Pussycat Dolls' 'React' remix angers fans as Nicole Scherzinger takes lead while others serve as backup dancers
PCD have faced criticism since their inception for not featuring any of the other members as vocalists, despite several of them proving their talent through solo projects
When The Pussycat Dolls disbanded 10 years ago, they left many wondering what exactly went wrong. It began with member Carmit Bachar's departure in 2008, with remaining members Melody Thornton, Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, and Jessica Sutta following suit two years later.
The most infamous of these would be Melody, who notably had a public outburst during one of the group's performances on their Doll Domination Tour of 2009. The outburst was reportedly a result of internal strife. This came after the song "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" from the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' listed Nicole Scherzinger as a featured artist as opposed to simply crediting the song to the group as a whole.
The girls initially didn't reveal too much about the split, but Ashley would later place all the blame on Nicole stating, "Even in the group I wasn't allowed to talk, we were told to be quiet. Only Nicole was allowed to talk, we would occasionally pitch in." For many fans, this confirmed the suspicions they had all along Nicole was the reason the group split.
So when the group announced they were returning, fans were convinced they would do it right this time around. But on April 1, when the group tweeted a snippet of the Cash Cash remix of their song 'React', fans were once again left disappointed. Yet again, the release didn't feature more vocal parts for the remaining four members, and soon, the same issues that plagued the group over a decade ago resurfaced.
"So is it just a regular remix? I wanted new vocals, gurls," tweeted one fan along with a gif that read, "I am disappointed".
PCD have been known to use their platform to uplift fellow artists, especially fellow women like Normani, Charlotte Awbery and K-Pop group Blackpink. They are also vocal feminists on account of the misogyny they have faced over the span of their careers. And yet, when it comes to its own members, PCD still seems to be holding back on letting them shine. At least, that's what some fans seem to think.
Fans called out the group's stance on empowering women and girls, stating, "SHARE THE SPOTLIGHT it’s 2020 your fans wanna see them all sing Stronger female empowerment."
All members of the group, including past ones, have demonstrated their respective vocal abilities via various solo projects they have taken on over the years.
When one user tweeted, "@PussycatDolls have the MOST #1's by a girl group on Billboard's Dance Club Songs Chart history, with total of 6 #1's," a fan pointed out: "Jessica Sutta has 4 by herself and still no vocals in PCD."
Another fan added, "Now I realized Jessica Sutta has more hits on Billboard, more albums and more music videos released than the Dolls," and added an image listing these feats.
In a separate tweet, PCD also shared a performance that featured a slightly different version of the song, and fans were delighted to be able to hear more of the backing vocals from the other members and wished this was a more permanent feature.
"This should have been the version that was released. I love that we can hear the girls finally. Keep it up girls," tweeted one fan. Another one rejoiced "Shared vocals YAYYY," while one fan tweeted, "The best performance ever, FINALLY we can hear the other Dolls. Thanks @NicoleScherzy." Seems like even without each member being given a solo, fans would just be happy with hearing the girls sing anything at all.
Needless to say, the remaining members have demonstrated their ability to participate as singers. Yet, even 10 years later, they appear to be relegated to the role of dancers and backup vocalists to Nicole.
The group now maintains that there are no hard feelings, with Nicole stating, "Our sisterhood is stronger than ever, and we're closer than ever. The synergy and the chemistry we have just kind of like locks in and we're all like, yeah, PCD warrior status." Also, all the members have finally been given the chance to participate equally in the promotions for their new music. However, despite all this, fans remain skeptical and critical of their performances.
One tweeted, "Nicole just performed react, I understand she’s the lead singer but she’s the only singer. Times have changed this format won’t last long. Each girl needs to show their skills and not hide in Nicole’s shadow again," and another said, "‘We performed’ or did Nicole take over and had 4 backing dancers?"
Melody, who left the group on account of not being given enough vocal parts, spoke about what being in the group was like 10 years ago. She said, "They said we're going to have Nicole do all of the recording, you’re going to have to learn and dance with the rest of these girls." She added, "For me, it really affected my confidence because I wasn’t using my best asset, and people were getting to know me for something that I didn’t do... And I was the weakest dancer, so it was challenging." Melody left the group in 2010 amid rumors of internal strife and a bitter feud with Nicole.
Apart from the division of parts in the song and performances, some fans were unhappy with the remix for a different reason. "You made us wait ages for this song... and now your ringing it out like a damp cloth! New music!" tweeted one user.
Perhaps when we do get some new music from PCD, it'll be a little more representative of what the whole group has to offer.