Sisters, Tina and Erica Campbell, of Grammy Award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary, and their extended families have picked up where the Braxton sisters left off, giving viewers – including singer Jill Scott, who inadvertently sparked a twitter beef with members of the Braxton clan – a compelling reason to tune into the network on Thursday nights.
Season one of “Mary Mary,” a rare glimpse into the personal lives of gospel singers, went so well, the network just gave the green light for a second season set to air this fall.
The show’s stars, Tina and Erica, called in to EURweb.com to talk about their families and success with the show, their thoughts on the Jill Scott/Braxtons “beef,” and to discuss one of the more controversial segments that raised questions about just how sanctified the ladies are behind closed doors.
EUR: Mother’s Day is coming up and you both have beautiful and yet growing families. How do each of you plan to spend the day? [in unison] Working!
Now that the public has been allowed into your personal lives, has anything changed regarding how you interact with your fans?
Erica: No. As open and straightforward as we are, we just have a little more to talk about now that people are more aware and talk about the sacrifices that we make. They comment a lot about, ‘wow, I didn’t know those were the kinds of sacrifices being made.’ You have to leave your family and you have to miss important things involving your children and it seems like they can kind of relate to us a little bit more.
EUR: How did the gospel community receive the fact that you were going the reality route?
Erica: I don’t think there was any out and out negativity, but we got a lot of ‘are you sure, are you sure,’ because the only references we have for reality are not really positive, but that was even more of the reason to do it. With us being christian and gospel artists, why wouldn’t we let our lights shine? I read a tweet from a gospel artist today, which said ‘your life is your testimony outside of the 45 minutes that you spend on stage.’ It’s a bigger witness for people to see you in your everyday life…we’ve gotten a lot of love and support [including Donnie, Yolanda and Kirk] and I appreciate it.
EUR: And speaking of reception, what kind feedback did you get from the potentially polarizing pole dancing scene?
Erica: We got interesting feedback about that. We’re diverse in this world that we live in. Some people will agree with Tina 100% and some people agree with me 100%. I don’t think either way anybody was greatly offended. Some feel like it should only be private, I felt like it was fine. I think it was more healthy for conversation, in my opinion, because when it relates to sexuality and christianity, people don’t talk about it, and then you’re supposed to be married and have all this information and all this knowledge and never talk about things and be comfortable with our bodies that God created, the sexuality that God created, so it’s good to explore the conversation. It was a deep way to discuss it, which I’m fine with.
Tina: I don’t think that show was really even that risky. I think just the conversation, I didn’t know if someone was going to come in there with some half something on and just our association with what their appearance looked like, ‘oh my God, what are these girls getting into,’ so my thoughts were basically professionally, because it is a show that we were recording, so, it’s just not us in sister land, and perhaps this might open up conversation that I don’t want to deal with. Ultimately, there was nothing wrong with either perspective…it was just personal preference and professional preference, and if it opens up conversation and people realize there’s nothing wrong with your sexuality, just because you’re christian doesn’t mean you have to stay away from everything.
EUR: There was recently a twitter beef between Jill Scott and members of the Braxton family regarding your show and comparing the two. Did you hear about that?
Tina: We heard things about that, but ultimately, if you take a compliment for someone else as an insult to yourself, that’s a personal issue. It has no bearing on us or the person who gave the compliment. If someone came up to Erica and told her she’s gorgeous, that doesn’t mean I’m ugly. If someone saw something good in someone else’s show, that doesn’t necessarily mean a negative reflection of the other show, that just means they look at our show and relate to it and they have every right to.
EUR: What has been your most embarrassing show moment?
Tina: When I went to the doctor’s office. It was strictly about how I looked, because when I am Tina, I am not as cute as Mary is. I don’t care about being cute all the time when I am Tina, but when I saw myself on that show, I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ why didn’t somebody tell me?
Erica: Mine was falling on a boat in front of the whole world.
EUR: Anything for fans to look out for on upcoming episodes in the way of teasers?
Erica: I think the next episode is going to be really heartfelt. I think people will definitely look at me and Tina differently, understanding us a little better from this next show.
Tina: The last show as well as this next show is probably the most vulnerable I have ever been publicly and I can’t believe that I did it, because it’s my real honest to God truth. It’s amazing, during the taping, one of the executive producers was telling me that what I was talking about was actually helping him with a situation with his child and he actually called his kid while I was in the process of what you’ll see on the show. If it helps somebody else … but I’m gonna be so vulnerable on this next show till I’ll probably cringe while watching it.
“Mary Mary” airs Thursday nights at 9pm ET/PT on WE tv and their new album “Go Get It” is in stores now. Visit the show online at http://www.wetv.com/shows/mary-mary