The back drop was the gorgeous clear blue water and the white sandy beaches of Singer Island in Riviera Beach. There, the blazing sun shined down on lovely ladies clad in teeny-weeny bikinis and young, fresh faced guys with six-pack abs danced to the pulsating beat emanating from the stage.
From noon until sundown last Saturday, April 10, BET’s annual spring break music festival, “Spring Bling,” was in full swing. And for the approximately 2,500 young people who came from near and far for a good time and for the TV production, which will air on BET Networks April 16 and 17, the oceanfront music extravaganza did not disappoint. “It always looked like so much fun on TV,” said Yasmine Davis, 21. So this year, she, her friend Jasalyn Smith, 21, and two more girlfriends hopped a plane from Louisiana and came to experience “Spring Bling” live and in person.
The Louisiana State University students wanted to turn their spring break into a bona fide, fun-filled South Florida vacation, complete with a rocking concert on the beach with all the hottest stars.
“I wanted to see Chris Brown, and he did not disappoint. I loved him,” said Smith, after Brown took to the stage. “He’s a great performer.”
Showing off his abs in a purple tank, with khaki shorts and a purple and white baseball cap, Brown was a show-stopper with his unrelenting dance moves. Swooning ladies seemed to care little about the domestic abuse scandal that rocked his and former girlfriend Rihanna’s lives last year. For now, it was all fun in the sun.
Trey Songz was another crowd pleaser. As he serenaded the ladies, over a dozen beauties adorned the stage wearing itsy bitsy, “I Love Trey” tanks and bikini bottoms.
Terrence J and Rocsi, hosts of BET’s “106th and Park,” kept the crowd entertained. But whether it was Nicki Minaj, Plies, Soulja Boy or Waka Flocka Flame, the crowd never stopped grooving to the beat.
Pablo Johnson, 25, of Rochester, New York, showed off his dance moves for the BET cameras.
“I just wanna have fun. I came down because I have no kids and no ties. I just want to have a good time. It’s a lot of black people having a fun, safe time,” he said.
Christina Francois, 27, bypassed Spring Bling in Daytona Beach, near her home in Orlando, to come to Palm Beach County.
“I wanted to experience something different,” she said. Her only complaint was the long lines to get onto the set. All spring “blingers” had to go through metal detectors to assure everyone’s safety.
But after a non-stop barrage of musical performances and audience participation games, everything went off without a hitch — with the exception of a few people passing out due to the heat.
Chuck Elderd, the Palm Beach County film commissioner, had nothing but praise for the BET production crew.
“They are first class. They come in extremely well prepared. It’s a quality production. They exceeded our expectations because they got the shots they needed, and they completed the production in one day. That’s just how good these folks are,” he added.
Elderd has already invited BET to host Spring Bling in Riviera Beach again next year.
And the girls from LSU said even though they’re graduating, they plan to return.
“It lived up to our expectations. The beautiful beaches — we don’t have that in Louisiana,” Smith said.
Now, they can go back home and look for themselves on TV.
BET will air “Spring Bling 2010” Friday, April 16 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday, April 17 from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Bart Williams. Beach revelers enjoy surf and sun on April 10 at BET’s “Spring Bling 2010” in Riviera Beach.