Here’s the thing: reality TV talent competitions are a dime a dozen now. The format has reached its saturation point. In the last week, I’ve watched P Diddy’s Starmaker, Five’s Don’t Stop Believin’ and the pre-launch show for Must Be The Music. If you’ve read my posts on Unreality TV and Unreality Shout, you’ll know that even the big guns like The X Factor are no longer piquing my interest. In fact, I breathed a sigh of relief whenever the rumour broke that X Factor would take a break in 2011.
Now, I’ve got plenty of criticism to level at Five’s Don’t Stop Believin’, and I’ll do a separate post about that show. Starmaker actually seems to be a fairly decent show, borrowing heavily from American Idol format, but from what I’ve seen they’re focused on the talent at least.
Sadly, Sky didn’t deign to show us any actual talent in their teaser show. They ‘entertained’ us with Fearne Cotton being thoroughly annoying (what she’s famous for, I suppose), and puff pieces about each of their esteemed judges.
I guess the judging panel should be something to brag about – three entertainers who’ve made it in the music industry. I like Sharleen Spiteri, but it’s been a fair few years since Texas were dominating the charts. Can she bring a contemporary edge? Jamie Cullum…sorry, don’t rate him. Dizzee Rascal, I love. He’s the big gun on that panel – a contemporary rapper who’s still selling records and clearly knows how to write a hit single. I’d almost hope that Dizzee might attract more urban artists instead of the tedious Whitney Houston cover-versions that we see every time X Factor comes to town.
Still, these shows live or die on the strength of the talent they attract. Can Must Be The Music pull in worthwhile artists and make us want to follow their progress each week? Well, I don’t know, since I don’t remember seeing anyone actually perform during the countdown show. It wouldn’t have hurt to showcase a few auditionees to give us a taster.
Instead, Fearne Cotton killed off any magic Dizzee Rascal had in my eyes by making him write a rap for her. I’m not sure he was entirely comfortable doing it, and his lyrics were abysmal. Well, he did write Bonkers, I suppose.
I kind of trust Sky 1 with a talent show though – they did a decent job of turning Got To Dance into a fairly watchable show and kept it focused on dance (as opposed to Britain’s Got Talent, which is a mixed bag at best). I’m just hoping they remember that the key ingredient is talent.
Refreshingly, the prize is £100,000 and the opportunity to sell your music on iTunes. No schmaltzy contracts that last for a year and then disappear. They give you hard cash to invest in your own musical career, which might be better than being signed to Simon Cowell’s label and getting dumped as soon as public perception turns the slightest bit cold.
Will you be tuning in? According to TVGuide, the first episode is this Sunday (15th August) at 7pm. In my opinion, there’s room for a reality TV show with a clear focus on talent. I just hope that Must Be The Music can deliver!