Grammy nominated Ben Tankard’s reality show, ‘Thicker Than Water,’ makes Bravo ratings history
*“My parents and siblings, we all have a past,” said Cyrene, youngest daughter to three-time Grammy Award and 11-time Dove Award nominee, and 12-time Stellar Award winning Gospel/Jazz musician Ben Tankard, about what the audience will discover about the Tankard blended family on the hit Bravo TV reality show, “Thicker Than Water.” “My parents are over protective,” she pointed out.” Cyrene was referring to the past episodes where she broke up with her prom date and boyfriend at the insistence of her parents. “I wasn’t equipped, wasn’t strong enough. My parents said, ‘Let it go.’ I think it was the best decision they ever made for me. I’m happier and spending more time on me.”
The debut season of “Thicker Than Water” premiered on November 10, 2013 making Bravo TV history rating at 1.56 million viewers. It rated even higher the following episode. The show follows Ben and his wife Jewel Tankard, non-salaried pastors at Destiny Center Church in Tennessee, and their blended family of six kids, that also include Brooklyn, Britney, Benj, Diamond and Shanira.
“I’m like Ben I was excited,” said Jewel about doing a reality show. “But I didn’t realize how much work physically and emotionally it would be.”
Cyrene adds in on that point, “It’s so much more work than I thought it would be, it’s not always fun.”
“We’re a blended family,” said Ben Tankard, also a multi-platinum selling musician (keyboard, tuba and guitar). “Blended families make up 70% of the population. Everybody had something going on before.”
Ben is known for discovering Yolanda Adams and has six platinum and 15 certified gold records through his own label Tribute (Ben Jamin’) on Universal and Verity/Sony Music. He made history this year garnering three Dove Award nominees, making it the first time a musician received three nominations in one year. He has also collaborated with Kelly Price, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, and Take 6.
“I believe we ought to aim our kids like arrows,” pointed out Pastor Tankard, also a former basketball player.
The audience will see a very wealthy black family. They are so well off to the point that they can own a plane, yet they will seem humble and as normal as you and I – they just happen to live in a three story mansion. “Thicker Than Water” airs on Bravo every Sunday 9/8c. You can also log onto www.BenTankard.org, www.DestineDome.com or www.BravoTV.com/Thicker_Than_Water.
12 Years A Slave, ‘Breaking Bad,’ and HBO led in SAG Award nominations, ceremony is simulcast live January 18, 2014 on TNT and TBS
*At the live TNT airing of the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards’ nominations a crowd of international press gathered. There was an announcement of the SAG Awards’ Stunt Ensemble Honors nominees by Executive Producers Kathy Connell and Jeff Margolis before they introduced the president of SAG-AFTRA Ken Howard (“30 Roc,” “The Closer”). After Ken’s greeting he introduced Clark Gregg (ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and Sasha Alexander (TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles”) who made the nominee announcements. The announcements of the nominees aired live on TNT and was webcasted live on www.TNTDrama.com and www.TBS.com.
The 20th Annual SAG Awards will be simulcasting live Saturday, January 18, 2014 on TNT and TBS at 8:00 p.m. ET and 5:00 p.m. PT.
My predictions, because either I reviewed the project, read the reviews or they happen to be my favorites , include Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) in “Male Actor in a Leading Role” category; Sandra Bullock (Gravity) in “Female Actor in a Leading Role”; Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) in “Male Actor in a Supporting Role”; Oprah Winfrey (The Butler) in “Female Actor in a Supporting Role”; 12 Years A Slave in “Cast in a Motion Picture”; Matt Damon (“Behind The Candelabra”) in “Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries”; Angela Bassett (“Betty & Coretta”) in “Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries”; Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) in “Male Actor in a Drama Series”; Claire Danes (“Homeland”) in “Female Actor in a Drama Series”; Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) in “Male Actor in a Comedy Series”; Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”) in “Female Actor in a Comedy Series”; “Homeland” in “Ensemble in a Drama Series”; “The Big Bang Theory” in “Ensemble in a Comedy Series,” and in the Stunt Honors nominations Fast & Furious 6 (Universal Pictures) in “Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture” and “Homeland” (Showtime) in “Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series.”
To read the full list of the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards nominees log onto www.SAGAwards.org.
Peggy Duquesnel’s Jazzy finger-snapping holiday release, ‘All I Ask for Christmas,’ features Grammy nominated Rick Braun
*“I equally love the instrumental and the vocal,” said jazz pianist Peggy Duquesnel about what she is offering with her holiday release of “All I Ask For Christmas,” (JoySpring Music) a two-disk pack – one instrumental and one with vocals. “I think people want to hear one thing at a time. In the recording studio I had a list of songs, 14 songs, and said to my band…I wanted two versions. I ended up doubling up a few songs and they really do sound fresh on both sides.”
I agree Peggy changed up the vocal version of “Mary Did You Know,” “Light of Christmas,” “Under The Christmas Tree,” “I Wonder As I Wander,” and “Christmas is Here” from the instrumental version.
The “All I Ask For Christmas” two-CD project features Rick Braun on flughorn, and vocal support from Bill Cantos and Emma Werderman. Her band consisted of Grammy Award nominated Brian Bromberg on bass; Joe La Barbra (Tony Bennett) on drums; Brian Kilgore (Barbra Streisand) on percussion, and Jay Leech (Gladys Knight) on guitar.
My favorite cuts on the “All I Ask For Christmas” project include (on the instrumental) “Mary Did You Know” because I love how her fingers glide over the keys like an angel dancing for Christ; “What Child Is This,” a finger popping selection; “Silent Night” because the way her fingers work on the piano; “O Christmas Tree” because of how she transitions from a slow version into a Jazz/Funk flavored number, and on her vocal disk I like her vocals on “Mary Did You Know” and the title track “All I Ask For Christmas,” which features Bill Cantos’ vocal assist, for its pure Jazz feel – you will also find Peggy scatting expertly.
When I ask Peggy to give upcoming musicians and singers advice she said to tell them, “Follow their hearts. Be versatile. See where your heart is and the more diverse the better.”
Learn more about Peggy Duquesnel by logging onto www.PeggyDuquesnel.com.
(Syndicated Columnist: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment – she is also a Public Relations/Business Management consultant. Her Next Event: Baltimore “Uplifting Minds II” one day national entertainment conference (seminar panel & talent competition) at Security Square Mall Sat. April 19, 2014. www.FreelanceAssociatesInc.com, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com, www.UpliftingMinds2.com)