The video spotlights two contestants—Just Brittany and Kaiya—performing for Ross, The-Dream, and Lenny S, who were serving as judges on the show and looking to sign a new R&B star.
Just Brittany is the first to sing her song, and though she’s pretty off-key, Ross tells her, “Your future is bright,” with The-Dream and Lenny providing similar remarks. Kaiya then performs her song, and though she is clearly skilled, Ross interrupts her and says, “That wasn’t the best platform for your voice.”
Since Brittany has a lighter complexion, many accused Ross of being a colorist, particularly since he acknowledged that he favored her. This prompted both Kaiya and Brittany to address the situation.
“The resurfacing of the video is so surreal,” Kaiya told The Shade Room. “I’m humbled that a lot of people have come out in support of my journey. Colorism is a topic that needs to be discussed wholly and not summed up in one response, but it’s very disheartening to know so many go through this male or female. To pin Black women and men against one another, or make it where some are seen superior is sad. As the years go on, I hope it’s being addressed and rectified in the future.”
Though the clip didn’t show the series in a positive light, Kaiya said she gained valuable lessons and relationships from Signed.
“[It was] very positive,” she continued. “I’ve met some really talented people, we have developed friendships and keep in touch. The guidance and critiques, I’ve received on my overall performance have been invaluable. I’ve never stopped performing. I’m currently writing original songs. I’m also reaching out to other songwriters and producers. I’m perfecting my sound every day. I’m achieving this by taking personal experiences, over the years, and putting them to music.”
Brittany also commented on the viral video. “That’s me in the orange hair,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’m happy this video is making its rounds and I want to say that colorism definitely plays a role in lighter skinned women, like myself, having more access in the industry. Kaiya is extremely talented and I wish darker women were seen more.”