Day26: Not Made For TV

Day 26 has something to prove. Mix the stigma of being a group groomed by reality television, getting respect as an R&B group in the age of the solo artist, and having Diddy as your boss. You might just sweat a little. Yet on this day in the bright green room of their record label, the guys seem as cool as ice. Willie sits quietly on a camel-colored couch; Q and Mike use their laptops, while Brian and Rob have yet to make an appearance.In true artist fashion, the group makes small talk about ordering lunch and their hectic schedules. In this environment they’re more themselves sans their boy band moves that make 14-year old girls scream. That is until Mike channels Bobby Brown in his hay-day by opening his legs and seductively sliding his way too close for comfort. Perhaps rejection isn’t something he’s used to, but realizing he’s gone too far (and after getting a mild scolding from the other group members), he resigns himself to lying on the floor to play with his chain.When Making the Band IV premiered in 2007, Robert Curry, Qwanell “Q” Mosley, Mike McCluney, and Will Taylor were all fighting for a spot on Diddy’s roster. "I was just going for the fun of it,” says Q. “He called my name to go in the house, and I was like, ‘Wow this is getting real. This is crazy!' It got even crazier when every time elimination would come he wouldn’t call my name, and it kept getting down to the end.” When the end finally came on a live TRL finale, the boys made the band, but that was hardly the beginning.“The most hectic part about this whole recording process was Diddy because he’s such a perfectionist,” says Brian. Diddy rolled out a roster of top producers including Bryan Michael Cox (“Be Without You”) and Adonis Shrosphire (“My Boo”) to put together the group’s debut album. They were given a five-week deadline to make it happen. It paid off when Day26 debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts quieting the haters. Or at least giving them less ammunition. Killing rumors about themselves while remaining elusive is another new dynamic in their lives. Robert is clear about an engagement story, to his one-time girlfriend June that popped up on the net. “It was just something that was taken out of context. People see stuff and they’re going to put their own meaning to it.” And of course Q downplays his relationship with Dawn of Danity Kane by throwing her into the “good friend” category. Though as much as the rumor mills seems more like a game of a cat and mouse rather than strategy, they have learned to be mindful of what they say. Earlier this year a comment about Mary J. Blige caused backlash. “They said we were talking bad about her. She’s the queen!” Will says. Despite living in a bubble, the group still maintains their morals. Their Southern and Midwestern roots plus a strong family base keep their feet planted firmly on the ground. People around them have changed and family members are coming out of the woodworks with raised financial expectations. “I understand because I wanted to be in a position where I can take that kind of responsibility in my hands,” Robert says. “…But it comes with time.”