It all comes down to tonight! We're on the edge of our seats as the ominous voiceover brings us up to date on the full season of Celebrity Rap Superstar. Over seven previous episodes, eight contestants were whittled down to just two. How? Viewers...... Read Full Episode Summary »
Shar Jackson is Officially our Celebrity Rap Superstar! Watch Shar and all the other contestants perform for the Finale!
It all comes down to tonight! We're on the edge of our seats as the ominous voiceover brings us up to date on the full season of Celebrity Rap Superstar. Over seven previous episodes, eight contestants were whittled down to just two. How? Viewers voted, and sometimes that mattered. Other times, judges decided which contestants would stay and which would go. Along the way, there were hapless rap wannabes forgetting lines and losing the beat, there were noticeable signs of improvement from some we thought would never hack it. And then there were some who seemed born to spit rhymes.
But this is the end, friend. And with the hour just starting, it's going to be more than 55 minutes until we know who will be crowned the first Celebrity Rap Superstar. Between now and then, it looks to be an entertaining time, with finalists Kendra Wilkinson and Shar Jackson performing a track together and reprising a song of their choice. Plus, they'll be joined throughout the night by the contestants they laid waste to along the way: Sebastian Bach, Perez Hilton, Jason Wahler, Efren Ramirez and Jamal Anderson, as well as Countess Vaughan, who had to pull out of the competition midway through due to the sudden onset of an illness.
All of their hip-hop mentors -- Bizarre, Bubba Sparxx, Kurupt, MC Lyte, Redman, Tone Loc, Too $hort and Warren G -- will also be on hand to perform while we await the decision. And, we're also holding out for a Naughty By Nature performance of the Celebrity Rap Superstar theme song, "Hip Hop Hooray," that's going to close the show!
After welcoming everyone back, host Kevin Hart brings fan favorite (Playboy) girl next door, rump shaker Kendra to the stage to kick off the night with microphone master, attitude blaster and the judges' odds-on choice, Shar. They're going to give their all to a tag team performance of the Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock classic, "It Takes Two" as MCs Shar J and K-Dub.
After a break, it's time for the boys to shine a bit. With only the girls in the finale, the testosterone level of Celebrity Rap Superstar has dropped considerably. So, it's almost refreshing to see a performance of Nelly's 2004 hit "Shake Ya Tailfeather" by first week cast-off Jamal Anderson, marblemouth Efren Ramirez and serially forgetful Jason Wahler -- who, before the commercial, admitted to Liz Hernandez, "I deserved to get kicked off."
The guys worked with Sebastian's mentor, Kurupt, to rehearse their performance. "Everybody part of my team already lost!" Kurupt said. For the most part, they were good, save for Jason, who was true to form and sleepwalked through the rap. He "didn't even show up for rehearsal," judge Da Brat pointed out.
And that's followed immediately by the one male contestant who was able to shine brightly among the female rap stars, Sebastian Bach, who in the intro said, "I was disappointed that I didn't win. I do believe that I was the best on the stage." With Kurupt by his side, Sebastian drops a little bit of rock'n'roll science with a run through the Onyx track "Slam" with a little help from drummer Bobby Jarzombek, whose got some metal cred thanks to his work with Riot and Halford, as well as Efren, who added a surprisingly enjoyable little bit of harmonica to the end of the song.
After a break, it's time for the ladies to whip through a number of their own. Kendra and Shar team up with Countess and Perez to take on Salt-N-Pepa's immortal 'Whatta Man," orchestrated by Shar's mentor, MC Lyte.
"There's five guys and three and-a-half girls on the show," says Perez of performing with the girls. "I can go both ways." He also had his own reasons for being in Kendra's corner. "I kinda would love Kendra to win," he said, "'cause it would make me getting voted off not so bad." Somewhat more genuine, Shar added her praise, admitting, "I watched her grow as a performer."
It's no surprise that two ladies comprise the final two, because the women (and Perez) turned out an overall stronger performance than the men. Afterwards, judge D.M.C. summed it up for everyone. "Shar you're the total package," he said. "Kendra, you got way, way, way better. Countess, you can flow. Perez, you bring a show every time."
