just because she likes to feast on delicious frog legs. Alas, Nicki and Mariah's concern for the festering bodies of bullfrogs (another shared interest, huzzah!) will likely overshadow Ja'Bria's soulful cover of "Pride and Joy" -- Bonnie Raitt's version, mind you. Love that she specified that. The way Ja'Bria smiled with her eyes mid-song -- just so freaking thrilled to be singing -- reminded me of Melinda Doolittle, though Melinda's vocals were way better.
I wish Seretha Guinn had only sung "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" instead of piling on "How Do I Live" at Nicki's request, because she sang that second one in about three different keys near the end. Thank God the Fresh Prince thing wasn't just a gimmick to get three seconds of screen time! Seretha's light, breathy, melodic spin on what's essentially Will Smith rapping was whimsical and fun. Reminded me of Lily Allen a bit.
The 26-year-old hairstylist also wins Best Highlights of the night -- I loved the light blonde streaks at the tips of auburn layers. And obviously Seretha wins cutest kid, too -- 3-year-old daughter London, who had a pink bear for Nicki named Dun-Dun, but I think that was a misunderstanding and the bear was supposed to represent Nicki. They did look a lot alike, and the bear left with the baby. NO BEAR FOR YOU.
Were you wowed by the Charlotte talent? Does chicken get a bad rep? And what would your #nickiname be? I'm going with "Cave Troll" for me as it's 3 a.m., I'm sitting here in the dark (DVR powered off, boo hoo), and I don't think Nicki Minaj would be impressed with my broken-drawstring varsity basketball sweats. But I'd also be thrilled with "Gumby."
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