Guess it was a good idea at the time. Kudos to whose idea it was. Hope they get a nice slice of all that cake. The first of these in the format that we’ve grown accustomed to, to the best of my knowledge, was MTV’s “Real World.”

Who would have thought that shows of this nature would take over television airwaves, leaving sitcoms, dramas and music programming lying in the wake. The behavior encouraged has rewarded many of its participants with instant fame (or infamy) and fortune but in the process may have come at the expense of the morals of a generation. Given that, if you’re honest with yourself, at least one may have crept onto your guilty pleasure list. On Jan. 13, however, a “reality show” we can all take pride in enjoying, particularly fans of R&B/soul music was released to the public. Thank you, Jazmin Sullivan.

For this project, album No. 3, to see the light of day, played out like a reality show. With two critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums (yielding seven Grammy nominations in the process), Sullivan was on the cusp of superstardom. Things took a turn in January of 2011, as Sullivan announced via Twitter that she was taking a self-induced hiatus from the music industry, saying, “I promised myself when it wasn’t fun anymore, I wouldn’t do it. And here I am. I’m not saying I won’t ever sing again in my life, because I don’t believe that. But in this moment … right now… [I] got some things to figure out.”

With the out-of-sight, out-of-mind fickle mentality of today’s music consumer, the need to get right with yourself could be tantamount to career suicide. Music lovers, however, knew that hers was a unique talent, both as a writer and as a vocalist, that had too much to offer to forget or ignore.

Among those who touted the special talents of Sullivan is a soul staple in his own right, Will Downing. In a recent discussion, Downing extolled, “That’s a singing child right there. After I hear a few of her songs, I say, ‘Yeah, you can hold the flame up. You can hold the flag. Wave that thing.’” Nice co-sign.

Having respect from peers is one thing, but the ultimate props come from your people, so Sullivan embarked on a national tour and circled back to Irving Plaza Saturday, April 18. As she told us during an earlier smash, “I’m not scared to perform at a sold-out affair,” so she was right at home. Bangers such as “Dumb” and “Holding You Down (Circles)” are deemed a very necessary asset in the arsenal of any singer, but Sullivan knows full well what her audience needs and how they want it cooked. It’s the well-timed, soulfully glazed mid-tempos and ballads, such as “Let It Burn,” “Lions, Tigers and Bears,” “Mascara” and “Masterpiece (Mona Lisa),” that set her audiences off. Although the highlights were plentiful, it was “Masterpiece (Mona Lisa),” “Need U Bad” and “In Love With Another Man” that reminded all that Sullivan may have not only her career but also a say in the direction of soul music resting in her hands.

Over and out. Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.