Guest Blogger: Dontavies BoatwrightPublished by Torrence Glenn on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 6:44 pm.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, although i can’t always respond, I do read most of them. One of the most overwhelming responses that I’ve seen on the blog is your love for Sunday Best contestant Dontavies Boatwright. MANY of you were more than a little ticked off with his elimination from the show and you made it known. Dontavies was one of my favorites from this season as well so I’m glad to have him here to guest blog and give you his “take” on this Season of Sunday Best and to talk about his experience. So, I’m gonna shut up now, because this post is about Dontavies.
*Hands mic to Dontavies*
It’s me again ((((DONTAVIES BOATWRIGHT!!!)))) I sure hope you all didn’t think you’d get rid of me that easily. I want to give you my take on Sunday Best let’s call this hmmm? “From Audition to Elimination, Dontavies’s Perspective.” My time at Sunday best is one that I will never ever forget.
I started this amazing journey with the online auditions, after having been totally motivated and inspired by last season’s winner Crystal Aiken I decided that I would audition for the next show. Well, it got off to a rocky start. I didn’t find out that auditions were going on until after they were underway about 2 weeks. After it was all said and done, I only ended up with a little over 600 votes I think. My mom called and said that there were onsite auditions, so I drove to ATL from FL which is about a 5 hour drive. I arrived on the 9th to do what we southerners call a dry run. So I found the audition location. I arrived at about 5:45 am on Saturday, January 10th and my mom and I stood/sat. I say we stood/sat because we were sharing a lawn chair taking turns sitting down. I was wrapped in a comforter. I looked up and asked mom did she want to sit and she said “no I just want you to be comfortable I have to protect my investment.” (tear) We stood outside in the blistering cold I think until about 11:45am, and yes folks, it was about 25 degrees. After getting inside we went threw 2 rounds of judging on the 10th, and 2 rounds of judging on the 11th. I finally I got a call later that month from one of my favorite people Ms. Tamara Gregory to confirm my participation in the show. Ok so I was driving when I got the call so I did my best to not blackout under the wheel of my truck.
When I arrived in ATL I was greeted by Regina Williams with a big colorful sign that said SUNDAY BEST. She welcomed me with a warm hug. She told me to get my bags because work was about to start and to wipe the shine off my forehead cause cameras would be rolling. I met Y’Anna Crawley and Camille Betton and we laughed and talked in the van, while waiting on the other contestants. Ok, so in the van I started telling the ladies about how I was having a hard time at the airport with my bags and Y’Anna and Camille pointed to the mics that were taped on the roof of the van; they were making sure that their boy didn’t say nothing crazy LOL! Thanks ladies….
I have done many vocal competitions in my lifetime but never have I had to compete against such an awesome group of people. I’m not talking about their vocal abilities; that goes without saying less they would not have made it to the show, I’m talking about their personalities. A lot of times in competitions you encounter dog eat dog type people. We were praying for each other and even helping with song arrangements and coaching. Jessica Reedy taught some of us her personal warm up and it is the BOMB. Everybody down south is doing it, sorry Jess but you had to know I was gonna take it. Jeff Spain said it best in episode 3″ this season is totally different……we are like a family” and that is true. I will never ever forget this group of people. I love all the contestants but I gotta give a Shout out to my mans (((JOHN McCLURE))) “what up ther feeeellah”LOL!
Donald Lawrence is one of my favorite artists. I didn’t want to seem star struck when he came into the room during our initial meeting but I was, there I said it LOL! I was like this is Donald Lawrence Lord, DONALD LAWRENCE!!!! One thing I liked about working with Donald is that when I had my mentoring one on one he made me feel very comfortable. He was very clear that he was there to guide and to coach, he asked what I was feeling for a particular song, and we tried it and it worked, Thanks Donald.
I’m gonna say like Tina said “Good God Ah Mighty!! Tthe band rocked. They jammed in rehearsal, there were times when we were in rehearsals until like 11 p.m. because there were so many of us (contestants) but I can say that the singers and the musicians gave 100% every time. I appreciate the musical excellence and the professionalism that I experienced with Ray Chew and the Ray Chew Crew. Thanks Ray!!!
“The Judges/The Host”
Kirk Franklin is soooooo cool, I had an opportunity to audition and perform in front of, and be critiqued by multi-grammy award winning artists, BeBe Winans, Mary Mary and to be hosted by Kirk Franklin. All I can say is wow!!! These are people who I have been listening to for years and for them to know me, and say to me “Imma buy 20 tickets to your concert” is awesome and humbling. One day Erica came by the barbershop on set while I was getting a haircut, and said good job Dontavies do it again, and I almost slid out the barber’s chair LOL! Design Essentials is my Partner in style.
When I got my first song “what the world needs now is love” I must admit I was tempted to pack my bags before I left for the show because I just knew I was going home. But with the help of the Lord, Donald and Ray Chew and his crew and the heavenly hosts I made it. “Glory to Glory/ Blessed in the city,” was by far my most favorite time on stage that was my element I was gonna do some reggae but I’ll save that for a concert. Oh yeah, can someone tell me where I can send Tina her 20 TICKETS??? “How Great is Our God” was the most powerful song, I was gone. What a way to end my time in ATL declaring the greatness of God.
The Elimination/The Exit/ The Experience
On elimination night I must admit I was taken by surprise that I was one of the ones that was sent home, but I do understand the position that the judges were in, They had 6 awesome singers with very different styles that were unique and anointed, so what do you do? It was just one of those times where someone had to go home because at the end of the day it is still a competition. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity; although I was eliminated I have chosen to look at all the positive things that I took away from this experience. I was chosen as 1 of the 4 contestants that were asked to be on the show from the ATL audition, I was the only vocalist chosen from my entire state which is FL. I was chosen to be apart of the elite group of 20 singers that make up the cast of season 2 of this awesome show , from that group I emerged to the top 10 and then to the top 5, I was hosted by Kirk Franklin, mentored by Donald Lawrence, and critiqued by BeBe Winans and Mary Mary, and embraced by the world. This isn’t the end for me, it’s only the beginning.
*Takes Mic From Dontavies*
Thanks to Dontavies for coming by to talk to us. I really appreciate it.
There are more contestant guest blogs coming, so make you guys make sure to check back.
P.S. Just noticed that Dontavies said he tried out in the online auditions too. You know how I had to dig that up! Be prepared, even acapella with in a 2 minute audition video, the man SINGS! Enjoy!