Kandi and her hit making team chose 2 aspiring artists, one a singer, the other a performer, and prepped them for superstardom in 6 days. Kandi Burruss developed the idea for the show after being told that if she could make a hit record for Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kim Zolciak, then she (Kandi Burress) could make a hit for anybody.
"Kandi Factory" is heart-warming and inspiring because Burruss helps ordinary people achieve a dream. It's something akin to hitting the lotto, not necessarily for the grand prize, but a sizable amount. "Kandi Factory" sends a message to every and anyone out there who wants to sing, but can’t, that autotune is their savior and deliverer.
In the first forty-three minutes of “Kandi Factory,” it seemed highly unlikely that Kandi and her team could recreate their two contestants, Melissa Rose and Matthew Solomon, into anything special. Initially, it appeared “Kandi Factory” was something akin to pure silliness and emotional riff raff.
Matthew Solomon sent Kandi a tape that proved how much he could not sing. Matthew was a dramatic, over the top college kid and performing arts student with a message. He’s mad at his absentee, walkout dad and he’s not going to take it anymore.
Melissa Rose’s tape was easy on the ears. Rose can honestly sing. But Rose submitted an audition tape with a wine glass in her hand. So it was a little hard to tell if she’d submitted a tape with a tad bit of liquid courage. But who knows. Maybe Melissa was drinking grape juice.
Melissa was chosen because of her voice. Matthew was chosen because of his passion. Kandi and her team recognized in Solomon a performer who would do anything to achieve his dream to perform.
Melissa and Matthew were as opposite as night and day. Melissa is a 36-year-old flight attendant and single mom of 3. Matthew is 19. He lives with his mom and a supportive set of older brothers. None of whom think Matthew can sing, but all of whom believe he’s a performer.
Kandi Burress wrote songs for Matthew and Melissa based on their back stories. Matthew’s song gave his dad the middle finger. And Melissa’s song praised women who have held it down on their own without a man.
Matthew and Melissa, like “American Idol” contestants, were sent to their hotel rooms to memorize their songs. And then were handed over to choreographer Victor. Victor looks like a really sweet guy. But he turns into something purely mean and almost evil when irritated to the ninth degree. When Matthew couldn’t remember his lyrics, Victor made him do 100 push ups.
When Melissa couldn’t get her dance moves together, Victor sentenced her to 100 push ups. For the record, neither Melissa nor Matthew did the full 100. The stopped somewhere around 40. But Melissa cried like a baby about the exercises. Actually, she cried worse than a baby. Something like a scolded teen who’d been embarrassed at the mall by her mom and dad in front of her friends. The moment spoke to Melissa's dedication.
But then again, Victor was pretty mean to Melissa. He asked her how much did she make a year and how hard was it to support her children on her salary. And then he asked her if she wanted to go back to that. In confessional, Melissa conceded that singing and celebritydom (and the work required to get it) was far out of her comfort zone.
In the end, after a serious make-over by celebrity stylist Kwame Waters, both Matthew and Melissa were ready to perform their songs on stage in front of an electric audience. Melissa did amazing and Matthew delivered a crazy electric performance. Their performances were evaluated by Kandi and her hit making team.
Matthew was awarded the singing and video contract with the Kandi Factory.
Kandi Factory isn’t like other singing reality shows. The footage takes place in six days. The talent and their video footage is raw. More raw than red meat from a newly killed cow. Even Tyra’s messiest “Top Model” contestants aren’t as raw as Kandi’s contestants. But "Kandi Factory" gives viewers a really good idea how much contestants on other shows like "Top Model" and "American Idol" are prepped and edited during their confessionals before their film is TV ready.