Mary Mary may be gospel stars, but don’t think they have perfect lives. That’s the basis of their brand new reality show “Mary Mary” on WeTV.
Let’s start with their parents – who’ve been married and divorced from each other three times. Erica and Tina Campbell (both married unrelated musicians with the same last name) have been a Grammy-winning duo for 12 years, releasing their debut “Thankful” in 2000. Its hit single “Praise You (Shackles) earned them mainstream airplay and the duo quickly became gospel superstars. The multiple Dove, Stellar and Grammy award winners have seven siblings and seven children between them, so you can figure there’s a lot of material to work from. If you thought gospel artists led completely drama-free lives, well, this is the show for you, once you get over the shock of seeing the usually impeccably made-up and super-groomed duo in casual clothes and with no makeup on.
“I think people have a misconception of what a Christian is,” Tina told Yahoo.com. “I don’t know, some think we buy Christian soap, or go to like Christian restaurants. Everybody thinks we’re so spiritual, but that’s not the case. We’re gospel artists, but we make mistakes. We’re normal people who praise God and everybody will get to see that on the show.”
The 10-episode show that airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on WeTV precedes the May release of their seventh CD, “Go Get It.” Like most reality stars who have another career, they hope the increased exposure carries over to record sales and opportunities for themselves and for other gospel artists.
“Maybe we can be a breakthrough for other gospel artists who want a reality show too,” Tina told Yahoo.com. “For us, our whole goal is to reach people. We just don’t want to sing in a church. We want to sing to everybody. We want to have an impact on people in so many different ways.”
Despite the family business that they air on TV, don’t expect the kind of infidelity, sexual innuendo, and knockdown, drag-out fights that characterize some other reality shows. Mary Mary may be admittedly imperfect in their walk, but they’re still Christian. They have faced their share of criticism over the years for music deemed “too secular” by the gospel community – most notably with their hit single “God in Me” which featured Kanye West and then-girlfriend Amber Rose in the video. Mary Mary’s reality show might ruffle conservative Christians who find the whole concept of a reality TV show “too worldly.”
But so far, after one episode, the feedback is good. Blogs and tweets from fans that appear to be part of their Christian fanbase have had nothing but praise for the show thus far. Here’s what blogger Ronnie Tyler of Blackandmarriedwithkids.com had to say after watching the first show:
“Why did I like the show so much? It showed two women on their grind. Not content to simply meet up with other “friends” and have dinner with a side of insults. Neither sister was trying to outshine the others, they kept reminding each other that teamwork was the name of the game and that whatever they were trying to do, they had to both be on board.”