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Series / Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls

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"You gotta serve it… or you get served!"
Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (yes, that's three 'r's) is an unscripted reality competition series. It's the first project the singer/flutist developed as part of a deal with Amazon Studios. The premiere was on March 24, 2022.

Lizzo has a group of six dancers called the Big Grrrls. "But I'm a headliner now, motherfucker! I gotta be on headliner status. So I need more Big Grrrl dancers to fill the space onstage with me." To find more dancers, Lizzo turned to dance agencies but "they gave me nothin'!" She put out a call for big girls and out of thousands of submissions, she handpicked 13 women and brings them to L.A. But out of the 13, only 10 will get to stay and move in the luxurious house while they prepare to appear with Lizzo on the Bonnaroo festival which is only 21 days away.

The show was nominated in the Best Competition Program category at the 2022 Emmy Awards, resulting in a win and in Lizzo's first Emmy.

Watch out for the Big Trrropes!

  • Acrofatic: The aspiring Grrrls are big, but they are skilled dancers. They do splits, they twerk, they leap. The audience gets to see footage of Jayla doing flips (in heels!) as part of her introduction and she also does them in the dance-off. There is, however, a price to pay for these moves: a contestant sprains her ankle while doing a split, and there is discussion about not getting proper instruction on how to dance as a plus-size woman.
  • Agony of the Feet: Sidney injures her ankle as part of the dance-off and needs medical attention. Jayla also worries about her ankle. Moesha had surgery after breaking her ankle and her fear of injuring herself again holds her back. The Grrrls also have to get used to performing their choreography in Doc Marten boots.
  • Arc Words: "100% THAT BITCH" (a line taken from Lizzo's "Truth Hurts"); it actually becomes an award issued to the Grrrl who nailed it at a particular "event" (as opposed to "challenge").
  • Benevolent Boss: Lizzo is very encouraging to the aspiring Grrrls, even dropping by the house for a girls' night and awarding spots on a video or photo shoot. Her choreographer/creative director Tanisha Smith has to remind her not to let her "heartstrings" determine what dancers are ready for the stage.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: The Grrrls frequently wear crop tops, typically as dancewear/workout but also sometimes as everyday clothing. In this case, it's an indicator that they are confident enough to wear feminine, midriff-baring clothing despite their weight.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Cast full of them.
  • The Cameo: SZA appears as a guest judge.
  • Cyberbullying: Part of Isabel's backstory. She posted a video of herself dancing, and she ended up being used as "meanspiration" for fat-phobic people.
  • Dance-Off: Part of the first episode: first between two groups, then one on one. It's how Lizzo decides who will move to the Big Grrrl House. As she herself says:
You gotta serve it... or you get served!
  • Everybody Has Standards: Lizzo herself has no qualms with posing in assorted states of undress, calling herself an exhibitionist, but she admits to being reluctant to show her natural hair.
  • Fat and Proud: The Grrls flaunt their curves in crop tops, spandex, and short skirts. During the one-on-one auditions, Jayla averts this trope in her baggy t-shirt and pants, but it doesn't last.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Throughout the series, the Grrrls are working toward the goal of dancing with Lizzo on stage at Bonnaroo. Then again, the viewer might be aware that thanks to Hurricane Ida, the Bonnaroo festival for 2021 was canceled. In other words, none of the Grrrls will be dancing at Bonnaroo.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: This trope is deliberately averted, as a sense of sisterhood is encouraged. Jasmine does butt heads with the other Grrrls and when she discloses in front of Lizzo that she has had trouble with other girls, she's eliminated.
  • Leg Focus: The Grrrls are told to create a stage persona, involving a makeover with Lizzo's glam team (hair, makeup, clothes and Charity is encouraged to wear short shorts to emphasize her legs.
  • Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Aspiring Grrrl Moesha shows up in blue and yellow hair, to go with her multiple tattoos and facial piercings. Lizzo's Glam team suggests a slightly more neutral look, to let her personality shine through. She accepts, albeit reluctantly.
  • Product Placement: Lizzo shows up to a "sensual movement" class in a crop top and shorts from her Yitty shapewear line.
  • Reality TV Show Mansion: The mansion where the 10 potential Grrrls move in has a Glam Room (a walk-in closet with drawers full of accessories and makeup), dance studio and a gym... with a bar.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Due to Hurricane Ida, Bonnaroo is canceled. Instead, the Grrrls get to dance with Lizzo at another stage.
  • Reluctant Fan Service Girl: A nude photo shoot is announced and some are excited but others are nervous. Isabel requires quite a bit of support before she agrees to drop her robe and pose in flesh-toned lingerie. She herself explains that she is half Korean, a very conservative culture, and that she has already been body-shamed in social media.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Moesha has no trouble whatsoever posing in the buff for the nude photoshoot while others opt for wearing nude-colored undergarments or Hand-or-Object Underwear.
  • Shaking the Rump: The choreographies involve plenty of this, as is to be expected if you are dancing to a Lizzo song.
  • Trans Tribulations: Jayla talks about all the slurs she has been called and being told she is not feminine enough. When the Grrrls are divided into teams to make a video, she writes "Trans Love" in the mirror as an affirmation.