Never mess with Take 3. When they shut down a hater, they shut them down hard. Lil Dini didn’t know what hit him on STAR season three’s sixth episode, “Ante Up.” The self-proclaimed pimp thought he could go toe-to-toe against the superstar ladies with no repercussions, but he got his dignity handed to him in a diss track that reached “There For You” levels of savagery. Hopefully, this will be the last we see of him and his misogynistic ways.
We knew he was trouble the second he strolled out of the limo at Karma with his entourage. He did nothing but demean women and disrespect the ladies of Take 3 all episode, right up until he walked out of the club with his tail between his legs. Star would’ve slapped him down had she not been pregnant; at least we got a classic scene of her throwing water at someone’s face. There were plenty of opportunities for the character to find redemption. In particular, Maurice and Take 3 gave him a chance to apologize to the fans. However, Lil Dini kept being Lil Dini.
The “Yellow Tape” performance by Take 3 is now one of my top 10 favorites from the group. Each of the women was strong, hit their moves hard, and they made Lil Dini feel every cutting word. I felt the fire in this number and the added truth-bombs before the song were equally as savage. Plus, the use of the yellow caution tape in the dance routine was the perfect prop to make their point heard. Take 3 won the battle, the war, and the empire against the wannabe pimp. Point. Blank. Period.
It’s a shame that it took a battle against Lil Dini to make Star appreciate Jax more. Ever since the pregnancy was revealed, she’s kept him at an arm’s length for fear of being hurt again. You could see it in the way she playfully dismissed him whenever he showed genuine concern. Star wasn’t ready to make roots with him. And he was starting to push her away too with his jealousy of Noah. I like that they’re officially together now (‘cause, you know, Instagram makes it official) and can finally work on their relationship. They have the fire, but they need to be more open with each other.
In Alex’s case, I never thought Derek was having an affair. His potential hook-up was introduced out of the blue to make it seem like he had cheated on her, but we had no build up to know that the plot was coming. Something seemed fishy about the whole situation like it was too easy. Him being the informant, on the other hand, served as a great twist. He wants to take down Ruby’s rapist and the police want to stop Xander/Cassie–that lawful relationship is a match made in STAR heaven. Though, when the truth is put to the test, will Derek choose Alex or Ruby?
Simone also has her own feelings for Nina to struggle with. Ever since they met each other during STAR’s season three premiere, their friendship/flirtation had been slowly brewing until Simone felt comfortable enough to admit her true thoughts. They do like each other, that fact is obvious. And since Simone is no longer with Angel, there is no reason for her to feel upset having these feelings. This might be a case of Nina being the one to reach out first and do something about it. If Simone hadn’t walked away, Nina would’ve kissed her right then and there.
“Ante Up” was a night of relationship drama all around. Noah and Megan’s romance might be officially over after her kiss with Maurice. However, this love triangle is far from over. Maurice and Megan’s past shed light on the troubles they faced and why they no longer were together. There were still feelings between them and Noah walked away from the romance, but their reunion doesn’t seem like it’ll be easy to repair.
Similar to Maurice and Megan’s fractured relationship, Cotton and Cassie have a lot of hurdles to overcome. Cotton looked ready to kill her aunt at every opportune moment for what she did to Jahil. If they had not talked things out, Cassie would be dead right now. My prediction will be that they’ll make it through the heartbreak and family drama. However, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort for Cotton to truly forgive her aunt.
“Ante Up” forced all the pairings to face the tough challenges ahead. Whether it was romantic or family, the pairs pushed their plots forward, regardless of if it turned out good or bad. We need an hour like this to help with character development and the plots throughout the season. Plus, a misogynist got shut down, so that’s always a good day.
Last Musical Notes:
- “Yellow Tape” delivered the fire it needed to rule the stage. Alex, Star, and Simone were on point throughout every step and lyric.
- “Breathless” is soulful and powerful balled between Star and Noah. While the track isn’t one of my favorites, it’s still a smooth tune that blends their vocals flawlessly.