Lizzo gets real with the Big Grrrls competition series on Prime Video

Posing nude in all her plus-size glory on the cover of 2019’s “Cuz I Love You” — her Grammy-winning major-label debut album — Lizzo proved she was 100 percent this body-positive slut.

And the “Truth Hurts” singer-rapper, née Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has no plans to pull an Adele and make us skinny. In fact, she’s looking for more fat chicks to join her twerking squad in Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, her new reality show, which premiered on Prime Video on Friday (March 25). The award for the backup dancers, who brought it up with “that shake, that shake and everything in the middle” – as Lizzo puts it in the first of eight episodes – was a chance to perform with her at the 2021 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. with the “Baddest Bitches” who also deserve spots on their 2022 world tour. “We bring the energy, the stamina and the flexibility,” says Lizzo. “Big girls do it, honey.”

Undoubtedly, from splits to backflip, there’s plenty of ferocity on display when Lizzo challenges, “I want to see who can dance outside their body.”

With just 21 days to Bonnaroo, the show begins with a group of 13 dancers who have different shades, styles and backstories. There’s even a transgender woman named Jayla, a former gymnast, who describes her life in a song title as “A Hot Mess.” At the end of the first episode, only 10 make it to the “Big Grrrls Mansion” where they will live while continuing to audition for Lizzo.

“You better dance for your life,” says Lizzo, replaying the Lip Sync for Your Life fight to avoid being eliminated from RuPaul’s Drag Race. While the “Drag Race” influence is clearly present in “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” it’s more so in the empowering spirit that gives those who feel like they’re looking outward the chance to being seen – belly fat and all.

throw shot off "Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls."
Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls offers attendees the chance to perform with Lizzo on her 2022 world tour.
James Clark/Amazon Prime video

“They don’t want big girls to be sexy; They don’t want us to be happy,” Lizzo says in the third episode about haters who shamed her. “It’s hard to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back.”

What is Lizzo doing? She sends the girls to a sensual movement coach to embrace their sexuality and give their bodies some self-love.

In Episode 4, Lizzo goes even further by arranging a nude photo shoot for the dancers. And while some still grapple with some lifelong insecurities, others have developed a curvaceous confidence. “I can tell you that the part of my body that’s my favorite is my back roll because it’s been my least favorite for so long,” says one dancer. “And I’ve learned to just say, ‘This is my whole bakery.’ ”

It’s those kind of feel-good moments that are the best part of the first half of “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” which otherwise lacks any real tension and suspense. A big part of that is because there’s no automatic elimination process – Lizzo and her choreographer/creative director Tanisha Scott could potentially take all 10 girls with them if they make the countdown to Bonnaroo.

It creates an atmosphere that’s less of a competition and more of a sisterhood. And while it wouldn’t be a reality show without a little drama between 10 ladies under one roof, it’s pretty tame stuff by Big Brother, or certainly Real Housewives standards.

But as Watch Out for the Big Grrrls progresses, the challenges feel less contrived and the action gets juicier the closer Bonnaroo gets. It covers everything from eating disorders and body dysmorphia to colorism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

And with her oversized personality that exudes “big girl energy,” Lizzo leaves you convinced there’s a talk show in her future.

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