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Jamaicans will be glued to their television sets on Saturday for the airing of the popular Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall show.

The show is expected to attract record viewership after it got a ratings boost last week with a spat between judge Miss Kitty and hostess Yanique Barrett on live television. The issue dominated conversations on street corners, bars, verandah discussions and social media with fans weighing in on the ‘cass-cass’.

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Sponsors, production personnel and media partners scrambled to contain the fallout with a series of high-level meetings all week long.

Finally, on Thursday, Miss Kitty issued a public apology to the “show’s organisers, sponsors (Television Jamaica (TVJ), KFC, Magnum, and Digicel), the artiste Shemdon after whose performance I raised the issue, the fans, and last but by no means least, the viewing public”. She notably declined to mention Yanique Barrett in the said apology.

So millions of people will be tuning in to see the aftermath of the public squabble and to see if the ‘female gladiators’ apologise to each other.

Tonight’s show will include performances from guest artiste Laden, while DJ Sunshine will be the guest judge, and Black Eagles will be the featured dance group.

There are rumours that there may well be a second guest judge on the panel tonight. The show is aired live on TVJ on Saturday nights from D’Entrance on Constant Spring Road in Kingston. The event attracts a hardcore audience who give their views on everything from performers to fashion and its judges.

Last week, Miss Kitty ignited a firestorm of criticism when she went off-script, right after a performance from the aspiring artiste Shemdon.

Turning to fellow judge, Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell, she warned him: “You said something last week..and you must ask before you get involved inna tings.”

Then she addressed her fellow ‘diva’, Yanique Barrett.

“I just want to clear the air now, because mi a real woman, mi a real top gal a road so wi deal wid things directly. Some things have been said, and I just want to clear them and I have no beef whatsoever. This manufactured beef is disingenuous, it is duplicitous, it doesn’t exist. The manufactured feud that we have doesn’t exist at all.”

An obviously upset Yanique then upbraided Miss Kitty on her choice to air the beef, ‘manufactured’ or otherwise, live on TV.

“Can I talk now? Can I talk now? Here is the situation, hold on, I hear you, I am not stopping the show. We never have no beef, we didn’t. Instead of coming on air…we didn’t have no beef but my thing is, so instead of coming on air, how about  addressing me? My dressing room is next to you, and it’s been awhile, so therefore you are doing it for the public. Kitty? Me this! Yanique. If we have an issue, you can come to my dressing room and say that. Let’s continue,  let’s continue the show, it’s not a show, it’s not for the public, yu know where mi dressing room de!” she said, while members of the crowd bussed blanks for her strong rebuttal of Miss Kitty’s statements.

The verbal fisticuffs on air temporarily halted the show and the stage manager, media personality Sanjay Ramanand, was forced to go on stage to instruct Yanique Barrett to continue the show, and discontinue the conversation with Miss Kitty. The ‘longstanding beef’ was reportedly over the use of the “diva” label.


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