But, enough of these wannabes, already! Now we're getting treated to something a little more professional. Sure, it smacks of a Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson holiday special, but hearing the eight mentors perform the ultimate hip-hop classic -- The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" -- shows you that although some of these hip-hop heads may be past their pop culture prime, they still have the chops that pop lyrics.
Another commercial break sends us to the fridge, and we realize that we're nearing the end. It's got to be time to take a trip back through Kendra and Shar's journey to the finale, no? YES! Up first is Kendra. The video montage takes us into the studio, where she concentrated on learning her rhymes, and on the stage where her ass-shaking took over to make up for whatever microphone skills she might be lacking. And it's exactly that combination of sexy style and hard work that got her to this point.
"She got into the spirit of the competition," her mentor, Too $hort says. "I still think it's an even competition, all the way to the end."
With the her warm and fuzzy look back complete, it's time for Kendra to rip a rhyme for us, and she's chosen one from the catalog of her mentor, "Blow the Whistle." Stepping off the stage, Kendra delivered most of her rhymes in the midst of a pretty excited crowd. "You blew my whistle real hard," Kevin said.
D.M.C. explains why he thinks Kendra made it this far. "She really has the hip-hop spirit and a love for the culture."
Big Boy "You did your thing, you worked the crowd very well. You battled through the adversity. You are here and congratulations."
Now it's Shar's turn. She's been a standout performer all the way, and it's more than obvious as we watch her working with MC Lyte in the studio and working out her rhymes on stage. Through it all, she has the concentration of a professional and the playfulness of an artist.
"I think I gained a little respect," Shar says of her trip on the show, and hopes that people who thought they knew who she was before Celebrity Rap Superstar got a chance to learn a little bit about her. "If I win? I don't know America -- Get ready, because I think I wanna do this."
And for her performance, Shar jumps on a major hit, Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On," a song that a few weeks back spurned a controversy when a taping of the show was stopped when there was a technical snafu during her performance. Why do it again? "I'm a perfectionist," she says. "I don't like to leave anything undone."
Onstage, Shar works it in the same fashion we've come to expect. "I tell you what Shar," Kevin Hart says when she's done. "You killed it this time."
Asked what she should do after the finale ends, judge Big Boy advised, "Just keep doin' what she's doin'. You always show up and you always blow up. You went from good to great!" Adds D.M.C., "It wasn't fair to have you up there on that stage. You a superstar!"
Finally, after a final commercial break, we're getting to what we're here for: the announcement of the winner. Who's it gonna be? Is it Shar, who impressed the judges week-in and week-out with her ability to rhyme and keep the beat while pacing the stage like a hip-hop natural? Or is it Kendra, who managed to deliver most of her lines without losing her way -- and make boyfriend/Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner smile and cheer -- while shaking what her mama gave her to win over a world of fans along the way?
After lots of swooning comments for both by all of the judges, the tension is thick. The anxiety is clear on the faces of both Kendra and Shar. WHO IS IT?!?
Finally, Kevin ends his stalling chatter and announces ... Shar Jackson is the Celebrity Rap Superstar! The audience erupts and confetti falls from the rafters as she celebrates, hugging MC Lyte and Kendra! "She did her very best and she practiced those words and her performance was impeccable," MC Lyte said of her student. "She's Shar J! All day!"
After some shouts Shar's family, Kendra's family and friends and a few comments from Too $hort ("It's been fun, man. Real fun."), we find out that Shar's not done yet. Kevin hands her the coveted Celebrity Rap Superstar gold microphone ("You earned it," Kevin says.) Now he's got to take to perform one more time, ripping through an appropriate choice, one of Kanye West's latest anthems, "Good Life."
With Shar still excited from her triumph and final performance, Kevin Hart and Liz Hernandez say their goodbyes before introducing Naughty By Nature who deliver a smokin' performance of the song with which we've become very familiar across these last eight Celebrity Rap Superstar weeks, "Hip-Hop Hooray." After the first verse, Treach and Vinnie tossed to all of the contestants -- except Jason, who merely says, "hey ... ho...," while the rest each take a few lines of the song to show off their newly honed hip-hop skills.
In the end, it's a celebration for Shar, who is the belle of the ball, the mistress of rhyme with the spit that won't quit, for she is the Celebrity Rap Superstar.