Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' first season of "Making the Band" offered some grit and tension in the form of highly combustible hip-hop group Da Band, but now he's simply grown complacent and selected two groups of talented but dull individuals.

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ first season of “Making the Band” offered some grit and tension in the form of highly combustible hip-hop group Da Band, but now he’s simply grown complacent and selected two groups of talented but dull individuals. The sheer innocuousness of Danity Kane and Day26 makes one long for the days of Dylan and Babs, who enlivened “Making the Band’s” first season on MTV with hilarious bouts of rage and the occasional run-in with the law.

The Wiltern proved to be an awkward venue, both in terms of stage setup and acoustics, for Day26, but more so for Danity Kane. whose mostly lip-synced vocals were buried inconspicuously below the backing instrumental tracks. With their choreographed dance routines and low-cut dresses providing constant visual stimulation, it was nearly impossible to tell which of the girls was singing lead and which were singing harmonies. The songs were as crisp and benign as bubbles of air, wafting through the theater, each as unmemorable as the next.

Long pauses following each song were filled with stage banter that was forced and predictable, as though the anecdotes and quips had been rehearsed for months prior to the show. “Pretty Boy” was the lone memorable track of the night due to Aubrey O’Day’s dubious introduction, in which she implored the mostly teenaged audience to scream if they had ever been with a man who was “doing another girl on the side.”

The members of Day26 didn’t have the dance moves or outfits to compete with Danity Kane’s stage show, but at least they sang their songs and displayed a reasonable level of intensity throughout the performance.

In between the two sets, P. Diddy made a brief appearance in which he thanked the crowd for supporting the bands — both have had No. 1 albums — and his record label Bad Boy Entertainment. His presence was a reminder of the kind of indefinable star quality that these two groups are sorely lacking.

Making the Band 4 -- The Tour: Danity Kane and Day26

Wiltern Theater; 2,200 capacity; $59.50 top

Production

Presented by P. Diddy and MTV. Reviewed June 10, 2008.

Cast

Bands: (DK) Shannon Bex, Aundrea Fimbres, Aubrey O'Day, Dawn Richard, Wanita Woodgette; (D26) Brian Andrews, Robert Curry, Michael McCluney, Qwanell Mosley, Willie Taylor. Also appearing: Donnie Klang.
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