I haven't watched Survivorin years, but I'll be watching it this season. A member of one of my favorite1990s female R&B groups is a cast member. Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George tooka hiatus from touring with SWV (Sisters With Voices) to tape Season 18 of thereality show with a $1 million prize.
I was shocked when I read a blog post about Taj being a castmember and wasn't sure what to think. I saw SWV on tour with Bobby Brown, EnVogue and Bell Biv DeVoe a couple summers ago and was disappointed that Taj,Coko and Lelee were moving around like old ladies on the stage. Five minutesinto that 20 minute set at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, Lelee kicked her shoes off andjoked that "things weren't the same." It was clear that she was referring toher energy level.
So I wondered is Taj going to be able to hang with all ofthe robust physical activities that the jungle excursion demands.
In her introduction video for Survivor the mother of two boys and wife of former NFL player EddieGeorge explained why she wanted to do the show and was surprisingly candidabout her intentions to back stab competitors in her pursuit of the grand prize.
She made it clear that she is not on the show because sheneeds the money to pay her mortgage. If she wins, the money would benefit herfoundation, Visions With InfinitePossibilities, which supports female victims of domestic violence and theirchildren.
She is banking on some of her competitors underestimatingher, thinking that she doesn't care about the money because of her singingcareer and rich husband. But she describes herself as a tomboy who isdetermined to win.
Actually, she said that her husband and sons gave her anultimatum: "Don't come home without the money."
However, Taj did say a couple things on her intro video thatsuggests that she is going to be great for reality TV. First, she admitted thatshe is snippy and will try to exercise patience on the show. We all knowthat these shows are set up to pit the snippy against the instigators, so therewill likely be at least one good catfight ahead that will make its rounds as aviral hit. And considering that Taj wrote a book called Player HateHER: How To Avoid TheBeat Down And Live In A Drama-Free World, I would be concerned aboutany of her castmates who might try to cross this Broklynite.
Taj also joked that she was not concerned about starving outin the Brazilian jungle. Just like a camel can feed off of the food stored inits humps, Taj was prepared to live off of her "belly fat".
When SWV released their debut, It's About Time, in 1992, I interviewed Taj for a cover story for Hype Hair. Based on her introductionvideo she appears to be just as comical and down-to-earth as she was then.
It would be cool to see her make it far in the competition.
Though after Survivor she will resume her show dates withSisters With Voices, for now SWV can stand for Sister With a Vision.