New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom was dense with Making the Band loyalists Wednesday night (May 28) as giddy fans anxiously waited for Bad Boy’s reality rookies to kickoff their first collective tour.

Labelmate Cheri Dennis bolted onstage first, opening with her hit single “I Love You” and transitioning into the jumpier “Portrait of Love.” Clad in a skin-tight black dress and a gold belt, she strutted across the stage rousing the audience into dance mode.

Girls clung to each another with excitement as Donnie Klang—the evening’s second act and the only solo artist from Making the Band 4—took the stage in a black leather getup with female backup dancers serving as accessories. Dispelling the “white-boy-that-can’t-dance” stigma from the show, Donnie flitted in synch (pun intended) to the electro-poppy “Dr. Love.” He then wooed a bevy of screaming women during “Take You There,” revealing his Bad Boy boot camp six-pack to the crowd.

The raucous audience chanted before the spotlight panned to Day26 in black suits, shades and Michael Jackson-esque red gloves. With vocals gelling more than ever, the quintet phased in and out of up-tempo tracks like “Exclusive.” Using chairs as props, Day26’s dance routines were reminiscent of old school New Edition. Mario and Cassie danced along to “Got Me Going” while vocal coach Ankh Ra nodded approvingly. Willie, the crowd favorite, nearly incited a riot when he took off his fitted shirt and tossed it in mid-performance.

Diddy then introduced the evening’s headliners—Danity Kane, his “international superstars.” Draped in racy black and white dresses, the girls opened with “Bad Girl,” grooving in a robotic fashion as flashing lights illuminated their routine. The byproduct of choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson’s “Boom boom caks,” the girls hit every dance move to perfection, baiting the audience with sultry vocals. The biggest crowd pleaser was “Damaged,” from their sophomore album, Welcome To The Dollhouse. Diddy twirled and pumped his fists throughout their set, grinning ear to ear.

After presenting both groups with Gold plaques, Diddy said he nearly had tears in his eyes (along with dollar signs) watching the show.

“Bitchassness” aside, the sold-out venue and fanatical crowd proved that the Making The Band camp is more than a bunch of overnight celebrities.

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